Dreams, Delays and Dingos

Time flies and it takes long between releases because I seem to start more games than I can manage, and then put them on hold when they’re almost done. This year I’ve been working on my Circular Invaders Game but the guy who helped me fine-tune the gameplay suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth so I put that on hold temporarily.

Then I resumed work on X-Quest 2, which is basically done now but only needs new graphics, and I’d found an artist who seemed really good, but he only delivered one frame and now he’s stopped answering my mails. Not good – especially after just being mentioned in issue 93 of Retro Gamer Magazine. Oh well, it’ll get done…only with a delay.

Before them there is a string of other unfinished remakes, but I’ll get to them in time. Slowly, perhaps, but I’ll get to them. I’m especially looking forward to getting back to work on Black Widow and Psycho Pigs UXB, but I can only work effectively on one game at the time.

All these WIP’s, and the stress I’m putting myself under just by thinking about them, is probably the reason I woke up this morning – stressed over some unfinished tank game (no, I’m not working on any tank games, so who knows why :)). That’s the third morning in a row that I’ve woken up with a dream like that. Can you see why I would really like to finish all my unfinished WIP’s? 😀

Of course, all these delays frustrates me and I decided to put that frustration to good use and channel all that energy into making a new game (typical…see how easy it happens? 😉 ) so I started working on something I’ve wanted to do for almost 30 years – making a new ZX Spectrum game.

And that was the birth of Dingo – a “lost Ultimate game”. I’ve already remade this arcade game back in 2008 for Windows and in 2011 for Mac, but now I’m remaking it again in z80 assembler for the ZX Spectrum. It only took me about a month to make the game and I was lucky enough to atract the attention of Mark R. Jones – who used to work for Imagine and Ocean back in the 80’s – and he has done all the stunning new graphics for the game. The game is currently finished, playable and works as it should, and according to Mark its “stupidly addictive” so I must have done something right. 😀

That being said, the game could still use a bit of spit and polish. I’m currently working on improving the sprite routines (3rd day in a row, argh) and it also needs music and better sound effects, but the plan is to have it completely finished and presented at the retro event, Replay, in Blackpool in November.

You can read more about the development of the game here, and below is a picture of the game.

The Spectrum version of Dingo

The Spectrum version of Dingo

Pork chops….AI HA!

With my short vacation from Psycho Pigs UXB, to make Omega Race 2009, it’s been a while since I’ve worked on my pork-project but now I’m back to working on the piggiegame and is making good progress.

Since all the graphics in the game are done and I’ve shown pictures of both the menu and a couple of in-game screenshots I thought I’d show something new now. The game has a total of 13 enemy pigs and they are all introduced in their own way. There’s a girlie-piggy, a biker, a pirate, a ninja, a robot and lots more, so you should have plenty to look at once the game is finished. I can’t say exactly when that’ll be, but now that I’m feeling recharged and is back to working on the game I should be making speedy progress.

Here’s a stillframe from the introduction of the ninja-pig.

Pigs…pigs everywhere.

My my, now time flies. 6 weeks since my last post but my only excuse is that I’ve been too busy programming to post. 😉

The development of the game has caught the eyes of Retro Gamer Magazine and it was mentioned in issue 62, but in their…excitement…they managed to get a lot of facts wrong – including my name which became (name here).

Click here to see the magazine article.

Oh, well, it was good for a laugh and the editor did say ‘sorry‘ so that’s okay. 😉 Now I just have to concentrate on the game and make it as good as I can so it can earn a review once it’s finished. There’s still a long way to go but the game is really coming together and looking better and better daily (or whenever I can be arsed to work on it). 😉

Anyway,  I’m currently only working on the singleplayer mode and although I haven’t quite decided if I’m doing a multiplayer mode yet, I’m programming it in a way that it’ll be as easy as possible to add in another player when I’m closer to being finished (although it may not be that easy – multiplayer mode is a ‘bug-magnet‘)… but it won’t be considered until I’m 100% satisfied with the singleplayer mode.

I won’t go into detail with what’s already finished and what’s still missing but I’m starting to have a good feeling about it – like I said…it’s really coming together as a game and I expect to be able to give my artist an early demo of the game in a couple of weeks. By then it’ll still be far from finished, but making a demo must mean there’s something to show off, right? 😉

I just made a screenshot from my current build, where you can see a new background, some more enemies, a few special items and the dino-suit powerup the player can wear, which makes the player able to withstand a single hit from a bomb…plus – it looks impossibly cute. 😀

Screenshot from the latest build of the game.

Screenshot from the latest build of the game.

Competition results and a new game being made.

Finally, a new update…but there’s something to tell. 🙂

The 3 games I made for the Retro Remakes 2008 Competition, Space Fury, Zektor & Dingo, scored as number 4, 8 & 9 respectively. Granted, it’s only out of 21 games, but they’re in the good half…and a 4th place is definitely not bad.
Why don’t you download them – if you haven’t already done so? 😉

I’m also working on a new game – Psycho Pigs UXB. Originally an arcade game from 1987 (called ‘Butasan‘), it was also released for the Spectrum, Amstrad, C64 & X68000 systems in 1988 as ‘Psycho Pigs UXB‘. It’s a frentic singlescreen action game, for one or two players. In a nutshell, you pick up bombs and throw them against enemy pigs, while avoiding getting hit yourself, until you’re the only one left. A bit like Bomberman except you can move around the entire screen.

I’ve been working on the game for about two weeks now and I’m lucky enough to have an
artist helping me out with the graphics, Lobo, which is why I have this purdy piccy to show.

12 seconds from flying roast pork.

12 seconds from flying roast pork.

There’s still a long way to go yet, but I’ll post updates when I have something interresting to tell. 🙂