Posts Tagged ‘atari’

  • 30 years of being a game developer in 3000 words

    I borrowed the majority of this text from a great private forum I’m on, where everyone gave a potted biography of who they are and how they got to where they are today as a means to introduce themselves. I wrote my introduction 3 years ago and have toyed many times with the idea of posting it here for all to see, warts and all. And after some editing and refreshing of content I’ve finally decided to do so. The title is a little misleading of course as I’ve not been a game developer for 30 years, but I have always wanted to be, and that passion and love has never left me – as you’ll find if you dare to read on :)

    I know it’s way too long and probably not even my Mother would read until the end, but here we go. This is how my love affair with computing and game development started, and lead to where I am today…

    My name is Richard Davey. I don’t really use pseudonyms on the internet anymore (spent enough years doing that in Quake clans!) but l’m part of Photon Storm. I’ll be 37 in August and I live in a lovely part of the UK with my wife, 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter.

    Growing up Atari

    Back when I was the age my son is now, my parents were complete technophobes and didn’t buy into the “every home must have a family computer” one bit. So it was a long time until I got one of my own. Ironically my Mum is now the most hardcore gamer I know and I swear 40% of her annual earnings goes direct to Big Fish Games.

    I may have been computer-less but I was addicted to the arcades. All of my “holiday money” would vanish into the latest Atari, Williams and Sega machines. When I was 8 we moved house and I made friends with the kids in my new street and got my first experience of home computing. There were ZX81s and Spectrum 48ks within a few houses and that was it. I was utterly hooked. To my shock (as it wasn’t even Christmas or my birthday) one day my Dad bought home a computer: A Toshiba MSX.

    In hindsight I appreciate just how amazing that computer was. Built-in cartridge port letting me run all the hottest Konami and Capcom games, tape drive so I could buy budget games from the newsagent, really nice graphics, really nice sound. But no other kid within a hundred miles owned one which made aquiring new games next to impossible. But it did give me my first taste of programming. Type-in listings from magazines and hacking around in BASIC. The MSX and later a Spectrum +3 served me well for a few years until I hit secondary school. And via another kid there I was introduced to the Atari ST.

    My whole life changed. It was one of those moments you know? Those real life changing moments. Getting that ST home. Hooking it up to this piece of trash black and white TV in my bedroom. I just knew there and then I was addicted, and that my life would be one spent in computers.

    I wasn’t wrong :)

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  • Flod 3.0 and FlodXM Source Released

    We’re pleased to announce that Christian has asked us to release the full source packages for FlodXM and Flod 3. So we created 2 new github projects and spent a lot of time collecting, sorting and populating them! Our Flod page on this site has also been drastically updated to reflect all of the changes and provide clear download links and examples.

    FlodXM was previously only available as a SWF to test XM file playback quality. Thank you to everyone who did this and submitted broken modules. With the source now available you’re free to replay XMs in your own games and demos, as well as fork the project and build your own players or fix missing effects.

    Flod 3 was Christians attempt to merge all of the various Flod classes together. Previously Flod had been dedicated to Amiga mod replay (so common Soundtracker and ProTracker files) where-as the FlodEx package was for the more unique formats like SidMon and Future Composer. Flod 3 brings all of those together into one set of classes, making life for developers much easier and cleaner! It’s only a Release Candidate however, so we’ve included it along-side the packages on which it is built.

    Finally we’ve also released Flym which is an Atari ST YM music replay library. YM files traditionally come from Atari ST emulators, and are raw Yamaha soundchip register dumps. There are hundreds of them available online and while this is a very niche replay class, I for one appreciate the fact it exists! :)

    So head on over to the new Flod page to snag the downloads, and play your hearts out!

  • Video of me coding Breakout in Flixel in 20 mins

    Having spent the past couple of days deep in Microsoft Word writing tech specs, I was desperate to do some coding. But I only had a 1 hour lunch break available. So I picked a game: Breakout (Atari 2600 style), found a reference screen shot online to get the colours from, fired-up FlashDevelop, hit record and started coding.

    20mins later and it was done. I then hastily cut this video together and uploaded to YouTube (which ironically took longer than coding did). Here’s the video embedded. I sped it up x2 for sanity sake, and it’s a nice way of hiding my typos :) If you can please watch it in HD on the YouTube site, it’s much easier to see what I’m coding!

    Watch on YouTube

    Ok so it’s not a gaming master-piece, but there’s a real solid shell of a game here you are free to take and expand as you wish. The first thing you may want to do is drop the “cheat wall” from the bottom, add some lives, a score and level progression :)

    Full source code after the jump.

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  • Join the 16K Atari Inspired Retro Re-make Contest

    The guys over at 8bitrocket are holding a coding contest.

    The aim is to make an Atari inspired game, using any web-friendly language that you like, in 16KB or less.

    When they say “Atari inspired” they do NOT mean a straight port / re-make. But instead for you to take perhaps the core concept, or game world, or environment of an Atari game, and make something new and exciting from it.

    Considering how many excellent games appeared on both Atari home computers / consoles, and from Atari / Tengen in the arcades, that is a truly staggering wealth of titles to choose from.

    To get those of you who aren’t 99% Atari (like me) started, here are some useful links:

    Atari Arcade Games (134 games from APB to Xevious)

    Atari Games (another 68 arcade games, from from 720 to Xybots)

    Atari 2600 Games

    Atari 5200 Games

    Atari 7800 Games

    and of course, Atari ST games – here’s a listing from my site the Little Green Desktop, and another from Atari Legend.

    There are literally thousands of games to choose from, and remember you are not trying to port or accurately re-create them. You simply need to draw inspiration from them, and re-make them in a modern way. I agree 16K is limiting. But limitations breed creativity :)

    The full rules / details can be found here: http://www.8bitrocket.com/2010/11/19/announcing-the-8bitrocket-16k-retro-re-make-contest/

  • White Rash

    A tour de force using 8 colors. Click to zoomify.