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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Lightspeed: How can I make this game happen?

MODE 0 graphics showing how things might play out... 
For as long as I can remember, the Amstrad CPC was starved of a decent Star Trek game, we had a few games trickle through, but nothing that set the pulse racing. I believe I have a really good idea for a Star Trek game on the CPC, it would probably need 128K of memory, a starfield effect similar to that used in 'Tin Tin on the Moon' during the rocket ship sequence, but without the need to actually move the ship from side to side, just give the illusion that the ship is moving forward. The game would actually play out similar to a JRPG, you would make your way to a location or planet, and battle Star Trek aliens on your way to seek out new worlds and civilisations. Once you reach a certain point, you would then battle an even bigger enemy. The bad news is, you would start out in a massive battle, that would see your ship damaged and limping away for survival and much-needed repair.

Action panel to help you throughout your mission... 
As you progress, so do opportunities to repair, level up and buy new items, such as food for the crew, away missions and more, for a bit of fun. As you can see from the above panel, torpedo's, phasers, evade and shields would help you to stay alive, with the scan option providing valuable information about the enemy and objects you come across, especially useful in detecting a Klingon warbird that might be cloaked. The teleport option, if online can be used to take over an enemy ship, salvage, capture or use for parts where compatible, this can technique would be used in battle, once an enemy ship falls below a certain percentage. I think the unique thing about this game is that each level would play out like a tv episode.

Where I'm at so far:

It really is early days, I'm just playing around with graphics. I really want to do this for the CPC, despite being told that I should use GameMaker and other such PC tools to bring the idea to a bigger audience. I've already looked at some of the programming tutorials in old Amstrad books and magazines, and at this point, it looks fairly daunting. So for now, I'm thinking I need to do more research, stick with these books for some time and practice as much as possible where time permits.

I dabbled back in the day, but this never came to anything serious, instead I played games more than I care to admit if my parents knew how much effort I put into gaming vs homework, they'd have disowned me. So far, this has been a solo effort with help from my wife, and honestly, I'm not even sure how much help I can get from other people. Hopefully, someone out there will take pity on my efforts thus far and give me some guidance on the best way to get started. My hope would be to one day turn my idea into a prototype of sorts.

A question to the Amstrad community? 

What are the best tools, books and emulation I should use? I've purchased loads of books over the years, especially geared towards programming new games on the CPC, and I've tried to believe me, but these lines of code are somebody else's blood, sweat and tears, helpful none the less, but the dream for me is to ultimately play something the likes never experienced on the CPC before. I know there are quite a few tools available for the ZX Speccy, I bought one of 'em, 'The shoot-em-up construction kit' but is there anything worthwhile on the Amstrad CPC?
   
I was hurtling through the cosmos one day, in the merry old... De, dum, de, dee 

Maybe you could help? 

Please let me know your thoughts? By all means get in touch, I'm all ears. If you've programmed a game on the CPC and wouldn't mind providing me with a guide as to how best to approach this, then I would be eternally grateful, maybe share your story? 

For those interested in making a game on the CPC, I will try to collate as much information as possible and share within these pages or by raising the subject using Amstrad CPC communty forums... Wish me luck and thanks for reading.






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