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Shoot 'Em Up Designer review - DVD extra thingy

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:43 am
by TMR
The screens included with the review of Shoot 'Em Up Designer for the Spectrum are of (wait for it) a scrolling shoot 'em up - that might sound like stating the obvious i know, but the pictures aren't taken from the example game (called Damage and built by SEUD's author Jonathan Cauldwell) that comes shipped with the package. When i was initially planning the review i wanted to see how SEUD feels for a user and the obvious thing to do was to attempt to make my very own shoot 'em up with it; the result ended up being called Steel Force (on the possibly dubious grounds that it sounds hard an' all that and more importantly i couldn't find a Speccy game with the same name in WOS) and those published screens were taken straight out of the editor as i was working on it.

So now the mag has been released (and i got my copy from the local Borders yesterday, yay!) here's a prettied up version of the Spectrum game what i made for everyone to... well, enjoy might be a strong word since it only has the one level and i didn't quite get everything done that i wanted to... but it does look nice, has a pretty loading picture and frame around the play area and hopefully plays fairly well all considered.

Image
The loading picture that doesn't actually load...

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...and the game, using the loading picture's frame.

So if anyone fancies a go with Steel Force, it can be grabbed from the page on my website (download link under the screen) and hopefully someone will enjoy the thing... =-)

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:30 pm
by Steve Halfpenny
I have to say, if you knocked all of that up on this program, I'm completely sold on the idea and getting myself a copy asap. You're extremely talented. Those graphics are brilliant and I could imagine that being a top notch budget game back in the late 80s (maybe even full price!). I do have some questions though.

What program did you use to do the loading screen? That surely isn't included in the designer.

Is it easy to add extras such as an intro screen, options and / or music and sound fx? Again, I doubt all of that is included in the designer. What about the frame?

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:55 pm
by Steve Halfpenny
Well I've played that and have to say that it's spiffing. A really good example of what can be done! I also liked the simple but effective 128k surround sound fx!

Overall far better than the Speccy's version of Nemesis and co! I hope you continue with it. Now I gotta go and buy that designer myself!

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:11 pm
by TMR
Steve Halfpenny wrote:I have to say, if you knocked all of that up on this program, I'm completely sold on the idea and getting myself a copy asap. You're extremely talented. Those graphics are brilliant and I could imagine that being a top notch budget game back in the late 80s (maybe even full price!).
[Blush] Ta very much and yes, the in-game graphics barring the surround were all drawn with the Shoot 'Em Up Designer and a little advance planning in a Windows-based bitmap editor. =-)
Steve Halfpenny wrote:What program did you use to do the loading screen? That surely isn't included in the designer.
No, that was drawn with two programs; the aforementioned Windows-based editor was used to edit the general shape and layout, then the picture was imported into another Windows program, ZXGFX, to tweak, add colour and generally knock into shape before saving as a screen$.
Steve Halfpenny wrote:Is it easy to add extras such as an intro screen, options and / or music and sound fx? Again, I doubt all of that is included in the designer. What about the frame?
The editor only has the option for sound effects, adding music would require some machine code knowledge to make work (and disable the sound effects player) i'd expect. Adding an intro is relatively easy though, the title page on Steel Force is cobbled together in BASIC and Jonathan Cauldwell has a free intro editor on his site that apparently works with all of his game editors - getting music going as part of that title sequence would probably be a lot easier.

The frame is part of the loading picture, the saved game only clears the space where it works (and where it's various score items are) so i simply placed everything and then drew the frame around that layout. Options... no, there's no real way to add them i'm afraid - there are ways to have bonus objects doing things other than add points to the score (as well as ways to have limited ammunition and so forth that i didn't use because they weren't suited to the style of game i was making) and one of the options is to increase the firepower of the ship's weapons.

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:49 pm
by Overheat
Is Issue 53 out yet? If so, where's my copy? :(

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:11 pm
by Steve Halfpenny
TMR wrote:The frame is part of the loading picture, the saved game only clears the space where it works (and where it's various score items are) so i simply placed everything and then drew the frame around that layout.
That makes sense. Very clever.

I'll have to check this out but I know nothing whatsoever about coding for the Speccy (bar a few BASIC programs I made in the 80s). But I have to have a go of this.

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:57 am
by merman
Overheat wrote:Is Issue 53 out yet? If so, where's my copy? :(
Probably with subscribers this weekend at the earliest, this was an issue 52 DVD (Super Star Wars cover) extra...

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:18 am
by psj3809
Steve Halfpenny wrote:
TMR wrote:The frame is part of the loading picture, the saved game only clears the space where it works (and where it's various score items are) so i simply placed everything and then drew the frame around that layout.
That makes sense. Very clever.

I'll have to check this out but I know nothing whatsoever about coding for the Speccy (bar a few BASIC programs I made in the 80s). But I have to have a go of this.
I used Platform Game Designer (Previously released by J.Cauldwell) to knock up a few basic platform games which i liked.

I have got this software but need more time to use it, theres no clunky lines of code, you design the graphics, their attack patterns etc, set the lives, build items which you cant fly through kinda thing, its all quite easy.

Can produce some great results as shown here. Very nice graphics