Saturday, 17 December 2011

A new entry into WoS.

During the Summer of 2010, I spent some time as a volunteer at the National Museum of Computing (www.tnmoc.org) which went towards my Foundation Degree in Enterprise Computing as part of my 'Professional Development' module.

As I knew that I didn't have much time to get anything substantial done during the Summer break, I designed two games based on actual locations at the Museum; one was for the Commodore PET, working in just 4K of RAM, which was a text adventure (now known as 'Interactive Fiction', because all games now officially have to be interactive or something), and the other was for the 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

After drawing out the game map on the back of a time sheet, and writing out most of the game logic and puzzles, I put these into digital form and politely asked Jonathan Cauldwell if he could make my game - this was especially important as I'd used his famous EggHead character as the hero. Jonathan duly oblidged and added his own wizardry to it.

Unfortunately, my Commodore PET adventure didn't see the light of day (although I still have the source code), because there were concerns that children might end up using the Commodore PET. I thought that was the whole reason for a 'hands-on' area, but never mind. I did think up with a handy compression technique which can recycle though.

As for the Speccy game - A Cracking Day Out, Starring EggHead - well it was finished but I'm not sure if it was ever released by the museum even though I provided the files, emulator and instructions for them. The idea was that they could include all of this on TNMoC pen drives and that people could look at the source code and hack it apart to make their own EggHead game, and basically learn Z80 assembly language in the process.

At long last, it has an entry into the famous World of Spectrum archives at http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0027236, and the .tap file might be available soon - watch this space. I certainly hope that it could be released into the public domain because it's frustrating to design or develop a game that no one ever sees.

Here's a screen-shot:

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