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Article archives

Games news

Posted by Michael Drake on 21:25, 7/7/2015 | , , , , , ,
 

Time for a round-up of recent games news.

JASPP to release more classics

Jon Abbott of the JASPP software preservation project has recently announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute games previously developed/published by Artex Software, Eterna, Minerva and Visions of the Impossible.

These games include such classics as: Ballarena, Botkiller, Exodus, Poizone, Prime Solver & SunBurst. The games are being released through the JASPP forum, so keep an eye out for updates there.

No mention was made of Artex Software's later games Ankh and TEK, or the never released for RISC OS Iron Dignity, with its impressive 3D rendering engine.

The announcement does mention that JASPP are looking to update some of the titles by Artex Software and Visions of the Impossible to run natively on 32-bit systems. The first to get such treatment will be VOTI's SunBurst. Whether this news will lead to a 32-bit multitasking desktop WIMP conversion of Super Foul Egg, or Exodus running natively on the Panda Board is unknown at this time.

Star Fighter 3000 released for free

This happened a while back, but the full Star Fighter 3000 game has been released for free. This is the latest souped-up version, which features improved rendering distances, desktop play, and a host of other improvements. It runs on RISC OS machines from the latest dev-board hardware, right back to the old Archimedes systems it originally appeared on. To run it on an old Archimedes system at full frame rate, you'll need to make sure you have the nested WIMP installed, reduce the game's graphics settings and force it to run in fullscreen mode.

New game: Overlord

Anthony Vaughan Bartram of Ambiguous Contrasts Games has produced Overlord, a space shoot-em-up on available PlingStore. The latest version, 1.40, has just been released.

RailPro-like game progressing

In other news, James Shaw has been keeping us informed of his progress on the development of a RailPro-like game.


 
Comment in the forums

Chris Jordan, Music500, ArcElite @ ROUGOL on 21 Apr 2014

Posted by Bryan Hogan on 21:10, 15/4/2014 | , ,
 
At the next meeting of the RISC OS User Group Of London on 21st April 2014 we are very pleased to have Chris Jordan as our guest speaker. Chris had a long involvement with Acorn, all the way through the Beeb and Archimedes era.
 
He was a member of the BBC Micro design team, Publications Editor at Acornsoft, co-inventor of shadow RAM, co-author of book/disc Creative Sound on the BBC Micro, and designer of the Acorn Music 500 and Hybrid Music Systems.
 
In the guise of Hybrid Technology he was also the publisher of Archimedes Elite, and went on to develop the SNES, Sega and Gameboy versions of Elite.
 
Chris will be coming along to tell us about some/all of these, and other fascinating bits of Acorn history, and is happy to answer questions afterwards.
 
ROUGOL meetings are free to attend and held in a pub/restaurant near London Bridge station. What better way could there be to spend a bank holiday evening?
 
http://rougol.jellybaby.net/meetings/index.html
 
Comment in the forums

Acorn port of Acorn imminent

Posted by Trevor Johnson on 00:10, 1/4/2014 | ,
 
RISC OS 5 users seeking alternatives to Paint may be wondering how the enhancements to GraphicsV will affect them.
 
In May 2013 Acorn v.4 for the Mac was released (this one slipped under the radar last year). This popular package supports alpha masking and has been "available for all" since August 2013.
 
We've recently been contacted by a long-time user who is "on the verge" of releasing a port of the bitmap Acorn application to the former-Acorn platform. The user says that outstanding matters are now purely administrative, and that an announcement can be made at the forthcoming Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show 2014.
 
We are witnessing exciting times in the RISC OS marketplace, although it is not clear whether the Acorn port of Acorn will benefit from quite the same level of developer attention as another well-established vector graphics package.
 
Some of those loose ends which are being tidied up:
  1. Sprites11
  2. PlingStore integration (demo version)
  3. SDFS compatibility testing
  4. Filing system improvements (step 2)
  5. Filing system improvements (various)
So, what will you do with your Acorn?
 
1 comment in the forums

Software preservation project bearing fruit

Posted by Michael Drake on 19:04, 12/10/2013 | , , ,
 

The preservation project for Acorn software, JASPP, has so far been focused on preserving old games. Many of the titles concerned required 20 year old hardware and obsolete versions of RISC OS to run. Over the last year or so, the project has obtained disc images and box/manual scans for well over 100 of the games released for the Acorn platform. Most of these have been contributed by users.

While they've been archiving these old games, the project has also been working on software to enable the archived games to be played. The software they've developed includes: ADFFS, the floppy disc image loader; an updated version of QTM, the tracker music player; and various other software including on-the-fly converters to allow more games' music to be played through QTM.

Speedball2 Squash
Fireandice Cascade
Heroquest Lemmings
Screenshots from some of the released titles.

Over the last few days JASPP has started to release games for which they have acquired distribution rights. Currently these include:

  • Cascade
  • Chuck Rock
  • Fire & Ice
  • Gods
  • Hero Quest
  • Jahangir Khan World Championship Squash
  • James Pond
  • Lemmings
  • Magic Pockets
  • Zool
You can download them from the JASPP games forum.

If you have any old titles the JASPP team would like to hear from you.


 
30 comments in the forums

Old games on new screens

Posted by Michael Drake on 16:42, 16/5/2013 | , , ,
 

Steve Harrison, the original developer of the tracker player Q The Music, has produced a new RISC OS module which allows games to be played on old Archimedes systems hooked up to modern monitors or televisions. LCDGameModes patches the screen modes that games use on the fly, such that they work correctly with a VGA or SVGA compatible screen. The effect of this is to prevent scrambled displays and fix the aspect ratio of "letter-boxed" games.

The software is currently in public beta, and is being discussed over on the stardot forums. One post shows Elite and Star Fighter 3000 starting up on a 40inch Samsung Telly.


 
1 comment in the forums

Justin Fletcher's RISC OS Rambles

Posted by Andrew Poole on 12:42, 21/1/2013 | , ,
 
Justin Fletcher has recently started posting some very in-depth and interesting articles on his website detailing various developments within RISC OS during his time as a developer for RISCOS LtdInfo. The articles cover a range of topics and offer a unique insight into some of the inner workings of both RISC OS and RISCOS Ltd. as well as some other RISC OS related topics, such as the RISC OS ports of the games Doom, Heretic and Hexen.
 
Currently, Justin is posting an article each weekday (and has been since the beginning of December).
 
You can take a look at the articles on Justin's website.
 
1 comment in the forums

Archimedes is 25!

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 08:53, 1/6/2012 | , , ,
 
Arch 4The Register has a nice write-up charting the rise and fall of the Archimedes range. OK, so some of it was cribbed from Chris Whytehead's Acorns site (with credits), but it's nice to see a 4-page writeup on a major tech website.
 
We have cake here in the office, but apparently it's not for this, it's for something else going on next week.
 
Comment in the forums

Games scene roundup

Posted by Michael Drake on 13:57, 10/6/2011 | , ,
 

Last month Alan Peters surprised everyone by announcing that TBA Software are back from the dead. Their back catalogue includes AXIS (which was awarded five stars by Acorn 32-Bit Gaming), Formula Two Thousand (FTT), Cyber Ape, Cobalt Seed, and BHP [Review].

TBA Software are sharing their progress on a new blog. Already they have released a 32-bit only version of their high performance image filing system, TBAFS.

They have started to produce a 32-bit version of their 3D graphics library and game runtime, TAG, and they are working on using extra features of modern ARMv7 CPUs to make it run even faster.

Another member of the TBA Software team, Martin Piper [Interview], has managed to render levels from BHP on Windows. Alan is hoping to get BHP running on the BeagleBoard XM in the near future.

In other news, the excellent RISC OS classic Inferno [Review] has been released for Apple iOS devices. There's no mention of support for Android devices. Paradise's website claims that Inferno is their "very first iPhone title", so perhaps we will see Overload [Review] and the long awaited Pocket Money / Toybox Dreams [Preview] make their way over to modern handheld devices too.


 
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