- *NEW: August 2023* The Empire Strikes Back Design Document - earlier in the year, I was challenged to design a ZX Spectrum game adaptation of the Star Wars movie, as it could have been made around 1988. Much like my Aliens Vs Predator game design, it's a multi-level arcade game in the style of Ocean Software.
Where I used to keep track of my ideas about gameplay and mechanics in my head, this challenge obliged me to formally document everything, and then seek advice from (as it turned out, wary and reserved) coders to 'sense-check' everything. I'll have a video demo up on my YouTube channel soon (hopefully!) but, in the meantime, this is the completed twenty-five-page design document, plus screenshot mockups.
NB: approx 10Mb download.
SAMCoupé demos in .DSK format (can be used in SimCoupé or transferred to SD using SAMdisk, for use on the SAM via the Trinity interface).
Most of these are from around 1992-1993, at a time where I'd been coming up with game ideas for the ZX Spectrum for years, but had only worked on one commercially-published game (Reckless Rufus, released by Alternative in 1992), and still hadn't quite grasped how to take full advantage of the SAM's unrestricted 16-colour graphics mode. For a while, I was splitting my time between the SAM and the Amiga, working with programmers on both, but none of those games were ever finished (artwork for some is uploaded to my deviantART gallery). I'd like to think that I've improved since those days (SAMPaint is certainly leagues better than Flash!, if a little fussier to use), and since the SAM scene is still pretty active, I'd quite like to become actively involved again...
- *NEW: October 2021* Robocop - just a brief, simple, arcade-style intro. The colour depth of all the graphics was reduced in Photoshop, then everything was ported over from the PC via SCADM, and the red pulse effect recreated in BASIC using a series of palette swaps. I'm thinking of doing a level 1 walkthrough animation at some point, but need to get a better handle on scrolling with sprites before I do.
- *NEW: July 2021, Updated August 2021* Street Fighter - while there's an existing version of Street Fighter for the SAM Coupé, it was created using Tiertex's heinous ports to the Commodore Amiga/Atari ST as its basis. Thus, it's a poor conversion of the arcade experience. On a whim, in July of 2021, I started porting the arcade graphics over to the SAM, with some surprisingly good results. This set of two demo .DSK files encapsulates those results.
NB: this is very much a technical achievement on my part, rather than anything artistic. Literally all I did was take the arcade game's graphics and convert them to the SAM's 16-colour, 256x192 resolution.
The sprite sheets and character portraits were ripped by Yawackhary, intro screens by Dazz, and downloaded from Spriters-Resource.com. Backdrops were ripped by Andrew Rae and downloaded from VGMaps.com
- Aliens Vs Predator - includes slideshows of screen mockups of a multi-level arcade game (in the style of Ocean's movie tie-ins, where scenes from the movie were represented in different styles of game, from platforming to driving to puzzles) and a point'n'click adventure game, both based on the original Dark Horse Comics series from 1989-1990. There's also a mockup of a Super Mario Bros-style subgame for the adventure, which I put in as a joke. Overall, the demo is a bit poo, being my first for the SAM and essentially just a reworking of graphics originally created for the ZX Spectrum. It also uses music composed and programmed by Stuart Leonardi
- 32-Colour Adventure - a very basic SAM
slideshow demo showing how palette line changes could be used to create a more colourful point'n'click style game on the SAM though, of course, I have no idea how practical this would actually be. The interface was heavily influenced by CRYO's Dune game on the PC/Amiga
- Sandman's Shadow Demo Collection - my life's work, sort of... and featured (very briefly, with a single screenshot) in the last ever issue of Your Sinclair. This .ZIP file contains three .DSK files of mockups for a point'n'click adventure modelled after the likes of The Secret of Monkey Island on the PC/Amiga. Each one contains a handful of game screens, created in Flash!, and a selection of animated portraits for the NPCs. Sandman's Shadow has gone through so many changes over the years, but it's almost always in the back of my head in one form or another and I'd still like to do something with it one day... It just won't be anything like what's presented here!
- Batman - Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth - a short mockup slideshow of a hybrid point'n'click/arcade adventure based on the graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. Intro uses rain, thunder and lightning effects cribbed from elsewhere and an adaptation of the loading screen from Ocean's Batman movie tie-in game, while the mock-up game screens were done in Flash! I'm currently larking about with a new idea using similar presentation, but unencumbered with any licensed characters...