Paul Brett with the latest gaming news.
Hello once again. There has been some interesting rumours floating round the RISC OS gaming world in the last few months, so before we look at the latest releases you can actually play lets take a quick trip round the RISC OS rumour mill.
The RISC OS news site Drobe recently reported that a team of programmers are interested in converted the RISC OS game Tek1608 to run on 32bit machines, including the A9 and the Iyonix. Apparently the team have approached the authors of Tek, Deck13, formally know as Artex, with a view to obtaining the sources in order to produce a 32bit version. The company with the publishing rights to Tek are R-Comp, so it may well be interesting to see what develops over the coming months. Certainly a version of Tek that takes advantage of more modern hardware would be well worth playing.
RISC OS developer Jeffrey Lee is working on a game similar to Grand Theft Auto (GTA) for RISC OS machines. Although DeathDawn is in it's early stages it does look promising. Currently it's not so much a game as a test of the game engine, however it is still well worth having a look at in order to see how things could develop. You can get full information on the keys used from the iconbar menu, as well as alter the graphics resolution and set up the sound options.
Currently DeathDawn requires RISC OS 3.5 or later, 2Mb of disc space and 2Mb of free memory, version 5.45 or later of the SharedCLibrary and SharedSound version 0.24 or later. The game engine is written using the WOUM library, which offers games writers a central library of of 3D math routines, fast sprite plotting and much more.
Now lets us move on to the newly released full games you can play on RISC OS. For some time now there has been an interpreter that allows you to play copies of the Magnetic Scrolls adventure games from the late 80's and early 90's on modern RISC OS machines. This has now been updated by Shaun Lindsley and should run on the older 26bit machines as well as on the Iyonix and the A9. For those that don't remember Magnetic Scrolls produced a small number of adventure games, with pictures of some of the locations, for a wide range of home computers. Although not that many titles were published the quality was exceptionally high and the games are very well respected amongst those who play adventure games.
The real good news is that as well as the interpreter being freely available, so are the games. Originally founded by Anita Sinclair, Ken Gordon and Hugh Steers, Magnetic Scrolls released their first game, The Pawn, in 1985. The next title was The Guild of Thieves, released 2 years later. Games continued to be launched sporadically up until 1989's Myth. Then the company re-write their game engine and launched the first in a new series of titles, called Wonderland. However the huge costs involved in creating the game and the game engine effectively bankrupted the company. Ken Gordon tried to continue but ended up working for another games publisher. So that was the end of an era.
I have included a copy of !Magnetic (the game interpreter) and copies of the games Myth, Pawn and Jinxster. Those that want to get more information about Magnetic Scrolls games, or, need help solving them could do a lot worse that look at /www.if-legends.org/~msmemorial/memorial.htm. I will see you again next issue.