Paul Brett returns with the latest gaming news.
It's been six months since the last GamesWorld column graced the pages of RISCWorld, so it has been decided that the column should make a return. There are some interesting developments coming up for RISC OS gamers, so I also hope that there will be a GamesWorld column in the next issue as well. In the meantime let us see what has been occuring on the RISC OS gaming front.
GAIO - Jeffrey Lee
This is a game that passed me by on it's original release. Indeed I was only pointed to it a few days ago by a friend of mine who has been surfing the web collecting as many RISC OS games as possible. His argument is that if he doesn't get them soon a lot will disappear forever (tell me about it - ED). Anyway GAIO, or OMG is a top down scrolling action adventure game.
The game starts with you trapped aboard a derelict spaceship that you have been sent to investigate. The problems are that now you are marooned, the oxygen supply is running out and it seems that you might not be alone...
The controls are very easy to master and follow the typical RISC OS conventions:
The game involves surviving long enough to find the exit (A black cross on a yellow square). There are different types of ammo to collect, but at present these all seem to do the same amount of damage. In order to oepn the doors to explore the ship you will need to find keys. You will also need to collect oxygen to keep you alive and heart symbols which will replenish your health should you be attacked, and you will.
The game, in it's current form. isn't completely finished. Jeffrey has plans to add further types of alien and lots of other goodies. Technically GAIO is very interesting. The graphics are nicely displayed and have a different feel to most RISC OS games. Also worthy of merit is the way the maps of the spaceship are constructed. Instead of having a fixed map a random seed is used to generate them. I suggest not going too mad at this point, a 32Mb machine can easily generate a map with nearly 20,000 rooms, which could easily take some time to complete.
I really do like GAIO. It needs a little more work, but shows a strong promise. I just can't believe I missed the release of the original version.
Dominion - Andrew Weston
Andrew has recently released a version of the adventure game Dominion for RISC OS and BBC computers. He had this to say on releasing the game...
"Dominion was originally written for Cronosoft during the course of 2004 for the BBC Micro and written using !Beebit and !6502em on RISC OS 4. However, I understand that they were unable to test it and a disk image was not made available for download. As a result, it seems none were ever sold so it's time to make it freely available. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I did working on it. There are two versions, one for BBC Micro and one which is slightly tweaked for the purpose of being able to play it on RISC OS."
This sounds excellent news but I am afraid to say that Andrew has made a regretfully common mistake. There are no contact details on the Dominion website. This is far from terminal but I would have liked to have dropped him an e-mail asking a few questions. Having downloaded the game and got both the RISC OS and BBC versions I tried playing the RISC OS version. Although it seemed to be working it had some degree of trouble when it came to typing in commands. If you like text adventures then give it a go and see if you have more luck than I did.
As a plea to software authors, we all appreciate the work you put in and the fact that you make software available on your websites, but can you please include some method of contact. Even a web form would work. There, that's my complaint over.
DeathDawn Update - Jeffrey Lee
I featured an earlier version of this work in progress game some time ago. Jeffrey has continued working on it and this updated version was compiled in June this year. Although not a complete game, it's more of a technical demo, it does show what the completed project could be like. For those that missed DeathDawn last time I featured it, it is a top down 3D game in the mould of the original Grand Theft Auto. In order to run this you will need a RiscPC with Shared C Library 5.45 or later.
Having loaded the game I strongly recommend configuring DeathDawn from the iconbar menu as by default it runs in a low resolution screen mode that some TFT screens do not support. You can also view the controls and the instructions from the menu and without these you may find yourself more than a little stuck. As a quick tip, when you want to climb into a car, they all seem to be left hand drive.
QuickSand - Vince Hudd
QuickSand is a new adventure game for RISC OS. The plot is that you, as Stan Tyler, were playing in the park with your son. The kite you were flying got stuck in a tree so you climbed up to free it but slipped and fell...you awake dressed as though you were in the 1970s...have you gone mad....are you in a coma or is something else going on.
The game was written with the Trellis adventure creation system from SoftRock, which is Vince's own company. Quicksand is a traditional text adventure game, you control your character by typing in commands such as "Go North". As an added bonus you can also add graphics to the game. I have included all the various downloads from the SoftRock website and also included the instructions for setting the game up.
Despite the title I've been informed that quicksand doesn't actually feature in the game (I've written to trading standards - ED).
PipeNightDreams - Alan Buckley
As part of the Unix Porting Project Alan has ported the Linux game, PipeNightDreams to RISC OS.
I am sure that you will be familiar with this sort of game. The task is simple. Connect up the two ends of the pipe network before the fluid leaks out. The fluid will start pumping from one of the pipe ends. You must lay a network of pipes to pump the fluid to the exit. You do this by moving your cursor with the cursor keys and placing a pipe segment with the space bar. This will place the currently shown piece of pipe. If this isn't the correct pipe section just keep pressing space until you get the correct one. But you had better be quick as the fluid is getting closer all the time.
This is a fun little distraction and has excellent graphics. I suggest reading the !Help file included for more information.
Clumps - Alan Trewartha
I thought we would finish off this column with a bit of good old fashioned desktop fun. What better way to do this than with a copy of Clumps...
This is a great little puzzle game. All you have to do is clear the screen. If you click on a "clump" (hence the name) of matching symbols they will disappear. Once they vanish other symbols will drop down to take up the space. Clicking on the next "clump" will remove those, and on it goes. This sounds very simple, and indeed it is, but it's also fiendish in its simplicity. Clearing the screen is not as easy as it looks as you will need a strategy to make sure you don't end up with an orphaned symbol as one symbol on it's own cannot be removed, only groups will vanish when clicked on.
I will see you again in the next issue of RISCWorld. In the meantime keep those fingers poised.