for those who are not in the know, or who have not seen my other posts, I am the author of ĎALIEN Fish Finger
í. A game I released late 1995 for the Amiga. It is a little platform game set on an Alien world with you in control of some hero type dude called Frank Finger on a mission to save Earth from the deadly clutch of the evil Aliens, Moo ha haa. (I never did give the Aliens a name, hmmm
For those that are interested, and want to hear about itís making, please read on.
I did pretty much everything myself from the ground up, the artwork, the coding, even the tools such as the map-editor to make the levels.
I started with a basic animation of Frank Finger, and had him run round a basic mocked up screen. I had to figure out collision detection. I wanted him to be able run up hills and other ruff terrain. To do this I separated the collision to a separate 4 coloured bitmap the same size of the screen that you donít in-fact see when playing the game. Doing it this way I was not restricted to what I could put on the main screen to what you could interact with. Iíve got collision sensors on the characters feet, waist and head that can detect these colours. The 1st colour makes him fall, 2nd colour he can stand and walk on, 3rd colour slows him down or makes him stop (good for walls and steep hills), and the 4th colour he can shoot and destroy. Screen shots belowÖ
The enemies turned out quite well. They are not the smartest of creatures, but they still give the player a lot of challenge and fun. They behave sometimes in a humorous way, and show a lot of character. Programming them to lose their gun when shot and then to re pick it up again was hard to programme, but glad I stuck to it and did not give up on the feature.
The map editor took awhile to program, but once finished I could start building the levels. I first drew the smaller map objects in D-Paint 4, and then used the map editor to join them all up. Because the game does not scroll I was not restricted to having to place the graphic objects in a grid type pattern, I could place them anywhere I wanted. I could even place objects on top of each other if I wanted (saucy
). The collision detection layers were also added too, along with the Enemy placements.
Enemies, I could choose whether to be on screen already when the player enters, or have them enter after a set time limit.
Very early in the development I had in place some nice real time physics on flying objects, such as throwing a grenade. Gravity, air resistance, and even terminal velocity affected them (ohh how nerdy do I sound?
). I managed to also get them to bounce off walls etc. I used the same routines on flying dead enemy bodies too (yuck).
I finally released the game as Shareware, and then later gave the game a bit of a face lift a year or 2 after in the sound FX department plus some other small stuff and fixes.
Was never really sure how well it was liked or hated. Back then I never had Internet. I never had that many people registering for the full-enhanced version. Had a few nice letters from people. It was a time when people were selling their Amigas and buying Playstation I guess. As I later found out, finding the full version on every Internet bulletin board I guess did not help with sales too
Iím happy with how the game turned out. Took a good 14 months to make, but it was worth it. Over 15 years on I still feel proud of myself for the achievement for this and my other games
So then, what now?
As I did with my other games, Iíve got some improvements coming. Iíve been on and off it for the last 2.5 months. I did have my PC blow up, and had many other distractions in that time, so not all that time was on it. Iíll post what Iíve done to the game so far when I have a bit of time. I need to make things clear there will be no new levels sorry to say. I think that would just be a bit too time consuming.
I plan to do something different with this game, instead of just giving it a way; I thought instead I would change it from Shareware to Charity-ware. Donít worry, I still have plans to release it as the full version, and you are under no obligation to donate, but thought it would be a nice thing to do. When the game is finished Iíll put the download link on this charity page that I have set-up at http://www.justgiving.com/AlienFishFinger
. Itís for Cancer Research. Tell me if you feel that is a good idea.
As I said above, over the next few days Iíll post below some of the nice things Iíve added or adding to the game to try make it better. So far Iím very happy with the way things are going.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.