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Old 30 September 2010, 19:02   #1
David Makin
 
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David Makin - former Amiga programmer

Hi all, just joined to make sure everyone interested has a link to my old RPG Crystal Dragon, so here it is (apologies for ads/pop-ups):

http://skyscraper.fortunecity.com/te.../download.html

Note - that it really is abandonware so don't worry about copyright issues !

Main original feature - rats that you can use as food (though you may catch disease), kill by throwing at the wall, and that will devour your food if put in sacks/chests next to food items while alive.

As to me - I'm still a programmer, latest work is "Free iCandy" for the iPhone 4 which is a *realtime* Julia Set animation program from Parys Technografx (who did Tower of Souls on the Amiga).
Who'd have thought a phone could ever do realtime fractals when we were programming the Amiga !!!

As you may have guessed my hobby is Fractal Art:

http://www.fractalgallery.co.uk/
http://makinmagic.deviantart.com/
 
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Old 30 September 2010, 19:07   #2
TCD
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Hi David and welcome to EAB
We have you listed as 'Dave' on HOL right now : http://hol.abime.net/3136
Guess we should change that now
Enjoy your stay
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Old 30 September 2010, 19:44   #3
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welcome aboard

amiga + fractals =
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Old 30 September 2010, 19:53   #4
Peter
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Hi David - I remember Crystal Dragon - I actually bought it!

On HOL you are also credited with Super Scramble Simulator - was that an original idea of yours? - I seem to remember a very similar game to Super Scramble Simulator being downloadable as a shareware game for Windows about 5 years ago - was that you?
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Old 30 September 2010, 19:54   #5
Greyfox
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welcome to this great haven of Amiga goodness!!
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Old 30 September 2010, 20:25   #6
lilalurl
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Nice. Another RPG in which you can move around using the keyboard (numpad).

Thank you for taking time to register and share with us.
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Old 30 September 2010, 21:45   #7
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Welcome my friend, great to have you on board.
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Old 30 September 2010, 22:07   #8
DH
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Welcome aboard David
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Old 30 September 2010, 23:13   #9
prowler
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Hi David, and a warm welcome to EAB!
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Old 30 September 2010, 23:47   #10
kriz
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Cool and welcome, its a great game..Please share any information about the developing process or any other interesting information you have about it
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Old 01 October 2010, 00:55   #11
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nice to see you here!

(I was the man in the middle to "lure" him here, I reckoned he might want to join, but wondered if he'd actually do it )
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Old 01 October 2010, 01:06   #12
prowler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas View Post
(I was the man in the middle to "lure" him here, I reckoned he might want to join, but wondered if he'd actually do it )
Nice one, Andreas!
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Old 01 October 2010, 17:08   #13
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Don't mention it! I just always like the stories these guys would tell from their former employers, also in respect to size/space/whatever limitations they had to face (and work around)!
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Old 02 October 2010, 00:11   #14
dlfrsilver
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Welcome David, i'm happy too that you're here with us !!!!
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Old 06 October 2010, 17:48   #15
Poldi
 
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Hey
Man crystal dragon is great game,i played it many years ago but remember like it was yesterday.I stuck for many days,before i figure out i can trow coins in to the well-.-
Ahh now i feel like play it again
 
Old 11 October 2010, 17:44   #16
David Makin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid View Post
Hi David and welcome to EAB
We have you listed as 'Dave' on HOL right now : http://hol.abime.net/3136
Guess we should change that now
Enjoy your stay
Dave or David, I don't mind !
And most search engines recognise either

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
Hi David - I remember Crystal Dragon - I actually bought it!

On HOL you are also credited with Super Scramble Simulator - was that an original idea of yours? - I seem to remember a very similar game to Super Scramble Simulator being downloadable as a shareware game for Windows about 5 years ago - was that you?

Super Scramble Simulator was a progression from Shaun Southern's old 8-bit game "Kickstart" and the level design was by Andrew Morris - I gave him a bit of a difficult job because to make the courses as varied as possible he had to position vertical strips just 16 pixels wide !

The similar game wasn't me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kriz View Post
Cool and welcome, its a great game..Please share any information about the developing process or any other interesting information you have about it
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas View Post
Don't mention it! I just always like the stories these guys would tell from their former employers, also in respect to size/space/whatever limitations they had to face (and work around)!
Hmmm, the developing process was pretty intense because there were only 2 of us, myself and Ian Lewis.
Ian did all the graphics and designed the levels though I had some input with respect to what was possible as far as puzzles went (i.e. switches/pits/teleports etc.)
The basic system for health/stamina/food/water/experience/poison/disease etc. was one of the first things we did.
This was tested with a small AMOS program that ran in extreme accelerated mode as far as all the stats were concerned and we tweaked things so that (for example) when you got to the green dragon (poison) if you got a full poison bar but were at the estimated levels for that point in the game then you could just about manage to survive
I have to admit that the game editor was a bit of a pain for Ian to use because due to lack of available memory there wasn't a proper "undo" mode, this is partly why there's the odd lock or switch remaining in the game that are just red-herrings
Overall it took two years, one of the most difficult things to solve was the save game and current game state saving (when changing dungeon levels) each level was 64k plus another 32k for other data, I think there were 24 levels and we allowed up to 5 saved games - and all this had to fit on a floppy. In the end I used a "save changes" method - however if you play the game a fair way through and then proceed to drop a single object on each square of one of the middle levels then it's quite possible that major failure will occur when exiting the level or saving the game !!
As each level was designed Ian would keep playtesting and adjusting the amount of food, weapons and spells etc. so that if you played reasonably well then you'd not starve or be too overmatched etc.
I say it was intense because at one point I was programming for around 16 hours a day for 7 days a week over a period of around two months.
During this time I got really annoyed one day because some of my code seemed to have disappeared - it was only after discussion with Ian that I realised the relevant code was something I'd worked out in my head the night before but hadn't actually written yet

Just to add that I think one of my favourite features of the game was the confusion spell, especially as applied in a certain winding corridor with traps firing confusion spells along with moving pits

Last edited by Graham Humphrey; 11 October 2010 at 19:06. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
 
Old 13 October 2010, 11:00   #17
Jgames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Makin View Post
During this time I got really annoyed one day because some of my code seemed to have disappeared - it was only after discussion with Ian that I realised the relevant code was something I'd worked out in my head the night before but hadn't actually written yet
, that's the meaning of intense!.
Between, haven't played it much, but it looks good, polished, and done with passion.
I hope you and Ian made a fair amount of cash out of it!
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Old 13 October 2010, 12:58   #18
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Greetings and welcome aboard.
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Old 05 June 2011, 00:40   #19
David Makin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgames View Post
, that's the meaning of intense!.
Between, haven't played it much, but it looks good, polished, and done with passion.
I hope you and Ian made a fair amount of cash out of it!
Unfortunately we only made a few thousand for two reasons, first it was released through Black Legend and they lived up to their name as one of the directors ran off with all the money a few months after release of Crystal Dragon (and Parys Technografx' Tower of Souls).
Also of course the release was a little late in the day for an Amiga game and after the blow with respect to Black Legend things went worse as Commodore began to fail and Amiga games disappeared from high street shelves.
I forever curse the Commodore management for the completely insane decision to produce a console device rather than doing what they should have and releasing a (cheap) native 68040 Amiga computer with vastly improved graphics by incorporating a quality graphics card (for the time) such as the Picasso.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas View Post
Don't mention it! I just always like the stories these guys would tell from their former employers, also in respect to size/space/whatever limitations they had to face (and work around)!
Steve Parys of Parys Technografx is the one with the stories going back to the 8-bit days - for instance one company physically locked a programmer in a room and only opened the door to pass in food and to let him out to pay a visit.

A small correction - I'd forgotten that even using "save changes" we only managed to allow 2 saved games per floppy - the 5 saves was the hard drive version
I also didn't make clear - the saved games even on floppy were such that you could play the game to the final level then save it as save A, then go back to level 1 (making changes along the way) and save it as game B then go back down to the last level again making changes and if you then went back to level 1 things would basically be the same as they were on the way down (i.e. the current game levels were saved) - then if you loaded saved game B and went back to the last level things on the way down would be as they were when you saved game B and if you then loaded game A you'd again find all levels remembered as when saved.
I think there were 24 levels so altogether that's the equivalent of 3*24*(64k+32k) = 6.75MB on one 1.44MB floppy just for the level data - all without any knowledge (at the time) of "modern" compression methods such as Huffman encoding.

Last edited by TCD; 05 June 2011 at 00:51. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged. Use the edit function.
 
Old 05 June 2011, 01:05   #20
BigFairy
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Welcome again!..

I love reading about 'back in the day' recollections from people that were heavily involved in the scene!!
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