Written by Mattijs van Delden (email@example.com)
Formatting and minor modifications by Gareth Moore
Pinball is back again. But this time not the big cabinets you see in
amusement arcades, but the computer pinball game. In just over a year, other
computers have seen pinball games such as (in no particular order) :
Devil Crash, Pinball Dreams 1 & 2, Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions,
Psycho Pinball, Epic Pinball, Silverball and Eightball Deluxe.
But what can you get for your Archimedes or Risc PC? The only pinball game
I know of is Arcpinball from Shibumi Soft that misses all the things that
the PC games have, such as smooth scrolling, LED display, lots of
interesting tables and playability.
So I said to myself, during an extremely lazy holiday last summer in the
south of France, ``I can do that!'' It seemed like a great `idea' for a new
games project. I decided not to convert an existing pinball game from the
PC or Amiga, but to design and implement an original (i.e. not totally copied)
Features of the game are (as chaotic as possible):
- 50 fps animation
- vertical hardware scrolling (also 50 fps)
- variable number of flippers (not just two)
- music during play that reacts to the table
- LED display with score and animations
- multiple tables (as much as possible)
- multiple modes (13, 21, VGA, RPC 32K colours, ??)
- adjustable scroll following ball
- adjustable angle of table
- minimum specification: 1 MB ARM2 machine with standard monitor
- multiple levels in tables
- left & right tilting nonsense (eh!? - Ed.)
- variable size tables
When will this great game be available, and how much will it cost?
To begin with the last question: I really don't know. But if it comes out
(I think it will, but I still have to sell it), I want it to be
affordable. Most games for the Archimedes are too expensive in my opinion. I
think that when a game is good AND cheap, people will buy it. If it is not
good, forget it. Games that are expensive will be copied instead of bought.
No matter how good the copy protection will be, it will always be hacked by
some `clever' person (not me, not me) and then the copying can begin.
Copying a manual is worth the efford if it saves you up to 40 pounds!
The only danger of a cheap game is that people won't take it seriously.
`If it is that cheap, it can't be good'.
And when will it be available? As soon as possible, so I can
start making mo... erm, sorry about that. What I really mean is that
quality will cost time (so can utter rubbish, but that's another story) and
that the game has to be absolutely fabulous before you get it. So how far
have I got?
So far I have got one table in mode 13 with a ball bouncing through it and
a set of flippers smashing the silver thing in all directions except the
one you wanted. However, the ball movement routines are mathematically
correct (say what?) what means that the ball never goes through any edges
(it did for quite a while) and that the movement is just like the real
thing. Furthermore, there are some flashing lights, popbumpers, rollovers
and drop targets. And that's it, really.
Before you run away, let me tell you that when you have reliable ball
movement and realistic flippers, you have got two of the three most
important ingredients for a pinball game. The third is of course gameplay
(Arc games programmers: gameplay, which means that it is fun to
play the game!). The other parts like soundtracker, sound effects, music,
scores, table features, animations, intros, menus and whatever are fairly
standard and easy.
At the moment, the program uses about 20 percent of the processor time on
my ARM 2. And the program isn't optimized in any way! The sprite plot
routine is just a simple word plotting routine with a loop plotting one
Except for a few small routines, the game is in a language I cannot
mention, because I cannot afford a compiler for it. I hope to be able to buy
one when I sell the game.
If you are interested in the mechanics of this (to be) pinball game, I
have some more information about it. Don't
expect ready to type and run code, because I am not THAT stupid! (Well, not
You can make a difference! How many times have you seen a new game and
thought: `Nice, but if I had made it, then...'? Now you can just tell me!
I want your ideas and suggestions. Anything is welcome, from features for
tables, layouts, themes, graphics, intro ideas to LED display layout,
animations and... (fill in yourself!). Also welcome are `Please do ...'
and `Please don't ...', as long as they are constructive (not Please
do not make a pinball game!) and useful, I promise I will take a serious
look at them.
If you want to use snailmail, then write to:
Mattijs van Delden
...this page last updated: 8/6/95...
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