The Complete History of
After Menace, Dave started thinking about his next game. Steve, Dave and Mike were all avid arcade players, and the current games of choice in our local arcade were Alien Syndrome, Quartet, and Mr. Heli.
Dave loved the cuteness of Mr. Heli, and the scrolling system it used, and so this became the inspiration of Blood Money. While the game itself is nothing like Mr. Heli, the inspiration is clear to see.
Dave Started Blood Money on the 4th of January with his shiny new 25 MHz 386-DX PC, complete with a PDS (Personal Development System) that let him sqirt the compiled code over to the Amiga in an instant!
Psygnosis, happy with Menace, had sent Dave a new toy, and he was keen to show it off. Compared to his A1000, this system was fast...very fast. The entire code would compile almost before your finger left the keyboard.
Mike had just been "asked" to leave college for...well....not attending basically. The old computer courses weren't very good, and not tuned to the modern world of computing, this bored Mike silly, and he lost interest.
Tony started doing new graphics, and these were up to his usual very high
standard, while Dave started on a new scrolling system. In his the last game,
Dave used the "dual playfields" mode of the Amiga, but he disliked the
lack of colour.
In his new game he was determined to use the full colour range of the Amiga, so he decided to ditch the hardware scrolling, and use the blitter. The blitter was a piece of the Amiga that allowed graphics to be drawn very quickly.
This had a few unexpected advantages, the best of which meant that sprites could be drawn much quicker. This was a huge step, since he could now cover the screen in moving objects, not just four or five.
Now that Moonshadow was finished, Russell managed to get a conversion of Menace
for the PC from Psygnosis which he was doing at home in his spare time. This
was Russell's first PC game, but it certainly wouldn't be his last.
Around February, when Dave discovered Mike had been booted from college (and once Mike had recovered from the beating his mother gave him), he asked Mike to come and visit down at his house during the day to keep him company. While Mike wasn't there, he was working on his own game; "The Game with no name 7". This would eventually be renamed to "Talisman"
The big problem for Mike was that he had no artists to draw his graphics. So, while me managed to draw his own basic background's, he ended up using sprites from Thalamus's game "Armalyte". This allowed him to code the game, and get graphics later, if he actually got that far.
It was coming on quite nicely too, and looked like it may actually get finished. It was a shoot-em-up for the C64, and had a couple of new features in it, the first of which was a new way of moving the aliens around. In Menace, Dave had to enter lots of numbers to control the aliens; Mike's method was far more compact.
Dave also quite liked it, so one of the times Mike was down visiting, he took a printout down with him and read it out while Dave typed it in. Blood Money is full of complex paths, due almost entirely to Mike's new system.
When Dave did a short interview which was published at the back of the manual, he mentions the new system. And although Mike moaned about the fact that Dave took credit for it, the 2 way flow of ideas over the years have more or less evened it out by now.
Text © Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
All rights reserved.