Russell's ILBM2RAW was one of the most used tools throughout DMA's history, from the early days right through to the beginnings of GTA. The premise was simple; grab game graphics from a DPaint style IFF images, and output for a variety of machine types. It was called ILBM, because that was the files header or "signature" inside the actual file.








Dave and Russell used to live mere 2 minute walk from each other, so close in fact that whenever Mike was up visiting Russell, they would invariably end up around at Dave's at some point to view his latest work.







Blood Money Intro





For the Blood Money intro, Tony digitised a real rock, this was a very technical thing to do back then. Dave hurled these are the screen so they looked like Asteroids, and then got music from Ray Norrish, a sound track that stands out from the crowed even today!

The Complete History of
DMA Design
Mike Dailly

Chapter 2
Part 3



Editing with DPaint

While writing Menace, Russell had started a new program called ILBM2RAW, and over the years, everyone has either expanded it, or written their own. It took a DPaint pictures (.IFF or ILBM files), and cut graphics out for the programmer to use. This was to be a very important program in later years.

Russell was also playing with the Amiga, and did the usual bouncing colour bars that were common around this time, before doing a cool horizontal spinning block routine which was eventually used in the Blood Money title screen.

Russell finished off Menace some time later, and started on the PC port of Ballistix, and Mike for one was very grateful. DMA had by now gotten the all the source from the ST version (by Reflections), and hoped to get the important routines from it, and then port them to both the PC and C64.

Ballistix for the PC

The source code however, was a mess, and Mike had to clean it up before they all looked though it. Mike then spent 3 days solid formatting over 13,000 lines of 68000 source code into a readable format, then printing out the whole thing.

Russell then set about trying to decipher it all. Mike still has the printout, and it fills him with dread every time he opens it.

Russell however, was getting on quite well with it, and they set about doing the hard stuff, Russell on the PC, and Mike on the C64.

Dave meanwhile was sorting the office out. His Father-in-law to be owned a chip shop/restaurant in town called the Deep Sea, and also owned a little office across the road from it; an odd red and green building above a baby shop.

The First DMA Office

Dave got the office modernised - eventually, and carried on writing Blood Money. While he was doing the intro, Dave again "borrowed" some of Mike's code.

While Brian was at camp in America, he had lent Mike his Atari ST so he could have a play with it. He used the time to learn 68000, and then wrote his first ST demo.

Mikes first demo only took a couple of days and was a rotating star field, with a sinus scroller. A sinus scroller being a scrolling message that twists and bends up and down as it scrolls - like a sine wave!

Since Dave was doing a space sequence, he needed a star field for his intro, so Mike took out the rotating bit, and Dave used that. It wasn't a very good star field, as there's no real depth to it, and there's a flashing white dot right in the middle - but time was short, so Dave used it anyway.

Come August, the office was finally ready, and we moved in, it even had a DMA Design logo sign swinging on a pole like an old Tavern. Although this got later blown off during a bad storm and smashed, so it wasn't there very long.

XVID codec required to view intro
The Blood Money Intro

They all went back to Russell's to pick up the equipment, and pack it all away. Mike however, forgotten to "park" the machines Hard Disk - this was done on early machines to stop the hard disk heads moving during transportation; it's automatic these days.

By the time Mike remembered, the machine was already in bits, and waiting to be packed into the back of Dave's Astra. So when Mike wanted to plug it all back in, Dave just laughed, and told him not to worry - but he did.

As soon as they moved the machine in and sat it at Mikes desk, he powered it on to make sure it was still running; it was. Needless to say, he was mocked for a while on that.






















Flipping Blocks




Russell's flipping block routine was simply a vertical scale, yet allowed Dave to have quite a nice menu screen in Blood Money.








Atari ST





This was the Amiga's competitor, and although it was widly used for music applications due to its built in MIDI port, the Amiga was still the prefered platform for gamers.


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Text Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
All rights reserved.