Click to view insert
Dave and Tony
This is the only known picture of Tony, taken during the development of Blood Money in Liverpool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Lemming
The Lemming on the left (Mike's) is far too stiff when compared to Gary's improved one on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start of level 2
The start of Blood Money's level 2 shows some amazingly animated jelly fish. These had an astounding 28 frames, all carefully hand drawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comic relief Dave
Dave has tried very hard over the years to erase this image from his memory!

 


The Complete History of
DMA Design
By
Mike Dailly


Chapter 2
Part 4

 

 

C64 Ballistix Music from Jas C. Brooke

Dave also got some music for Ballistix from one Jas.C.Brooke costing 300, the date on the instructions was 24th August 1989. C64 music is very easy to add, so in it went, without a hitch.

While Dave was finishing off Blood Money, Russell brought a friend of his up to the office, Gary Timmons.

Gary was fascinated with the animations in Blood Money, and so started to come in to toy with DPaint sitting in the corner next to Dave. He played with the Walker animation that Tony did, and using just dots, managed to replicate the motion of it.

Dave decided to offer Gary a place as an artist, set him up in the back room to play with DPaint.

Dave had by now finished Blood Money, and started on Walker (inspired yet again by Tony's animation). Scott Johnston (Author of Hired Guns) also appeared around this time, he had been working at MacDonald's for a couple of weeks, so Dave saved him and brought him in freelance to do Walker graphics.

Mike's Lemmings Animation

Scott wrote a small 3D program to render the walkers head in the correct positions, and rendered these out to images he could then touch up later in DPaint.

Although the basic 3D head looked rough, it was very clever, and allowed the movement of the walkers head to be precise.

It was about this time that Scott showed Mike his first set of animations for the men that would attack the walker, and it was now that they had the legendary argument that spawned Lemmings, and the famous Lemmings animation.

The end of August brought Mike's first paycheck, a stunning amount of 272! Mike's first wage wasn't that much, in fact at a mere 4000 a year its not surprising that most people thought games were a waste of time.

Tonys Walker test

However, when DMA started money was tight, and Dave had to check the bank numerous times on pay day to see if they staff could get paid!

Wages obviously went up once DMA got a bit more financially secure - right about the time Lemmings came out in fact! Mike and Gary usually had a very long walk every pay day to Dave's bank to cash the cheques and get their money, but it was all worth it.

Mike was doing his dream job, and getting paid, and since he wasn't living on his own yet, it was fairly cheap. And what did Mike get with my first months wages? A video recorded costing 220, and he still had money left over at the end of the month.

The final Ballistix loading screen.
It was now September; Gary officially started work, and proceeded to learn DPaint. Russell did a really neat addition to ILBM2RAW to convert the ST loading screen from Ballistix into C64 format.

The image was, and still is, very well received by Commodore users, and although Mike did touch it up a little, it was mostly an automatic procedure, and a very quick result.

The final touches complete, Mike set about making the final Ballistix master on the 1st of September, 1989; that is after another last minute rewrite to increase the mathematics accuracy.

The whole team were getting ready to go to Earls Court for the "Personal Computer World" show, so Russell quickly coded a demo of Lemmings to show Psygnosis, and they all arranged cheap hotels, while Mike stayed with relatives.

The actual demo shown to Psygnosis!
This was the first show DMA had ever been to, and they was able to visit the Psygnosis stand and see their games on show. Mike even got a free Psygnosis T-Shirt with "Developer" on the arm. He put it on and strutted around; he was finally a real developer like all these guys he'd been reading about in Zzap64 for years.

It was nerve-racking however, watching the public play their games, they kept waiting for them to crash, or go "funny". Oddly enough, the show passed without incident - for a change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C64 Ballistix Box
The C64 tape box had printing errors, which saw the screen shot printed upside down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to view box
Blood Money Box
Blood Money was finally released around April/May 1989.

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballistix Pitch
The C64 version stored an empty pitch compressed in memory. The tiles and obstacles were then added from byte-run compressed level files.

 

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Text Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
All rights reserved.