The Complete History of
DMA Design
Mike Dailly and Steve Hammond

Chapter 2
Part 5



C64 Blood Money - Level 1

On arriving back, Mike started Blood Money and was delighted.

He had always wanted to do a shoot-em-up on the C64, and while Ballistix just confused him, shoot-em-up's were in his blood.

He took most of the code from the Talisman demo which was the shown to Psygnosis for Ballistix, as the basis of Blood Money, and started to write a new sprite system; one worthy of his dream project.

Meanwhile Dave was progressing with Walker. He now had a walker wandering over a scrolling grid, with the idea then the Walker would fight its way along, and drop down through holes to the next level.

This turned out to be a bit more complicated than he first thought however, and so he sat down to consider how to proceed.

C64 Blood Money - Level 2

Dave's then girlfriend (and now wife) Pam would come to visit now and then, and horrified at the state of the office, and more specifically the toilet, would end up cleaning the place from top to bottom.

This was usually accompanied by shouting, demanding to know how they could work in a place like this. It didn't work of course, since they were all far too busy enjoying themselves.

Mike was progressing with Blood Money, and now had the sprite control system working, along with the multi-directional scrolling. Tony was to do the graphics this time, and this confused him a bit, since the C64's graphics are very limited, and he had to get used to doing things in a very odd way.

Walker component parts

For a start, he had to draw in double pixels in DPaint, which was an odd limit of coloured graphics on the C64. He also only had a choice of 16 very limited colours, but he made great use of them, and Blood Money ended up looking fantastic.

Dave told Mike to learn Pascal so he could do some tools for the C64 on the PC, and gave him Borland Pascal 4 to work with. Mikes only previous high level language was Basic, but it didn't take too long and he soon had the basic tools working.

He then set about doing a compression system so he could store more sprites, again inspired by Brewbrook's ZZap64 articles.

Amiga Blood Money Loading screen

Gary meanwhile had been studying hard, and had produced a Disney style walking character, all 24 frames of it. It featured a skinny boy, in a bright yellow shirt, blue pants, and a cap.

This was a lot of frames for a computer game, more than any other at this time. Games tend to use 8 or 16 frames maximum! The other oddity was that the "step" moved the character in blocks of 24 pixels.

Computers of these days, didn't like those kinds of numbers, and preferred normal tiles (like those in Menace) which were 16 or 32 pixels wide.

Gary's animation was just too nice to pass up however, so while Dave though of what to do, Gary proceeded with more animations of his new character.

C64 Loading screen

Russell was currently busy at Dundee University, so wasn't around much, but Brian who was still doing the course Dave dropped out of, kept popping in.

Dave realised that Walkers gameplay needed more work, so put it on hold and he sought something else to work on.







































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Text Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
All rights reserved.