The never released game: "The lost world" + more

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The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

In 1988 or thereabout, I wrote a finished a game. Unfortunately I never found a publisher to release this little gem of a game to the public.

Basically it is a manic miner style game with 100 levels.

What makes this game very unusal is the the fact it had a built in editor where by the users can edit the tiles, sprites, rooms, paths of sprites and then save it and share it with other users. There were loads of default and pre defined tiles that did special things. That to me was more important than the game itself. It is seriously a big program, about 20K lines of assembly.

Anyway, I've got more unplublished, unfinished games, sprite editors, map editors, demos that I wish to share with the atari ST community.

All my work is on the Supra Hard drive + I still have my Atari ST but the floppy disk drive doesn't seem to work anymore.

Is anyone in UK, in or near Sheffield willing to lend me their Atari ST so I can share upload my work on the WWW.

Once I've sucessfully transfered all the data from my supra drive to PC, you can have the 20 meg supra drive.
Last edited by JohnLeather on Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Marcer »

I belive Mug Uk is one of those who can help!

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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Mug UK »

I've got a spare (slightly beaten up) STFM you can have but you'd have to pick it up from Warrington (there's a train that goes between the two cities) :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

muguk wrote:I've got a spare (slightly beaten up) STFM you can have but you'd have to pick it up from Warrington (there's a train that goes between the two cities) :)
Thank you ever so much.

I will PM you some time after XMAS to arrange a suitable time to pick it up when I can afford to travel!

My friend Jamie who wrote Nitro for the ST asked me a year ago for my machine and only to discover the floppy drive doesn't work. I know he also has some unpublished work too. Once I get the machine and done what I want, I will pass it on to him so he can share his work too and then I will return it to you with my 20 meg supra drive as promise.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Desty »

This sounds really promising; especially if you still have the source for all that work. Can't wait to see. :)
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Xerus »

same advice, Christmas is soon :)
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Mug UK »

Machine is yours and Jamie's to have for as long as required. The lid is a bit loose due to a clumsy forum member who visited me about a year ago but it's fully working.

Donate it to someone else via Freecycle if you want afterwards as it was a donation to me from someone else.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Stefan jL »

I just saw on EAB forums that Jamie have been trying to contact the AL team for the same reason :D
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=41105&page=2
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

Small world eh! I spoke to him last night on MSN about this and I didn't know he was still pursuing getting the ST stuff released until you showed me that thread. He lives less than 1 mile away from me. I have several disks belonging to him. It contains sideways demo, upwards demo, and vampyre demo. He sometimes leaves backups at my house just in case something bad happens. I'll leave him to release what he wants to release - I'll suspect he'll do the lot. Incidently, I did see his 50 fps sideway scrolling game and yes, it is smooth and scrolls full screen in all 4 directions. He told me how it was done and I wrote a sideways scrolling scramble type game. Completely unfinished but works at 50 fps.

Anyway, it not really look very good right now as my supra hard drive is not booting up.

Can anyone tell me what the 3V battery inside it does and would that effect it starting up? It not been booted up for 10 years, so I expect it to be flat by now.

Edit:
I might not need that machine afterall. After opening up the machine I found the rubber band pulling the drive round is so stretch that it had actually flopped off the pulley system. I'll try a make shift solution and hope for the best.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Stefan jL »

Too bad about the HD... but i think it can be fixed as long the actual disc inside is still unharmed?

Did you do all graphics and music (if there is some) also for the game, or did you have help with that? Games with level editors are always fun to use :)
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

Stefan jL wrote:Too bad about the HD... but i think it can be fixed as long the actual disc inside is still unharmed?

Did you do all graphics and music (if there is some) also for the game, or did you have help with that? Games with level editors are always fun to use :)
I did all the graphics. Jamie will have tinkered with 1 or 2 for fun. There certainly no music in the game. I am not entirely sure if SFX was added as it was too long ago since I've worked on it. I showed Jamie this thread and we are now co-ordinating in getting these unpublished work in the public domain. We are meeting up sometime this week and he will be armed with rubber bands to see if we can get my floppy drive spinning again. He also has a supra hard drive too and he going to be giving me his so I can exchange parts between the two and hope it runs again. I hoping its not the disc itself but something else. I am pretty sure I booted it up OK about 5 years ago. I have this game on Floppy in an almost finished state but I am not so sure about the status of the source code. The plan is to send the floopies to a friend of Jamie's and see what can be salvaged from it.

I did finish another game modelled on the BBC Micro game called Danger UXB for the ST - see BBC version here http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DVGuuxbAQ4c but it is far more involved than that such as you had to collect wire cutters before you could defuse bombs at later levels. Also fruits are included in which it had accumulative scores if you collect 1 you get 100pts and the second one is 200pts, it increases, but if you defuse a bomb, the accumulator resets to 100pts, so you risk your life chasing massive points before the bomb reaches zero. I think I did 4 bonus levels which appears every 4 levels. Also the bombs are booby trapped with a skull at around level 15. You had to scroll the lane in which the bomb was in to move it away from the booby trap before you defused it - it made it that little more taxing. It is quite addictive.

I did another platform game which scrolls and it had puzzles in them.

I can't remember everything I've done, there is quite a few stuff. A lot of work will be lost if I don't get my HD working again.

This is probably my last post for a while now, I have lots of mini-projects to be getting on with. I will revive this thread when I get news either way.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Mug UK »

Best of luck with the recovery operations.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

Yahoo!

Opened up the supra drive, twisted what looks like an external Stepper motor outside the disk which felt a little stiff and after spinning it several times by hand, it now boots up!!!

I'll do some photos but I suspect the screen shots won't do it that justic but you'll have an idea of what these games look like.

Next step is to get my Atari floppy disk drive working and I'll have the whole HD ported to PC. My laptop can't handle low densities so it getting my old PC out of the cupboard. I do hope that boots up after not being used for over 5 years.

I'm blogging this as you'll need some help files for the actual in game editor which I believe was the last thing for me to do which never happened.

I'll post things as I progress.

XMAS might just come sooner than I expected!
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Grunaki »

What's your blog address?
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

Last week I decided to have a blog because I am looking for a Job. I wanted some content for my blog and that why I've decided to revived this project so I can put content in my blog. The blog is running on my home webserver and is not accessable on the WWW. When I have enough content I will upload it and post the link.

Almost everything broken here! My Atari ST Joystick doesn't work going left. I think the day that Joystick broke was when I called it a day and never went back to the ST since. I've opened it up and the plastic bit pushing the contact pads is cracked. It works when pressing the contact pad by hand but it cumbersome to use making it completely unplayable.

There are 3 playable games, 2 completed(-ish) and 1 enought content but I believe it will crash eventually when it runs out of map data. What I am going to do is release those three + my sprite and map editor along with full source of the whole lot. The rest of the stuff is just prototype that you really can't do much with, I may transfer those depending on how easy/time consuming it is moving it to PC.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Desty »

JohnLeather wrote:I think the day that Joystick broke was when I called it a day and never went back to the ST since.
That's somehow hilarious, but I understand how it happens :D Just as sometimes a small noise can unleash an avalanche, where pressure was building for a long time.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Grunaki »

JohnLeather wrote:Almost everything broken here! My Atari ST Joystick doesn't work going left. I think the day that Joystick broke was when I called it a day and never went back to the ST since. I've opened it up and the plastic bit pushing the contact pads is cracked. It works when pressing the contact pad by hand but it cumbersome to use making it completely unplayable.
I went through a ton of joysticks in my ST days. I found that the 'official' black Atari joysticks with the red fire button (as originally seen on the 2600 console) broke pretty easily.

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The 'inner stick' part that pressed on the contacts was made of thick nylon or something and the plastic ring around the base of the stick was easy to break playing games that required lots of 'waggling'.

The best ones I found to use were Competition Pro or Zipstick (which were very similar)

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as they had microswitches instead of the 'clicky contacts' on the circuit board (Which quite often fell apart or 'caved in', making the joystick useless.)

Their 'achilles heel' was the molded sheath where the wire went into the joystick. Quite often the wires would break at the end of the molding or inside it, meaning that if you wanted to salvage the joystick, you had to cut that piece out, strip the wires further down and re-solder them to the contacts. Without the 'sheath' part though (which was fastened into the body of the joystick, and actually did a fairly good job of stopping the wire from moving) your soldering job wouldn't last long and the wires would rip off the contacts when the joystick fell off the table or something (no matter how many clever things you did with blu-tac, cable ties, etc.)

The 'Quickshot II' was another good one (And had microswitches as well - the original Quickshot had the 'clicky pads')

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This was especially good for 'wagglers' as it had suckers on the base, so you could secure it pretty securely to a flat surface and 'go for your life'..
(I say 'pretty securely' - I remember a couple of times when myself or one of my mates went flying for getting over-enthusiastic on a waggling game and the joystick came loose..)

I've also knocked a few joysticks together from component pieces of the broken ones.

Those tended to work for a little while, but I can't think of any that had much longevity - except for one that my Dad put together for me from the joystick mechanism of a 'Scramble' arcade cabinet for the stick, the volume control box and record reject button from an NSM jukebox (reject button was the fire button) and the wires from a dead Speccy joystick.

It worked pretty well - it would have been perfect, except the 'Scramble' stick didn't do diagonals very well, so it wasn't much use for games that needed 'up-left' and 'up-right' commands to jump..

You can still find them around - there's a chain of stores here in Canada called 'Value Village' - they're basically a big jumble sale. People donate stuff they don't want any more and the store cleans it up and sells it on cheap, and makes donations to charities, etc. I've seen plenty of old 8 & 16 bit computer joysticks in there for like $3 apiece - quite a few Sega Megadrive/Genesis pads as well, which have basically the same wiring (far as I remember).
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

The first Joystick in your list is the one I've got. It lasted more than 10 years. I got when I had the old 2600 console till that day it died.

Would you believe it? My camera is broken but I can vaguely remember it going some time back now.

Anyway, I managed to pop over to my brother and borrowed his. Shaky hands and using a TV for output so excuse the quality.

As promised, here are the images.

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More to come, it very slow inserting it into imageshack
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by JohnLeather »

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I hope to get the disk image online pretty soon.
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by bullis1 »

This unreleased work of yours looks great. I'm looking forward to anything you can recover. Also, I'm enjoying the stories that go along with! I hope you decide to stick around. :cheers:
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Mug UK »

When they're released, they'll go onto the AL database and you can add as much info as you want underneath via the Comments button. We can mark out which ones are unfinished etc.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by aktiv8 »

Those images look wonderful - type of game I adore from the looks of it...

Hope to see something come of this :)

Many thanks!
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Re: The never released game: "The lost world" + more

Post by Stefan jL »

"The Lost World" looks awesome :D
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