Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

reminisce about bbc micro & electron games like chuckie egg, repton, elite & exileRelated forum: adventures


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SimonSideburns
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Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by SimonSideburns » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:47 am

Hi

Many years ago when I was at school (late 1980's) my mum used to buy a popular weekly computer magazine. In it they had software listings, and she used to cut the pages out after everyone finished reading the magazine and shove the listings in a scrapbook.

I was into the BBC Micro at that point, so she cut out and gave me a listing of a Boulder dash style game (it may have been a Mode 7 game), written in machine code via the built in assembler of BBC BASIC, so I started typing the huge game in to the micro.

At some point along this tricky process I got bored (back then it wasn't difficult) and handed the whole thing to my mate who also used BBC Micros, and from that point on I never saw the listing or the game ever again.

Does this game ring anyone's bells?
Maybe you are the game's author?
Does anyone know which magazine it was?
I think it may have been Popular Computing Weekly, but I can't be sure. I've looked in an on-line archive of the magazine but it takes so long to go through.

Hope this search becomes fruitful. I'd love to type it in from the original listing, or at least play it to see if it was any good.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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leenew
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by leenew » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:52 am

Boulder Crash / Rock Run from YOUR COMPUTER?
Cavern Quest from MICRO USER?
Diamond Quest from MICRO USER?
Pitfall Pete from BEEBUG?
Rock Race from COMPUTER GAMER?
at a push, Gold Mine from David YIP?

That's the only ones I can think of off the top of my head :lol:

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by SimonSideburns » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:19 pm

That's a pretty impressive list off the top of your head.

Do you know or have links for any of them?

I've searched for each one quickly but didn't see any viable results.

Might have a look on the Retro Clinic Data Centre accompanying CD as there's quite a lot of resources there...
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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leenew
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by leenew » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:50 pm

Boulder crash / Rock run is on MBDEM04
Cavern Quest is on MB076
Diamond Quest is on MB062
Pitfall Pete is on MB037
Rock Race is on MB066
Gold Mine is on MB089

Here they are on DSD for you:

BOULDERS.zip
(991.21 KiB) Downloaded 106 times


p.s. when I say "off the top of my head", what I really mean is "whilst consulting the excellent spreadsheet wot I made"....

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by SimonSideburns » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:11 pm

Well, after going through the games one by one I have found that it is Rock Race.

I've played it a couple of times and it's awful - thank god I didn't spend time doing it all those years ago.

Seems like it could do with a bit of reprogramming so that boulders don't fall on you when you're motionless below them, and boulders don't fall on you from above-left or above-right when you're not moving, so it would become more of a puzzle game and not so much an arcade game where you have to keep moving all the time.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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leenew
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by leenew » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:13 am

It's usually the case when you revisit something from your youth that you remembered as being great. Is usually crap! :lol:

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by SimonSideburns » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:11 am

Yeah, like Refreshers sweets, or lemon bonbons! (and countless others I can't remember right now...)

Although, as the game is a basic program it wouldn't (probably) be too hard to load the listing, print it out (somehow) and edit it to make it better.

Well, that means remembering how to program in 6502 assembly, but I do remember snippets and the rest would all come flooding back if I needed to.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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nOmArch
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by nOmArch » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:51 am

Refreshers and Lemon Bon Bons still totally rock!

Milky Bars are crap now, but that's cos they changed the recipe.
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by BungeeBill » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:41 am

I stumbled across this discussion and I want to thank you for it.

I wrote the game Rock Race when I was 17/18 on my trusty cassette-based Beeb. It was meant to be a Boulderdash clone but the problem was I had never played Boulderdash so it is how I imagined a game like Boulderdash might be from reading the reviews. It also served as a tech-demo because I really wanted to demonstrate I could write something with a smoothly scrolling game-arena. The code for that and the falling rocks was written in 6502 assembler and I was very proud of it. As I'm not very artistic and wanted a fast game I thought I would use Mode 7 teletext graphics which was definitely not common.

I sent it off on cassette to Computer Gamer and then forgot about it and went to university in 1985 only to receive a cheque for about £45 a few months later. I had no idea the game had been published and never saw the magazine it was in. I had also lost the tape with the original code. So now about 31 years later I have stumbled on this forum and now found a pdf of the magazine and a download of the game which I have managed to play in BeebEm.

It's true the years haven't been kind to it. I think the colour emulation may not be quite quite right as I thought I had squeezed a little more colour variation into the graphics, but this may be rose-tinted spectacles. The controls are also dreadful on my PC keyboard. The idea is it very much was an action grame and you had to figure out the way to run past piles of rubble so that you wouldn't be crushed under the ensuing rockfall. The code to deal with the falling rocks was the trickiest part of the whole thing. I was ecstatic to find out all these years later that Computer Gamer described it as "probably the most brilliant game ever published for a magazine for the BBC micro" but maybe they were over-hyping it a little ... I wonder if anyone ever did type the whole thing in and get it working?

So thanks for reconnecting me with my one and only published venture into computer gaming. I really appreciate it.

-Bill

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SimonSideburns
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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by SimonSideburns » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:31 am

BungeeBill

All I can say is wow. This is what modern retro computing forums are about.

I'm glad we've helped you become reunited with your clever self from your youth. Now, the big question is: Do you still remember how to code in 6502, and if so, do you know how to make the game more boulder dash like? E.g. turn it from an arcade game into a puzzle game?

Simon
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by BungeeBill » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:32 am

Me again.

Actually, now I've fiddled with BeebEm, made the screen a bit bigger and redefined the keys, I think Rock Race is moderately playable as an action puzzle-game. The trick with the falling rocks is that you always have one "tick" of the clock to move out of the way. So you can dig the earth out from under a rock and move out of the way before it falls. With this in mind the game becomes more strategic as you need to plan ahead. The cave design is encoded in plain text at the end of the program and could easily be changed.

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by tricky » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:01 pm

Nice couple of stories and a nice couple of reunions.
Any chance of a .ssd so that the rest of us can give it a try.

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by Arcadian » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:58 pm

It's linked above in the boulders.zip file, on mb066.

Wonderful to see Mode 7 put to use for a fast, scrolling game like that! :)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by tricky » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:39 pm

Sorry, miss read BungeeBill's post and thought there was a new version, sorry.

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Re: Anyone know the type-in game I'm thinking of?

Post by streaks » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:10 pm

Years ago I asked a very similar question and couldn't be helped, and the game I was looking for is actually in BOULDERS.RAR! It was Cavern Quest! And yep it's even worse than I remember.
streaksy (at) gmail (dot) com

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