Professional, Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Utility; Sprite Animator
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: ANIMATOR, Screenplay, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron only
Supplier : SCREENPLAY. No further information.
Disc compatibility : Unknown
Instructions currently unavailable.
Review (Electron User)
I am almost at a loss for words to describe this superb program from Screenplay, previously available for the BBC and the Dragon. It is brilliantly simple in concept, yet the possibilities for its use are practically endless, being a program to create multicoloured sprites which can then be compiled into machine code for use in fast graphical action games. The sprites may be saved to tape, and a library of them may be built up for future use.
The first program, Creator, allows the design of up to 63 separate sprites, each with two associated figures formed by 180 degree rotation about a horizontal or vertical axis. Larger sprites may be defined, up to 30 pixels square, but in this case only nine may be created. They may have any colours, flashing or steady, and during the design stage the sprite is also shown life size for comparison.
Drawing the sprite is simplicity itself, as indeed is each feature of this program. When the sprite has been saved to tape, it can still be recalled and minor alterations made for smooth animation.
The second main program, Compiler, allows previously saved sprites to be compiled into machine code for future use in either Basic or machine code programs. Editing may still be performed at this stage, and the compiled code saved again onto tape. Extremely clear and detailed instructions on the subsequent CALL statements are given, as is an explanation of the built-in collision checking routine.
In addition to these excellent programs, there are also two demonstrations. One is a game called Dambuster, with modest but effective graphics, while the other is a marvellous scene in a tropical aquarium which I found myself staring at for a long time.
However I kept coming back again and again to the superb Creator program, creating endless multicoloured sprites simply because it was so easy and such tremendous fun.
This package is excellent value for money, being a very useful tool for the budding programmer. There is even a competition for an original program using sprites made with Animator, with a first prize of £200. I have the feeling that they will receive a lot of entries.
Phil Tayler, ELECTRON USER 1.11