Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Utility
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: GAMEMAKER 2, Holly Computers, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : HOLLY COMPUTERS. No further information.
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00 (Assumed)
Instructions currently unavailable.
Review (Electron User)
One mark of the success of a home micro is the improvement in both the quantity and quality of the software produced for it. This program confirms the Electron's place as a micro at the top of its class - a plaudit which can equally be extended to this marvellous program from Holly Computers.
A couple of months ago, I reviewed a fairly similar tape which produced sprites for use in one's own programs. GAMEMAKER 2 sets out to be a far more comprehensive aid to the serious games programmer and it succeeds to a most remarkable degree.
The animation which can now be achieved is almost truly professional in smoothness and speed, while the whole system of writing the game program itself is made into a (comparatively) easy affair.
Do not feel, however, that this tape is a magic carpet to success. The 40 page booklet requires a good deal of thought and much practice will be needed before the process suddenly clicks. However this approach is not only beneficial to programming development, but is also great fun!
A large number of images may be designed and drawn on screen using a technique that soon becomes straight-forward, and it is then possible to assign one or more images to a sprite. Sprites are the miracles of a computer game, allowing figures to be overlapped and to pass each other without one overwriting and therefore obscuring the other.
The point of assigning two images is that they can differ in the minor details which lead to smooth animation on screen. Obviously a whole series of these could be designed around one main character for the really smooth effects seen in commercial games. These sprites could then be saved as a file to tape and *RUN when the actual game has been written and put onto tape.
A part of the GAMEMAKER 2 program, USER2, remains active at <BREAK>, as it is hidden below the new PAGE and this allows a wide range of new commands to be used during the game. These additional commands rely on simple mnemonics, so that *GMd 1 would move sprite number 1 down.
The program also allows for one main character to be driven from the keyboard while others may move in paths already described in the program - although there is even scope for random movement here for the adventurous programmer.
All the integer variables needed for updating, movement, collision detection or reply are clearly detailed and many examples are given of their use.
Holly is allowing games developed using this program to be sold commercially provided that a simple acknowledgement clause is included.
Yes, for the Electron owner wishing to push the machine to near its limits, save up - or even mortgage the cat. This is a superb program which I thoroughly recommend.
Phil Tayler, ELECTRON USER 2. 1