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Game announcement: Andrew Vaisey's puzzle game 'Spheroid
Andrew Vaisey is a very versatile and busy developer who describes himself as an "8/16bit graphician, musician & coder", but has always had a connection to the Amiga as well. He has been creatively active in graphics and music on the C64 since the 1980s. In the 1990s, he used Amiga-based software for pixelating (various versions of 'Deluxe Paint'), composing (various versions of MED, OctaMED, and Protracker), and coding (AMOS and Blitz Basic 2). Since the 2000s, he has used Windows PC-based cross-development software tools for pixelling and composing.

As a member of various demo groups he produced numerous C64 demos, but also games.

As Andrew told us, he had managed to bring his Amiga 1200 back to life some time ago and was thus able to transfer all the files previously thought to be 'lost' to his development laptop: unfinished AMOS games, some BLITZ BASIC 2 applications, and a lot of DPIII images and MED/OctaMED/ProTracker modules.
This included a game he had developed in AMOS on the Amiga about 27 years ago, whose origin was based on an earlier, simpler version for the C64 (circa 1990). When he recently restored all the data from his old HD, the AMOS version no longer ran. However, he liked the idea of the game and so he started to rewrite it from scratch in Blitz Basic 2 using the old graphics.

'Spheroid' is a puzzle game in which you move a metal ball through a maze of tiles to reach the exit within the given time and the maximum number of moves allowed. Different tiles have different properties and affect the ball in different ways. As long as you keep moving, the time does not count down.

This week Andrew will release a 10-level demo version, the final version should have around 50 levels. He kindly provided us with it in advance, so that we could get a first impression.

After a long loading time, the game greets us with a start screen that informs us about the different properties of the tiles. The main protagonist, the metal ball, rolls from the left edge of the screen into the center of the "O" of 'Spheroid' as a loving detail at the beginning. And the driving music that runs later in the game sets the mood for the tricky tasks ahead!

But the final version will have additional intro music and several level soundtracks as well. In the levels, the player is shown the colors of the tiles at the upper, right edge, which can be entered safely and without losing one's life. And so the first two levels progress quite quickly, as they are pleasantly clear:

However, the same applies here: Pride comes before the fall. If you are a bit too energetic and enthusiastic, the ball will run over the edge of the playing field and a life will be lost... The ball will also explode if you mistakenly enter a tile with an "illegal" color. Beside the normal tiles there are the special tiles explained at the beginning:
  • voids - your ball falls into oblivion
  • cracked - tile falls away after you move off it
  • mine - tile explodes after you move off it
  • transporter - transports your sphere to the other transporter on screen
  • grooves - vertical & horizontal, can only move in the groove direction
  • ice - slides your sphere in the direction you were moving
  • conveyor - moves your sphere in the conveyor arrow direction
  • bridge switch - activates the 'bridge' tile to cross any gaps
  • colour switch - changes an unsafe colour tile into a safe colour tile
  • wall - blocks your path
  • exit - exits the level!
I bravely "rolled forward" to level five:

Here you have to use a bit more brainpower in advance, since you have to look closely at the tiles with the arrows and thus calculate in advance where it will ultimately land. But: mastered! I got stuck at level six for the time being...

Here there are "meanly" not only the blue slide fields, but also normal, blue blocks. Since the color of the fields that can be entered without danger changes again and again and blue did not belong in this level, this was the end for me.

The final version will also have a passcode system that allows you to continue tinkering in exactly the level you failed at last. And not only the game itself is a welcome, nice change for in between, also the lovely little details like the shadow of the spinning ball or the sound effects e.g. when displaying the next level show that Andrew was at work here with joy and mind.

The final version of Spheroid will have the following features:
  • a raytraced loading screen
  • loading music
  • new title screen music
  • between 50 and 60 levels
  • 4 or 5 in-game tunes
  • a passcode system to skip completed levels
  • a ray traced ending screen
  • available to buy on physical media
  • available to download as a disk image
  • compatible with all Amiga versions!
That's when we say: Thank you Andrew! And good luck for the final development. We'll update the message as soon as the demo will be available. (dr)

[News message: 25. Apr. 2022, 06:11] [Comments: 0]
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