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Rediscovered: Unfinished Blitz Basic 2 projects
Jake Birkett is the head of indie game developers Grey Alien Games, which has been releasing downloadable games for PC and Mac since 2004. These have included the popular Regency Solitaire, which combines a Jane Austen-style story with various solitaire levels and special powerups that you get by upgrading your ballroom. Or Ancient Enemy, a turn-based battle card game based on solitaire, or from last year T-Minus 30: a 30-minute city builder where you have to save as many people as possible by building rockets before the planet blows up.
And what is this enthusiasm for computer game development based on? Exactly, before this time, Birkett was a passionate Amiga user and programmer.

So in the early 90s he wrote games on his Amigas 1200, which he still owns today, first in assembler, then in Blitz Basic 2, of which he only published one: as a fan of Solitaire under Windows 3.11 he wrote a corresponding implementation for the Amiga (YouTube video).

Besides that, there are quite a few gaming projects started. Recently, Birkett took the 80Mb 2.5" HDD out of the Amiga 1200 and used a 44-pin IDE-to-SATA adapter to plug it into his PC. As he tells us, at first his PC wouldn't boot when it was plugged in. So he told the BIOS to treat it as a hot-swap drive, then booted Windows and plugged it in, and WinUAE was able to recognise it and create a full image of it. He then used the hard disk image to examine all his old code and recompile it to create videos.

First, he turned his attention to games written in Blitz Basic 2, finding, among other things:
  • "Oids" (an asteroids clone with a twist that you bounce off the edge of the screen): YouTube-Video
  • Platform game: YouTube-Video
  • "Speed Grind" (a fast-paced vertically scrolling arcade game that is almost done. Only the levels still have to be put in the right order): YouTube-Video
Basically, he is thinking about finishing one or the other project now, even though he admits that he actually wants to spend his free time on other things due to the game development during the week.

Finally, he tells us that he used to make a lot of rave/trance music on his Amiga and he programmed demos with images that pulsed with the music. This example (warning, it has flashing lights) has a cheesy, fun track that works well with the fractal images he used. Each image has 32 colours and is split into 8 colours per Amiga sound channel, and when a note is triggered in each channel, the corresponding 8 colours are pulsed, giving quite an interesting effect!

We look forward to seeing (and reporting) what else Jake Birkett digs up! (dr)

[News message: 30. Dec. 2022, 13:30] [Comments: 0]
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