Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Arcadia Test 3 released for MacOS X

Pretty much every programmer has a guilty little secret, a game that was abandoned before its time, never to be completed.

This is the story of mine.

Many moons ago (back in 2002 in fact) I started work on my first games remake - which was of Imagine Software's Arcadia, a shoot-em-up from 1982. The game code (and pre-rendered 3d graphics) went quite well - up to the point where Windows 98 ate my hard disk and I learned an important lesson about the need to take regular backups.

In many ways this incident was a turning point for me, as this was what finally persuaded me to try going cold-turkey on Windows and run Linux full time. Initially I wanted to run Linux exclusively for a couple of months to see how it fared compared to Windows.

I never went back.

The only casualty of this switch was Arcadia. The source code that I found was out-dated, the pre-rendered graphics of the later levels was gone, and worst of all Blitz (which I was using to write the game in) didn't run on Linux. But there were rumours of a follow on to Blitz which would run on Windows, MacOS and Linux - Blitz Max.

So I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

When the pre-release version of Blitz Max became available to buy I pre-ordered it, downloaded the Linux beta and started playing.

Arcadia was the obvious choice to try my hand with, but unfortunately porting the game over was not as simple as expected. So I wrote an (unreleased) Arcadia style game, and used the knowledge from this to update the test 3 code to Linux.

I've always planned to complete Arcadia at some point, but to be honest, I don't think this will ever happen. I've finally updated my site to put Arcadia "on hold" and then realised that all my other games run on MacOS X apart from Arcadia. So tonight I've snuck onto a Mac and knocked out a quick port of the game. I'll be uploading this later on tonight.

The funny thing is that now that I've put it on hold I've got some ideas about what I can do with Arcadia to try and finish it off. I'll have to investigate some freeware raytracing software and see if I can get to grips with it.

This will have to wait until after the first release of Batty Junior.

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