The original Gamerz Xtreme Intro was written in 2016 for the Twitch channel of the same name and, after a request on Twitter a couple of months back from the channel’s owner and a little work from myself and aNdy, there’s now a second intro which hopefully turned up just in time for a planned channel refresh and transition to Mixer. This new intro is the rather imaginatively titled Gamerz Xtreme Intro 2 and it has everything you could want from an intro; lots of moving raster bars, bouncing multicolour bitmap logos with wave effects, a sideborder ROL scroller and some great music.
As with the previous intro, this was provided to Psycho Stick in source code form including the relevant tools to build it and a configuration file. The latter is basically an assembler include containing all of the bits which can be edited to change the scrolling message text and tweak it’s colours or select one of the pre-made raster effects for the main part of the screen. Once that file has been modified and saved, a supplied batch file can be triggered which assembles the code and crunches it down ready for use.
Getting this done was a lot of fun and one piece of “overkill coding” only becomes visible when the “debug borders” option is enabled in VICE, all of the colour splits in the main effect area are lined up to the same cycle for the entire height of the screen… that took far too much effort to get right, especially considering it’s completely hidden from view and nobody would’ve even noticed either way had I not drawn attention to them!
Here’s a surprise release under the Cosine flag, Unused Shmup Tunes is a harrowing morality tale about the evils of capitalism and the long term, far reaching effects they have on society as a whole… no? Okay, it’s actually a music collection which contains four pieces that aNdy composed for a shoot ’em up some idiot with a blog was meant to code…
aNdy also wrote the code driving the collection and drew the rather lovely PETSCII logo using his nearly complete screen editor for good measure! For those with inquisitive minds, all of the source code and a swathe of work files have been bundled up with the C64 executable in the archive that can be blagged from the Cosine website or at the CSDb.
So yeah… as I hinted above the tunes are actually for a scrolling shoot ’em up I was talking about doing as part of the rewrite of my C64 coding tutorials but, since I have the attention span of half a dozen ferrets in a particularly interesting museum, that’s been pushed onto the back burner for the foreseeable and it would’ve been a waste to let the music sit around gathering metaphorical dust.
Time to tick another demo off my “to do” list… Quel Homme by Agile was released in the same competition as Super Swap Sweden’s Contribution and, if memory serves, was amongst the first things I received when first starting out as a mail trader in Cosine… although we’re talking over three decades ago so I’m not entirely willing to trust my memory on this one!
The demo opens with a classic and quite compact Agile crack intro that sports a large logo and double height scrolling message but sadly has no music, but the first actual part has a decent tune from Johannes Bjerregaard and three scrollers, all using a different large character set and under user control with two looking for the joysticks and the third checking for Z and X being pressed. There’s another large and user-influenced message in the second part at the top of the screen, with a bitmapped logo below but the point of note is the rather good tune by Sanke 3003 (who is still active in Pretzel Logic as SMC) which plays sampled drums along with the SID whilst everything else is happening.
There’s a short, silent interlude with a bizarre picture of a bathtub that has assorted limbs and a cat poking out at various angles bouncing up and down via FLD and then the show finishes with another scrolling message, this time zooming a double font character set up to eight times its regular size – one pixel becomes a character – and splitting one of multicolours. This scroller can once again be controlled by a joystick, with left and right changing the speed whilst up and down move the scroll area vertically with another FLD which displays colour splits so the bars appear to exist behind the message.
One of the texts in Quel Homme calls it “lousy” and it didn’t make the top three at the Rebels and Agile party it was released during – only those positions are known thanks to a file called Agile’s Results from Super Swap Sweden, so we don’t know how Quel Homme fared after that – but it’s pretty solid as 1988 releases go; there’s a focus on moving large letters around, splitting colours and showing a significant amount of scrolltext because that was normal at the time and the chosen music is solid too, particularly Sanke’s piece.