Star Fighter 3000+ ? (21/1/99)
There has been quite a lot of discussion incomp.sys.acorn.games about the possibility of an improved version of Star Fighter 3000, following a post from Chris Bazley. Chris hopes to release a free patch that includes several game improvements, for example: a key fix to avoid the RPC clash problem, sound fixes, bigger explosions and a few in game tweaks.
Whether any of this will eventually surface remains to be seen, but if a patch was released, it'd certainly be very popular.
RISC OS Ltd formed (26/1/99)
The Steering Group announced today that following discussions with Acorn/Element 14, a new company 'RISCOS Ltd' has been formed to handle future marketing and development of RISC OS 4. More details when we get them.
Heretic and Hexen (18/1/99)
Following some discussion in the comp.sys.acorn.games newsgroup, R-Comp Interactive today reaffirmed their position on free ports of Heretic and Hexen, which is a possibility as the source code is now freely available. It seems that in their agreement with Raven Software (producers of Heretic/Hexen) they asked for an Acorn clause in the free source docs, but due to a mix up on Raven's part, it wasn't included. A full copy of RCI's statement is available here.
Whether or not someone will attempt a free port is unclear at this stage, however any port can only harm sales of H & H, and jeapordise any future productions from RCI.
The commercial ports of Heretic/Hexen are likely to be released at the Acorn Southwest show in Febeuary. They are being programmed by Doom+ programmer Justin Fletcher, and will use the Doom+ engine. An in-depth preview of the two games is now available.
Sammy Squirrel's Acorn Arcade (17/1/99)
It seems that Acorn Arcade now has a namesake! Gareth Moore has informed us of "Sammy Squirrel's Acorn Arcade" which is part of a compilation from Fisher-Price to improve reading skills amongst US first-grade school children.
It would appear that the edugame features a similar wood-effect to that used in the current design of the Acorn Arcade. Although we have no squirrels working on Acorn Arcade at present, there has been talk amongst the management of a short run of cuddly Graham Crockford toys to celebrate our first birthday.
Acorn Arcade's team of crafty, cunning and captivating lawyers will be onto the case in no time and we'll show Fisher-Price that the Acorn market is not child's play!
Games Vault (16/1/99)
Lots of great ideas for games fall by the wayside - for examle BioHazard and Strikers Run 3D. Now VOTI are willing to do a deal with programmers who have become stuck with their code, or want to hand over the reins to someone else. Obviously they won't claim full credit for the end result, and we are assured that coders will receive payment for the work that they do, and will be consulted before anything is released. Anyone interested should contact Nathan Atkinson.
Acorn User to stock Destiny! (16/1/99)
Tau-Press, owners of Acorn User Magazine, are set to handle the sales of Destiny by Robert Templeman. The current issue has a review of the game, and an order form, along with an incorrect news item which states that the CD version of the game is ready. The Acorn Arcade review is quoted in areas. Acorn User selling the game could be seen as quite a controversial move, as there will obviously be a large commercial motive to push the game somewhat, and indeed self advertising could be seen as a problem.
One year on... (16/1/99)
January 15th, 1999 marks the first anniversary of the conception of Acorn Arcade. Much has changed in the last year, R-Comp have released a string of conversions to our humble platform and all signs point towards a continuing upward trend in the market.
We would like to thank you, our loyal readers, for supporting us over the past year and we look forward to many more happy years together!
Stunt Racer with guns! (15/1/99)
Earlier this week, Nathan Atkinson announced that VOTI would be working upon improving a tanks game from the same people who brought us Stunt Racer 2000. The game was discovered on an old hard disc from the former FedNet offices but it has since emerged that the game was released as PD in a very early stage of development following the termination of the project.
Download Tanks (71KB)
The game is a 3 dimensional tank battle, going under the imaginative development title of "Tanks". The PD version lacks some of the finesse of modern games but it's good fun for a while. Unfortunately the source code cannot be located, so at the moment all that is happening is a menu front end is being wired onto the game. However, a re-write is on the cards, so VOTI may produce a stunning new version and one improvement which perhaps should be considered by the team is texture mapping for the tanks and some nice new graphics for the buildings which are rather bland at the moment.
Acorn in name change shocker! (15/1/99)
Acorn have finally announced their intention to change their name to Element 14. This emphasises their move away from their traditional pastures of desktop computers into the murkey depths of 'next generation silicon and software intellectual property'. For those of you who don't regularly practice alchemy, the 14th element is, in fact, silicon. Although some might say the name Element 14 would be more suited to, say, a film company, whatever guise Acorn take, they'll have to fight to survive in the fast growing 'Silicon Fen' as Cambridge, UK is now known.
Source: Acorn Cybervillage
SunBurst undergoes price cut (13/1/99)
SunBurst, the 2D Elite style game, has had it's price slashed to just £12.50. This is following a recent trend of changes at VOTI, as the Tanks game has been renamed "Battle Tanks". Unforunately they are having some trouble obtaining the source code, but we are assured that a pre-release version will soon be available, so watch this space!
Artex need new blood (11/1/99)
Artex seem to have hit problems with the TEK project, as in an announcement in the comp.sys.acorn.announce newsgroup, they requested help from programmers with a knowledge of Artificial Intelligence and Networking. They hope to find someone capable of translating their ideas into workable code.
HoMM2 patch released (11/1/99)
Heroes of Might and Magic, the popular strategy wargame by R-Comp, today received it's first update. A patch is available from www.rcomp.co.uk. New features include a full graphics mode, further support for large maps, and a random level generator. As the patch weighs in at just 15K, it should be well worth getting.
Heretic and Hexen to be released (8/1/99)
R-Comp have revealed that they are in the process of converting both Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic for the Acorn platform. Originally produced by Ravensoft, using Id's Doom engine, Heretic and Hexen seem to have been the impetus behind Justin Fletcher's recent spurt of Doom improvements. The games are set to be released as a compilation pack, costing about £ 32.50, with network play included from the start. Both come with additional episodes to add to the lifetime, and will feature either MIDI or CD audio, and 24bpp graphics. Watch this space for further information, as and when we get it.
New Destiny, New Danger (8/1/99)
The highly rated beta version of Destiny, until now only available to the beta testers, has been released, along with a promise from Robert Templeman that a CD version with even more improvements is on its way. The CD is set to include improved graphics, which was the only real disappointment of the beta version, and enhanced sound effects. Meanwhile, work is continuing on a scene file editor, and a demo to show off all the recent features. The NC version of Destiny is also set for imminent release, so it looks like being a busy time for fans of the 3D shooter.
VOTI writing with Bloody Hands (7/1/99)
Owain Cole, mastermind of Visions of the Impossible (VOTI), and author of SunBurst, has begun work on an 3D isometric turn based game. Work began in December 1998, so very little has been finalised, but the game, going under the production title of "Bloody Hands" is set to be their next release. Hopefully it will follow in the VOTI tradition of fair priced, fun games.
Another NoDisc update! (5/1/99)
Richard Wilson has once again updated his utility 'NoDisc'. The current version is 0.05, and is supposedly capable of far greater things than it's predecessors. NoDisc was written to remove copy protection from hard disc installed versions of 4D games due to StrongARM compatibility problems.
The utility came under fire recently from Chris Evans, boss of CJE Micros (new owners of The Fourth Dimension). Chris said that NoDisc was a copyright infringement. The programme does ask to be shown the original install disc prior to cracking the protection but Chris Evans has still threatened Richard with legal action.
NoDisc is available from http://www.wilsontigger.demon.co.uk/util.html.
Botkiller 2 nears release (4/1/99)
Richard Wilson has told Acorn Arcade that Botkiller 2, the sequel to the enormously popular freeware game, is to be released during January. Although the exact details and specifications of the game remain unknown, it is known that the sequel will be available from Artex, at approximately £10.
Further details are available on the artex website at www.artex.oaktree.co.uk