Long time no see?

It’s been over a year since I last posted here, sorry about that, but I’ve been rather busy… What spare time I’ve had to devote to this hobby has been taken up with trying to convert a PC game which is currently in development to our humble Speccy.

The game is called Melkhior’s Mansion, and it’s a modern re-telling of the Speccy favourite Atic Atac, by Ultimate Play The Game, all done in glorious full-colour isometric 3D.  It really looks amazing!

Melkhior's Mansion (PC)

It was about a year ago that I first noticed this game being developed, and I just loved what they’d done with the graphics – it completely looks like the Stampers’ have been at it again – and I felt it really would be something if it could be made to run on the Speccy, just like the other Ultimate games.  The game itself isn’t just a modern remake though, the map is different, there are four playable characters instead of three, new objects, new food, everything is different and yet very familiar.

I approached the authors, and they were both really positive about the idea, so I set to work coding some demos to see if it was possible (this is how I usually start with games like this – it was the same for ZXagon, CroZXy Road, and Ant Attack 81).  Originally I was hoping to get it to all fit in 48K, but that quickly proved impossible as the graphics are so detailed they just wouldn’t fit, so I moved up to 128K, and continued work.  Ever since then I’ve been writing, and re-writing, the game as the graphics get more complicated, but it’s definitely an actual game now, with the full map, all the characters, food, all that Atic Atac goodness!  I’m hoping to get it to run at 25fps, but so long as it holds its own against the likes of Knight Lore and Head Over Heels I’ll be very happy.

Until the game is finished (or abandoned – I still can’t entirely rule that out as I’m not willing to compromise too much) I won’t be able to write much on here, but as this game is without a doubt the most difficult I’ve ever attempted I’m learning lots of new things, and different ways of approaching problems, especially with regards to 128K development, and those will hopefully be good for future posts here.

For more information on the game it’s best to search for the #MelkhiorsMansion hashtag on Twitter, where the authors Richard Jordan (@EricRetro) and Craig Stevenson (@hot_piping) regularly post about it’s development.  There’s also a conversion in progress for the upcoming Spectrum Next, by Kevin B (@9bitcolor) which is well worth a look.  And don’t forget my own account – @BobsStuffGames – where I post regular(ish) updates and images/movies of the current state of my conversion.

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