Author Topic: Football Fever (aka - Games with smooth "1" pixel multi directional scrolling.)  (Read 75699 times)

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Offline Xyphoe

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ps ... it would be nice if the billboards / advertising boards had things advertising CPC Wiki, Easter Egg, BB4CPC, etc on them! That would be a really nice cool little touch!



pps ... Macdeath you can thank me for giving you your 100th like!

Offline Xyphoe

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Oh and I don't think it's any issue in keeping the sprites 'small' ... don't worry about that... look how well it worked out for Sensible Soccer and the Kick Off series....

If we can get away with just vertical scrolling (ignoring horizontally) that might speed things up no end, maybe the R3 trick would be possible if not doing Plus verion.

We also need to come up with a cool name for it that links it to the Amstrad ... I dunno, like....  CPC Super Cup Finals, International Amstrad Soccer (to be cheeky!), etc. But probably not "AMSOCCER" lol ... besides that's already been used believe it or not! (and is really really shit!)

Offline MacDeath

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I always wondered, would it be that difficult to have such side scroling Footy game, but with the "lines" and some stuff done in "3D" yet with a 2D sprite layer on this ?
With this, the lines would perform some sort of proper animated perspective perhaps.

One good point with footy games is that as CPC is a bit... old school, you may need only small sprites.

Having the screen redimensionned into a vertical 256pixels can enable to use only one kind of scrolling.


Post edition : thx for the 100th "like"

« Last Edit: 17:07, 18 May 12 by MacDeath »
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Offline arnoldemu

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Oh and I don't think it's any issue in keeping the sprites 'small' ... don't worry about that... look how well it worked out for Sensible Soccer and the Kick Off series....

If we can get away with just vertical scrolling (ignoring horizontally) that might speed things up no end, maybe the R3 trick would be possible if not doing Plus verion.

We also need to come up with a cool name for it that links it to the Amstrad ... I dunno, like....  CPC Super Cup Finals, International Amstrad Soccer (to be cheeky!), etc. But probably not "AMSOCCER" lol ... besides that's already been used believe it or not! (and is really really shit!)
I think the graphics are great, but what really makes a good game is the playability.
This is true of any game.
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Offline sigh

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I always wondered, would it be that difficult to have such side scroling Footy game, but with the "lines" and some stuff done in "3D" yet with a 2D sprite layer on this ?
With this, the lines would perform some sort of proper animated perspective perhaps.

One good point with footy games is that as CPC is a bit... old school, you may need only small sprites.

Having the screen redimensionned into a vertical 256pixels can enable to use only one kind of scrolling.


An interesting idea on the vertical, though I don't think it's going to be enough.
Also - are you talking about parallaxing the ground? The problem with perspective is that the sprites would then have to look a little smaller in the distance for it to be convincing, plus the distance the sprite travels would have to be altered too



I think the graphics are great, but what really makes a good game is the playability.
This is true of any game.

Indeed! No point having all that animation if everything else ends up being choppy!

 
Oh and I don't think it's any issue in keeping the sprites 'small' ... don't worry about that... look how well it worked out for Sensible Soccer and the Kick Off series....

If we can get away with just vertical scrolling (ignoring horizontally) that might speed things up no end, maybe the R3 trick would be possible if not doing Plus verion.

We also need to come up with a cool name for it that links it to the Amstrad ... I dunno, like....  CPC Super Cup Finals, International Amstrad Soccer (to be cheeky!), etc. But probably not "AMSOCCER" lol ... besides that's already been used believe it or not! (and is really really shit!)

You know...I've never liked top down vertical scrolling footy games and that's probably because it's not how it's viewed when you watch it on tv or a live stadium. It also feels too much like playing a pinball machine. I tried different character sizes and 16x16 seemed like the best compromise, although it's still a little bigger than how I would like it to be. Looking at football matches on tv (or even the latest footy games) the view of the pitch is incredibly zoomed out that your almost counting anything up to 16 to 18 players in one shot! It's for this reason why creative plays are possible in these games. The more you can see in a large area, the more creative you can be.

Yeah football names! The only one I could think of was "Nationwide Soccer" which also is up for grabs as a domain name(Nationwide Soccer.com) :D . But yes - any football name idea are welcome as I'd need to do the splash/menu screen.

One other question: How hard is it to implement action replays? I know that microprose soccer had it.
« Last Edit: 00:29, 19 May 12 by sigh »
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Offline MacDeath

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the "placement matrix" for the sprites would need to be calculated like the lines on the floor.

Concerning the differently sized sprites... well perhaps.
But you know, even if the lines on the grass are generated in 2D/bitmap (= no parralax), you should still get this sort of deepness perspective effect...

Of course as the sprites are already small, not a lot of zoom perhaps, let's say 3 sizes could do... a bit the way the Race/driving games often managed the way stuff would zoom.

Also depends whether you aim at a 64K RAM game or 128K RAM game...
Good point with those sprites is that they are small... but as you need :
=8 direction facing... faster if you double the spriteset (more RAM used), use CPU if you use a mirror Effect.
=many poses (walk, run, takle, shoot and so on... in 8 directions...).
=Palette swap, easier CPUwise if you simply double the sprite sets... CPU intensive if you use the same spriteset for both teams...
64K RAM is not always good.



False 3D in isometric/cavalier perspective display are false too anyway.

Paralax effect yeah, but what I suggested was to get those white lines generated in "Vector graphics"...
So not really 3D but sort of... a 3D plane or whatever.

Good point is perhaps that such vector graphic plane could need no bitmaped tiles... and scrolling may be easier then.

example :

your footy game.

on the top, you would have a "normal" bitmapped zone (the public/score) which may need to scroll though.

Then you have the "vector line" zone, with a masked bitmap sprite screen in overlay.

the grass could perhaps also even have some sort of "starfield" (grassfield indeed) in order to get a grassy effect...

Lines could have different size (wideness) in order to get those goalpost/cages (what is it named in english ?)


I was mostly "suggesting and asking", because actually I don't know if the CPC is powerfull enough to do such thing... nor if the gain would be that great.

But if it could be done, you could then get some sort of proper awesome ProEvolutionSoccerCPC... ;)

Quote
top down vertical scrolling footy games
not always good when playing 2player game perhaps... but I loved speedball 2...
 
« Last Edit: 17:37, 18 May 12 by MacDeath »
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Offline sigh

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the "placement matrix" for the sprites would need to be calculated like the lines on the floor.

Concerning the differently sized sprites... well perhaps.
But you know, even if the lines on the grass are generated in 2D/bitmap (= no parralax), you should still get this sort of deepness perspective effect...

Of course as the sprites are already small, not a lot of zoom perhaps, let's say 3 sizes could do... a bit the way the Race/driving games often managed the way stuff would zoom.

Also depends whether you aim at a 64K RAM game or 128K RAM game...
Good point with those sprites is that they are small... but as you need :
=8 direction facing... faster if you double the spriteset (more RAM used), use CPU if you use a mirror Effect.
=many poses (walk, run, takle, shoot and so on... in 8 directions...).
=Palette swap, easier CPUwise if you simply double the sprite sets... CPU intensive if you use the same spriteset for both teams...
64K RAM is not always good.



False 3D in isometric/cavalier perspective display are false too anyway.

Paralax effect yeah, but what I suggested was to get those white lines generated in "Vector graphics"...
So not really 3D but sort of... a 3D plane or whatever.

Good point is perhaps that such vector graphic plane could need no bitmaped tiles... and scrolling may be easier then.

example :

your footy game.

on the top, you would have a "normal" bitmapped zone (the public/score) which may need to scroll though.

Then you have the "vector line" zone, with a masked bitmap sprite screen in overlay.

the grass could perhaps also even have some sort of "starfield" (grassfield indeed) in order to get a grassy effect...

Lines could have different size (wideness) in order to get those goalpost/cages (what is it named in english ?)


I was mostly "suggesting and asking", because actually I don't know if the CPC is powerfull enough to do such thing... nor if the gain would be that great.

But if it could be done, you could then get some sort of proper awesome ProEvolutionSoccerCPC... ;)
not always good when playing 2player game perhaps... but I loved speedball 2...

Good point on the game size. It's for the 128KB machines, however, a 64kB would also be more than possible (no 1 pixel scrolling) but there would be an incredible amount of animations missing and I would have to rethink how the sprites would work. as I would never use mode 1 for this type of game. It would definitely be really nice to make a 64KB version but only after the 128KB as this is what I am more excited about.

As regards to scrolling - it's still way out of my sphere of knowledge of what can be done especially in regards to vectors. I'm guessing that the actual grass tiles wont need to scroll and it will be the white lines, the crowd and advertising boards and the goal when needed?

All the sprite animations have been done along with their mirrored version including both teams. No mirroring is needed, and no colouring is needed, unless we go for different skin colours within the same team which is something I would really like to see. I don't think I've seen this implemented yet in an 8 bit footy game.



« Last Edit: 00:25, 19 May 12 by sigh »
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Offline Xyphoe

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Doh! I made a mistake

"If we can get away with just vertical scrolling (ignoring horizontally)"

I meant to say the opposite - if we can get away with just horizontally scrolling I would prefer that, I like side-on soccer games. Although, the most successful (Sensible Soccer, Kick Off, Microprose Soccer) were all top-down ones and to be honest is more intuitive from a gameplay point of view arguably, but then when we watch on TV it's side-on and modern football games (Fifa, Pro Evo) are side-on by default.

Offline sigh

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Doh! I made a mistake

"If we can get away with just vertical scrolling (ignoring horizontally)"

I meant to say the opposite - if we can get away with just horizontally scrolling I would prefer that, I like side-on soccer games. Although, the most successful (Sensible Soccer, Kick Off, Microprose Soccer) were all top-down ones and to be honest is more intuitive from a gameplay point of view arguably, but then when we watch on TV it's side-on and modern football games (Fifa, Pro Evo) are side-on by default.

If we can only get away with horizontal and no vertical, then yes - that's the way it would have to be. I found top down view to be less intuitive due to having less screen width which is more important than height. as the pitch fits the television screen better enabling to see more. I could never really see much from top view and even with sensible soccer I always felt that it would of benefited more if they had the birds eye view with the horizontal scroll rather than the vertical one.

Here is the control scheme I have been thinking about, though it's probably way too complicated:

Pass = press direction tap fire (side pass, poke pass)
Lob = Press direction hold fire and release
Shoot = Double tap fire
Throughball = tap fire

Aftertouch/curler = after ball is released, move pad/joystick in direction.

Back heal = Quickly tap opposite direction and press fire.

In Air

Head ball = Press fire to jump then tap/Hold direction
Diving head = Press fire to dive then tap/Hold direction
Bicycle kick = Press fire to flip then tap/Hold direction
Jump and chest down/catch ball = Press fire to jump
Chest down = run into ball
Volley = Hold direction press fire

While running tap forward to sprint
While running tap up or down to feint (side step, dummy, jump over slide tackle, spin around ball while still moving in direction, flick ball)
The different movements are dependant on the distance between players after attempted tackle.

Without ball:

One touch pass = hold down fire button when ball is approaching player.
Slide tackle = direction and fire
Barge = While running tap up or down
Advanced tackle (used against feints) = tap fire
While running tap forward to jump/step over ball
while running forward, tap back to feint ball through legs and turn opposite direction

Approaching ball:

Chest down = run into ball
Volley = press fire

Automatic:

Player changes to who is nearest the ball. Or hold fire and tap direction toward player want to change too.

« Last Edit: 00:28, 19 May 12 by sigh »
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Offline Xyphoe

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It would be fantastic to have all those moves to pull off, but I suspect it will slow down the game an awful lot - again case in point Match Day II and Emlyn Hughes which have a large range of moves, but end up being slow.

I would keep it really simple to start with (computer AI is going to be the hardest to program I reckon). Then in the future there can be revised versions released with new features, bit like the Fifa series!

Code it for use of two fire buttons (never understood games made for one fire button ... didn't 95% of joysticks have two buttons?!)...

Fire 1 - low pass / shot along ground (in possession ball) & sliding tackle (not in possession of ball)
Fire 2 - high pass / lob (in possession of ball)  & jump / header (not in possession of ball)

Seriously, have a watch of that Word Cup 90 video I posted (on page 5 of this topic) to see how exactly it achieves this and just how well and fun it works out.

Offline EgoTrip

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I have to say, those screenshots look mighty impressive.
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Offline sigh

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It would be fantastic to have all those moves to pull off, but I suspect it will slow down the game an awful lot - again case in point Match Day II and Emlyn Hughes which have a large range of moves, but end up being slow.

I would keep it really simple to start with (computer AI is going to be the hardest to program I reckon). Then in the future there can be revised versions released with new features, bit like the Fifa series!

Code it for use of two fire buttons (never understood games made for one fire button ... didn't 95% of joysticks have two buttons?!)...

Fire 1 - low pass / shot along ground (in possession ball) & sliding tackle (not in possession of ball)
Fire 2 - high pass / lob (in possession of ball)  & jump / header (not in possession of ball)

Seriously, have a watch of that Word Cup 90 video I posted (on page 5 of this topic) to see how exactly it achieves this and just how well and fun it works out.

The 2 fire buttons is fine single player mode, but will it work for the 2 player game? I remembered that you get interference with a lot of 2 player games on the cpc when one is on keyboard and the other on a joystick. Weren't most of the 2 button joysticks in the 80's, actually just operated as a 1 button joystick?

I watched the World Cup 90 and you were very lucky in the game against Germany :) ! I'm looking for something inbetween a simulation and an arcade and World Cup 90 is very arcadey and a little too pinbally(in my opinion.) It would be nice to have things like through balls etc to set up some more interesting plays as there was quite a lot of bicycle kicks being abused in that game (or maybe that's just because your too damned good!)

You maybe right about the game slowing down as there is a lot of animation, but I'm hoping that the small sprites and there being no need to mirror or have palette changes, will keep it moving around 25 frames per second. We can only try as I'm prepared to go all out on this one as I wont ever be doing a footy game again. If we can get the smooth scrolling and good joystick response times - even if that means losing some animation frames, I will be extremely happy!

The AI is definitely going to be the major challenge for any programmer, as having to work out the ball physics(?), goalkeeper, what the team mates are doing and where they are on the pitch as well as the opponents. I noticed that on a lot of the 8 bit foot games, the players end up being bunched up which reminded me of when I was a kid playing football in the playground, where everyone would just rush for the ball. The goalkeepers are always problematic, even in todays console football games as there always seems to be a sweet spot where the goalie just cant catch the ball.
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Offline TMR

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Code it for use of two fire buttons (never understood games made for one fire button ... didn't 95% of joysticks have two buttons?!)...

As someone who sold 8-bit joysticks back in the day i can, even though my sales patter for specific sticks has long since been mentally defragmented, say with what i'd call a reasonable degree of certainty that joysticks with two independent buttons were less common than single button sticks.

Some of the big sellers i remember were the Quickshot 2, Python 1M and to a lesser degree Maverick 1, the Cheetah 125 which was the cheapest we sold but usually fell apart after a fortnight, the Competition Pro, the Cruiser, Konix Speedking and again to a lesser degree the Navigator and my personal favourite was the Zipstik; of that list, only the Python and Maverick offered an optional two button mode (labelled as for the Master System but it worked on other 8-bits if memory serves, along with an Amstrad mode which disabled the autofire) and they were usually at the quieter end of the sales charts.

So... this 'ere footy game, is it too early to be mentioned in RG's What's Brewing news items or what? =-)
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Offline Xyphoe

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As someone who sold 8-bit joysticks back in the day i can, even though my sales patter for specific sticks has long since been mentally defragmented, say with what i'd call a reasonable degree of certainty that joysticks with two independent buttons were less common than single button sticks.

Some of the big sellers i remember were the Quickshot 2, Python 1M and to a lesser degree Maverick 1, the Cheetah 125 which was the cheapest we sold but usually fell apart after a fortnight, the Competition Pro, the Cruiser, Konix Speedking and again to a lesser degree the Navigator and my personal favourite was the Zipstik; of that list, only the Python and Maverick offered an optional two button mode (labelled as for the Master System but it worked on other 8-bits if memory serves, along with an Amstrad mode which disabled the autofire) and they were usually at the quieter end of the sales charts.

So... this 'ere footy game, is it too early to be mentioned in RG's What's Brewing news items or what? =-)

I think it's from what years you look at joysticks, by the end of the 80s every joystick had two buttons including most of the ones you mentioned (I have about 3 Konix Speedkings which has two firebuttons, one even with an autofire rah!). Big releases by the end of the 80's and early 90's really had no excuse to make it all work from one firebutton (my recently reviewed Bonanza Bros case in point with the awkward jump mechanism) I feel... but that's just my personal opinion/perspective and gripe probably. :)

Offline Xyphoe

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The AI is definitely going to be the major challenge for any programmer, as having to work out the ball physics(?), goalkeeper, what the team mates are doing and where they are on the pitch as well as the opponents. I noticed that on a lot of the 8 bit foot games, the players end up being bunched up which reminded me of when I was a kid playing football in the playground, where everyone would just rush for the ball. The goalkeepers are always problematic, even in todays console football games as there always seems to be a sweet spot where the goalie just cant catch the ball.

It should hopefully just the case in terms of defensive play -

* a set formation (eg 4 defenders) that have an invisible barrier of how far they can move up/down/left/right independantly
* move in line/towards the ball horizontally
* find which player is nearest the ball and have him home in on it

Attacking play is probably the most hard to get right. It seems most (crap) games have a hit and hope approach finding players hoofing out throw a throw unnecessarily etc.
I guess then...

* code a 'line of sight' in 3 directions or maybe 8 directions if feeling brave for the computer to choose the 'most appropriate' player to pass to
* if it finds none - it hits a long ball up the pitch
* when within 30 yards of the goal - the computer can decide to hit the ball as a shot on goal. Maybe have this generated randomly (50/50)
* other players move about freely moving up the pitch if attacking and spreading apart or moving inside to make runs

You may want to think about the offside rule too ;)

Offline Xyphoe

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I watched the World Cup 90 and you were very lucky in the game against Germany :) ! I'm looking for something inbetween a simulation and an arcade and World Cup 90 is very arcadey and a little too pinbally(in my opinion.) It would be nice to have things like through balls etc to set up some more interesting plays as there was quite a lot of bicycle kicks being abused in that game (or maybe that's just because your too damned good!)

Heh yes I was! :D

World Cup 90 is very arcadey, but I'm slightly biased on this I suppose because it was my favourite arcade machine growing up and I was desperate to see a conversion or anything play like it on the Amstrad (and was disappointed to not find it!). Having played it for many many many hours though, there's perhaps some subtleties that are apparent unless you play it for extended time. For me it's the perfect arcade soccer game, I'm sure others will disagree though. Most importantly though it's incredibly good fun and easy to pick up.

Offline Xyphoe

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One last comment, I think it's important with soccer games being able to score via a variety of methods - the fun is finding these and the suprise/delight in pulling these off (this is why I love World Cup 90 and Taito's Football Champ so much... and also in terms of Amstrad why Emlyn Hughes is far and away the best soccer game due to the crazy ways you can score, Match Day II to an extent as well)

So being able to hit high balls for crosses, lobs, etc really important.

If swerve could be done, WOW! That's what made Microprose Soccer so fab.

Offline sigh

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As someone who sold 8-bit joysticks back in the day i can, even though my sales patter for specific sticks has long since been mentally defragmented, say with what i'd call a reasonable degree of certainty that joysticks with two independent buttons were less common than single button sticks.

Some of the big sellers i remember were the Quickshot 2, Python 1M and to a lesser degree Maverick 1, the Cheetah 125 which was the cheapest we sold but usually fell apart after a fortnight, the Competition Pro, the Cruiser, Konix Speedking and again to a lesser degree the Navigator and my personal favourite was the Zipstik; of that list, only the Python and Maverick offered an optional two button mode (labelled as for the Master System but it worked on other 8-bits if memory serves, along with an Amstrad mode which disabled the autofire) and they were usually at the quieter end of the sales charts.

So... this 'ere footy game, is it too early to be mentioned in RG's What's Brewing news items or what? =-)

Probably it might be best to have code that works with a megadrive pad as they are cheap and easier to find? I tried a megadrive pad on the CPC (can't remember what game) and though it worked, it wasn't very playable as the second fire button was the start button.

In regards to RG - I haven't found a programmer yet. Arnoldemu is kindly helping out with figuring the scrolling and the sprite data/space, but wont be coding the main game. Until I find some programmers that are interested, along with a demo to see if the game is doable with this amount of animation, it might be best to hold off for a little while.

 
It should hopefully just the case in terms of defensive play -

* a set formation (eg 4 defenders) that have an invisible barrier of how far they can move up/down/left/right independantly
* move in line/towards the ball horizontally
* find which player is nearest the ball and have him home in on it

Attacking play is probably the most hard to get right. It seems most (crap) games have a hit and hope approach finding players hoofing out throw a throw unnecessarily etc.
I guess then...

* code a 'line of sight' in 3 directions or maybe 8 directions if feeling brave for the computer to choose the 'most appropriate' player to pass to
* if it finds none - it hits a long ball up the pitch
* when within 30 yards of the goal - the computer can decide to hit the ball as a shot on goal. Maybe have this generated randomly (50/50)
* other players move about freely moving up the pitch if attacking and spreading apart or moving inside to make runs

You may want to think about the offside rule too ;)


Offside rules, indirect free kicks (whatever the hell that is!) advantage, cautions, substitution and all  other referee and linesman signals are already present.

* other players move about freely moving up the pitch if attacking and spreading apart or moving inside to make runs

This is one area I feel that is very important to help with the atmosphere to make you feel like your in a football match. This is the main reason why I included the walks and skips in the locommtion set as I think this will give game a simulated feel without having to play too much like a simulation.

One last comment, I think it's important with soccer games being able to score via a variety of methods - the fun is finding these and the suprise/delight in pulling these off (this is why I love World Cup 90 and Taito's Football Champ so much... and also in terms of Amstrad why Emlyn Hughes is far and away the best soccer game due to the crazy ways you can score, Match Day II to an extent as well)

So being able to hit high balls for crosses, lobs, etc really important.

If swerve could be done, WOW! That's what made Microprose Soccer so fab.



On the animated demo, it shows the player swerving the ball for the player to jump header. Like you said - it's super important to be able to score in a variety of different ways. :)

Sound wise; General crowd noise (but not sounding like an untuned television), matchday 2 like melodies, beeps and whistles along with some football rhythmic clapping would be nice. I don't think that these would be to ram hungry?
« Last Edit: 18:00, 20 May 12 by sigh »
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Offline TotO

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Probably it might be best to have code that works with a megadrive pad as they are cheap and easier to find? I tried a megadrive pad on the CPC (can't remember what game) and though it worked, it wasn't very playable as the second fire button was the start button.
It's not possible without an adapter with some electronic on it.
Many soccer games play really nice with "only" 2 buttons and directions.
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Offline TMR

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I think it's from what years you look at joysticks, by the end of the 80s every joystick had two buttons including most of the ones you mentioned (I have about 3 Konix Speedkings which has two firebuttons, one even with an autofire rah!).

i was selling them in the late 1980s to the early 1990s and the majority of sticks we flogged were single button. Yes, there are two button versions of sticks like the Speedking but they were labelled as being for Sega consoles so the single button versions outsold them several times over and sticks like the Cheetah 125 or Zipstik outsold all flavours of Speedking combined.
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Offline TMR

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Probably it might be best to have code that works with a megadrive pad as they are cheap and easier to find? I tried a megadrive pad on the CPC (can't remember what game) and though it worked, it wasn't very playable as the second fire button was the start button.

i seem to remember that the Master System pads and sticks tended to work, but don't quote me on that... me personally, i'd have two sets of joystick routines for one or two button sticks so nobody is left out.

Until I find some programmers that are interested, along with a demo to see if the game is doable with this amount of animation, it might be best to hold off for a little while.

Fair enough. =-)
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Offline TotO

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The Master System Pad work file with a little adapter to invert 2 pins. Else, only 1 button. :)
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Offline sigh

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It's not possible without an adapter with some electronic on it.
Many soccer games play really nice with "only" 2 buttons and directions.

Really? Are you sure that you cant just have a code or a patch that just redefines the joypad buttons to work on the CPC? I'm quite sure that they did work fine but the buttons were all mixed up.

i seem to remember that the Master System pads and sticks tended to work, but don't quote me on that... me personally, i'd have two sets of joystick routines for one or two button sticks so nobody is left out.


Yup - makes perfect sense.
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Offline TotO

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Really? Are you sure that you cant just have a code or a patch that just redefines the joypad buttons to work on the CPC? I'm quite sure that they did work fine but the buttons were all mixed up.
Megadrive PAD send multiplexed signals.
A/Start or B/C buttons are on the same line, so you can't use more than 2 buttons.
And without decoding the input, the pad send ghost keys to the computer, so you may have games that simply not work. (and arrows under the BASIC)

From http://www.asmtradtoday.com :

« Last Edit: 21:20, 20 May 12 by TotO »
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Offline Xyphoe

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i was selling them in the late 1980s to the early 1990s and the majority of sticks we flogged were single button. Yes, there are two button versions of sticks like the Speedking but they were labelled as being for Sega consoles so the single button versions outsold them several times over and sticks like the Cheetah 125 or Zipstik outsold all flavours of Speedking combined.

Gosh, I have no idea where you worked then!!!

The stores I went to in the late 80's all had 2 firebutton + joysticks in. I don't think I've ever saw one for sale and indeed only owned one with only 1 fire button apart from a hand-me-down Konix Speedking. Hell, even the crappy JY1 packaged with the CPC in 1984 had two fire buttons!