Last modified on 15 September 2016, at 13:45

Dynamic Games for the Amstrad



Title: Dynamic Games for the Amstrad
Authors: Clive Gifford
Publisher: Interface Publications
Year: 1984
Pages: 210
ISBN: ISBN 0-947695-16-8


Author's Introduction

The Amstrad CPC464 ('Arnold' to its users) is a fantastic computer that has taken a major place in the computer market alongside the Spectrum, the BBC Micro and the Commodore 64. Its powerful BASIC has excellent sound and graphic features, making it a superb machine for games programmers.
In this book, I have tried to include as wide a range of games for the Amstrad as possible. From the heady heights of playing chess (of a sort!) to the 'Zap 'em up' arcade games, the emphasis has been on making the games interesting and fun. I have tried to include programs that you will not quickly tire of. A number of the games are sufficiently interesting to keep you amused for a long, long while.
I think now is a good time to mention a couple of things concerning the book's layout and style. Before typing in a program from this book, reset the machine. This can be done by holding down the CTRL, the ESC and the SHIFT keys simultaneously. This sets the machine back to its original format, that of MODE 1, blue background and yellow foreground. This will avoid any confusion between graphic colours and sizes.
Secondly, I prefer not to put instructions into programs. It seems a waste of programming space when you can tell the reader in the preceding paragraph how to play the game. It is therefore advisable to read any information on a particular program before you play it.
Finally, I would like to say that these programs are not only for you to enjoy but also to learn from. If you have never written your own games, following how the shorter programs work will tell you a lot. For the intermediate games programmer, there are a number of useful hints and tips to pick up along the way.

Clive Gifford,
London, October, 1984

Out In The Arcade

Arcade games are probably the most popular form of computer games entertainment. In fact, many people when they talk about a computer game, think about arcade games and nothing else.
The main difficulty with programming playable arcade games is speed. They must be fast, while being exciting. A number of objects must be moving on the screen and the programmer has to be able to coordinate the whole game, while keeping enough speed and variability in its action to make it worth playing again and again.
The games in this section are all very playable. I have avoided slow versions of well-known games. I wrote several others but they were not fast enough to be enjoyable. Several require joystick control but only one joystick, so you don't have to buy the special dual joystick adaptor just to play them.
Type them in, play them and Happy Zapping!


Feeling Adventurous?

Adventure games have come into their own in the last couple of years. Using new computers with greater and greater memory capacities along with complex graphics and sound, adventure games have been made more ambitious and more interesting. Today, it is rare to thumb through a computer magazine without seeing large numbers of adventure games advertised.
What exactly is an adventure game? Basically, an adventure involves you interacting with an environment created by the adventure programmer and run by the computer. Usually, you have a goal, to rescue a prince, retrieve lost treasure or to kill a vicious monster.
Most adventures have a range of commands which allow you to move around the different places in the adventure and to manipulate the different objects within the adventure.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of adventure games is the way the player can escape reality and be plunged into a different situation to his or her own. Some situations are definitely mythical (though no one can be totally sure that Middle Earth is not inhabited by hobbits and trolls) while others are based on more down-to-earth situations, such as one of the adventures in this chapter, which is based around an office block.
Escaping from our every day lives along with the fun of trying to solve puzzles, lies at the heart of adventure games.

City Of Atlantis | The Steinberg Files | Character Generator

Games Of Strategy And Logic

All of the games in this section were first played a long time ago, rather than on a computer. The games have been computerised to provide you with an opponent that will play whenever you want to and play well.
I must thank Tim Hartnell, the very well-known computer author, programmer and publisher for providing the basic versions of these programs which were converted to the Amstrad computer. Tim has produced some excellent algorithms and has kept the programs as short as possible while keeping the games as close to the originals and making the computer a tough player to beat.
These games require plenty of thought to play. Touches of Amstrad colour, sound and graphics have been added to liven them up. I'm sure you will find them exciting and worthwhile to play.

Chess | Reversi (Othello) | Gomoku | Four In A Row | Checkers/Draughts

Short But Sweet

Here are a few shorter games. They are less complex than most others in this book, but I've added them in for a purpose. Apart from being fun to play, they are games which you can easily extend and improve. One of the best ways to learn to program is to enter other peoples' programs into your computer and then try to add your own features.
The programs in this chapter are ideal for the purpose. But don't think they are just included here for that reason. Type them in and play them. You will find them all entertaining as they are. However, once you have played them for a while, you can try and add some extra graphics or sound. Add extra features such as high scores.


Brain Games

These are games of mental logic and concentration; luck is of only minor importance as you battle with the difficult problems that your Amstrad sets for you.
Many of the earlier computer games were of this variety as the early machines lacked the speed, graphics and prolific memory requirements which are demanded by the games of today. Don't underestimate these games, however, as they are all well worth a go and will set your mind to work when your zapping fingers need some rest.


Gambling Games

I doubt if there are few people who have not indulged in some form of gambling. Everywhere there are chances to risk a few pennies in order to win a few pounds. The race track, Bingo, Football Pools and the Casino are just four of the many ways in which you and your money can be parted.
In this section of the book is a possible aid to your gambling resources. You can indulge in the same gambling activities using computerised cash that can be replenished simply by typing RUN.
The games in this section are based mainly on those found in the casino. The highlights of this chapter are an excellent graphical simulation of a one-armed bandit and a most realistic game of pontoon where you try your luck against the computer's skill at the card table. The cards are represented graphically in this program.

Pontoon | Double Dice | Bird Cage | Card Demonstration | Under Or Over | One-Armed Bandit

Graphically Speaking

This chapter is made up of a collection of graphic routines and displays that are fun in themselves, but with a little work, could be made part of something larger. For example, the routines could be put at the end of a game as a reward for the winning player. Another idea would be to string them all together to provide an interesting demonstration display for your friends.


Triangular Tracer | Window In/Out | Laser Fan | Lunatic Patchworks

Hundreds And Thousands | Sunburst | Travelling Triangles

Sounds Fantastic

One of the best features of the Amstrad is its sound capabilities. With the ability to mix sound from three channels, together with white noise, the effects that can be achieved are marvellous.
In this chapter, I have looked at the two sides of computer sound, namely music and sound effects. You will find programs dealing with each.
Finishing this chapter is a fast-moving action-packed game based around collecting musical notes. It incorporates many of the effect found in the chapter.

Synther 464 | Star Theme | Zap/Energiser | Chopper/Rustle, Rustle | Music Composer | Music Maze