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Sports games were (and still are) a very popular theme on the homecomputer. Most sports games in the eighties and early nineties forced the player to wobble the joystick like crazy to make the athlete on the screen move.

The American software company Epyx introduced a new sort of sports games. The first two, Summer Games 1 and 2 were a mixture of joystick wobbling and more controlled joystick action to perform certain movements. The third game in that series, Winter Games, finally broke with the usual joystick wearout gameplay and demanded a more sensible joystick handling. (Later there was World Games and California Games, but Winter Games started the whole thing...).

I liked to play Winter Games a lot. It had great graphics, a good gameplay, nice sound and my joysticks started to live a lot longer. It was truly a great game, even though I never really managed to master the Biathlon subgame.

Well anyway I thought about some more disciplines that would have made a great addition to Winter Games or rather an alternate Winter Games with rather unusual kinds of sports.

The disciplines I've thought up included a Snowball fight where the player had to be the last person standing up by putting stones into the snowballs, so that the hit opponents wouldn't stand up this fast.

Another discipline was guiding an ever growing snowball down a steep mountain trying to run over as many skiers and bystanders as possible, which then stuck in the rolling ball. Once the ball smashed against the wall of a house in the valley the number of the collected people in the ball were added to the overall score.

The third discipline was a speed skating game where you had to break hard at the end of the icetrack and thus cover somebody with ice chippings. The more you cover the person the better. But if you braked too late you would run into the person, which would be counted as a foul.

The fourth subgame was the roof avalanche discipline where you had to trigger roof avalanches with a fire cracker trying to bury as many people as possible under the avalanche. Since I wasn't very fond of children at that time I thought that you get more points if you manage to bury a woman with a baby carriage.

Well only this last discipline saw the light of day, at least partly...

To save memory the idea for the whole game was to create all the pictures and backgrounds using relatively simple and small elements that can be combined in multiple ways. I put quite some effort into painting these elements and creating larger structures (mainly the house) with these elements. So at the begin of the avalanche game test you can set the height of the house in storeys and the vertical position on the screen. Then the picture is being painted in the background and then put on the screen as soon as the whole screen was finished.

This game test consists of two differen sub-programs. One creates some snow flakes that fall from the sky - this subroutine actually triggered the creation of my snow falling demo. The other sub-program is a visual avalanche test demonstrating how the avalanche would look like in the final game.

The snow falling part can be stopped with the space bar and the avalanches can also be triggered with the space bar. Once all four avalanches went down the program resets the screen, so that you can trigger the roof avalanches again. TNT explosion animation This game test was just meant to demonstrate how the avalanche would look like. I intended to add some dustclouds on the ground where the avalanche came down. In the final game the would be a hair cross with which you could aim and throw the fire crackers on the roof. There would have been people on the ground that walk across the screen and the avalanche wouldn't run over the trees in the front (like it does in the demo).

I liked this idea a lot and for a change these first routines weren't too slow like in most other unfinished games of mine. The thing is I don't remember anymore why I didn't continue on that game. Maybe it was because I couldn't draw graphics this well and I was unwilling to paint all the different people walking on the ground and all the other graphics for the remaining disciplines. Or maybe I just didn't have the time to continue working on this project.

One more thing I did was to create a test animation for the fire-cracker throwing and the subsequent snow explosion on the roof. But besides that I obviously didn't create anything else. Well, there's another funny idea down the drain...




★ YEAR: 1989


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.