There are some products which almost make you tremble with their power and potential. The Shoot-'Em-Up Construction Kit is one of them.
Just imagine it. I am to computer programming what our Ad man Garry Williams is to healthy living. Yes, I admit. I just turn the machines on and play. But now, thanks to this wonderful product, I actually have the power to create my own games.
Simplicity is the keyword for The Shoot-'Em-Up Construction Kit. All you need to use is the joystick and space bar. The manual is not too long to tax your powers of concentration and is clearly written.
It's from the minds of those Wizball wonders, Sensible Software, and will be marketed by Outlaw Productions, a new label from Palace Software, the people who brought you Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior. That pedigree alone should set you tingling with anticipation about this construction set.
It's so good that the brains at Outlaw think other software houses will use the set to produce their own games.
That says something for the powers of the program. And when you consider that it will cost £14.95 on Commodore cassette, you're talking about a value for money buy as well.
The whole thing is controlled from a main menu which gives you options to edit sprites, backgrounds, sound effects, attack waves, etc. Choosing one of these options brings up a sub-menu with further options.
The sound effects available are truly amazing. Hearing is believing.
The set comes with four games which demonstrate just what you can achieve with it.
Right, obviously there is not the space here for a detailed rundown of what you get, so here are the key facilities.
Sprite designer: for those who don't already know, these are the things you see moving round the screen - ships, bullets, aliens, etc. The designer has facilities which enable you to slide, mirror and copy.
Background Editor: This allows you to design characters, build them into blocks and position them on a map of the game.
Object Editor: Makes even the most complex sprite placing and animation simple.
Sound Effects System: With this you can produce the weirdest firing, explosion and other incidental effects you will ever need. This is tremendous fun. I spent ages just listening to the most wonderful noises.
It is also simple to design game messages and credits with the Front End Designer.
You can also use the Storage System to save and load at any stage. Hopefully, the guys from Outlaw will find ways of converting this to other machines. Meanwhile, if you have ever had any desire to create a game, then get this. Quite simply, it's brilliant. There are no ratings because they don't really apply.
Hopefully, you'll be seeing my first game shooting to the top of the charts. It's provisionally called Kaptain Kid Krushes the Killer Kreatures. Software houses know where to contact me.