It is six months since EUG #63 and this 64th issue sees the return of EUG #52's fox, this type gracing a green stamp-style opener. He, and the two geese, have the honour of opening this early Christmas present to the BBC and Elk users and emulation community. And, as usual, a feast of visual and textual sundries await you all. So, with thanks to all those who have contributed, let the quick rundown of contents here commence:
In EUG #63, we cast a glimpse over some of the benefits that emulation and the internet were bringing those owners of PC and Electron machines. Not one to let the Acorn RISC machines to be outdone, John Crane has collated all the information regarding BBC and Electron emulators on these machines.
LineIt & CharIt
These fascinating utilities and demos from the hand of Chris Dewhurst will allow you to compress your on-screen graphical data into a much compressed format. One, indeed, that you will have seen demonstrated in many of Chris' games. Two demos, The Crystal Maze and Phantasialand logo, are also included to allow you to experiment with the two techniques.
Double Height And Cross Mode Sprites
This second featurette also comes from Chris Dewhurst and is a similarly intriguing article complemented by appropriate demonstration software. The idea is once again to compact the data in games which he does, and you may, create. Using his method, you can ensure that you are making best use of memory in each Mode for your sprite definitions. When combined with LineIt and CharIt you have the building blocks of a very professional looking title without even trying - and lots of memory spare for that masterpiece you intend to create!
Here's some news which might surprise a lot of you - Derek Walker is still using his Electron in hardware projects on a daily basis. Here he talks about the latest one. You can call up the code used from the menu too.
The biggest problem of working in Mode 2 or Mode 5 is although you get large sprites and a splendid palette, putting text on screen looks 'stretched'. This utility, which works in any Mode, provides you with a completely different character set of 'squashed' characters which, when viewed 'stretched' bridge the design gap. Full documentation.
No-one watching cyberspace can be unaware of the reams of new software that have appeared and it's difficult to choose these days what deserves an EUG criticism. Dave E has singled out Squirrel's Bun Fun, the Admiral's PC conversion of Arcadians and a whole host of unreleased PD software. You'll find it all here, plus information on Edge Magazine's Retro - The Making Of... glossy mag detailing many more.
In EUG #63, EUG published PLIG!, a multi-sprite maze game converted from the Archimdes. Just in case any of you have got hopelessly stuck, here's the solution from the author's own hand.
Picture Slide (BBC B, B+, Master 128 and Acorn Electron)
One of the more accomplished type-ins from the pages of Acorn User, this sliding block puzzle game by Roland Waddilove, retains its playability almost twenty years after being first published. Fully compatible with PAGE &1D00 systems.
Motocross (BBC B, B+, Master 128 and Acorn Electron)
Another typein, this one from the Pan book and upcoming EUG special disc, Sixty Programs For The Electron. This is about as tacky as 'games' on the BBC series could get and is thrown in for comedy value.