The speaker for the January ROUGOL meeting was Anthony Bartram of AMCOG games, giving us an update of what he had been up to since he last visited ROUGOL (remember those days when we used to meet in person!).
The talk started with a quick resume of AMCOG - 12 games in the last 5 years.
Since last time
Since the last talk, Anthony has written Escape from the Arcade : Castle Puzzles. It was designed to be easy to play and you can the gender of your character.
Star Mine was Star Maze reborn and reimagined.
Scuba Hunter was written for South West Show - Underwater Boulderdash?
A new game called Spy Mission: The Ice Caves of Dr Atom - sideway scrolling game.
RDSP now includes a Tracker (inspired by ProTracker) and the manual is being updated.
Working on updating the Development kit with new samples, Graphics and Routines.
Porting Star Mine
Star Mine is being ported to Windows and Linux by adding an abstraction layer to AMCOG Development Kit and the App Game Kit.
The game has been extended with doors and extra features. Plan to back port changes made in Development back to RISC OS version of game. The code is still in BASIC, with some modifications.
It turns out games do not just sell themselves.
Recommendations are very powerful. Twitter has been a good way to reach new people
You need to stand out from the crowd and there needs to be 'some secret sauce'.
Anthony wanted to share some of his ideas, tricks and experiences from his experiences.
Do not edit things too early and allow multiple concepts in parallel.Then choose one to progress to completion.
If you repeat something, automate it.
Abstract and simplify.
Be lazy - get the Computer to do the hard work.
So how does Anthony find the time?
Block out a regular time slot - a regular development hour.
Or buy a coffee machine and stay up late coding!
Development starts with a brainstormed idea, through sketches, mock-ups, proof of concept and demos.
Never try to finish anything.
We were treated to demo of several games including Star Mine on Windows, complete with sound, running in steam.
Over 30 people where there for the talk and there was question time as usual afterwards.
You can also read our interviews with Anthony and his assistant and daughter Sophia.
You can find out about ROUGOL's monthly meetings on their website