Back in the ’90s the italian version of Zzap! started offering some visibility to wannabe videogame programmers who wanted to proudly show their work.
At that time, Luca Balducci was developing a clone of ‘Street Fighter II’: it consisted of an incomplete but fully playable version, along with an intro and end sequence.
Compared to other ‘home made’ games reviewed by Zzap!, Bad Enemies was the result of an ambitious effort by a smart teenager and probably, with a little more work and some luck, it would have easily become a valid beat’em up. Here is the review
Even if brilliant, this idea suffered a defect: basically nobody had the chance to test what the editor reviewed!
But today, thanks to the internet, it can be done…
Here you are, get downloading!…
Luca Balducci speaks about his game 'Bad Enemies'...
"When the 8bit version for the Commodore 64 of 'Street Fighter II' was released, I found myself very disapponted... IK+ was a lot better compared to the porting of this Capcom coin-op!
At that time I already had been playing with the idea of learning some computer programming, so a few months later in the year 1992 my parents bought me a clone of the 1541 disk drive and a 'Capitan Miki II' cartridge. With the help of notes found here and there, and some other books and articles, I started studying assembly. While playing 'Street Fighter II' with my friends I had the idea of trying to put together something similar to that game, I thought that after all it could not have been worse than the US Gold one.
By the end of June 1993, I spent about a month planning the design of the game: I intentionally didn't include any special features in the fighting stage because all I was looking for was something easy and immediate to play, something that could offer at least more fun than 'Street Fighter II'. Also, I still had a lot of assembly to learn and that was another reason to make the game less complicated. I remember using this obscure assembly compiler that I randomly found, and starting coding some basic and machine language routines. Not the best way to put a game together but pretty practical in my eyes :)
I spent about two weeks working on a few main routines in order to gain some ability with the tools I had at hand. Then I began creating some graphic elements: I had some sprite editors to work with but preferred to draw a lot of them on paper as none of the editors had the overlay feature I was looking for. I also didn't know yet how to display a bitmap or high-res background, so I just placed some colored characters thinking that, afterwards, I would always have had time to improve the overall graphic quality.
Once these first elements where done, I started working on the most important routines of the game, such as the animations and the general graphic engine. The next step was to develop the artificial intelligence of the enemies... It took me forever to code something acceptable! The difficulty of the levels was set to 'dummy' at the beginning, up to 'terminator' for the highest ones, where the computer would have been able to attack the player in the most efficient way, according to the situation. Since I had written a lot of those algorithms on paper, I had no particular problems debugging the code. Due to my fondness for those Cinemaware games, I really enjoyed drawing those intro and end game pictures... but I wasn't too good at that, so I intentionally did some funny and ugly sketches with a program called Advanced OCP Art Studio.
I couldn't add any sound effects because at that time I didn't know how to code good music routines. Finally I added a bootloader, which wasn't particularly efficient with the file system, but it was extremely fast while loading. I had lots of friends testing this demo and having a lot of fun, especially in 2 players mode. Many of them admitted that they preferred 'Bad Enemies' to 'Street Fighter II', maybe because it was more fun to play.
Technically what I did consisted of a very basic game, but at least my friends and I enjoyed our time when playing it all together. That was enough satisfaction for me! Later on I decided to send a copy of the game to the italian edition of Zzap! since the magazine was interested in home made software. The editors Paolone and Jack were good enough to review it, and provided me with advice on how to improve it! Now that I think about it they really were too good to me.
Text by Roberto and Raffox from http://ready64.org