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An odd entry this time, covering something which I was actually involved on :-)

Tanx was to be an enhanced version of a game called Tanx written by David Ponting for Your 64 magazine as a type-in. The original game was a BASIC artilery duel clone which was a good little game for what it was… http://www.gamebase64.com/game.php?id=17440&d=18&h=0

Back in around 1996, Vinny Mainolfi was heavily into a great PD Amiga game called Tanx which was much more sophisticated than Mr Ponting’s 80’s effort, but Vinny found the type-in in Your 64 and thought it would be good to do an enhanced Hackersoft edition with plenty of Hackersoft humour included. Work was being done, but sadly not a great deal in the end up until the point that Vinny lost interest in the conversion and it started to gather dust.

In 2000, I picked up the game from Vinny with the hope of finishing it off and doing some enhancements myself. I had always wanted to see the Tanx game which Vinny spoke of many times in the likes of Commodore Scene fanzine and through mail contact. It wasn’t quite my plan to do a Hackersoft style set of enhancements, but to get something looking quite jazzed up on the same scale as the Amiga version. The update was to still be on a static screen, but with some nice multicolour and shaded graphics.

I started some initial graphics and score panels, which were looking ok as a starting point in Jon Well’s Multiscreen Construction Kit. Also knocked out a few sprites too. Richard Bayliss kindly produced some music for the game, as well as some sound effects.

My main trouble was going to be getting the MSCK graphics hooked into David’s code, though I was making some headway. I had Richard’s music and sound effects playing in the game and was in the early stages of relocating sprites and starting to plonk them in. However, at somepoint in 2000 I got caught up in college work and all my current C64 projects were cancelled (Including a glut of SEUCK games which have slipped out gradually in some shape or form on my website). I also felt that I wouldn’t do the game any justice apart from some graphical enhancements, and really it needed to be a Machine Code game to really impress. I was still trying to work out how I could still make the backgrounds generate randomly for each level with multicolour shading and looking good still. I had worked out the blocks I would have needed to create and all the pseudocode to produce the maps randomly, but they never got to be programmed or implemented in the end.

Now all that exists is a demo of the original game containing Richard’s music and sound effects. To load it, you must first load Richard’s music, then the latest Tanx file. The graphics are separate, but you can check these out from the screenshots and the original files with the zip image.

Check it out!… Case closed…

Contributions: Vinny Mainolfi, Richard Bayliss

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