Category Archives: Action Biker code blog

Actionless Biker, including ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’

It’s as I feared. The popularity of Action biker has overwhelmed me, the constant cries of ‘More, more, more’ are just too much for this poor soul to take.

Yes, with the latest demo of Action Biker on offer for three and a half days* over at RetroRemakesand not a single download having taken place, I think we can re-assign Colin to the bin. This isn’t a defeatest attitude, it’s not me taking my ball away, it’s simply that there are so many better things I could be doing with my life than remaking a game that no one wants and that, it would appear, nobody apart from me ever enjoyed originally.

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Action Biker – The story so far….

I guess I’d better get up to date before doing much else on the dev blog.

AB was a Spectrum game I used to play all the time. It was a maze cum puzzle game that got me hooked from the moment I started playing it, despite it’s many and varied pitfalls and bug ridden problems. Yes, I’ll get it out the way right now, the C64 version (a completely different game, who’d odds it eh?) has a far greater following, yes, the game was near on impossible to complete, yes, of course there were better Speccy games out there, Christ, there were better AMSTRAD games out there, but I loved it. It’s still a firm favorite on the little DS if I feel a bit of retro emualted goodness is required.

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Action Biker – Intro

And so it begins…..

The very first screeny. What a clever chap I am eh?

The very first screeny. What a clever chap I am eh?

Yes, the time has, indeed, come once again to pick up mine fingers and code.

So why Action Biker? Because, as is so often the case, I want to. Yes, I’ll admit, it wasn’t the greatest game in the world. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it was a pretty dire game, possibly even terrible. Thing is, it’s only really in hindsight, and with the use of emulators, that I now realise this. Action Biker was, as it goes, one of the most played games on my little rubber keyed friend. It was up there with Elite, Spellbound and Wriggler. I used to love it.

Turns out it was badly put together tripe that was almost impossible to complete, even with pokes. And this, you see, is the reason for my return. I want Action Biker to be loved like I loved it, I want it to be remembered for the quirky fun elements that were there, not for the fact that it would more often than not put items needed to complete puzzles PAST the puzzle itself, nor the fact that in what was, at it’s very core, a game based on the principle of elapsed time, you would go and have tea at your mate’s house thus wasting hours of precious game time. Don’t even get me started about the location of the damn petrol stations!

So, anyway, I’ve started work on this in earnest this week. The origins of the remake, hovever, go waaaaaaaaay back.

Action Biker was the first game I started after the Underlord beta was released. It was just a little project while I sorted out some graphics for what should have been, but never turned out to be, an Underlord update. Underlord is still in beta, don’t expect that to change any time soon. But I started work on the Biker concept in later July ’08 with a re-write of Meditator, the map utility I’d written for Underlord. I reused code where I could but most of it was new. Once I’d got a working map editor I started ripping graphics and bulding me a map. That was when I stopped development. Around mid August I just lost interest. It happens occasionally, you know, I just couldn’t be bothered to finish the map.

Roll forward a few months, past the Wild Bunch WIP (I’ll get on with that one day), past the Cyberun WIP (ditto), past the two Xmas games I started but didn’t finish…. You get the picture, I’m sure. Mid March I stumble on the Action Biker map. How easy would that be to get scrolling? Shouldn’t take too long I’m sure……..

Mid March turned into early April and still no progress. I thought about coding a lot, I really did. I got excited about the prospect. Ultimatly I couldn’t be bothered.

Then I started working nights. Funny how it goes isn’t it, I go to work at 3 in the afternoon and come home at 10, straight to bed after tea and all of a sudden my mornings become my evenings. There’s nothing on the telly, there’s no-one around, what should I do?

Code, dear fellow, code.

So I have decided to write a code blog, for my reference more than anyone elses, but if anyone else gets anything out of it, even if it’s just a laugh at my appauling coding, then I’ll be a happy camper.

If you are really interested, I’ll also be keeping Retroremakes.com up to date with releases, screen shots and other, more useless, junk. If you do want to comment please feel free to do so either here or on my RR thread.

Wish me luck….