AMCOG releases tool for writing games

For when playing just isn’t enough.

In the period leading up to the recent Wakefield Show, Tony Bartram of AMCOG Games was working on a system to aid those developing RISC OS games. The fruit of that labour is the AMCOG Development Kit, which was first sold on CD at the show, and is now available to buy from !Store for a mere £14.99.

The driving principle behind the kit is to make writing games on RISC OS much simpler, and it includes a core library providing functions in BBC BASIC – the language Tony uses himself for game programming – for sprite plotting, error handling, screen transitions, MP3 playback and much more.

There is also a ’tile’ library that provides a number of functions to support tile-based games, those where the core playing area is made up of tiles that are moved (or which move) around as play progresses – games such as Repton, for example, are tile-based.

A further library provides sound functions and related to this RDSP, the virtual sound chip Tony is developing, is included in the kit, along with other resources such as a range of example game sprites, a number of MP3 music tracks, and several sound samples that can be used for sound effects.

Two full games are also included as examples:

  • Mutant Penguin is a game in which you control a penguin, guiding him around the screen and pushing ice blocks to kill slug-like spods. The game is available separately as a free download from !Store – but the game code in that version is crunched, since it includes the Development Kit libraries; the version included with the kit, however, is not.
  • Cyborg is a game in which you guide a Cyborg treasure hunter through a series of levels in search of treasure, all the while avoiding hostile robots and – if you spend too long in any one room – a holographic energy field. A more complex game, Cyborg is also available separately, but not for free.

The kit is compatible with RISC OS 4 when running on VirtualAcorn-based systems, and RISC OS 5 running on RPCEmu and all hardware platforms from the IyonixPC onwards.

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