• Bruce

Vertical Shmup - Part 1 - Introduction

A couple of people have asked for some tutorials on creating a Vertical Shoot-em up with MPAGD, something along the lines of Imagine's classic, Arcadia.

This sounded like a good challenge....but one I might come to regret...but let's give it a go.

First, we need to be mindful of a few limitations of MPAGD for this type of game.

MPAGD has a command, LASER which will fire laser beams (basically a plot of pixels), think JETPAC, and collision between a laser beam and sprite can be detected with IF COLLISION BULLET.

Unfortunately LASER only accepts LEFT and RIGHT as arguments, so beams can only be fired horizontally.

Might not be useful for our game, as we'll be shooting upward. Therefore we are going to need to use sprites for our bullets...

Which leads us on to our next issue, MPAGD will, as standard, only allow 12 sprites on screen at any one time, We'll need to account for our bullets - this will inevitably impact the rate of fire for our player spaceship (and also for any enemies that drop bombs!

Aside from that, I think we've got all the other tools we'll need for a half decent vertical shmup.

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Hello, I'm Bruce and I write games for old 8bit computers using Jonathan Cauldwell's excellent Multi-Platform Arcade Games Designer (MPAGD)

I've written a few successful* games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and MSX platforms that have been (largely) well received with my most recent game - Twenty Four Hour Parsley People scoring a 10 out of 10 on Planeta Sinclair.

In my blog I am sharing lots of the code that I wrote for my games, in a way that you can use in your own games.   I've commented it so that you'll learn some of the techniques I use to create interesting new mechanics and help your games stand out from the pack.

MPAGD includes lots of standard scripts, they're great to get you started, but if you're new (or just rusty) when it comes to writing code, hopefully my tutorials will help you get started and  turn your imagination into awesome 8 bit games!

All my code is free to use and do with as you please, but if you find them useful please feel free to buy me a coffee ...or better still - buy or download my games :)

*successful is a very relative term in 8bit computer games