Tuesday, October 30, 2018

MANIC MINER



We're going back to 1983

It gives me the greatest of pleasure to present Manic Miner for the Atari ST!!! This has been InDev by my mate Peter Jørgensen throughout the year. It's a brand-new remake with redesigned graphics and incredibly funky music (sound effects are yet to be completed). Each, and every one, of the twenty screens is included but there will also be a few surprising extras which I'm excited about. However, we are wickedly keeping these under wraps for the time being!

Those who have played the original game on their old 8-bit computers like ZX Spectrum or MSX will instantly be at home with this new Atari ST platformer. The basic game control mechanics and physics are perfectly replicated. This means it feels just like it should with authentic gameplay that hasn't been altered (or spoilt, like we saw with Chuckie Egg II).

Please note, this is still a WIP as there are a few niggles to be ironed out. Each level faithfully follows the same playable mechanics of the original but, don't for a second think this means we have a boring ripoff. Willy's adventure has received a cool makeover with beautiful YMT audio and each screen has been designed with painstaking accuracy.

Peter has kept the keys familiar and included extra keys for a few additional features...
  • During the title intro, press 1, 2, 3 to change the music.
  • Pressing R will display a CPU usage raster for the geeks.
  • In-game, use the cursor keys to walk and he jumps by slapping the spacebar.
  • You can quit and kill poor Willy anytime by hitting the K key.
  • Need a wee? Just pause the game by hitting the P key.
  • Crazy fools who don't love the gorgeous thumping tunes can hit M to mute.

Without cheating, I have reached level 14 - Skylab Landing Bay. However, I have never beaten this terrible screen in 40 years - either on my ZX Spectrum or Atari ST. It's a killer room that blows my mind. Let me know how you do!

Okay, keeping this project quiet from everyone has been tough - but months of beta testing have been an absolute joy. It's impressive how its development has progressed into a fully playable game. The final version is near completion - so you know where to come when it's ready. Genuinely, this is one of the most exciting Atari ST games released in recent years.

I'd like to take a moment to thank Peter for creating this Atari ST version of Manic Miner. It originally started as a joke, a playful teaser, but it wasn't long before he began programming a playable demo. From there, we created and tested what was nothing less than a crisp clone of the original - with spanky new aesthetics. To think that we now have a (near) complete version of Manic Miner is mindblowing. So, I'd like to thank Peter for all his hard work and kindness. This is something I'll always appreciate beyond words.

Okay, the latest version is now available to download via the Demozoo website. Go on, grab it now!!



A few words by Peter...

I wrote Manic Miner because I have a friend that was very sad that this platformer didn’t exist for the ST. So I thought that I would make him happy and began drawing the title picture which soon lead me onto designing the intro screen - but I only wanted to make a prant screenshot for April 1st. Sadly, I did not finish in time. But then the idea started to continue on with the programming to see what happens. However, I’ve not made a game in decades because life always got in the way but I wanted to do this remake just to stop my friend from crying.
So you could say that this is a Manic Miner AtariCrypt Edition! (I love that -Steve)

My goal was to make the gameplay feel as close to the original as I could but still take advanced of the Atari ST's hardware. Thus, this is a remake rather than a conversion because I have not used a single piece of the original code. I have spent many hours analysing each level, and I’ve used the original sprites and recoloured them but some needed minor changes to work. The map graphics were changed in a big way, to what I think was the idea was behind each level. I played the MSX version so I could see how the game acts and I also think this is close to the Speccy original.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results and I hope people enjoy playing Manic Miner :-)


Atari ST Music and Game Map





The famous menu screen with its funky music. It's also (kinda) used in the final level.


The first room that everyone knows so well and brilliantly reconstructed for the ST!


A confusing level which is actually easier than you think.


Perhaps my favourite level in the entire game. And I've no idea why!


This is the erm, I forget... Oh yes, the 16th level :o)


You cannot tell, but what Peter did with this final screen is legendary!!


This is the level to prove how authentic the game is. Faithfully reconstructed!!


An iconic room this one and so much fun without being overly difficult.


He's back and dying to be slaughtered once again!


I could never complete this screen as a kid but it is doable!

Ugh, what is this??? It's a map of our Atari ST game which you can now download :)

3 comments:

  1. Love this news! I am HUGE fan of MM & JSW so this came as a very nice surprice! long for the final game then! :D

    ReplyDelete

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