News in briefBy Chris Williams. Published: 26th Jun 2004, 23:02:54 | Permalink | Printable
Games, new software, new URLsHere's a round up of mostly software news that's gradually built up recently.
AcornArcade continues to be the teacher's pet of the platform with the release of Hamsters and Wavelength, as part of their heroic bringing-back-Berty campaign.
The contrived storyline behind Hamsters sees you playing a psychotic yellow alien who must destroy all life from this planet with just a ridiculous sized mallet. This game looks easy, but it's not, as the control system requires some getting used to, as does the mad screen bouncing effect when you jump, or rather, hurl yourself across platforms. The yellow maniac's opponents appear to be no more than the cute cast of Animal Hospital, and are quickly turned into jam and wallpaper paint as you dispatch them one by one.
Here, kitty kitty
Terrified and equally disgusted by such unbelievable acts of relentless and mindless violence, we harassed the nearest RSPCA officer, but she was too busy playing Wavelength - Tom Cooper's space game that pits you against strange sci-fi nasties with the usual nose-bleed-techno soundtrack. Love it. Now, again, you can't rush into this game as it requires some practice to get the controls right and also grasping how the power up system works - good things come to those who wait, so don't grab every power up as soon as it appears. The advanced weapons are a sight to behold as you unleash indescribable waves of mayhem, give or take the capabilities of 2D sprite based RISC OS graphics in 1994.
There's a few issues with the games (certainly on this Adjust powered RiscPC), like missing iconbar icons, but certainly no show stopping problems.
Keep on building
Richard Windley, author of software development software RPM, has written from scratch a new application called Builder. Using suggestions and feedback from RPM, Builder is currently in an alpha release state, but certainly looks interesting. It features a Filer-like display for managing source code and resources, can create applications and modules, auto-generates
RMEnsure lines for modules in !Run files, and works with GCC, Acorn C/C++ and any other tools that you wish to provide support for. Builder is compatible with RISC OS 3.1 to 5, although it takes advantage of some Select features as Richard uses RISC OS 4.37.
"This release of Builder should be considered as an alpha release. I'm going on holiday and I swore I'd get something out before I went. I therefore know there are some rough edges and the documentation isn't great," explains Richard. "I am however using it to build itself quite happily as well as other applications and libraries. I hope people find it useful and I will be continuing development when I return. Suggestions are welcome."
In other news
APDL have created a CD of demos for you to try-before-you-buy, or you have them pick something for you at random. CJE are also running a software sale.
Jonathan Briggs' website has moved to a new address, although he doesn't expect to do any more printer driver development given the advent of Gimp-Print and UniPrint. Video player KinoAmp is up to version 0.32, and now includes "multiple audio codec support", which means it can use modules other than AMPlayer to provide sound playback. Photodesk users can grab this patch to add a numbered grid to the gamma and printer calibration windows. David Llewellyn-Jones has updated, bugfixed and made some his software 32bit compatible. Desktop font and drawfile rendering enhancer SpecialFX has also been bugfixed.
The multi-currency accounts app EnBank is up to version 3.01. Flowchart-ish drawer Graphite has also been updated and bugfixed. Dave Lambley's written an alternative driver for STD's PS2Mouse interface. And a round up article wouldn't be a round up article without mentioning updates to image cataloguer Thumbcat and image wizard Variations (now with added mailing list).
And finally, Dave Cooper's website that features backdrops created on RISC OS in Compo, has moved to a new address.
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