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8bitrocket Retro Blaster

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Blast through 35 levels of pixelated, retroblasting goodness! Keep shooting, buy extra weapons, and prepare to fight the ultimate evil. Game design, game engine, game programming, audio, and music by Jeff Fulton. Art direction, character designer,and illustration by Marc Manalli. Additional programming by Steve Fulton.

Here is the our story about making the game from our website (http://www.8bitrocket.co m)

The Asteroids Evolution to Retro Blaster
By Jeff Fulton

My first video game true love was Asteroids. I think the game must have satisfied some internal, mental need to keep things cleaned up. The Sisyphusian nature of this electronic task was enough to make me pour quarter after quarter into the machine in an attempt to just earn one extra ship at 10,000 points. I was never very good at the game, but I would always have a go at the machine if I found it in an arcade, laundromat, grocery store, or liquor store. Now-a-days we probably would have been put in a youth home for just stepping into a liquor store at age 10. Back then, the local liquor store was the hub of teen and pre-teen activity. We weren't there for the alcohol (I guess some kids must have been, but we weren't). It was our local carnival with games, candy, soda, adventure.

Anyway, after Asteroids, I poured quarters into Asteroids Deluxe, Space Duel, and to some extent Sinistar and Blasteroids. I remember going to a Savon Drug store and purchasing Asteroids for the 2600 and playing it non-stop for weeks on end. I also had a version for the Atari 800. It was similar to the 2600 version but with slightly better sounds, visuals and game play. Asteroids for the Atari 7800 was an absolutely awesome version that few have played. Probably my favorite classic version was a game called Megaroids. It a demo game that came with Megamax C for the Atari ST.

I have wanted to make an Asteroids game of own every since I borrowed graph paper from my dad in 1979 and started to plot out the worlds of wonder in my 9 year old head. My first attempt was on the Atari 800 in Basic and it was a complete failure. The lack of suitable math skills for object rotation and vectors left me with a pretty putrid piece of pre-novice game programming. I left Asteroids type games behind and created puzzle and classic board games for years until STOS on the Atari ST enabled me to think about trying my hand at action games once again.

After many false starts with a number of programming languages (Java, Dark basic, Game Creator, Game Maker, C++), I finally decided to throw the gauntlet at Flash and see with I could come up with. With help from books By Jobe Makar, and other game programming masters, the first game I came up with was a semi-polished version called Zeno Fighter. It used my brother Steve's Particle engine for explosions, and I copied the Asteroids "Jaws" music straight from the MAME version of the game. I was attempting to do CIRCLE math collision detection on the blobs (rocks), but the shots sometimes went through the edges ofthe rocks.

I moved from this version to a more ambitious version called Pixel War. In this game I threw out all of the Asteroids vector graphics and decided to create pixel art for all of the game elements. I also wanted many more things on the screen to shoot at, weapon upgrades, and other enhancements. I created new objects to handle basic sprite properties, depth mangers and clean up routines, in game text display classes, and more. All of this code and animation started to slow the game down. Because of this, I dropped development of this game and started some basic animated sprite reel bitmap caching routines. The basic idea behind this was to cache every frame of animation for a sprite in a bitmap object and flip through them like cell animation in an interval. The interval is controlled by the game loop and this gives the programmer great control over the display of each individual frame of animation for an object.

Retro Blaster is the game that sprouted from this.

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I don't even remember playing the original Asteroid game that much. That being said, this is a great game because it truly gives you justice on what you can control. I've always loved the notion of being able to move to another side of the screen when you go out of frame. Everything is really unique in this. I liked the different kinds of weapons and different kinds of enemies. At least you put a lot of nice detail into this game that didn't get that popular.

Of course, I'm the guy who praises underappreciated works. While not a masterpiece, still very good. The sounds and everything else sync up pretty well. The use of sprites and colors was nice. It seemed like you had a lot of room to move around with how you went from one screen to another.

The GREATEST Asteroid shooter of all time!

This is absolutely beautiful to look at it and wildly fun to play! The 35 levels are all really different and challenging. The upgrades are a nice touch that give it -just- enough new school feel to keep it in the 21 century. (there are waaaay too many games like this that don't even have a healthbar)

old school i like it

controls could use a little tweaking though do that and youll get the tenth star lol

Very nice, underlooked

A great clone of Space Wars that's quite underlooked


i luv this game, but it would b a 10 if it werent for the controls. u need to add a brake so u can not juts fly off and hit something.

Credits & Info

4.78 / 5.00

Sep 12, 2007
11:55 PM EDT