Sunday, 24 April 2016

Update on website

There has been an update on the website.  Pop over to for the details. hint: there's something to download.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

DCR 1.1 Released

Deep Core Raider version 1.1 is now available.

This small update fixes two bugs that, in some cases, allowed you to fly though walls. It also fixes the loader and has a few small graphics updates.

You can grab it from my new website

Remember the new website will be the place to get all updates. This blog will become an archive for historic links.

Thanks to the folks over at World Of Spectrum for help and suggestions.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

It's All New

Announcing the launch of my brand new website and my new game, Deep Core Raider. A lot of effort has gone into both projects so I hope you enjoy them both.

I will keep updating this blog, but gradually moving over to the website. There's no point in duplicating work!

There are many sites and forums that link to this blog, so I can't remove all content, but it will not be expanded with new features. That will all be on the new site now.

Visit my new site

Friday, 15 April 2016

Update #3

Not long to go before Virgin Media close their hosting servers and all links on this blog stop working! Yes it's a nightmare, and I have been struggling over the last two weeks with something that should have only taken two days!

I'll spare you the details, but at the moment I have now completed the setup of the new hosting and transferred all the files across. I have swapped out all links to images and all game files. I have also changed the links to the magazines and type-in games.

In essence the things that will continue to work are the games, type-ins and magazines. As for the rest of it, you'll have to wait a bit.

My brand new website will soon be live and all content on this blog will be removed or at least have pointers to the new location.

The future of the blog remains uncertain. If I have a dedicated website, then why keep the blog? The only reason I can think of is to maintain historic links.

Keep wathcing...

Reminder: No video show this month! I'm taking a month off.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Series DVDs Now Available

Finally, after what has seemed like an age, Series Two DVDs are now available to buy.

They have been professionally mastered, with high quality inlays and fully printed discs. This was undertaken by a specialist company, so these are not hand made things!

Series Two is a triple disc set containing all ten episodes of the series, plus over 25 minutes of bonus material.

Series One is currently out of stock, but will be back in shortly.

More details, images and buying options can be found on the DVD page (see top right for link).

NOTE: I can only post to UK addresses.

If you would prefer to buy series one and two together, let me know and I can put up a special combined price once the sets are back in stock.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Spectrum Show Ep50

Welcome to episode 50 of The Spectrum Show.

It's a special anniversary episode with a real mixed bag of things for you to enjoy.

In this episode we take a look back over the last three years.

I review the Spectrum 128 and two 128k games Midnight Resistance and Daily Thompson's Olympic Challenge.

I revisit Type-In corner and bring you unseen games.

And keep watching at the end for an anniversary treat :-)

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Little Changes

And there I was thinking Virgin had been generous in giving free hosting after they shut down their servers!! Doh!!

It seems that not only is the offer for a 1 year period, after which it becomes sixty quid, but you are limited to having just FIVE pages on your new shiny website! FIVE!

So that rules out moving all the content over.

My next option was to check out some of my hosting suppliers I have used in the past. Customising the options (no email, no database 3gb storage) I managed to grab some hosting for 24 quid a year. Not bad really, and this also gives me the option to expand later should I want to, and add a full website etc..

Now I am waiting for things to be registered / set up and then I can move all the content across and update this blog to point to the new location.

With a bit of luck, no one will notice the swap over... phew!

Big Changes

I have just been made aware that my Virgin webspace, along with everyone else with a Virgin account, is to be shut down on 28th April.

Although not used for displaying content, I do use it to store the images, magazines, games and other material used in this blog.

Virgin have offered customers a 1 year free subscription with GoDaddy to provide hosting etc, but now I have to make a big decision. Do I cease this blog and move all content to a new website or just use the hosting as I do now to hold data?

The offer ends after a year and from the on it's sixty quid a year. For that amount I may as well use the full service and create a website, otherwise I will not be getting the benefit. One thing is definite though, come 28th April, some things may stop working on this blog until I get them moved across to the new hosting (or I find an alternative store).

As I have only just found out about this, I will have to do some digging about and see what I can find. More news as it happens!!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

General Update

This is a general update to the many things I have been doing, or trying to do, for the last 4-6 weeks.

Not only have I been working on the next episode of The Spectrum Show (Episode 50 by the way!) but I have been planning the next series. Looking at what features I can do, what hardware I can play with, replying to offers of help, some of which have been great and will definitely be in the shows, and playing a few games as well.

My new game Deep Core Raider has taken a bit of a back seat, but will be complete and launched soon. I am deciding whether to add a new element to the game, which will add an extra twist, or leave it as it is. Adding the extra element would mean changing each screen though and would obviously take time.

The next issue of the magazine is also under way with guest reviews and some nice features.

The big news, and the thing that has taken most of my time, is the imminent (fingers crossed) release of series two DVD sets. Series 1 has been available for a while, although not extensively advertised because of the work involved.

Series 1 had professionally printed covers and disc labels, but I had to then burn the content and put the sets together, add the labels and check they were working, which was a real pain. For series two however, I decided to let a duplication company do all the work, with me just supplying them with the artwork and master discs. This is obviously a bit more expensive, but I think I can keep the price low enough to make them attractive.

The initial run will be 20 sets only, and if anyone wants to reserve one, drop me a line. I am trying to hold off with details etc, because until I actually have them in my hand, I don’t know what the quality will be like. If they are as expected, I will open them up for buyers and start to look at series three for a similar release. I will also look at a re-run of series one using the same company.

If things do not go to plan, then I will have to consider my next move.

Now it’s back to writing reviews….

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Spectrum Show Ep 49

Welcome to episode 49 of The Spectrum Show.

In this episode we take a trip through the news from January 1987.

I look at the Cheetah Sound Sampler.

I review Total Recall, Transmuter and The Hobbit 128.

The development diary ends with the completion of the game and Geoff brings us another hidden gem.

I finish with some serious software.

The final version of Berzerk can be downloaded from the authors website:

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Spectrum Show Magazine 10

Welcome to the new issue of The Spectrum Show Magazine.

In this packed issue we look at MIA games and see how to load digital downloads into real hardware using various methods.

There are game reviews and items not found in the video show.

I am accepting reviews or features for the next issue, so get typing.

You can download issue ten from the magazine page (see top right).

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Spectrum Show EP48

Welcome to episode 48 of The Spectrum Show.

In this episode we take a trip through the news from December 1986.
I look at and listen to some B-Side content.
I review Pssst, Lightforce and Wunderchars.
The development diary continues and Geoff brings us another hidden gems.
I finish with some serious software.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

DCR - Update

DCR (Deep Core Raider) update..

Again time is against me, but I did find time to go through planet 1 and tweak the graphics and level design to make it much more playable.

I also had a quick glance back through the file history to see where it all started, and to my surprise the first saved file is dated 26th October 2014. This version though is far removed from the game in front of me. It is an ideal candidate for a 'making of' feature.

With level 1 complete, my attention will be on the rest of the levels, but as the next episode of The Spectrum Show is looming, my time is limited. Once the show is published, I will try to give this game some time so I can at last release it.

More news as it happens...

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Deep Core Raider

I haven’t had much time to test the recently found game due to work and personal stuff. From what I have seen so far though, it may not be 95% complete as first thought, but probably around 80%. That’s still not bad.

The control system is fully working, with a nice gravity effect and a rocket flame. The collisions with enemy missiles and lasers works, but a few of the moving aliens don’t kill the player yet. That should not be too difficult to add though.

The scoring, planet count and lives seems to be in tact but the fuel limit check is not yet there, and there is something decidedly odd with the fuel consumption! I suspect the same variable is being used for something else, somewhere deep in the code.

There are five planets consisting of a total of 37 screens plus a few message screens, but some require a little bit of work, as only the basic cave system walls are in place with little or no added scenery. Each planet has a different surface, moving from simple green lines to a sci-fi like city complex.

I am reluctant to post screenshots yet, as I want to revisit every screen and decide whether it needs a bit more work.

The one thing I can say, is that it now has a name, as you probably noticed, Deep Core Raider.

More updates when time allows.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

New / Old Game

During a trawl through my old Spectrum games folders, I have located what appears to be a 95% complete Speccy game that never got released.

I think, judging by the date stamps and the design of the game, and checking back through the WOS forums, I decided to shelve the game because someone else released something very similar. 

Having had a few plays, the game stands up quite well, so I will have to spend some time checking everything and finding out what was left to do. There is certainly some debug stuff there (like 99 lives) and some disabled collision detection, but all things considered it looks pretty much complete.

It's a kind of Lunar Lander game mixed with Thrust.. and the game contains five planets to explore... 

I will have to come up with name and some kind of story, and of course build the loader, but the loading screen is complete.

More details as I make progress.

One screen of planet 1:

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