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(The enchanted forest)


The enchanted forest
Can you spot the main character on this colorful screen?
When I started to create this game I was obviously playing "Get Dexter" (Crafton et Xunk) a lot, since the main character of this game bears a huge similarity to the Xunk character of that particular game.

This "enchanted forest" was supposed to become a vertical scrolling fantasy adventure game where you had to collect items and walk the individual levels all the way to the end, trying to overcome obstacles and avoid dangers. Besides the familiar looking main character I've also designed a number of enemies which I usually named using their main color, e.g. "the blue one", "the yellow one", ... just the rhinocerus was called "rhinocerus", because it looked like one.

I was particularly proud of the rhinocerus I drew, because I thought it was very well painted. Later I figured out that the rhinocerus may look okay when it was standing still, but as soon as it started to walk you saw the obvious flaws of that design. The rhinocerus didn't walk on the screen, it "moonwalked", i.e. its feet never left the ground. The rhino just slides forward instead of walking.

Moon behind trees
The Moon shines through the branches of a tree.
I also drew the background graphics. For the horizontal scrolling I even created a two way parallax scrolling with a fast moving foreground and a slower moving background image with a mountain and a moon. This was accomplished by creating a double buffer image in the invisible background where first the background image was painted over the image from the last frame and then the new foreground was painted over the background. I always thought looked really cool when the moon was peaking through the branches of the dead tree. While painting the graphics I took some inspiration not only from "Get Dexter" but also from the Sorcery games. Just look at the roof of the well!

The border around the screen and the various score boards were painted before the game starts using cursor characters. Since the Amstrad CPC wasn't able to draw multicolor cursor characters three characters in different colors were painted at the same location in order to create a multicolored border around the various fields and the playing area.

I ran into the first problems when I thought about how I can create a program that determines where platforms start and end and where the chracters of this game can walk and at what point they would fall off a platform. I thought I could somehow test that on the screen. I tried to look for bytes that were unique to the platforms. But soon I had to discover that this approach wouldn't work. I was running the risk that the characters in the game would start to walk on and in other elements of the game like in the roof of the well or in the branches of the tree.

Map editor
The map editor for the enchanted forest.
I thought about possibilities to do the detection of start and end points of platforms, etc. on the map in the memory, but the representation of the objects in the memory wasn't really standardized. I was able to put any number of elements in one spot in the memory and thus had unequal element-sizes in each position in the map.

Furthermore the background graphics I had created was way to colorful. If the character wasn't moving it was hard to distinguish between the background and the foreground graphics.

The green monster
The green monster
So facing all these problems that couldn't be solved easily I decided to try something else and abandoned this project. Also I thought that the main caracter looked too much like Xunk from "Get Dexter" and that I'll probably run into legal problems.

The blue monster
Animation frames of the blue monster.
The gray monster
The jumping gray monster


The moonwalking rhino
The "moonwalking" rhinocerus.
A red snake
A red snake is sliding over the ground

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last updated on Wednesday, January 2. 2003 by Odiesoft

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