Action Biker – The story so far….

I guess I’d better get up to date before doing much else on the dev blog.

AB was a Spectrum game I used to play all the time. It was a maze cum puzzle game that got me hooked from the moment I started playing it, despite it’s many and varied pitfalls and bug ridden problems. Yes, I’ll get it out the way right now, the C64 version (a completely different game, who’d odds it eh?) has a far greater following, yes, the game was near on impossible to complete, yes, of course there were better Speccy games out there, Christ, there were better AMSTRAD games out there, but I loved it. It’s still a firm favorite on the little DS if I feel a bit of retro emualted goodness is required.

So, that’s the original, what of the remake?

Well, firstly, let’s look at the actual coding of the game, that, surely, is what a dev blog is all about is it not?


I’ll be coding Action Biker in C and Allegro. Allegro, for those of you who don’t know, is a gaming library for C and C++ that takes all (or at least much) of the evil, nasty, yucky, low level talky to hardware type coding away from simple folk like me and hides it so that us thickies really just need to tell C what to do and Allegro does all the donkey work in the background.

For the record, AB is being written using freeware or GNU licensed software from top to bottom. I’ll be using:-

Code::Blocks – A C/C++ IDE to write the code
Allegro – A game development library
GIMP – A graphics manipulation package
Audacity – A sound editor

I’m sure there will be other bits and pieces bunged in, I’ll blog them when I work out what they are.


The idea of this remake isn’t just to do a vanilla remake. The original, no matter how fondly I remember it and no matter how much I still play it, was pants. I have already mentioned on this here blog and, in much more depth, on this here forum thread my plans to improve the game and, in many instances, take the game in new and interesting directions, but the game must still play like the original.

The development of the game will be broken down into manageable chunks. Though the list is bound to change and shift order throughout the development process, this is how I see it at the moment.

  • Play the game to death – DONE
  • Get the map – DONE
  • Make a very basic map for testing purposes – DONE
  • Build a test engine – DONE
  • Mock up some programmer graphics for the testing of – DONE
  • Make the engine work with the map data – DONE
  • Sort out collisions for the streets – DONE
  • Complete the map – DONE
  • Sort out collisions for the houses – DONE
  • Draw the house interiors (rough)
  • Code the house interior sections
  • Code the bike speed for turning / breaking / acceleration, etc.
  • Draw the bike upgrades
  • Code the bike upgrades
  • Get a useable HUD
  • Draw the underwater bike sprites
  • Work on the lake*
  • Code the ‘Skips’ and oil on the road
  • Code the dark area and make it passable
  • Code in petrol stations and the fuel indicator
  • Draw the other road traffic
  • Code the traffic AI
  • Place bike upgrades randomly on the map**
  • Create and stick in some audio
  • Code the end screens
  • Code the front menu

* The lake is a bit of a sticky point at the moment, I’m not too sure if I will keep it simple and just let the player ride freely across it or make the player keep to a grid system like the street.

** Bike upgrades will be placed in random houses over the whole map, some upgrades, however, will be places in certain sections of the map so that you actually have them before needing them!

This, by the way, is just for the remake part of the game. This is the first task and will determin how much further I go with the game.

That’s the plan, at least. I’ll start looking at problems and solutions soon, some I’ve found and overcome, some I know I’ll meet and some that I hope I’ll never see.

That’ll do for now though


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