Archive for the ‘SIM’ Category

History Lesson 1 – SIM

May 7, 2009

So then, it’s about time I got some of my games back on’t interweb.

Using this as a ploy to kickstart my blogging habbit once more, I have decided to bung up a brief history of my games to date and also to keep a record of my current project. More of that later. First, however, a brief history of SIM.


SIM is the first game I can ever really remember wanting to play over and over again. I had a VIC 20 at the time but remember joining the computer club at school just so I had access to a BBC B so I could play.

SIM is basically a collect and avoid maze game spread over 50 or so screens. It involved solving puzzles, navigating invisible mazes and outwitting alien creatures, all so you could collect the 10 Simarals to drop into a well on one of the screens.

The game was written by Joshua Portway way back in 198* or so. It was released on the BBC and Electron platforms and, though it apparently sold by the shed load, I’ve not met anyone other than my computer club buddies who has ever played it.

Around early 2007 I started frequenting a shady side of the internet known only as Retro Remakes. Being facinated with 8 bit gaming as I was (am?) I began downloading remade versions of classic Speccy and C64 games but could never find any of the games I actually wanted. SIM, obviously, was right at the top of my list. I’d managed to grab an emulated version but it wasn’t cutting the mustard, oh no siree no. What then, you may ask, was a young man to do? There was only really one option left. I remade the game myself.

I started work on SIM in Feb 2007. I decided to use Blitz Basic, a new language to me, to code the game and rip and tidy the graphics and sounds from the original game. Around May 2007, after 3 months of almost constant coding, I had myself a game.

I’m not gonna go into the technichal side of the coding, partly because, as a language, Blitz is so easy it would be insulting to those trying to learn it, partly because I shoe-horned so much bad coding in to get it working that I struggle to follow the code, but mainly because, on reviewing the code, I really don’t understand what most of it does. I coded Eric in Blitz, it took me just shy of 2 months and then abandoned the language for┬áthe everso slightly more┬áchallenging C & Allegro combination.

SIM still remains my most complete game and, though the others are playable and completeable, SIM is the only one I am satisfied with the graphics on (they were never meant to be good, just useable) and is the only one to have ANY audio.

There are a few bugs in SIM, unfortunatly I doubt these will ever get fixed, I really can’t be bothered to re-install BB, this is a shame, but there you go!

The game can be gotten from the ‘Stairway To Hell’ clones section or you can simply get it here