Bruce Perry's Bright Page Brimming with Positively Barmy Projects and Bland Prose

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Screen shot!

Sheep

Sheep was my entry into SheepHack - er - SpeedHack 2001. (The SpeedHack 2001 site is no longer up, but you can view it on archive.org.) The SpeedHack is a three-day competition in which the entrants attempt to write games adhering to a set of rules announced at the start of the competition. The Rule-O-Matic, a computer program for selecting from a set of rules suggested by its operator, would have had everyone doing puzzle games featuring donkeys. Anticipating the widespread angst this rule would cause, SpeedHack organiser Arron Shutt came up with an alternative rule: those of us who didn't want to do puzzle games were permitted to write games in the style of Jeff "Yak" Minter (still featuring donkeys, but that's a given for a game in Yak's style, right?).

Before the SpeedHack started (and before the rules were announced), I came up with a few ideas for games I could do, rules permitting. One of these was a reproduction of an old QB+ASM game of mine called Krash, which was effectively Destruction Derby with the graphics and physics of Mario Kart for the SNES. When the rules were published, I allowed this idea to evolve to meet the requirements: the arena became a surreal green grid whizzing through a blue-hued star-filled space and the cars became bubbles containing various large animals.

The aim of the game is to float around on the grid popping as many bubbles as you can to gain points. If you fall off the grid, you lose 1000 points. After Sheep Time, the first player to pop a sheep gains 1000 points and the game ends - but the winner is whoever has the highest score. Only the winner gets inserted into the high score table. In the case of a tie, both or all winners are inserted.

In the single player game, simply pop a sheep to gain 1000 points and end the game. You will appear in the high score table, provided you qualify.

Features:

  • 1-4 players
  • Full menu system
  • Options saved on exit
  • Different levels, and instructions on how to create your own (without changing the source code!)
  • High score tables, one for each level (the rules required a high score table)
  • Scoring system scaled to compensate for the duration of the game
  • Particle engine #1 to handle bubbles and players bouncing around
  • Particle engine #2 for bubbles popping and animals exploding
  • Particle engine #3 for the starfield - creates the illusion that the level is spinning out of control relative to the stars
    (You might have guessed by now that the rules asked for a particle engine!)
  • Nice ending sequence with message in plain English explaining who popped the sheep and who won
  • Default high score table shows a completely irrelevant spoof advert (the final requirement)

There are three files available for download. Everyone needs the "Source code and data" download. Once you've got this, you can either compile it yourself or you can download one of the executables. The Windows executable is packaged with a suitable Allegro DLL (it was compiled rather a long time ago); the DOS executable is stand-alone so it isn't zipped. Please note that the contact details in the main download are out of date; refer to this page for up-to-date contact details.

Remember that the SpeedHack is what its name suggests: an attempt to hack a game together in three days flat. Please bear this in mind before you judge Sheep too harshly!

Source code and data (232 kB) · Windows executable (291 kB) · DOS executable (230 kB) · SpeedHack 2001 Web Site (archived)

Please visit this site for more sheep-related games!