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ApeCyberApe XMASCyber Ape was my first fully finished game, and even if it wasn't a great commercial success, it was great to finally get something to market and have something to show for all the hard work. The game engine was quite restrictive; only 14 colours available as one colour was a mask and one was for the 4096 colour copperlist effect in the background; and only about 250 graphics per level, so animations had only 6 frames rather than 8 or more for walkers. However, I had fun with cramming as much in as possible, designing all the graphics, laying out levels, and leaving clues in Egyptian Hieroglyphs!
Title Ancient
Title Screen
Hand drawn using Photodesk (lots of textures and spraybrushes), although the composition was layed out in ArtWorks (vector graphics). It lost something going from a 24bpp image to 256 colours, but this is from the original master tapes ;)
Ancient Level
I even enjoyed noodling around designing rocks. Is that very sad? Pity I couldn't have done a few extra for more variation. I think the heiroglyphs on the left are part of my (badly translated) name - the little dude on the end to denote that it's a name. I only learned the basic alphabet, but in Egypt I could read the names on certain cartouches (Cleopatra, Alexander and so on). The level was called "Ancient" as there were also South American influences in some levels, although I tried not to mix both styles.
Industrial Urban test
Industrial Level
This is the start of the game - the cybernetically enhanced super ape has just escaped from a maximum security animal testing lab. His weapon is a spinning banana, and I think he collects coins and frees bunnies along the way. Or something.
Urban Level test
Scary things hiding in the dark. Discarded shopping trolleys. Spikes?! Not quite your usual nighttime stroll in the city.
Ape test 1
Early graphics test
If you've checked out the "ones that got away" unmade games section of this website, you'll notice my obsession with shiny pipes has finally found an outlet here.


Darkwood was a strange game by Tom Cooper, AKA Berty (and now, Flossy). The graphics style was purposely skewed, the gameplay style similarly warped - a cross between an adventure game where you walked around 2D rooms, and a full 3D third person shooter - and funny dialogue - asking little girls if they want to see some puppies for instance. Probably Berty's best game - well, before he went off and got a job with Pysgnosis/Sony. Anyway, he didn't have time to finish the programming and the graphics, so I got a few rooms to design. There was talk of a Special Edition on CD ROM, with actual speech spoken by voice actors rather than speech bubbles, and as I had access to the graphics compressor I started fiddling around with a few extra images, but nothing came of it.
Bedroom Pub
This was the first room I did, and so is much more linear and "normal" than the rest. I do play with light and shade a bit (the walls and around the candle); the window has a ripple effect (and a view that fits with the outside portion of the game); and there's plastic around the wizard's nightshirt (showing he doesn't do his own laundry :) ).
I made the bar a lot bigger by taking out a wall and putting in a pool table. Some of the bar "furniture" is based on the Brick from Northern Exposure, modified to fit in to the game's storyline and style. The moose is apparently one of the old barmaids, but there was an "accident".
Butchers Sportshop
Not that I'm a vegetarian or anything, but I had fun with the butchers - blood coloured walls, scared looking animals, shiny pointy things, and an old-school fly zapper in the corner.
Really getting in to my stride, with a lot of stylistic touches - shiny glass, shadows under the comedy weapons, jokes written in to the walls and so on.
Living room Witch tower texture
Living Room (unused)
This was an updated living room or hallway that would have been used in the special edition. More atmospheric than the original, but it could have done with some furniture. That would probably have been added later, so that collision detection worked. At least a hatstand and a picture?
Witch Tower Texture (unused)
The main character(s) would probably have stayed the same in the SE, but I started work on reskinning buildings, making the special effects a little bit more sparkly and so on.

James Pond / Thames Water Project

This was quite a high profile educational title, using the popular James Pond games character. There was a lot of work here - it was a sort of platform game that followed water right from a river, through processing, around the Thames Water ring main in London, down a local street and out of the taps in a house. This meant some natural stuff, a load of technical pipes, gauges and whatnot, a whole load of tourist attractions around London, some generic high street stuff like shops, and a whole supersized house. Plus I DTP'd the educational resource manual, including all the illustrations. I didn't get paid for this, I got a new computer out of it, the insurance replacement of which I still use today. I'm typing on it now, so I guess it's paid off more than money would have. This game was shipped to all schools in the London area as a PR thing for the new Thames Water ring main, but proved popular enough to get sold to other schools too.
Oak Poplar Fish Duck Cormorant
Various items taken from nature (oak, poplar, some kind of fish, shoveler, comorant) in a variety of scales. This is partly due to perspective; and partly because the game was low-res but some of these have been converted to high res and so are half the size.

Buck House Hilton MarbleArc Regents Sherlock
Wax Elephant
Various bits and pieces from around London. After the economy I learned in CyberApe, some of the buildings around London had a similar low tile count - Buckingham Palace, over three game screens in length, was made from around 36 unique 32x32 tiles. The Buckingham Palace thumbnail is linked - click on it to view the full version. You should also be able to see the Hilton, Marble Arch, some villas from the Regent's Park area(?), 221 Baker Street (which was an Abbey National Building Society, which is why Sherlock looks a bit confused), a train in the old InterCity livery (which was already out of date when the game was published), a waxworks, and an elephant that's escaped from the zoo!
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