Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Jack The Nipper! Games Britannia 2014

As my friends and followers online know I'm a huge fan of old retro video games, especially stuff made in the 80s by Gremlin Graphics of Sheffield.

Jack the nipper cartoony mock-up screen I made for the Games Britannia 2014 schools challenge competition. Please visit Games Britannia Schools Competition 2014

For the past couple of years I've been involved with the Games Britannia game jams which has given me a fantastic opportunity to mingle with my heroes of the 8 bit era of British gaming who inspired me to get into working in gamedev. The thing I loved most about Gremlin Graphics games in particular were the brilliant cartoon characters such as Monty Mole, Zool, Potty Pigeon, Bounder etc. Amongst my favourite games of the time was Jack The Nipper, who was pretty much like the Beano character Sweeny Toddler and got into all kinds of mischief to fill up his "naughtyometer" whilst trying to avoid getting a spanking! (this was the 80s!)

Back in the late 90s, early 2000s when it looked like these games were never going to reappear from the archives I was involved with some groups of Retro Remakers. We we bedroom programmers, musicians and artists who worked together to try to recreate our favourite old games from scratch to run on modern PCs often playing around with the graphics but trying to match the original gameplay that we loved so much.

In 2003  I had a go at making a Jack The Nipper demo, I was using software called The Games Factory by Clickteam, which instead of using programming had an event editor and a drag and drop level builder. Until recently the files were stuck on a hard drive as unfortunately TGF wouldn't open the files in Windows 7. Luckily Multimedia Fusion was recently on sale in the Humble Bundle and I was able to get a copy of that to restore the files and re-compile the demo.

Here's the demo, It's only 1 screen as the movement in Jack The Nipper allows you to walk around the floor, jump up the shelves and grab the pea shooter to fire at the baddies. Although it doesn't sound much, to a non-programmer this was quite a challenge to get working.

I hope you enjoy it! Game Demo Exe file

My old 2003 demo screens.
Space = Start Game
Arrows = Move
Shift = Jump
Ctrl = Fire
1 or 2 = put object in pocket
ESC = QUIT

Original game is copyright Gremlin Graphics, this was made for educational purposes and must not be sold in any form.

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