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News Archive - August 2001
  Project Status
26 Aug 01

Entries in database: 13980 (+262)
Missing: 38 (-1)
Not 100% working: 77 (-1)

What needs to be done before gamebase is released? Visit us next week for a list of TO DO tasks for the main Gamebase64 program, the other programs associated with Gamebase, the Database, and the new Website...

  GamebaseZX V0.3b released!
26 Aug 01

Yes, Neil English was hard at work in the few past days, (isn't he always?) and the fruits of his efforts can now be sheared from!

The new beta features: Multiple ROM adding, Update to the game types (more choices), Game adding without the need of a ROM, ROM sorting, AY Music attachment, ROM / Music / Screenshot paths (Not attached to selected files any more), Add / Remove of AY Music players, Updates to the Screenshot views, as well as other general updates and small bug fixes...

  ZZAP!64's issue 107 in the making!
26 Aug 01

Only 7 years late, in PDF format, with Gordon Houghton returning as Editor! You can learn more, and offer to contribute, by visiting the ZZAP! RRAP discusion board at Meanwhile, pls drop Gordon a mail with your personal Top10 of all time greatest C64 games, as he needs to compile a list for mag...

  Commodore Format Revisited!
26 Aug 01

Peter James Holl is hot on scanning all Commodore Format issues to fill in another C64 mag spot in the web. He already has placed online issues 1 & 17, and working hard on getting the others as well -- I personally am more interested in the issues of 1994-95, as C.Format was the only C64 magazine during that era, witnessing the final days of the C64 as a commercial machine. Peter is still missing CF issues 2-6, 8-12, 14-16, and 57-61, so if you have them (especially the last ones ;) and are willing to help him in some way, get in contact!

Now, someone to do the same with Commodore User, Personal Computer Games, and the pre-1985 Computer & Video Games, please?

  Game of the Week - Super Pipeline II
26 Aug 01

"Brilliant sequel to the popular Taskset game. 16 new pipes, two helpmates."

Two new htmlized reviews from the UK Zzap!64 C64 computer games' magazine have been added to our Game of the Week section.

  Game of the Week - Star League Baseball
26 Aug 01

Former IBM marketing executive Nick Bessey has seen the light and joined a company which makes REAL computers, Commodore. He's been appointed as General Manager of Commodore UK who describe him as 'an outstanding manager who can fulfill our expectations' -- welcome on board, Nick.

ZZAP!64, N.E.W.S.f.l.a.s.h, June 1985

  Rare Games Corner Updated
26 Aug 01

Games Designers Workshop's Road to Moscow is in there, as requested in our forum...

  GB64 V2.0 Sneak Preview Updated
19 Aug 01

. . . .
Gamebase64 v2.0 is now nearing completion, so there's a new information page, complete with numerous screenshots, explaining in detail what you should expect from the new version. It is divided in sections about the new interface, new custom view engine, improved game support, improved SID support, the massively improved emulator support (see below!), and all other improvements and features. It is available from within the Gamebase64 page, so go ahead and visit!

  Announcing . . . GEMUS!
19 Aug 01

C64 Emulators on the PC are forever changing. New versions are released with different command line parameters and settings, even entirely new emulators are released from time to time. This makes it very difficult for an emulator frontend like Gamebase64 to continue to fully support these emulators without constantly releasing newer versions as the emulator scene changes.

Gamebase64 attempts to tackle this problem of ever-changing emulators by introducing a simple yet effective scripting language which will allow the continued support of existing emulators and new emulators with the minimum of fuss. The flexibility of having a scripting language to run emulators also means that users can tailor the scripts to run the emulators exactly the way they want to.

The main idea of the GEMUS (Gamebase EMUlator Script) language is to be able to force an emulator to run in a specific way, depending on the type of game being run, and what information is available for that game. For example, this makes it possible to easily set an emulator's joystick control settings or drive loading mode depending on what fields are set in the Gamebase64 database for that game.

Interested? You can read a lot more on the subject in an excerpt from the official v2.0 documentation we have put online for the first time. It is available from within the GBV2 Sneak Preview page (which is available from within the Gamebase64 page :)
  Database Information Page Updated
19 Aug 01

What is The Gamebase Collection of Information?
What is our philosophy in assembling this Collection?
What database fields constitute the Collection?
What will the gamebase CD be like (cor!)?
What color is James' underwear on Sundays?

These and more questions are answered in the updated Database page...

  Game of the Week - M.U.L.E.
19 Aug 01

"One of the most addictive trading games ever -- and up to FOUR people can play"

Continuing the ZZAP!64 Issue 2 htmlizing, after last week's Theatre Europe and On-Court Tennis, we proceed to the next two... (I sure hope you are reading these <grin>)

  Game of the Week - Grog's Revenge
19 Aug 01

Oy, leave our machine alone!
At time of writing, something of a war is going on between Commodore and certain shopping chains such as Boots and Lasky's. These stores have for the time being stopped buying in 64s, because they say the market has forced the 64's price down to 150, and at that level they're not making any money on them.
Two things seem obvious to me: First, Commodore's policy of refusing to respond to the price-cuts of inferior machines is in danger of backfiring badly. And second, no shopping chain which takes computer selling seriously can afford to exclude the world's greatest home computer for long. For goodness sake, people, get together and work out a deal, will you?

Chris Anderson, ZZAP!64, June 1985

  Rare Games Corner Updated
19 Aug 01

With Penguin Software's The Quest, a graphic adventure requested in our Forum.

  Missing/Bugged Lists Updated
12 Aug 01

Missing: 39 (+10)
Not 100% working: 78 (-1)

No new games were added last week, as Michael was busy ripping loading screens from TAP versions and making pic files out of them. All in all, about 60 pic-files were created and each one added to the relevant D64/T64 file that is linked to gamebase...

On a sadder note, Michael's Outlook Express crashed today morning and all the mail he received on the last three days (after his last backup) was lost! Please re-send any important messages (and especially the one about that special version of Transylvania!).

  Game of the Week - Theatre Europe
12 Aug 01

"Nuclear war on your 64, and how to avoid it. A chilling simulation of East/West conflict wins this month's Zzap gold medal."

Commencing htmlization of ZZAP!64 issue 2 reviews, with the first game review of that issue, and what a great game that was!

You will notice that the reviewer sketches have been replaced with the new ones appearing in issue 2, and the restated Zzap Ratings explanation from the contents page has been added to the Ratings/Reviewers article.

  Game of the Week - On-Court Tennis
12 Aug 01

Taskset Supremo
There's still no doubt in my mind that the 64's hardware is still the best home computer hardware for games that exists. It's the fact that they bothered with two special chips -- the SID chip and the VIC chip (handling sound and graphics respectively).
When you look at the screen capabilities, there's nothing to touch it. Take the screen speed of the Amstrad compared with the 64 -- there's no comparison. And on the Atari there are only four meaningful sprites, compared with eight on the 64. As for the Spectrum, what can I say?
Once the hardware people get their job right, the software just follows -- it makes it so easy.
I think the release of the Commodore 128 will add to the strength of the 64 -- provided Commodore get their prices right. They can't keep the 64 on 229 as it's supposed to be at the moment.
The 64 has such a big user base now, it's just not going to go away. Certainly, in a year's time there will still be stacks of software being released. In two year's time -- well, that's a lifetime in this industry -- but my feeling is it'll still be a strong machine then.
My feeling is that those 64s which are out there are actually being used -- I mean, I know quite a few people with Spectrums who only use them once in a blue moon. Whereas those with 64s do use them a lot.
The fact is, the 64 is the world's most written for machine -- there's a staggering number of titles available for it. What this means is that the user wins, because standards have to be so high.

ONE Off, ZZAP!64, May 1985

  Rare Games Corner Updated
12 Aug 01

Being this site's maintainer gives me the privilege of presenting you one of my personal curiosities from time to time. The rare game of this week is a curiosity of sorts, a Greek adventure game called Herakles. Nice graphics and a plot that closely follows the hero's myth made this a popular game here in Greece.

If there's demand, I'll translate it and make an English version...

  Project Status
4 Aug 01

Entries in database: 13718 (+369)
Unchecked: ZERO!
Missing: 29 (+1)
Not 100% working: 79 (+2)

Since our 'Unchecked' number of games has reached zero for some time now, let's explain what we mean when we say 'we check' a game:

a) We load it up and scan it for the information that needs to be added to gamebase's database fields (that is programmer's name, mucisian's name etc.)

b) We play it a little bit in order to check if it looks OK, doen't crash etc. This along with Michael's checking the game's files for bad sectors etc when copying them to fresh D64 or T64 images, is our possible quality-check at the moment.

With the above we want to point out that when we say 'checked' we don't mean checking it in every possible way. It would be impossible to release gamebase if we had to make every check possible to each game we include, especially if you consider that some games, for example RPGs, need months in order to be checked properly. Once gamebase is released, though, we will rely on you, the gamebase user, to report any bug/defection you notice in the games you play. We will then check the information you submit and, if found to be valid, will add it to the relevant comment field of the game concerned. This way everyone will be aware of the faulty game version and will be able to help us with submiting an okay copy he may have for inclusion in our next update...

The number of 'unchecked' games is not expected to change again, since each game added is now 'checked' as well, so the 'Unchecked:' line will be altogether removed from the next status update report.

  Twelve Ejaculatory Games of the Week
4 Aug 01

Soft Aid (Games Compilation).Combat Lynx.Alien
Beach Head.F-15 Strike Eagle.Archon
Manic Miner
.Loco.Krystals of Zong
Gumshoe.Fighter Pilot
.Black Hawk

Finishing with our pre-Zzap! cool games feature, the final addition of games with their descriptions from the Zzap!64 Top64 articles was made to the Top64 article, which is available from within our Game of the Week section. It includes a page devoted to the first C64 compilation: Soft Aid!

  Rare Games Corner Updated
4 Aug 01

With a personal favourite, Puffin Books' The Citadel of Chaos. A twin release with The Forest of Doom (a good copy of which is also available in the Rare Corner), this contains the complete text of the now-out-of-print Puffin Books classic gamebook. Playing this game really is a fantasy experience!


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