Long time no see Havent been a regular visitor here in probably at least a year. At least not that I remember...
Anyway, normally I don't like to show 'works in progress' but since I'm not actively working on it (and I'm not sure if that will change) I've decided to share some information and content from my own fan-created Dizzy game project, which was/is called 'Transylvanian Dizzy'.
The first thing I should say about this game is it wasn't a DizzyAGE project. It was written in assembly language for the Commodore 64. It's something that I worked on for a few days here and there for probably around 7 years, obviously with a lot of time (in some cases years) between periods of development. In it's current form, it features a nearly-fully-featured Dizzy game engine, including screens, objects, characters, textboxes, the inventory, and some game 'scripting' (probably the wrong word since it's all binary data). I suppose you could say it's somewhere between the original 8-bit games and the 16-bit games in appearance. More specifically, it plays just like the regular C64 Dizzy games, with the following improvements:
- The game runs at a full 50 frames per second, like most Amiga versions.
- Dizzy and any other Yolkfolk characters have hi-res multicolour sprites, instead of hi-res single colour sprites.
- Screen transitions are several times faster than the original games.
Essentially it's Dizzy as if it were programmed specifically for the C64, instead of being ported straight from the Spectrum. Having said that, I retained the high-res colour-on-black scheme of the original games, instead of using the C64's multicolour abilities - I just feel Dizzy games are meant to look that way
I don't think it's important to go into too much detail about the plot of the game. It actually started out as a different plot altogether, which I hadn't named, except to codename it Dizzy IX. Later into development I remembered a Transylvanian theme I'd come up, with back when I was younger, as a setting for a Dizzy game, and decided to switch over to that. Basically the game followed the tradition that started in Magicland Dizzy, where the objective is to find and free all of the Yolkfolk and defeat the villain of the piece and/or escape to freedom. In this case, the villain was the evil Count Zakula (you can tell it didn't take me long to come up with that ) and he had lured the Yolkfolk to Transylvania by means of a 'free holiday' junk-mail scam. All the Yolkfolk (except Dizzy, who forgot his passport and had to get a later flight) ended up trapped in some sticky situation or another, and as usual it was Dizzy's job to come to their rescue.
One of the more innovative features I had started to implement was character-switching - the player was to be able to control a second Yolkfolk character (you can probably guess which character from the game's framing graphic) with slightly different abilities, enabling certain parts of the map to be reached that were unavailable to Dizzy. There would also have been some simple interactions between the two playable characters, and at times both characters would need to be used to complete a puzzle. They would have had their own inventories too.
I was doing all the sound and graphics for the game myself. The soundtrack was partially complete, but isn't really listenable the way I left it. I was contemplating experimentation with context sensitive music (not spot music/fx exactly, more that different parts of the tune would come and go depending on the location in the game).
Perhaps what people might find most interesting about the game is my re-interpretation of the Yolkfolk - I tried to come up with a slightly new design for most of them. Because I was producing the sprites in the C64's 'hi-res multicolour' method (already used on some original C64 Dizzy games, most notably Spellbound and Crystal Kingdom) I had the option to make the ingame sprites look a little more like the equivalent Amiga/ST/PC versions, but to be honest, I was never a big fan of those designs. So I thought I'd have a go at drawing my own Dizzy, and I was quite happy with how it came out - I feel it looks a bit more contemporary. I redesigned Denzil to have wrap-around shades (he may have had these in some original games? I can't remember) and swapped out the Walkman for a classic iPod, though it's so small you'd be hard-pressed to notice. Daisy hasn't changed too much, but the extra colours did allow for her hair and even some eyeshadow to be defined. Dora was always sort of a blank canvas because her appearance wasn't consistent from one game to the next, and those C64 hi-res graphics always looked so smudged on a TV set it was hard to make anything out anyway so I just based her on her character art for Fantastic Dizzy, and as an afterthought tried to make her look a little more gothic by giving her a darker eye outline than the rest of the 'folk. I think the main artistic liberties I took were subtly redesigning the eye shape on all characters, and also you'll notice they all now have their own outfit colour (Dizzy's red, Daisy's yellow, Denzil's blue and Dora's brown) and their own style of footwear (Daisy's heels, Denzil's high-top trainers). I'm not certain if I have completed versions of Dylan, Dozy and Grand Dizzy, but they did all feature in the game scenario too. Colourwise I think Dylan was green, Dozy was purple and Grand Dizzy was going to be grey obviously
You may notice my newest design for Dizzy hasn't been implemented in the game itself at the time I took the screenshots, there are some minor differences. There was a previous version of Dora with a full animated spriteset, but I never got round to updating all the animations with changes made to the main sprite.
New style C64 sprites for Dizzy, Daisy, Denzil and Dora.
The larger 'Book-end' character graphics are also new designs. Dizzy's new look isn't a radical departure from his previous appearances in screen corners, just a little more in keeping with the new game sprite design. I've got a previous version of this graphic kicking about somewhere, in which he had larger, almost Sonic The Hedgehog like eyes The changes to Dora over on the other side are really the same as the changes made to her sprite, primarily a slightly thicker eye outline. Dizzy's colour attributes worked out quite nicely, with the gloves and boots fitting neatly into the 8x8 attribute areas. Dora was more difficult, mainly because of her hair, which is why it maybe looks a little 'square' at the inside edges...
Screenshots of the Transylvanian Dizzy game engine, running on VICE C64
I'll leave you with these screenshots for now, until I see if I can unearth anything else of interest. You may notice that Daisy, Dora and Denzil appear on all of the screens - they're being displayed as a test, they're not actually meant to be there, and furthermore none of the screens would actually have featured in the final game, they are also for test purposes I may get around to making a YouTube video in the near future, just to show you the game in motion, although there isn't a huge amount to see
One further thing, I don't know if any of the game plot devices or features have since been featured in other people's DizzyAGE creations, I haven't been keeping that up-to-date with developments in that area for some time, so if I've inadvertently appeared to rip off any ideas, I apologize hopefully that's not the case!
Thanks for taking a look, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about it. I'll just repeat incase you skipped down and missed it, I'm not actively working on this right now