Rise Of The Robots


rise of the robots game gear box rise of the robots game gear  rise of the robots game gear
rise of the robots game gear  rise of the robots game gear
rise of the robots game gear  rise of the robots game gear
rise of the robots game gear  rise of the robots game gear
rise of the robots game gear  Hi Pembo!

Future-shock is here! The first of a brand new generation of games to combine state-of-the-art programming, design and graphics. The results are simply astounding. Get ready for the fight of your life!


You may come across this game while searching for "worst game ever". In fact, matt91486 described it as "Perhaps the worst game on the worst system ever".

This is quite possibly true.

But you may like to hear about some of the fun we had developing it.

Originally we were told that we'd have a 256k cartridge. That sounds like a lot, but bare in mind that the PC version had a 256k data table just for the AI of each individual robot. We'd have to include AI for every robot, and also graphics, code, data, and sound. But that wasn't the first problem...

Due to the width of the robots on the screen, it took every single sprite available (per scanline) to draw just ONE robot. With hindsight we should have ignored this and reversed the order of the sprites every alternate frame. If the flicker was too bad we'd have tried something else - but there wasn't enough dev time to experiment.

So to create a second robot we redefined some of the background graphics. By scrolling the screen around we could move the enemy robot. But we couldn't add any background graphics because they'd move whenever the enemy robot moved! That left us with something like this:

rise of the robots game gear dev

By using horizontal interrupts we could scroll part of the background independently, so we could make a panel.
Using multiplexed sprites we could add some small details to the floor and create a parallax effect. But we still had no background:

rise of the robots game gear dev

By changing the background colour every scanline we could add detail to the wall - but only made of horizontal lines. Even though we made the lines animate, pulsate, and rotate to add some variety, it was still very basic. But we'd finally managed to create some rudimentary backgrounds.


rise of the robots game gear dev

And then we had to squeeze some AI in. On the whole the game was rushed and could have been far better. With extra memory we could have had better AI and flipped graphics so the robots could turn. Probably nice backgrounds too. But unfortunately all the memory had been used, and development time had run out. By polishing turds very carefully we'd created something, but I'm not sure what. Perhaps matt91486 was right :-)

And I bet you're wondering why, if memory was so tight, there were animated cutscenes in the game? Well at the last minute... after the game was finished... a day before it was due to be delivered... we were told that we COULD have a 512k cart after all :-/

For the full story behind the Rise of the Robots on all formats, I highly recommend this review/documentary by Kim Justice:

Rise of the Robots - Kim Justice

Back to the Gallery