visitors book page 3 (don't miss page 4!)
Whoopee! The visitors book has now expanded to four pages!
Click here to visit page 4, page 2 or page 1 !
 
If you would like to leave a comment, question, suggestion, shove it in the box at the bottom of page 4! Thanks to everyone who's left a message!
Sandy :)
 

name
planet
comment
date
reply?
         
Delbert
Glasgow
It was great to visit the site and play Ant Attack and then I moved on to ritman.co.uk for more nostalgia. Got my fist Speccy at 10 yrs old in 82 via a friend of my parents who worked at the SInclair factory in Dundee. Check out clothes shop www.ladend.co.uk - I just ordered one of their "funky" Sinclair logo t-shirts! Nice! All the best Sandy!
21/08/01
Hi Delbert... hey I'd forgotton that Speccys were made in Dundee... in the old Timex factory wasn't it? ... Come to think of it, one of my friends' parents used to work there too... I think they used to make the Sinclair pocket TV there, as well as the US version of the Speccy, the TImex 1000. Glad you enjoyed the site, and Jon's! cheers, Sandy :)
Padraig
Germany (Previously Ireland)
Well Well Well, Nostalgia is just not what it used to be. The only other time i felt like this was when (Don't laugh, he's my hero) I was at a Leonhard Cohen concert and one of the fans tried to get up on stage, Security tried to stop him, and then Lenny himself said "leave him he's an enthusiast, not a terrorist" The fan asked lenny to sing "The story of Isaac" and lenny then said "Well maybe he is a terrorist" What's this got to do with your web-Site ?? The creator of "Soft-Solid" actually taking time to talk to his fans! giving a friendly answer and seemingly not regretting that commercialism killed the cottage industry that was computer gaming. I can't say I bough Ant Attack myself. It came with a Microdrive that I bought (along with Tasword 2 and some kind of Database program that I never tried to load) But as soon as i had it I never stopped playing it until last year when my interface 1 gave up the ghost. (And Mdrive cartridges were supposed to be unreliable??) I remeber we (a friend came up with the idea) actually managed to change Anchester by poking the map (As far as I remember every "Block" was 1 bit and the highest building was 8 blocks high) though the changed maps were not very playable.....
31/07/01
Hi Padraig :) I had no idea that Ireland had been re-named! ahem... I enjoyed your LC story :) I suppose that when I started this site just over a year ago I had no idea how it would turn out.. I didn't imagine that many people would leave messages - it has been a pleasant surprise that they have. It has been great fun for me to field questions on the old games, though I confess that the more 'flattering' messages are quite hard to reply to - having a personal website is already a kind of a "blow your own trumpety" thing to do ;) one can end up feeling rather immodest! (a little voice in my head tells me I should enjoy it while it lasts) ahemmm... anyway... there are no bouncers here, apart from myself that is! I'd forgotten that AA went out in a compilation Microdrive title... I can't remember what it was called - or getting any royalties from it come to that! Your microdrive and interface1 should get an award for long service... I remember trying to use them as part of my new fangled development system after ZZ, and getting extremely ratty 'cos they chewed up tape so regularly... you got lucky I think ;) It's fun you found a way to modify the city... you're quite right about the bits 'xept they only went up to 7 high, the 8th bit was used as a flag for something (I can't remember what)... tar for writing :))
Sheila
yahoo
Hi Sandy, Am looking for Sandy White from NC, whom I met in Framingham, Mass. about circa 1981-83. My name is Sheila. My brother, Darel, introduced us. Might you be him... or might you be able to help me in my search,?... as you seem very internet-savvy! Thanks for any enlightenment you may share.
25/07/01
Hi Sheila, sadly the Sandy you are looking for cannot be me. I was definately not in the US in anywhere around the period you mention, also I am not from NC. Regards other Sandy Whites on the net... I have noticed that they have a tendency towards real-estate involvement, sandywhite.net, sandywhite.com. (Is that the same woman in cunning disguise on both sites? Will I end up selling property online too?;) One thing you could do is go to google and type in "finding lost friends" for hundreds of links on the subject. I hope this might be of some help, meanwhile, if I should happen accross any other Sandys fitting your description I shall let you know. I wish you the best of luck with your search :)
Richard H
Bedfordshire
Hi, I used to work for Telecomsoft when Angela Sutherland was made head of the development department way back in 1988. I seem to recall an Amiga w.i.p of a game of yours that was in development at the time that never 'happened'. Was it "Dick Special"?
24/07/01
Hi Richard :) blimey you must be really really old - er... um what does that make me.... ;) - my memory of those days are very fuzzy to say the least, deliberately so probably ;) however I could not forget "Dick Special" - and after a little rootling around in some old hard drives, here's the man himself! If I can find a way to resurrect some of my ancient Amiga disks, I shall put up some screen shots sometime..:)

PS He was called Dick Special 'cos I liked the name "Jet Set Willie" - er... 'nuff said...
Hugh Tynan
Europe
Sandy, I've long believed that video games should and will be formally recognised as an artform - the novel was only accepted as 'art' in the last 100 years, and film is still struggling for acceptance. When gaming design is finally acknowledged as art, YOU will be hailed as a consummate, visionary artist. AA was a work of genius and set so many precedents (survival genre, Escher-esque isometric 3D, character switching, amazing technical gimmickry given the hardware) that its true influence can never be accurately assessed. I salute you and your ilk in the days of 'cottage gaming' that you fondly recall above. You're right, gaming has changed utterly since then... except for the fundamental imaginative landscape which was so brilliantly mapped out by yourself and your fellow pioneers. Thanks for all the hours of fun playing AA and ZZ, and thanks too for your enormous contribution to the world of art!
19/07/01
Hi Hugh, I thank you sir! Trouble is... ooops.. I think you've set me off on a rant... ;) er... yip...er.... this "art" thing... sometimes I believe that what is 'art', and what is not 'art', is quite arbitrary... it's a fashion thing - a label that is pinned on things by 'art' critics, and people involved in the 'business' of art. Still... I would be immensely chuffed to think that one day these things would be considered so... When I was at Art College (back in the mists of time pre AA) many did not see what I was doing as art beacuse I made made use of computers and electronics - it was suggested by some that I would be better studying maths... I was mortified.. (when I was at school the maths dept thought I should be doing Art!) I grew to realise however that as long as there were a few people around who liked what I was doing, I didn't care what it was called! Having said all that, certainly I see guys like Matthew Smith, Jeff Minter etc (ie the cottage industry you mention).. as artists.... There's gotta be art in today's games, but there is also a lot of cack out there... stuff made by big teams, and to a formula ... if there is art in it, it is diluted; art by committee perhaps. So where is the art happening? I suspect that Peter Moleneux, for one, may be able to make his artistic mark right through the whole team process, rather in the way that Damien Hirst, might design a sculpture and then have it made real by his team of technicians - as with some of those virtuoso Japanese games designers. However, my opinoin is that the earlier games carry the mark of their makers to a much greater extent, from code to graphics to music all done by one person.. (as it happens this is my preference when it comes to art of any sort... individuals expressing themselves, by themselves) Maximum self indulgence! Perhaps that's what art is? But let's look at the bright side, personkind ;) has been making art for millions of years, we've had computers for 50* - I think it is early days yet.. Just 'cos what's currently commercial takes teams to do, doesn't mean that's the only thing that can be done! Why does everything have to be commercial? ;) (Bitter? Moi?) I am as excited about computers as a means to "expressing oneself" as I ever was.. and still dreaming of writing a one man game/something - with the emphasis on "something"! Blimey - my sincere apologies for that rant! :) Coming back down to earth, glad you've enjoyed the old games :) and thanks :)) for such a posative and thought provoking letter! It'd be nice if you turned out to be right ;) S :)
* depends whether you want to start with the Babbage Engine, Sinclair Speccy, or Jackard Loom...;)
Modesty B Catt
"Sunny" Stoke-on-Trent
Just a quick note, Ant Attack rules. It'd be really cool if there was such a thing as an Ant Attack t-shirt thou, I'd be sure to wear one and make everyone jealous :)
19/07/01
Hi Modesty... thankyou! funny you should say that, 'cos someone else with the exact same name as you has designed one, and it's already on sale!! :) Good design too! ;) what a small world... Details on the welcome page. :))
chris
planet.nl
Hello I have a little (sexist) question? Are you indeed a woman or is it just myidea? I only know your name since I found this site (via muckeypaws en retrospec). Not that it matters, exept for the possibillety to be at the list of "first woman to make a 'hack' off a graficcal game in a time man still used charracter$ to draw", but for speccie it was the first anyway so way talk about sex(ism). Maybe becouse the game gives a choise! probably the firt to! Succes en lots off FUN
19/07/01
Hi Chris - I don't think it's a sexist question at all... well... on my own planet of origin (Scotland) Sandy is an abbreviation for Alexander... I always forget that it is not widely used as such elsewhere! ... You're right, AA was certainly billed as the first ever nonsexist game. To my mind it couldn't possibly have been done any other way - it really would have been very discriminating if you had been forced to play one particular sex rescuing the other. I wish now that it had been a little more thoughtful and allowed for 'same sex' rescues... mind you, without extra graphics it would have got a bit confusing... and the ants might have felt left out of the rescuing! ;)
Darren
UK
I have been reading what other people have said and what more can I say. Ant Attack i got in a small town and played it until the end. It's good to see that other's are still living in the past like myself. Anyway best of luck with the future yours Darren PS. Games like this change my life forever I now work for a big computer firm due to what the spectrum did to me. Thanks for a past worth remebering
18/07/01
Hi Darren, glad you enjoyed played AA - and thanks for the good luck wishes, here's wishing you the same! I think all of our lives were affected by those days, we're lucky to have been around to witness the dawn of home computing and gaming - exciting days. :)
col p
walsall
3D Ant Attack...I was 13 or 14 when it was released and mightily impressive it was. The other two games in this genre which impressed me, were Knight Lore and Head over Heels (do you remember this one?). Your game probably paved the way for the rest however, and was the first 3D isometric game I ever saw. I have one question - do you use your PC for any games playing today or did you give that up years ago? Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
16/07/01
Hi col... yip 13 seems to have been the classic age for Speccy fans. It would be cool to think that AA might have inspired others to do isometric games... (wish I could've made that patent stick!) Looking back on it from here I reckon that if I hadn't done it, someone else would have pretty soon - if you ever saw Zaxxon - things were sort of going in that direction. At least I can say I was first though! Check my reply to Todd re PC. :)
Moggy
SaafLondon
Hi, i'm sure you've heard this lots of times, but you are one of my heroes, it's games like yours that got me interested in the spectrum, i use to sit there playing ant attack when i was young (i feel very old now) wondering how to make my own games as good. of course i never could, but i did teach myself basic and made a few games i pasted on to my mates. Can you please do me a big favour? i have a website called www.saaflondon.co.uk, it's a music site, but please can you sign my guestbook so i can show it off to my mates again, i say again because i've already got Kevin Toms of football manager fame to sign it. I think i'm gonna see how many of my Speccy heroes i can get to sign my guestbook. Anyway, love live Ant-Attack, love live the Speccy Moggy
30/06/01
Hi Moggy... cheers I is from da north and me don't know where SaaafLondon is, but big up.. me bring maximum respect to da southern massive... I has already signed your guestbook... ;) (I see my mate Jon Ritman got there b4 me wotcha Jon) Liked your Time2leave mp3... ahaaar... why don't u post some of your old basic games on your website - run 'em in a Java Speccy emulator - yess! long live the Speccy! :)
PJ
Slightly warmer
Me again - just to correct myself and also give you the correct info (ahem..!) The screen saver is not Speccy heroes (Doh!) its the other one 'Spectrum Classics' and its located (its a long story) in the 'Hardware Page' section, under the Goodies link... is this confusing!!! Have a beer on me..
29/06/01
Cheers PJ, said beverage will be duly consumed!
PJ
Somewhere cold
Hi, Its great to find a site run by one of my heroes from the distant past. I remembered the compo with that Speccy mag, I went out and bought the newspaper, but bought the wrong one. It was all a bit confusing! I played and played to make sure I knew the game inside out, took photos of the winning screen etc... but bought the wrong damm newspaper!!! AA is one of the games featured in my 'Speccy Heroes' screen saver (available on WOS), hope you don't mind :-) Keep smiling :-)
28/06/01
Hi PJ... hmmmnn.. hero from the distant past.... (scratches chin - craggy face er.. glints in the noonday sun) ;) glad u like the site! ;)) I have a vision of you living in a refrigerator somewhere. Arrgg.. that dreaded competition... I can't even remember who ran it... but I've never heard a good word said about it... :)) you certainly sound as if you deserved to win :) Oi 'ad a look for your 'Speccy Heroes' on WOS (World of Spectrum - fascinating site)... but couldn't find it :-| Sounds like fun though :) Generally speaking I ain't complaining about non-commercial use of these graphics.. it's nice to see people having fun.. I'm not giving away any rights however! :) Hmmn.. s'pose I do smile a lot on this page :) it's great fun reading messages and writing replies! :)))))))))))) Keep smiling too :-)
Alessandro Grussu
Messina, Italy
I can't believe I am actually talking to the man who created that brilliant masterpiece, Ant Attack! I played it first in 1984 and have played it throughout the years, even nowadays I give it the odd try on the PC with an emulator. I've played AA so many times, I could finish it blindfolded ;) I've just a little question for you: What's that small cube-like object with letters on it which stands in the middle of the desert, after a good walk from Antescher? Bye from your biggest fan in Italy!
22/06/01
Hi Alessandro, thanks for the kind words :) Have you actually tried playing it blindfolded? The thought reminded me of something that I had long forgotten! If you have a real Speccy (not an emulator) and sit an AM radio beside it, you can tune it to the RF produced by the Z80 chip and the circuit board, so you can actually hear the program executing! I used to use this for debugging the code sometimes... by listening to the sound of the code executing you could tell quite a lot about where it had got stuck if it crashed for instance! No I'm not joking! Aha.. the cube in the desert... The AA code had the ability to draw 8 sprites... you will never see more than 5 ants on screen at once, plus boy & girl and a grenade... that's 8! When the grenade sprite was not being used it was drawn at coordinates 0,0 of the world.. which happens to be in the middle of the desert... rather than leave it blank, I wrote the word AMMO on a cube and left it there... I never expected anyone to find it... of course everyone did! If you find the AMMO cube, and fire a grenade, you will see it disappear! S :)
Davide Barlotti
Italy
Hi Sandy! You know that for AA guilt I have thrown via the c64 and I have bought the Speccy? For me it is a dream to know the author of AA:) It would be much beautiful one that you made a page dedicated to ZZ as you have made for AA, but reading the messages I have understood that you don't have inlay of ZZ. I of recent have only come in possession of an original copy of ZZ and if you want I can send to you via e-mail. Very very intersting the project about the MIDI interface via network port. I would want to try to connect my Spectrum to the Game/Midi port of sound card AWE32 of my PC. Considering the bug of compatibility MIDI (DX7) It can work? excuse me for my English..
21/06/01
Hi Davide! Did you know that AA was also published for C64? ;) If you are interested, here is a scan of the cassette inlay.. no doubt there will be copied of it floating around on the web suitable for C64 emulators too. Thank you very much for the offer of the ZZ cover, there is no need to send it though, as I do already have one :) I don't think that you should try building the ZZ MIDI cable... yet... in case you damage your AWE32! I recently tried to get the MIDI feature to work myself, and couldn't... so until I find out why, it would be best not to try! I no longer think it has anything to do with the DX7 - it could be the cable design or a bug in the code. To get the ZZ sample for the music page I recently set up a Speccy and loaded ZZ, which in itself I found to be an extremely fiddly and frustrating process! The 'rapid' loading system was always a bit unreliable... but these tapes are nearly 20 years old now... I tried 4 different tapes before I could get it to load... it kept crashing with a very unhelpful red screen. I've a good mind to complain! Anyway... I might do a ZZ page sometime... Thanks for writing, I understood your English perfectly... except I'm not quite sure what you felt 'guilty' about! There's nothing wrong with owning a c64! I've got one myself ;) I'll post something here if I figure out what's wrong with the MIDI interface... S :)
Tom Kane
Dundee
Hi Sandy I've just found your site and thought I would write to say thanks for many hours of entertainment I got from Ant Attack and Zombie Zombie. AA was *the* first 3D game on the Spectrum, out before Ultimate released their Filmation stuff, and I can truly say that I was gobsmacked by the graphics at the time. What really impressed me though, was the two-channel music routines on Zombie Zombie - once again, the first, proper two-channel music program out there. The hours my mates and I spent picking it apart to see how it worked, and then reassembling the logic to get the instruction timings right so that the pulse width was 50%:50% (== more volume from speccy speaker) and the time between notes was reduced to cut down on clicking. Yup, truly an inspiration to me. Unable to come to terms with the loss of the early eighties, I've been working for various computer games companies for the past 6 years! (DMA Design, Visual Sciences and now, Denki). And if Ant Attack/Zombie Zombie had not been released...would I be here now? Probably not. Thanks mister! I've been working on the Gameboy Advance for a while now, and I'm thinking...wouldn't Ant Attack translate sooooo nicely...Watch this space...
12/06/01
Hi Tom... ahem... first, three cheers for Dundee, home of my forebears! Since you wrote this, of course, the music page has gone up, so I hope that will bring you some good memories. I'm impressed that you went into the code so deeply - though dismayed to find that I left room for improvement! peh! ;) The pulse time should have been divided 50/50 between the two channels... I knew there was a problem with volume per channel being a lot less than half as loud as a normal beep; at the time I thought it might be something to do with the logarithmic response of the human ear. It's fiddly stuff writing code and balancing Z80 T states in the different branches, as you will know, but quite satisfying if you can get it right! I intend to add a feature to the music page covering the two-channel routine at some point.. I hope you might find that interesting... Cor... so AA/ZZ prob set you off on your career.. that's cool :) ... yes sir, you surely are welcome... and I'm watchin' that space! s :)
Todd
Cambridge, UK
The real Sandy White!Wow!Well I would just like to say thanks for creating one of the best games on any platform EVER! Along with Sabre Wulf and Lords of Midnight, AA was one of my favourite games. I don't know if it was because I was younger and more imaginative but games on the old Speccy just seemed to keep me hooked for hours. I don't know if you have already answered this on your website but what was your favourite Speccy games (apart from AA!) and what games do you play these days?
07/06/01
Hi Todd... whoooaa! The twenty pound note is in the post! ;) Seriously, I'm very flattered you liked it so much... and up there with Sabre Wulf and Lords of Midnight... that's good company ;) I suppose the Speccy games I liked most were 'Ultimate' ones like Jet Pac and Pssst for instance... they simply looked so slick and professional... but there were so many... there was something about Manic Miner that I liked... and Jon Ritman's 3D Comabt Zone, a clone of the arcade hit Battle Zone... I've never been a major game player though... always been more interested in how they work and look than in playing them... however when I do buy games, they tend to be simulations... most recently Colin Macrae Rally, a Motocross thingie, and Tony Hawks Skateboardy thingie! :)
MartinN
Sussex
Good grief this takes me back... Happy days. If you don't mind me asking, and sorry if someone else has asked, why did you stop after zombie zombie, and what are you doing these days? (aside from maintaining this cracking website!)
05/06/01
Hi MartinN, thanks... very glad u like the site! A question like that has the potential to set me off on a major bout of self-analysis! Well, I did one more game after ZZ - 'I of the Mask'. After that was published I started working on a game called 'Dick Special' for the Commodore Amiga... It was never finished, though I still have a working demo.... It was whilst writing DS that I got fed up with the games business... out went the nice friendly bods from the cottage industry I knew, and in came money, politics and people in suits... also games were starting to get bigger, and it was no longer feasible for one person to write a game. I guess I had found a lot of pleasure in doing everything - design, coding, graphics and music, but was increasingly finding that I couldn't cope. If I had been really smart I suppose that I might have formed a team... but at the time I really wasn't up to it... As for now, I currently make my living writing server side Java, and inventing weird numerical things for some clever people who are about to revolutionise the way insurance is sold online. Sounds pretty boring eh? ;) I tell you though, it's great working on something that's cutting edge, whatever the genre! I still have ambitions to be a pop star however :)
stuart sumner
england
Thankyou for setting up this lovely warm site, it was a real pleasure reading through it! Thinking back now to playing AA with my friends, I seem to remember I would waste my go trying to find things outside the fortress (sectret levels etc) sounds silly but I was convinced there might be a sectet passage or hidden room somewhere. :-) thanx again...bye
04/06/01
Hi Stuart, thankyou! ... it's very nice indeed to hear that the site feels warm... I couldn't hope for better.. :) and you are most welcome... really, it can only be thanks to everyone who's written in... you are a warm hearted lot, you lot! I had never guessed that people would play AA multi-player, taking turns as you describe... wish I had.. could've built in the scoring for it... ah well... next time... I feel very sorry that there was no such secret passage (I was tempted for a second there to try and convince you that there was and that you missed it!) I hope at least that you found the AMMO sprite in the desert ;) Thankx for bringing your own bit of warmth to the site :-)
Clint Sanders
North Carolina, TRoy
Ihave a question for you about you Out of all a the colnys did you know that pretty much all worker ants are femail fasnatic write any way IS it true that if you feed salt to them theyll die
30/05/01
Hi Clint! I'm not an ant expert, but I'll have a bash at answering... Salt is poisonous to all living creatures (including humans!) if eaten in sufficient quantity. The big question is whether ants are senseless (literally) enough to eat a fatal quantity of salt if you put it in front of them. I do know ants have a pretty good sense of taste through their feelers and mouth-parts, and I think that they can taste salt and avoid eating too much - even if it is mixed with something tasty; if this were not the case, the web would be littered with ant poison recipies containing salt - and it isn't! People make ant poison by mixing Borax 50/50 in solution with sugar, and it kills them in exactly the same way that salt would, by dehydration (if you're interested - a process called reverse osmosis). Hope that's some help - though I hope you're not going to go off and murder ants now, not even the virtual kind - you only have to stun 'em! fasnatic! ;)
LabRat
UK
Hey, Sandy! I fell into this site almost by accident and oh, the nostalgia! I have such fond memories of late nights spent racing around your wonderful city and the terror those giant ants instilled in me! Thank you for a lot of fun!
27/05/01
Hi LabRat, thanks :) you're most welcome - glad to have brought back some good memories! :)
ZeDeX82
North Wales
Hey great website. Good to see that you are human linke the rest of the 8-bit Computer crazed nutters on the web
26/05/01
Hey ZeDeX82! thankoid very muchoop! Glad yooo nijoyed thessiteep howwoopoid doo you knoid oim hewmoin thoughhh? :~;)
Barry Leitch
New York State
Howdy Sandy, As a fellow Scot, I gotta say good work.. AA was one of the first games that sparked my interest in sound in games at the impressionable age of 13.. It got me messing around with the spectrums Beep command and from there went on to do the sound for over 200 games... Hurry up and get the midi files up... and check out www.barryleitch.com :)
24/05/01
Howdy Barry! I see you've caught a bit of an American twang there! pleased AA might have played a wee part in setting you off on such a career... that's a dang shootin' ranch of games you've done there dude! (ahemm..) I enjoyed listening to the mp3s on your site... what did you say about your vocalist Carla having lungs? On "Trip With Me" she makes the word "overload" last 14 secs... but then she does seem to vomit at the end of the track... ;) as for midi files... OK OK ! ;) I want to do a whole music page... it'll be nothing like yours though, I'm just an amateur! - hope u keep up the good work! :))
Cole
Christchurch, England
Hi Sandy, One of the greats, Ant Attack. Why have you not mentioned Zombie Zombie on your web pages, and added some info for this? I thought this was equally as good as Ant Attack and in some ways better. Also whats the story in Zombie Zombie about your quote... "Due to strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this game in no way endorses a belief in the occult." ..you've got to admit this is not normal. Cheers Cole
10/05/01
Hi Cole, thankyou.. ahaaar.. good question... I suppose its partly cos AA is the one I'm being asked most about, and also at the time ZZ was rather slated for being so similar to AA, and kind of became associated in my mind with negative feelings... so I tend to neglect it! I was able to put more time into designing the gameplay than with AA, but given its relative lack of success, I always assumed that this was a bad thing, so it's very nice to hear that someone liked it! :) As for "strong personal convictions", that was totally tongue in cheek... M Jackson's "Thriller" video was out before ZZ was written, and carried that exact same warning.. you're right though.. definately not normal! ;) I may put up the ZZ emulation sometime! thanks for writing! S :)
will brooker
london
hi Sandy - I'm really glad you're still around online - I'm still getting over the fact that Crash letters editor Lloyd Mangram wasn't real! I'm writing an academic article on the study of video games - using Jetpac not AA, sorry! - and wonder if you know who did the art and weirded-out text for the boxes of Space Intruders, Meteor Storm and Timegate? Was it David Rowe and Mark Eyles?
09/05/01
Hi Will, Mark did indeed do the 'weirded out text' for those 3, much more of which is to be found in the Time Gate game itself - a whole tutorial loads up before you start the game. Artworks: Space Intruders & Meteor Storm - Richard Shenfield. Time Gate - Craig Hamilton. The other artists who worked on a lot of covers were Dave Rowe and Steinar Lund. (info courtessy Mark - thanks Mark!) You might also be interested in looking at an interview he did recently on the Quicksilva years at zxgoldenyears. As for Lloyd Mangram... you just shattered my own illusions ;).. mind you, now that I think about it... it's very nearly Lloyd Anagram!... should've guessed! Best of luck with the article, Sandy :)
Matt Petty
London UK
Hi, another speccy fan here - thanks for the memories! Just wanted to say that the current tV ads for the guardian online look like good old AA! cheers Matt
08/05/01
Hi Matt, thanks you're very welcome! ... the one with the city building itself out of newspapers? I saw it and thought exactly the same thing! :)) Wish AAcould have looked like that! ... mightily jealous of their processing power.. mind you.. perhaps with a GForce3! .. ;) Sandy :)
Ant
An ant colony, CA, USA, Earth
Wow, this is a cool old game! I have never heard or seen this game. I am an ant freak. I found out about this game from my own message board. http://antfarm.home.dhs.org
16/04/01
Thanks Ant! (or should I say "Master Ant"? ;) It's funny.. I somehow kind of knew that eventually an ant would get round to writing to me.. ;) I checked out your message board and site... good laugh... er... you're all completely bonkers!! I'm glad you got some fun out of the old game... not many in the US will have played it I guess, the Spectrum it used to run on was not very popular in the States... you may have known it as the "Timex 1000" (I think) Hey... the magic of Java Applets! ;)
Mark Hewitt
Birmingham, England
Hi Sandy - are you really the guy who made Ant Attack? So I finally get to write to the person who got me hooked on computing as a kid! AA was the first game I saw on a home computer and after nagging my parents for a zx 48k I now find myself at the age of 26 still getting a face-full of radiation! I too must agree that Ant Attack still remains the only game to have made me physically SCARED! (an ANT appearing from around a corner block was true emotion!) Can I suggest you look at starting a YAHOO egroup (www.yahoo.co.uk) for us AA victims to swap memories etc etc? Getting my 'hero' to stand on the girl's head while she gets eaten by a killer ant, will be a memory I take to the grave! All the best for the future, Mark Hewitt mark_hewitt@mail.com
09/04/01
Hi Mark - yes it's me...Thankee sire! excellent that you actually got SCARED! I certainly never imagined at the time that it could have had that effect...coool! you reminded me how I used to get "running away" scared at Dr Who and Hammer Horror films when I was a kid... the fact that they were low budget and had creaky effects didn't seem to matter... they don't seem so scary now (unfortunately!)... Perhaps even with its simple graphics there was just enough in AA to enable you to suspend your disbelief and believe you were there!... re an egroup, yip, it could be a laugh!! unfortunately too busy with work at present tho to set anything up meeself.. shall file it away in "things to do" box, along with some things I'd like to do with this site but haven't had time... like, for instance, to have an online high-score table on the AA applet... Getting your 'hero' to stand on the girl's head is real skill by the way... all the best to you! :)
roddy
sutherland
@ecosse.net
Yes indeef! Aah, wasn't ant attack a good game. I've just druck shit loads of stella , and i can say without a question of a doubt, that ant attack was probably one of the finest games ever to make its prescence known on that funny little thing with the rubber keys, which we all fondly remember as the sincalair specy. I've just been playing jet set willyy, which i don't recdfommend, even for a bit of nostalgia, cos it's nothing but a pain in the arse. Anyway, enough, and onwards with Ant attack. I dread to think of what dastardly shananigans those ants are going to get up to... Ah, I wish i had a life. i do, of sorts though, i design web sites, but my bird just left me the otther day and she's off to mexico, i bet she shags loads of fuckwits eniughsefmknodmfkmnofdvnj
07/04/01
Hi Roddy, glad you're still enjoying the old game, I'm quite sure it does play better after a few beers ;) Thanks for the great compliment re AA!! Blimey it's ages since I saw Jet Set Willy I always thought it looked pretty cool.. admittedly I was crap at playing it... I'm sorry about your bird leaving - sounds crap - (voice, unfortunately, of experience)... please accept my sympathy and a virtual pint :-| PS I put your name in colour to bring you some cheer... :-) oh and those ants are currently running about in my kitchen...
Rob
Midlands'ish
Don't you think what a wonderful version of Ant Attack for the GBA would be. Right now I have hunted you down I am off to find Jez Sans to pester him to make 3D Starstrike for it as well. Then I may buy one.
01/04/01
Hi Rob, interesting thought, and I thank you for the suggestion - it's just the whole issue of commercial viability... d'ya fancy buying... say... 50000 copies? ;) only joking! ..just a thought... I don't suppose there's a Speccy emulator for GBA? 16Mhz Arm.. could be tight... but then a Z80 chip must cost pennies these days... and could go in the cartridge... along with a complete Speccy retro compilation! I could use my share of the royalties to finance work on my anti-gravity machine - if Dean Kamen doesn't beat me to it that is! I wish you well with 3D Starstrike... it would look pretty good on GBA I reccon... s :)
AAlan
Dorchester
Hello again Sandy. Thanks for explaining how I could play Ant Attack again. It's exactly how I remember it ! I have played it several times, but still haven't managed to rescue all 10 yet. Just time for 1 more go...... P.S. "AAlan" was going to be the name of my software company, (if I ever created any gaming software !).
30/03/01
Pleasure AAlan... hope you manage all 10 eventually! By the way, if you don't start a software business it would be a good name for a Taxi company.... though 123AAAAlan Taxis would be better still... s ;)
Mobile Man
 
So whats so great about insurance? Curious of Bolton
29/03/01
Now.... then, let me see, how many people do I know from Bolton who know that I'm working in the insurance industry... er... Steve? ;)
ignacio alonso berrioategortua
spain
Hi Sandy, Thank you very much for your marvelous game. Its like a dream to contact with you, the ant attack author. Anyway, excuse me if I dare to suggest you two changes, improvements in my opinion, in the game: -Without the "scan" information the game is even much, much more interesting. I started playing and played it many years in an old non colour TV without noticing the "scan", and even now when I play I hide that part of the screen to avoid the red/green information. And it remains possible to get the gold medall without big dificulties. -Changing the perspectives in a sequential mode, as the changes in runnig direction, with just two keys, would be the other sugestion. Thank you very much, and excuse my english.
28/03/01
Hi ignacio - thanks for the nice words - and for taking the trouble to write to me :) Suggestions are always welcome - though it's a bit late to put anything right! ;) I always wondered whether 'scan' was too much of a hint... I think you're right... an option to switch it off would have been good... in return for higher scoring perhaps.... I also agree that the keys could be a lot better.. next time maybe ;) your English better than most of the 'native' English sent to this page by the way! (oops I'm for it now!) s ;)
Venom
Perm, Russia
I not english language... Assembler coding for z80 - was my Life ! Today - C++, Asm for f**king "Wintel", ..?
21/03/01
Hi Venom - great to get a message from Russia! What did you write z80 asm for? Did the Sinclair Spectrum ever make it to Russia? s :)
Neil
Norfolk
It's nice to be able to pay homage to one of my Speccy era heros. What can I say about AA that hasn't already been said, apart from it was my favourite speccy game as a boy and I still indulge my speccy fantasies using my Speccy emulator and for a special treat my old speccy from the loft. It was a real feat of 3D engineering and I'm glad I have had this chance to thank the genius behind the code. Thanks
20/03/01
Neil - sentiment very much appreciated! I'm pleased to hear that your old Speccy gets out of the loft from time to time, and that AA was your fave as a kid.. praise indeed! I am also very flattered to be called a genius!! I'll have a swelled head for the next day or nine! glad to have brought some fun! s:)
AALAN
Dorchester
Sandy, I bought Ant Attack back in 1984. I always lost interest quickly in the shoot-em-up games, + the sports simulation games were for kids, but AA kept me playing for years. I was always top-scorer among my friends, + would AMAZE them by jumping on the ants to get onto walls, etc. I am keen to relive those happy days, but cannot find the link. Is it still available ? (All I can see is the simulation of the spectrum screen "Quicksilva present.... " etc, and the controls below it, but no link. Please help !
15/03/01
Hi Aalan! How many AAs? ;) I was a bit the same myself with games... got fed up with with e'm quickly... mind you, I could play Tetris until it was coming out of my ears... (odd thought) By the sounds of it, if you can see the simulation on the Speccy screen, your browser is running Java fine... trick is.. there's no link! Click your mouse pointer on the Speccy screen, then play the game right there in your browser using the specified keyboard controls... (hopefully!) the Java applet is running a complete Speccy emulator! If this doesn't work then I'm lost... you could try running one of several other non-Java Speccy emulators that are around... see the message from Antiriad2097 further down this page for some links. Whew.. I hope that helps! happy Ant jumping - & here's hoping your friends will be just as impressed in 2001 as they were in 1984 ;) s :)
Jorgen Vervliet
Belgium
Hi, when will there be a Ant Attack game for PC, I mean with all the power of pc. Elite and Ant Attack are my all time favorites. I hope you are going to do this! Thanx for the nostalgia!!!
08/03/01
Hi Jorgen! First of all, have you seen Tyrone C's PC remake Ant Attack PC ? The first thing I did was play it with 70 ants... cheers Tyrone, great fun.. :) looking forward to the next update! I suspect, however, that what you might mean by 'all the power of a PC', is a completely new version of AA with state of the art 3D graphics, new plot features, new levels... Unfortunately, to do a proper, up-to-date sequel to Ant Attack would be a full scale commercial enterprise, and would cost as much to do as to develop any new game... guessing here... between 0.5 and 2 million quid! That kind of dosh would require the backing of a publisher... and I can't imagine it seeming particularly attractive, compared, say, to a nice film licence... But then, for a bit of fun, taking the original city and turning it into a 3D model would be quite straightforward... as would adding textures, and rendering it, say in D3D, or even with an full-on commercial renderer. I could imagine, in a mad moment, doing an exact copy of the game in full-on sexy perspective 3D; trouble is, even such a modest update would take, me at least, weeks. Having said that, I would be very curious to know what it would look like from a first person perspective!.. no promises though! Thanx for the nice words, and sorry if my answer sounds a bit disappointing... I wish there were 27 hours in every day! s :)
The Chessplayer
Bourne End
Remember the AA birthday cake we shared at the White Tower restaurant at Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Followed by you videoing the whole of the Blackpool Illuminations using your Sony F1 Betamax recorder?
04/02/01
Cheers Martin! Blimey! Hey! you found the site.... Mmmm...t'were a lovely cake it 'were - shame to eat it! and them were the days when camcoders came in two parts, one domestic VCR sized bit that hung over one shoulder, and another mamoth camera bit that rested on the other! I also remember going on nearly every ride in on Blackpool Pleasure Beach til nearly sick - still got the pics! (not of the sick) If you read this, send me a note with your email address.. will get in touch :) [Martin (Wren-Hilton), by the way, wrote "The Chess Player", published for the Speccy by QS - and many Speccy related books]
dave woodhouse
twickenham, middx
Just to say thanks for Ant Attack; I think it was probably the most engrossing Speccy game I had...your fascinating website brought back many memories,
25/01/01
hi dave - very glad you enjoyed playing Ant Attack, and that you liked the site... makes it worth the effort! :)
Linc
London
Yeah.. same story here..AA was the game i bought the day i got my speccy.. Loved it.I remember it loading ,the game starting, and mine and my brothers jaws dropping at the GFX (we were used to atari 2600 Pac Man) Still play it on ZX32 emu to this day!! As for ZZ well !! That used to make me jump out of my chair !! Those zombies were nasty !! cept when you got in a position where the just run round and round you in circles!! he he Oh yeah the music in ZZ (when new zombies wake ect) was the best piece that ever came out of my tiny zx bleeper!! You could connect it to MIDI couldnt you ?? Very creepy tune anyway. Had I O T M as well... and that was ahead of its time So ta Sandy for 2 of my top ten speccy games
6/1/01
Linc. Hi... cheers glad you enjoyed! I was dead proud of that beeping code... it used pulse width modulation to provide two simutanous notes! Ooooo & I'd forgotten about the MIDI interface! I'll try and get the original tune up here on the site now that you reminded me... Funny thing is I don't think it ever worked except on the DX7 synth that I developed it on... it turned out that I had a rogue DX7 with a slightly wrong MIDI protocol... though Yamaha were very helpful and gave me a new ROM - it was too late and the game went out with the bug - embarassing when I tried to demo the thing on an unfamiliar synth at a press launch and it didn't work... Watch this space for a midi file sometime... er... this year! s:)
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