It's called CAD-CAM WARRIOR, by TaskSet,
and it boasts eight thousand different screens.
Yes, you heard right-eight thousand,
Is this the standard of the New Epic?
TONY TAKOUSHI reports... A BIG K EXCLUSIVE
AS THEY prepared for the 25th Cadcam International Show, it became obvious that the boys from Enviro UK would really have to move.
They had booked most of the first floor as space only - and that's just the way it looked with just 24 hours before the doors opened. There was no sign of hi-tech stands, demo equipment or contractors while all around the air was filled with the clamour of build-up day.
Only four miles away in the Victoria Court clean air complex the calm atmosphere of Research HQ-Enviro UK heaved and shattered as Bob Marsh hit the roof. None of the ultra cool wafers had arrived, the holograph interpreter wouldn't gel and now MAD-2 (micro assembly droid) was just plain missing!
Bob is project leader for the total environment wraparound
program. All(!) he has to achieve is the translation of living requirements into structures. The breakthrough came two years ago when the imaging lasers were successfully integrated with a threadsheet spinner. The principle has been developed so that now the designers schematic - displayed by imaging lasers - can be directly translated into a solid structure.
This production facility is linked to a modified A1-128 from GDC (the artificial intelligence people) so that the program can comprehend what is meant by 'A cleaner concept for living' - then design and build 'the better living environment'.
The major modification to the control hardware was the use of background wafers to provide the huge active database of living standards - everything from building regulations to the dreams of humble dwellings. The idea of booking space only
at the show was brilliant. In the center will sit the Enviro demonstration unit - the surrounding area will hold all those structures created by it. The (selected) show visitor simply states his requirements then has his mind blown as the suggested structure is constructed there and then! How can we fail - we're going to be RICH!
Bob Marsh wasn't feeling rich - he was feeling sick. There was no time to wallow - he had to make the decision to go. Go for it - pack the gear, ship it down to Olympia 3, send a runner for the wafers (they're preloaded) and we'll fit them on site, grab some fixers and tweak the hi-interps on the way down.
You should have seen their faces - acres of low-start flooring to fill and we turned up with two small trucks and the E frame. There was no point in keeping anything under wraps - none of the incredulous
contractors would guess the nature of the breakthrough, and anyway we still had work to do.
Set-up only took three hours and the laser alignment was going well. We still lacked the wafers but they were on their way...
THE SCENE is set for the biggest arcade adventure in micro history. It's called Cad-Cam Warrior and it's from one of the leading games houses in the UK, Taskset.
The screen chart on the following page is just a small part of Cad-Cam Warrior's overall map scenario. Each colour code designates a new screen 'system'.
Short cuts (at junctions) CAN be taken... provided you've done well (and quickly) enough when you reach the option point. Otherwise it's the long haul...
As the final scenario line implies the wafers are the key objective in the game and the runner is the character you control. The computer has malfunctioned and it has swallowed the runner and the wafers into its processing system. The runner has to work its way through the computers locations (8192 in all) to its very heart where the wafers lie.
There are 200 alien types (some being rehashed in different layouts) Info Tokens, Phase Counters, Vifa Branches, Online Tokens and Exultation Junctions to destroy and collect on your travels. But I won't define all the above items as it would greatly detract from that joy of discovery in playing.
Above: Stairway to Heaven? Only if you're fast enough.
Below: 3D soft-solid and 8192 locations.
There are eight square-shaped floors with each floor holding 1024
rooms. These rooms are split into four sectors on each floor (4*256)
with a stairway to the floor above in each corner of the floor.
As you play you will be presented with a room which has two mirrored plates (see pics) and the colour of the edge plates will be an indication of the attack pattern for that room. Skillful play is necessary as the faster you complete a room you are awarded with Phase Counters and Online Tokens.
Below: The Taskset Cad-Cam Warrior team: justifiably proud of their epic.
These two items allow you to jump ahead and bypass other rooms directly
in your path (as laid out in a short-range map at the end of an attack
wave) and receive information about branches further ahead respectively.
The key to playing this game well is be rather familiar with the numbers in base eight (play it and find out!). The small section of map (see above) shows a tiny portion of the first floor. You enter top left and would have to hold info tokens to see the branch down from the blue sector to the Orange sector, or you would travel all the way up and down the blue passage to reach the Orange junction.
The action in the game is fast and furious and the aliens do not simply have to be zapped. You can collect them, lay mines, lead them into trouble and collect them while they are young, to name but a few. The real challenge in this game is simply its sheer size and the necessity to watch out for (and wisely choose) the right branches to get via Exultation Junction to the floor above you.
As you can see from the map section (the number 8 and multiples thereof are relevant when it comes to finding junctions to the next sector on each floor. although there are a few surprises in store if all junctions encountered are taken.
The graphics and sound are up to the usual Taskset excellence and a great deal of thought has gone into the planning and design of this game. It all shows in the quality of the final product. Cadcam Warrior is not a game to be cracked in a week. In fact, I defy anyone to crack this baby inside a month. Maybe two. So there.
Taskset Cad Cam Warrior Advert
ALL TASKSET games, and Cad Cam Warrior especially, are the result of solid teamwork. At all stages from design concepts through to mastering for duplication the designers have been working together, originating and solving problems.
Consider some of the stages which became the subject of discussion by some or all the Taskset team during the development of Cad Cam Warrior:
1. The design concept - this grew from ideas about displaying two alternative game play areas on the same screen. They were originally linked by holes through which the player could conduct two battles simultaneously. This idea fused with the concept of a machine created labyrinth and the basis for Cad Cam Warrior.
2. Detail Definition - to establish the shape of characters and the environment. This is heavily linked to graphic design but must take account of the capabilities of the 64's screen and the requirement that the major characters be highlighted and have special definition to save them from merging with a many-coloured background.
3. Storyboards - these are produced to establish the main objectives of the game and to show the view of important scenes on the way to the goal.
4. Sound - including sound effects and music, the allocation of channels and the mood which the music should induce. The composition and arrangement of an original score was a major consideration.
5. Game Facilities - includes joysticks, keyboard, player options, number of players, security, loading screens and memory management. Add to these game requirements the commercial requirements of scheduling, production, packaging, promotion and funding the need for a team is clear.