The Complete History of
Another computer club later took place at the Dundee College of Technology, but what is now called Abertay University. Even though it would later become a university, it would always be known to them all as Bell Street Tech.
By the time Steve started his HND in computing at the college, Dave had already been there for a while, and it was here he made some more friends that he would eventually hire at DMA.
Many new members appeared at the club, including a lot from the old KACC. It was here that Brian Watson - Biscuit - entered the scene along with some more of Dave's university chums.
All the while, Dave had been carrying on his Amiga programming and making best use of the smooth scrolling and parallax effects that the Amiga did so well.
Some time later, he got to know a guy called Tony Smith, through some connections with an Amiga group he was involved in called "The Kent Team".
Computer "groups" or "demo teams" as they were known, were people who just wrote what are know as demos. These are just technical programs that show of the developers coding or artistic skills, and have no other purpose.
Dave showed Mike a full screen DPaint picture of a tree Tony had done, and he was stunned at how good it was, and even more stunned because this was the first graphic that Tony had ever produced!
From this excellent start, Tony went on to create backgrounds and aliens for Dave's game, currently called CopperCon1 (an Amiga Hardware register).
Steve did the first ship for Dave, where it remained for quite some time, even appearing on the front of a magazine, "Personal Computer World" along with the first public showing of the game, was the pre-DMA Design name: ACME software at the time, and Dave was now trying to sell his new CopperCon1 game
Another difference from the final game at this time other than the temporary name and temporary graphics was a temporary company name too! Prominent in the screenshot could be seen the current name of Dave's company: Acme Software.
Proto-Menace naturally needed sound effects to compliment the graphics. Again, temporary ones of various kinds were used. Several in fact. Salamander, the arcade game, proved its use once more as we went to the arcade in Dundee's Reform Street armed with a tape recorder.
Mike and Steve played the game and with Dave nonchalantly leaning on the unit and holding the microphone discretely to the cabinet's speaker (difficult because the speaker was at the top), while some very muffled sound effects were obtained.
Even this made for a better game playing experience than his original effects: which he had shouted "bang" and "boom" into the microphone!
A game needs selling and Dave first approached Hewson where apparently Andrew Braybrook himself viewed it, and recommended that they take it.
This was no small measure of accolade, Mike had been following a series of programming articles by Braybrook in the magazine ZZap64! and held him in high regard.
In fact, he was one of the small handful of industry celebrities that they had all heard of, and being a well known games programmer was for them the height of cool. To have a game judged by him and then accepted was amazing. Braybrook was the game's industry's equivalent of a film star.
The future of DMA might have been vastly different - had it happened at all - but for a small turn of events. Hewson wanted Dave's game to be the official Amiga version of Zynaps and while he thought seriously about it, he came to realise that he wouldn't make nearly as much money from it compared with being an original product. So he looked elsewhere.
Text © Copyright 2004 By Mike Dailly
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