Roll On - The History
I wrote the original version of Roll On while still at school (most of it was written when I was 15/16). It was released as shareware for the Acorn Archimedes range of computers in 1996. There were a few games of this type around at the time on various platforms and I thought I'd have a go at making my own. Previously I'd made some (mediocre) 2D sprite based games and thought I'd try my hand at something in 3D.
The demo version featured on the cover disk of the January 1997 edition of Archimedes World magazine.
It was also mentioned in the Acorn Shopper section in December 1996 issue of Computer Shopper,
Converting to iOS
The version for the iPhone etc doesn't share any code with the original. The orignal was written in ARM assembler with some BBC BASIC loading code, it drew the graphics by writing directly to video memory. The iOS version is written in Objective-C and uses OpenGL for the graphics - thing's are much easier these days!
The original also had 42 levels (yes that was a nod to Douglas Adams) and a demo version with an additional four levels. The levels were ported across to the new version but most needed tweaking (the jump timing in the current version is a little different and you move quite a bit faster now), some were deleted altogether and replaced with completely new levels, others were just renamed they're mostly in a different order now. But despite the changes the current levels owe a lot to their 14 year old originals.
I guess it's poetic in someway that the current version still runs on an ARM based system as the Acorn Archimedes series was what the original ARM processor was created for in the first place.
I've made both the demo and full versions available (the demo levels aren't included in the full version) for free download. They are stored as zipped disk images (*.adf) and you'll need either a real Acorn Achrimedes computer (images can be written to a physical floppy disk using OmniFlop) or an emulator (with RISC OS ROMs) to play them! So this bit is probably only for Acorn enthusiasts! Personally I use Arculator which can mount the disk images directly runs Roll On well (I do also have an aging A3010 in the loft which allowed me to rescue some data from the orignal disks that had disk errors that prevented OmniFlop from reading them).
Both versions are now considered freeware, please feel free to link to this page to allow others to download, if you want to redistribute them (e.g. in an Archive of old Acorn games) then please contact me first. Thank you.
©1995 - 2010, Jeremy Cooke