E! True Zx Games Story: Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash, released in 1984, is in no way balderdash. Please do not take the "we do not like pun" high horse here as in terms of this article it has to do with the history of invention.

Here is couple of quick facts about the Boulder Dash story:
Peter Liepa, who is credited as the game creator, studied Physics just like Douglas Smith.Unlike Lode Runner's creator, Peter did not become quick- and super-rich.
So, here is the story?
Game Inventors: Peter Liepa, Chris GrayOccupation at the time of invention: Peter Liepa ? unemployed; Chris Gray ? unknownLocation at the time of invention: Canada.
The game concept and its realization seem to be simple (at least in terms of modern technologies). However Boulder Dash's cookbook is composed of one man's versatile interests and another man's idea.

Fascination with animation

Born in 1953 in Ottawa, as a kid Peter aspired to be an animator or special effects designer on the one side, and a particle physicist on the other. He had to drop the latter as he found it too practical and fuzzy and thought there was vague future for particle Physics. The incentive for animation, on the other hand, lived with Peter until there was the right time to let it out.

Fascination with computers

When in high school, Peter was sent to the National Research Council of Canada for a week as part of an internship program. He had to work in a physics lab, Peter's supervisor had a shiny new Wang Calculator and it arrested the young intern's attention. In the same week all interns were taken on a tour of the Council's computer center. Amazed by what he saw, Peter asked to spend the rest of his internship time there. At the computer center there was an interactive terminal, which in those days was something similar to Teletype or IBM Selectric hooked up to a central mainframe. Peter quickly learned to program it, but after the end of week's internship there was no opportunity to study computers for a long time. In those days, the concept of personal computers was unimaginable.

Peter started off in Physics in university, but soon switched to math. His summer jobs were in computer programming, and he spent a lot of time playing early things like Conway?s Game of Life, which printed results on paper and had not digital screen whatsoever.

Fascination with human nature

After graduating in math, Peter drifted around studying subjects like human memory and perception. He received a master's degree in Control Theory. Both Control Theory and knowledge of human nature are another key points in what was later to become the cult game.

Another man's idea

When Peter was in his late twenties, he visited a friend of his, who was deeply into electronic toys and had a large screen TV and an Atari 400. Peter spent several evenings playing games, and then had a �I can do this� flash. He went out and bought an Atari 800 to start writing games. But rather than just starting to write a game, Peter thought it would be prudent to contact a local game publisher to see what sort of game might be in demand.

The publisher put Peter in touch with Chris Gray, who had submitted a game in Basic, but did not have the skills to convert it into machine language. The game was similar to an arcade game called The Pit, but after examining it more, Peter found that the game had very few game play variations ? too much of it was predetermined.

The development

Not satisfied with Chris' game algorithm, Peter started playing with basic elements of dirt, rocks and jewels and within a couple of days had built the basic �physics engine� of what was to become Boulder Dash. He realized that using a random number generator one could generate random caves, and that by controlling the density of rocks and jewels one could get some interesting game play. The game play fascinated not only from a puzzle standpoint, but it also appealed to various emotional drives ? the obvious psychotic ones like greed (collecting jewels), destructiveness (dislodging rocks and killing fireflies) and the neurotic ones like cleaning all the dirt out of a cave.

Chris and Peter lived quite far apart, so that their meetings were infrequent and involved a long drive. It turned out quite quickly that their design goals and methods were fairly incompatible. Peter was developing a game quite different from Chris' original, and did so just about completely on his own. Peter designed all of the elements, physics, caves, the game play, the graphics, the music, and the title. Chris helped out with a few odds and ends ? he suggested, for example, how to make the graphics for the game title by composing big letters out of the Atari character graphics. In the end, there was a lot of debate as to how exactly Chris should be credited and what his share of royalties should be.

The working title of the game for a long time was Cavern Raider, and several other variants like Cavern Crystals. Eventually Peter came up with the name Boulder Dash, which is a takeoff on the word balderdash. Coincidentally, a board game named Balderdash was also published in 1986.

The game's main character ? Rockford.

Originally, in the early physics engine stage, Rockford was just a static shape similar to a cross. When one moved the shape, it dug through the earth and absorbed jewels. In fact, the graphics were very simple, and elements were all single characters in a 24�40 character display. There was no scrolling in the early versions of the game. It was Chris who suggested that the digging shape should be a �man�, and together they came up with a simple human shape. When Peter showed an early version of the game to a potential publisher, they pointed out the �the man� was way too small and needed to be a more recognizable character. But it was not possible to make �the man� more prominent without making everything larger as well. So this was where the hard work began of converting the game from one that ran on a 24�40 character display to one that scrolled over a much larger region.

Now that the game elements were bigger, Peter was able to add much more detail, including making �the man� more recognizable. He built a character editor to work out the pixels and the animation. It was at this point that the Rockford character took shape. Rockford was not supposed to be any particular kind of human or animal, he just evolved in the pixel editor. Since Peter used to be interested in animation, he worked out the character to make Rockford blink his eyes and tap his feet. This was an innovation that added a lot of depth to the character.

The result

Overall, it took Peter about 6 months to finish the first version of Boulder Dash with no more than 2 hours of actual work per day.

Even though Boulder Dash was finished in half a year, it took another six months to find a publisher and work out a publication agreement. By this time Peter was already full time employed at a company that developed word processing software.

And so, the rest is history ? Boulder Dash was eventually published by First Star in 1984 and was an instant bestseller.

Having survived for over two decades on the market, the game is still here to fascinate us. You are always welcome play our remake of Boulder Dash, which is as close to the original as possible and needs no emulators to run.

Where is Chris Gray now?

We have no idea.

Where is Peter Liepa now?

Peter works in software development at a company named Alias, which produces 3D software for design and entertainment.

A Guide To Barrel Horse Race Saddle Care And Barrel Horse Exercises

Barrel racing, one of the most popular forms of rodeo event involves horses with superb muscular built as well as professional riders. The sport calls for teamwork and requires combined efforts of both the horse and the rider. It is a clear demonstration of the horse?s athletic ability and the fine horsemanship skills of the rider. You can play virtual barrel horse race games and various other horse racing games like Trainer Tournaments, Betting Tournaments and Jockey Tournaments on online gaming portals.

Of the numerous, different types of horseback riding saddles available in the market; barrel horse race saddle is also one of them. They are a bit different from Western saddles in the sense that their seat is relatively deeper. This helps the rider to maintain balance while making hard turns and also while racing fast. The horn is also taller and upright, which in turn helps the rider to hold onto firmly when turning fast.

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In the beginning, barrel racing events were developed specially for women. While husbands were busy roping or riding bulls, the wives participated in the barrel race. Although the exact date and precise details regarding the developments of barrel racing are not known, it is deemed that the first ever barrel racing competition was held in Texas.

Barrel horse race saddles are exclusively meant for competitions and use during training. These saddles are lightweight, allowing maximum flexibility to the horse so that he can move in tight turns and take long strides. You can find pictures, descriptions as well as online horse racing games featuring barrel horse race saddles on the internet.

A Few Notes A Novice Online Poker Player Should Remember

Many people are getting hooked to on-line activities such as on-line games, forex, stock markets, and games which you would normally find in casinos like roulette, blackjack and one of the old time favorites ?poker. If you are becoming one of those who would like to explore the joy of playing poker via the Internet, then there is a thing or two you should learn. The first question that you may ask is ?where can one enjoy playing this game? The answer is quite simple ? find yourself a good online poker room.

To play poker online, you may choose the existing 200 + poker rooms that are readily available via the internet. Once you get yourself logged in, then you will find yourself enjoying this game with 50, 000 other people. The number may even increase especially if you wish to crash in during the peak hours of the day.

Finding one is also just as easy as your fingers can find one for you. In many poker-related websites, you can also be presented a number of rooms and all you have to do is choose and then play.

Playing poker online serves a good training ground for those who want to eventually play in real-life casinos. You would normally see tipping in non-virtual poker games. Tipping may happen when the player wins one hand in the B & M card room. Sometimes, servers also get the luck as they; too, can get tipped when serving liquors and food during the game. One of the beauties of virtual poker game is that you are not required to give anybody a tip. Your winnings are all yours and you don?t have to share the, you also need not to spend a few dollars on travelling and hotel. You can win big even if you are just in your room wearing your favorite swear pants.

Another sweet advantage is that you can make use of your time wisely as it is not consumed with the dealer card shuffles. This basically mean more hand play for you and you get to finish one get immediately since you can also be subjected to time pressure. For the novice players, to play poker online is highly recommended since you can further increase your skills, gain full knowledge of this game, and best of all, you can also establish your bankroll simultaneously. Now, that sounds really appealing!

Online Free Sudoku Puzzles Are A Great Way To Pass The Time At Home Or On The Go

Without a doubt, Sudoku has become an increasingly popular pastime over the past few years. Emerging from simply a cult style game, it has since usurped the crossword puzzle as one of the most popular pen and paper games of all time. Most commonly you can find a daily Sudoku puzzle in your local newspaper, but thanks to the internet, you can now enjoy online free Sudoku challenges from the comfort of your computer. Many popular online free Sudoku websites offer excellent puzzles that range in both size and difficulty so that anyone from a beginner to an expert can pass the time with an enjoyable puzzle.

One very excellent online free Sudoku resource is Fingertime. Their website offers a daily free Sudoku game of average difficulty. Their high tech Flash based puzzles are suitable for anyone and relieve you of the hassle of having to scramble back and forth between using the mouse and the keyboard like many online free Sudoku websites. All you have to do is simply click an open space and select the appropriate number you wish to place there. Furthermore, this website also gives you a timer so you can see how long it takes you to solve the puzzle and it automatically removes any duplicate numbers so you will not get through the entire puzzle and suddenly realize that you placed one number in the completely wrong spot.

Web Sudoku is another great online free Sudoku provider. While it is not as user friendly and lacks the timer that you get on Fingertime, you do get a much larger variety of puzzles on a daily basis. When you visit their online free Sudoku site, you will be presented with the easiest puzzle of the day. From there, you can select other difficulties such as Easy, Medium, Hard or Evil. This variety makes this website great for any Sudoku player, no matter how much of a problem solving pro they are. Furthermore, you can find a link on their website which will take you to a variety of jigsaw style Sudoku games. Modernized in vivid colors and brilliant animation, the jigsaw Sudoku puzzles are a nifty new way to enjoy America?s new favorite pastime.

An Australian online free Sudoku website takes the classic Sudoku puzzle and adds a few extras to it. Firstly, you will notice on their website that there is a little chat area so you can converse with other Sudoku fans from around the world about the current puzzle you are working on. It brings a nice, group atmosphere to an otherwise individual based game. Also, this online free Sudoku website gives you the option to place numbers in squares with a little tag so you can easily remember whether or not you are completely sure about its placement.