THE ARKANOID CONTRUCTION KIT by Richard Karsmakers
Hackin' groups can actually do something useful on a computer.
Just take us for an example: We used to be hackers, too, but
found out that there's more than just hacking - we started ST
NEWS for example. In this issue's "ST Software News" you might
already have read something about other hackin' groups that are
doing swell things on the ST - "TEX" and "DMA". But as this issue
ran to its close, another program from the latter (DMA = Dutch
Muggers Association) dropped in - "The Arkanoid Construction
Everybody should now "Arkanoid" by now - one of the most
addicting games that were launched on the ST in the last few
months. But nobody has ever heard of the "Arkanoid Construction
Kit", and that's why I have included this article in ST NEWS - to
promote this Public Domain product (which can also be ordered
through our PD service).
"The Arkanoid Construction Kit" allows you to manipulate any of
the levels in the program, load them from or save them to disk
seperately (over 150 additional levels are included on the disk).
It's even possible to make a trainer version of "Arkanoid"
through the construction kit (a version in which you won't loose
any lives), or unmake such a version.
The whole program is mouse-controlled and is extremely easy to
use. After having read the world-record length scrolling text
(that takes about half an hour to pass), you can load or save
"Arkanoid" levels (no worry, you can also abandon the scrolling
earlier), load or save the complete "Arkanoid" main file, change
the screen hertz (I suppose they must have pinched that from me),
toggle the bonus music (very good) on or off and edit the levels
currently on the screen.
It might very well turn out that the "Arkanoid Construction Kit"
is the best Public Domain initiative to be launched since our own
"Speedwriter" (which, although it sounds unmodest, just happened
to be very original indeed!). I have tried making some levels
myself and I must confess that that's very easy to do. You simply
select a building stone on the left hand side of the screen and
put that anywhere on the edit grid. When clicking the right mouse
button, it disappears.
I also had a look at some of the levels that were supplied on the
disk. In spite of the fact that the scrolling text (which
contains a user manual, but which works only on 60 Hz mode, due
to timing errors I presume) refers to two folders with levels,
the actual disk contains three of them (apart from the AUTO
folder that reorganizes and redefines the desktop icons -
according to techniques explained in another article in this
issue of ST NEWS). The first one, which is called "DEFAULT.LVL"
contains 32 levels that were taken from the original "Arkanoid".
Very handy indeed if one desires to make an original version
again after messing around a bit with all the other levels. The
other two are called "DMA.LVL" and "DMA_II.LVL", and they
contains numerous levels that vary from odd and simple to
ingenious and super-difficult. The maker(s) must have been heavy
metal fans (just like me), since they have named levels like
"Carrion" (a song from Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill"), "NM_156"
(just like "WARNING", "EN_FORCE" and "TAKEHOLD", these will
probably have been based upon compositions from "Queensrÿche").
But their imagination looks to be unlimited. I, for one, surely
would not have been able to create such a variety of levels which
such a wide variety of names ("MADONNA" and "SAMANTHA" (Fox) are
also present, for the freaks).
Concluding, it must be said that every "Arkanoid" freak must have
this PD offering in his/her collection (YES! On June 4th we got
the first reaction of someone called "Annelies", undoubtedly a
'her'! And I was just beginning to think this was a 'men only'
world....Lucky enough, it isn't!). It is very well programmed,
very userfriendly, and very easy to use. It seems to have been
well thought about, and I could not discover any bugs (although
you must not try to 'cancel' after a 'disk is write-protected'
error!). The user manual is not really necessary, as most of the
options explain themselves. Reading the scrolling can cause quite
some fun here and there, although the DMA guys are not too kind
to people who 'decrack' their 'crackings'!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.