This page presents information about the re-release of Star Fighter 3000 on CD-ROM. Release 3 is the definitive edition of this classic game, and is compatible with all RISC OS machines, including the Iyonix PC. What follows is a round up of significant changes; if you interested in minutiae then you may wish to consult the complete history of the game.
The game is now compatible with all modern RISC OS machines, from the humblest A5000 with OS version 3.1 to the next generation of 32-bit only machines such as the XScale powered Iyonix PC. On StrongARM machines with OS version 4 the game takes control of screen memory caching in order to give enhanced performance. All aspects of the game that relied upon a 50Hz monitor refresh rate have long since been rewritten to use more reliable timing methods.
A multitude of minor bugs have been fixed, including many that date back to the very first Fednet versions of the game. Two that justifiably achieved notoriety are the missiles-blowing-up-on-launch bug and the lasers-passing-through-satellite bug; both have now been fixed. In addition, the game has been enhanced by the discovery of several features that were formerly broken, such as proper runway taxi-ing by enemy fighters, missile launch from big ships and mouse control auto-centring.
The game now integrates fully into the RISC OS desktop, with a comprehensive style-guide compliant user interface provided by the Acorn Toolbox. You can play the game in full screen mode, or in a window whilst other applications continue to run in the background. Standard 'save' and 'scale' dialogue boxes provide facilities to take screen shots and scale the viewing window to any size.
The configurability of the game using the desktop interface is greatly extended compared to using the old configure menu; for instance all keys and joystick/mouse buttons can now be redefined. Many existing options such as volume and mouse sensitivity can be set with increased accuracy.
Since release 1.00 there has been a comprehensive overhaul of all game input. Because all key presses are fully buffered there is no need to hold down keys until they register. The usual user-reaction-time problems that mar many old games when run on fast computers have been addressed. Both switched and analogue joysticks are now supported. A new weapon cycle function has been added, to allow quick weapon selection by pressing a mouse or joystick button.
Much greater use of animated tiles on all ground maps helps to bring the game environment to life. Animated tiles no longer miraculously spring back to life after having been destroyed.
An attempt has been made to improve the A.I. of enemy fighters when it comes to avoiding collisions with hills, buildings and other ground objects. Admittedly the scope for doing this without a substantial rewrite is limited, given the vintage of the game. Fighters are also less inclined to fly suicidally close to the ground, or behave stupidly when the player is dead with a new life pending; typically they used to crash into each other and/or the ground.
The area in which there has perhaps been most improvement is that of the game's sound. In addition to 8 bit µ-law sound used by earlier versions of the game, 16 bit linear sound is now supported. If the SharedSound module is loaded then the game sound will be mixed with any other sound sources (such as MP3 music). Sound and music data is no longer stored in RMA, which avoids the memory becoming unrecoverable for applications due to fragmentation. The pitch bend effect used to give an impression of speed to the thruster and wind noises has been restored to its former glory. (It had been disabled on the Risc PC, to avoid nasty crashes.) Finally, the aural experience is brought to life by the addition of stereo effects and an increase in polyphony from 4 to 8 channels.
|Additional Programming||C. J. Bazley|
The CD-ROM edition, entitled "Star Fighter 3000 - Other Worlds", was sold first by iSV Products and then by APDL. Also included on the CD were three other games: Air Supremacy, Elite, and Visions Of The Impossible's Sunburst. This CD-ROM is no longer available since APDL ceased trading in May 2014.
Instead, the game is now free to download.
|All material relating to Star Fighter 3000 is © Fednet Software, 1994, 1995. Email the webmaster.|