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Software from BITD All the software that I had back in the day was cassette based and it was all of the gaming variety! A lot of the 8-bit computers from that era had flashing colours on the screen and the crazy whining loading sounds, the Elk showed the progress through a hexadecimal count on the screen, often accompanyed by graphical loading screens and, if you were unlucky, the Data? Rewind Tape? error messages!

Favourites of mine are Cybertron Mission, Starship Command, Felix in the Factory, Elite, Mystery of the Java Star, Firetrack, Bumble Bee, Snapper, Cops N Robbers, Rohak the Swordsman, Jungle Journey (a new game), Qwak, Magic Mushrooms, JSW2 and I recently got hold of Exile; didn't get this one BITD! There are so many more I love, but that's a good start ;-)

Other formats include the Cartridge form with the ROM inside carrying the software; these are plugged into the Plus 1, the Slogger Plus 2 or ROMbox+ and similar. Also available were floppy disks in all shapes and sizes, the most popular being 5.25" and later 3.5". To use these on an Electron you had a choice of DFS or ADFS filing system and a lot companies made interfaces; Acorn Computer's own Plus 3 being very popular initially. I do use the Acornsoft View cartridge if I ever need to write a letter but most the time I use Martin B's *EELOAD utility to write a ROM image of it from disk to a spare SWRAM I keep plugged into the AP34. I keep a lot of my most used ROMs imaged on a disk and write them into SWRAM for that session; it's easier than swapping cartridges around. Apart from that, most of the software I use is on 3.5" disk, loaded through either PRES ADFS or DFS on either my 40T 5.25" drive or twin 3.5" drives. The 3.5" drives are actually PC internal floppy drives, which work very well for this purpose!

Other Software Being a close relation of the BBC B, the Elk naturally also had a lot of educational titles available. There are also Art packages, such as AMX Art, Word Processors like Acornsoft's View, DTP and all sorts of home-brew software for specialist applications, as you might expect from a Hobbyist's computer.
The pages of magazines like Electron User were always full of all sorts of listings that could be typed in, usually followed by a lot of error correction from typing in mistakes!

New Software

There is plenty of software still being written for the Elk today! A good website to keep an eye on is Retro Software. Here is the stuff that I've created over the years for the Electron:



ZAOR!


ZOMBIES ATE OUR ROADIES! (the British IBM on Trubell Island)
In the third game in my British IBM fan-game series, you find yourself on Trubell Island to see the band play as part of their world tour!

Typically, the island been over run by zombies during the night, but when you awake you know you must still find your way to that gig!

Featuring some nice puzzles and quirky locations, this little text adventure is offered as freeware on DFS (or ADFS, upon request) 3.5" floppy disc. As it is written on an Acorn Electron using the Quill, it should work fine on other compatible computers such as the Beeb and the Master too.

DISC - To get your free copy on disc, simply contact me (Stuart) with your address details. All that is asked is that you cover the cost of the postage. (If you don't have a floppy drive for your puter, an .ssd image can be downloaded.

CASSETTE TAPE - To compliment the physical cassette release, there is also the free audio (FLAC format) file to load into your Elk or a UEF tape image for emulators/UPCFS.

There's some cheeky references in the game to some of my inspirations for it... Fear the Walking Dead, Grimm, and of course some references to band itself!

All the usual text adventure commands apply, most abbreviated to the first four letters (eg ENTEr LIFT), as well as movement also using the usual U,D, N, E S W.

I duplicate the floppies on my twin drives on the Electron - please allow a day or two processing time ;-)

I've mentioned the band has a Patreon page in a few places; I hope this game helps to spread awareness of that as they really deserve all the help they can get as they fly the vintage computing banner in the world of indie-rock!

Thank you so much to the lads for letting me drag their name through another dodgy fan-game.... long live the Elk! Download the disc image, or, alternatively, cassette image here. You can also download an audio FLAC file to load into your Electron with your sound source pretending to be a cassette recorder ;)


ZAOR!

copying ZAOR!


the BIBM QUIZ II


the British IBM QUIZ II
Here's the fourth game in the series inspired by my favourite band..... continue to test your knowledge of the British IBM with QUIZ II!

This time with pictures and sounds....

DOWNLOAD here.

the BIBM QUIZ NIGHT


the British IBM QUIZ NIGHT
..... clue....... check out the interview with frontman Aidy on this very site if you're getting stuck ;-)
.....clue2...... sometimes, randomly, there's a glitch when answering Question 1 Round 2 where you have to press to check there's no extra spaces before you type your answer or else you get no points for a correct answer! to enjoy all the flabbergasting effects of this game, run it on a real Electron (or Beeb?) but it should run in emulator too, just without a certain effect)

DOWNLOAD here.

Space Grab


Space Grab
The first game in the BIBM series!You're on your way to Jupiter to see a gig by legendary Vintage Computing indie band the British IBM!

Cruising along, you realise that you're following the tour bus.... but disaster! The loading doors have come open and the equipment has started floating out into the space!

Grab as much of the stray equipment as you can, whilst avoiding asteroids.

For a challenge, collect all the letters to form the words THE BRITISH IBM

DOWNLOAD here.



symbiosis mixed releases
New diskmag releases of mixed Electron content, starting Sep 2019. Some art appears in Mistigris artpack releases!
Get in touch for a free floppy (just cover postage) or download the ssd images from here:

symbiosis1, September 2019.

NOIZE!

NOIZE!


NOIZE!
bring the NOIZE! NOIZE is a sound generator that works on pitch. You get numbers and colours and stuff too!

Built for the elk but should work on any beeb type. Does work in emulator but it goes a bit funky if you push it too hard.

NOIZE! appears on symbiosis1, alongside another sound thingy thats a like like a beat generator/sequencer thing.

DOWNLOAD here.



GOAM / Aaron Swartz
The Guerilla Open Access Manifesto by the late Aaron Swartz is an incredibly powerful and important document. In an effort to aid its circulation to the widest possible audience, and just because I hope Aaron would have thought it was cool, I have included the full text of it within my latest demo on the Elk.

DOWNLOAD here.



Corporation8
A short story set in a dystopian future, with some sounds and artwork that I drew on my Elk in the AMX Art package.

DOWNLOAD here.

FAVOURITES MENU1


FAVOURITES MENU1
A selection of some of my favourite games from BITD on one side and a Bonus (well, one of my games I've written more recently) on Side 2....

DOWNLOAD here.

laptop glow from Elkshow 5


ELKSHOWS
Artwork that I have drawn in AMX Art on my Acorn Electron (with the AMX mouse) and pictures that have been digitised across on the EUP! You can find out more on demozoo.

Here are each of the floppy images: ELKSHOW1 * ELKSHOW2 * ELKSHOW3 * ELKSHOW4 * ELKSHOW5 * ELKSHOW6 * ELKSHOW7




Elk as a RobCo Terminal from the game Fallout 4
I've written a demo on the Elk that lets you turn your 8-bit into a RobCo turret control terminal from the game Fallout 4!

Each screen is as it appears in the terminals in the game, with a few nice digitised images thrown in as well.

Obviously it's 100% unofficial, not making me any money and no copyright infringement intended ;-)

DOWNLOAD here.

RGDS level


Magic Mushrooms RGDS Level
The game Magic Mushrooms by Acornsoft is an absolute classic and a lot of fun to play; easy in parts and punishingly difficult in others!

Built into the game is a level editor so since I had a bit of spare time today and I have been listening to loads of the RGDS podcast lately, I decided to do an RGDS level!

I called the level Andy gets fright!! and had a lot of fun making it. I did all this on my actual Electron, but I have included the level for download here, so that you can bung it into the game in your favourite Electron emulator and have a go...

Just in case you're new to emulation, here's a quick step-by-step guide to getting it up and running:

1a. Go here to download the Elkulator emulator.
1b. Download the Magic Mushrooms game and my RGDS level and unzip them.
2. Install the emulator and run it.
3. In Elkulator choose (Tape) then (Load Tape...) click on the Magic Mushrooms UEF click (open)
4. In Elkulator, type CHAIN"" and hit (return)
5a. Once the game has loaded, choose (Tape) then (Load Tape...) from the menu at the top and click on the RGDS uef then click (open)
5b. back on the game screen, press (L) to load a new level and enter the name RGDS
6. it should load up and you just need to press (SPACE) to play!


DOWNLOAD tape images of both the RGDS level and the game Magic Mushrooms in a zip file here.

Lost Letters


Postman Pat's Lost Letters
Copyright issues aside, I've rewritten my game 'Teabag Terror II' to be a new game for Postman Pat fans:
'Postman Pat's Lost Letters'

Postman Pat was out on his rounds one day when the wind suddenly blew really hard and he lost all his letters!

You're going to have to pick them all up as they appear on the ground.

No time to stop though; there's a pesky bird overhead who's determined to poo on Pat's head!

DOWNLOAD here.

SoM


Sisters of Mercy slideshow, 2016
The Sisters of Mercy are one of my all-time favourite bands. Here's a demo I did on my Electron, featuring digitised images of the band...

DOWNLOAD here.

TCCOTMV


the Curious Case of the Missing Victorian
In 2013 I wrote a game on my Elk using The Quill. The game is a text-adventure of the type so popular on 8-bit computers back in the eighties.

There are lots of these sort of games available for the Electron, but I always felt there was a gap in Victorian-era games available. This lead me to have a go with The Quill, which is a brilliant piece of software, and write The Curious Case of the Missing Victorian!

The game is quite short, but there are a few nice puzzles! If you do get stuck though, there is a solution over at CASA. TCCOTMV was given a mention in Retro Asylum podcast #60.

Here's a review by @RealAdamMcKay (via Twitter)

"This creation proved to be professionally made and was a welcome introduction for me to the Acorn Electron. Despite its short length, you can tell The Curious Case of the Missing Victorian was painstakingly made, with wonderful attention to detail that set the atmosphere for the game. The story was well-crafted and the text was flawless.

Every so often there were a few aspects that I noted could have been improved, such as a section of the map marked simply as "Trees". Aside from that, the commands could have been tweaked slightly. There are several times where a specific command might be needed, but nothing happens unless you guess the exact phrase needed. Such as "show", when "give" might also have been applicable.

These aspects don't create a major problem, though, and in a way they keep the game from becoming too easy to complete. If you're looking for an absorbing game to take up your afternoon, this would be a great place to start!

8/10"

So, here it is (latest version, 15/03/14). The game is available as a freeware download (ssd disk image, compatible with emulators or an actual Electron if transferred over) from the Retro Software label.

DOWNLOAD here.

MOGE2 Acorn Electron Wizard of Wor


Moge of Tossle 2 - Acorn Electron version of 'Wizard of Wor'
A 3-player game for the Electron!

The game Wizard of Wor was originally an arcade game, released in 1980 by Midway and subsequently ported to a few 8-bit platforms. My experiences of the game are the Atari 2600 version and the C64 port; love these two games so much and they rank amongst my all-time favourites!

I was always a bit miffed that it never got ported to the Electron so I have resolved to do something about that myself! I had a dip of the toe in the water with the two-player arena game that I released for the Elk earlier this year; Moge of Tossle - you can download it from this site and it's just a bit of two player fun really - like all my games if you do decide to play it in emulation rather than on a real Elk make sure you enable the Plus 1 or it will behave it bit oddly!

Fans of Wizard of Wor will be familiar with the names of the characters and the quirky spellings; Wor for War, Worriors, etc.

For Moge, I have come up with a few names based around these ideas. The game itself is Moge of Tossle as a miss-spell of Mage of Tussle; Mage for Wizard and Tussle being another word for war or conflict. The characters are as follows:

Worriors from the original are the Wurryers in Moge and Moge II
Burwor is now Bukwuk
Garwor is now Gukwuk
Thorwor is Thukwuk
Worluk is Wukluk
Wizard of Wor is Moge


You get the idea ;-)

Moge of Tossle II is an unofficial version of Wizard of Wor, from which I am making no money; hopefully I'm not offending any of the Copyright owners by doing it! It is not quite complete, but can be played on 16k Electron with dual analogue controllers.

DOWNLOAD here.

Moge of Tossle 1 appears on Compendium#1 a bit further down this list.

MOGE2 Acorn Electron maze design

MOGE2 Acorn Electron maze design

DS


DARKNESS SURROUNDS....
DARKNESS SURROUNDS.... is best described as a first-person shooter in a similar style of games like Operation Wolf where the player controls a crosshair on the screen.

Enemies appear onscreen from the darkness and you must shoot them with your crosshairs before they hurt you. I'm trying to create a game with a little bit of atmosphere and the over-ruling theme of darkness, at least that's my excuses for the lack of scenery :-p I'm learning as I go with the games I make and I work exclusively in BASIC so am a little restricted but I hope folks can find something fun to play amongst the things I produce.

You'll need to enable the Plus 1 if you're playing in emulator as the game uses the analogue joystick in real life ;-)

DOWNLOAD here.

DS

compendium


Compendium 1

This one features some stuff I did early on in the Acorn Electron Today days (back then myAcornElectron) and includes these gems:



Bug-Drop - I love playing Gimpy Bomber on my Android phone and it inspired me to do an Elk game in a similiar vein. in Bug-Drop, you play an alien sent to demolish the abandoned ruins of Alpha Centauri 7, but you were injured coming into orbit and you must level each city before you crash!

What Screen can you get to?



Tea Bag Terror 1 - tea bag terror, I put together in 2015 based heavily on Money Maze by Roland Waddilove. Money Maze was a type-in game from issue #1.09 of Electron User magazine, June 1984.

The changes/additions I made to the original game to produce Tea-Bag Terror are as follows:

- Added a loading screen
- Wrote a new introduction/instruction screen
- Changed the sprites in the game for the main character, the collectables, the baddies and the walls of the mazes
- Changed the name of the baddies from Ghosts to Biffer and his mates 'the Bullies'.
- Changed the value of each collectable and altered the Score to Tea-bags
- Themed the game around a visit to Fine Fare's. Yep, that's right.
- Credited R.Waddilove in the outro and added a piccy of my brother and my Dad on my Elk, circa 1983.


I got permission from R.Waddilove to use his program as the basis for Tea-Bag Terror; hope you enjoy it!



Tea Bag Terror 2 - tea bag terror 2 - pegging it back from Fine Fare's

You've survived the shopping spree in Fine Fare, but now you have to collect all the tea bags that were blown away in a gale on your way home!


You can grab the Compendium DOWNLOAD here.

tea bag terror!








"For the Electron; Fourth Protocol, Project Theseus, Savage Island, Strange Odyssey, Quest for the Holy Grail, Lost Crystal, Citadel and Myorem (by the amazing Robico) delighted me...."
Pendragon