this page since
Willy the Hacker
Willy Takes a Trip
|J4 is an imaginatively
titled version of "Jet Set Willy" by Geoff Eddy, Iain Eddy and Alasdair Swanson.
The name signifies that this version is the 4th "remix" of the game, i.e the
fourth (and most successful) time the designers attempted to redesign the game for their
own satisfaction. For what it's worth, the previous remixes were the following.
This was essentially a few designs on squared paper by Geoff and Iain back in 1985 in the
wake of _that_ article in _Your Spectrum_. Without any knowledge of how the sprites or
objects worked, this never progressed beyond the design stage. One room, "The
Particle Accelerator", regrettably failed to get beyond a title; this was mostly
because neither Geoff nor Iain knew what a particle accelerator looked like, but also
because mere mention of the title rendered them helpless with laughter for several minutes
afterwards. Any takers out there?
Designed during the summer of 1988 by Geoff and Alasdair, incorporating some of the rooms
designed by Iain for the 0th remix. The top 24 rooms were ultimately lost forever due to a
tape glitch; not such a bad thing since most of them weren't much good. It was with this
remix that the practice began (started ultimately by Alasdair) of naming rooms after
songs. In the absence of a room editor (first used for the third remix), the rooms had to
be entered in hex bytes in a BASIC program. Eugh.
Designed by Geoff and Alasdair, time unknown. Each had 4 blocks of 8 rooms each; within
each block all rooms had the same border colour and took their titles from the same album
(at least, that was the original plan). It was never finished.
Designed by Geoff, Iain and Alasdair in summer/autumn 1990. The original plan was for each
designer to have 20 rooms, with the remaining four "special" rooms being
designed jointly. All but one of Iain's rooms were finished, as were most of Geoff's, but
only a few of Alasdair's were.
is essentially remix 3 with several of Geoff's rooms redesigned, some of Alasdair's rooms
from earlier remixes included,and considerable editing to tidy up the entrances and exits.
And somesurprises too...
click the pic for a review
Whether because of the
personalities of the designers, or for some other reason, designing JSW rooms became to be
regarded as an artform in itself, a kind of aesthetic challenge to produce interesting
results within a limited environment, as well as producing a working, playable and
enjoyable game. It is hoped that players of j4 will regard the game with this in mind: it
isn't as difficult as some of the other JSW redesigns out there, nor is it as coherent in
concept, but it's hopefully at least as interesting for other reasons.
It should be apparent
that each designer has his own tastes and preferences regarding the design of the rooms;
it was once said that Geoff's rooms were meant to be passed through, Iain's to be looked
at, and Alasdair's to die in. To enhance the interested reader's enjoyment of j4, some
comments follow about the rooms. "Geoff mode" refers to the fact that j4 was
substantially hacked to be more flexible; the reader is referred to Geoff's
"jclop" JSW room editor (downloadable from
http://www.cix.co.uk/~morven/jsw.html) for further details.
Willy The Hacker
Download Willy The Hacker
|At last, here is the much-longed-for documentation
for Willy the Hacker. The reason I didn't provide it in the first place
was simply that I wanted to retain an air of mystery about the game, but evidently this
resulted in *too much* mystery for some people! So, in response to requests, here are the
secrets of the game laid bare. (Well, most of them; I may have left a few out by
click the pic for a review
|Why "Willy the Hacker"?
Why not? ;-) The game was originally conceived as a sort of "Willy does
cyberspace", but the concept was lost over time; some remnants remain, though.
Another design concept was to use at most three or four colours (not counting black) for
many rooms, although this has little if anything to do with hacking.
Willy Takes A Trip
Download Willy Takes A Trip
|AKA my third JSW game, following "J4" and
contributions to "Willy the Hacker" and "J4". It's (hopefully) more
coherent than J4 and more challenging than WtH, it makes much more use of patch vectors
too. Like both of these games, there isn't a single consistent theme in the game; rather
there are several groups of adjacent rooms which share a theme, albeit somewhat loosely.
By now the basic JSW
engine has been very badly jacked to support Geoff mode. Future games should feature it
tidied up a bit, with extra features: diagonal sprites, for example!
notice (to be read and understood before playing)
The title is
inspired by "Granny Takes a Trip", a reference to the name of a shop in Swinging
London in the mid-sixties. While the "trip" in this is doubtless a reference to
drugs, I want to make it clear that it and similar drug references in the game are
intended FOR HUMOUR VALUE ONLY and DO NOT promote, advocate or condone the use of drugs,
legal or otherwise. If you are nevertheless liable to take offence at these, I can only
suggest that you don't play the game.
I don't think that
taking drugs is at all clever, and potential flamers please note - I don't actually
"do" any drugs, except for the odd glass of wine or champagne. But I do rather
enjoy the black humour which goes with some aspects of drug-taking, and some of this
humour found its way into the game. I suspect that this is also true of the original JSW,
which - so Matthew Smith claimed in his interview with YS - was written under the
influence of certain unspecified but probably illegal substances. Flamage which displays
no understanding of the above will be sent to the bit bucket. The rest of you, just enjoy!
click the pic for a review
|"Enough preaching; get on with the GAME,
What's the music?
The title tune is, of
course, "Greensleeves", and I defy anyone to fix the bum low note! The in-game
tune is one half (the lower one) of the guitar riff from "And Your Bird Can
Sing" by the Beatles.