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Rex Next

Category: Game
Genre: Shoot'em Up
Status: In Development
Format: Digital
Cost: To Be Confirmed
Author(s): Jas Austin
Graphics: Jas Austin
Language: English

Rex, the thick-skinned mercenary, is here to do a job. He has come to Zenith to do away with the humans who have built their fortunes around the Great Tower.

Armed with the greatest weapon system ever seen, with its array of cannons, lasers, multiple spray guns, and smart bombs, Rex leaps from cave to cave in a mad blitz that wreaks havoc and destruction on his chosen enemies.

Originally released for the ZX Spectrum in 1988, 31 years later and Jas Austin is working on a Spectrum Next version! In his words...

Rex Next is progressing nicely. I've got most of my core code in and working. Along with keyboard control of Rex and some basic enemy movement and collision.

I've been developing on PC using Microsoft Visual Studio and a custom made assembler written by a friend and fellow games developer Steve Clark (It's a modified version of the one we used back in the day to develop Gameboy games). I then either run the code on Real Spectrum emulator, or directly on the Next board. The graphics I've been pulling from the original Rex rom using a visual memory viewer, again written by Steve.

I decided early on that I wanted to keep a more 'traditional' look to the game, so sticking to Speccy colours and using software sprites. I have some ideas for using the new Next features for some visual 'bling' effects. But mostly using the extra speed the Next provides to produce something that wouldn't have been possible back in the 80's.

Whilst I've never stopped developing games, it's been a huge amount of fun going back to low level Z80 code, and a system with little hardware support or fancy game engines. Without the Next project I doubt I ever would have seriously thought about following up one of my 30 year old games... great days 🙂

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