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Terry Greer

Me - What I've done




Spectrum animated cartoons

Adventure game graphics

Last Ninja 2


Microprose Misc (Pizza Tycoon/Navy Strike.

XCom - Terror from the deep

XCom - Apocalypse

XCom - Alliance

Citizens (Ghosts of games that never were)

Master of Orion 2



Flaklypa Grand prix

Blitz Pitches (Ghosts of games that never were)

Blitz Tech


Animated Spectrum cartoons

In 1984 I created some short animated cartoons for ‘Spectrum Computing’ an early tape magazine that were billed as the 'World’s first computer animated comic strip'.


The idea behind tape magazines was that rather than a print magazine the user bought a tape which would load a program, they they'd be asked to stop the tape. When they selected to quit the current section they'd be prompted to start the tape again, so that the next section would load. This way they would gradually move through that month's publication. There were tape magazines for several early game consoles and it was obviously a totally linear process before disk drives became popular and cheap for home users, and long before the internet was really usable by the masses.


The cartoon graphics had to be simple with relatively small animating areas. I created several of these cartoons for Spectrum Computing – but the time they took to create wasn’t really economical and I eventually stopped doing them after the fifth.


The spectrum only had 48k memory for everything. One of the easiest  (and fastest) ways of animating bitmap graphics was to redefine the character set and then change the address for the character set to point to the changed graphics.


When I first started the graphics were designed on graph paper, with each 8 pixel row having to be converted to hexadecimal by hand. After a couple I bought an early graphic tablet (Grafpad), this made it a lot easier, but the bits that animated still had to be defined as a number of 8x8 character tiles.


On the spectrum each character line was 8 pixels with each pixel being on or off – basically using a byte). In addition every 8x8 character square had an extra byte that defined colour. This broke down into an choice of 7 colours for the ink and paper colours along with a bit that added a ‘bright’ or ‘normal’ flag. Graphics were very primitive.


If that wasn't bad enough there were no tools to animate it all with, so everything was manipulated and choreographed in Sinclair Basic.


It was a tedious and time consuming way of creating animations.

(The images below have been enlarged)