Hey! I’m back with a new release for Pandora.
This time is a tough game remake of a classic of the past, we are talking about Alien 8 originally developed by Ultimate Play the Game, from Zx Spectrum era (around 1985). The remake is dated around 2007/2008 and is programmed by Ignacio Perez Gil + David Olias Suarez and available from Retrospec site.
A little story about this port.
I said that the game is a bit tought in gameplay, and when i found the sources i thinked the same around the idea to port it. In fact this remake is programmed in C using Allegro and FMODex library. Where is the problem you say? the problem is that FMOD is closed source and Firelight Technologies (the developers) did not provide a version compiled for ARMv7-a compatible with a linux based console like Pandora is. An ARMv7-a version is available only for Android and maybe others sistems.
Now came the interesting part, i remember that some time ago someone on Pandora forum (Sebt3) ported a Mario game that was using FMOD (note FMOD is the old version of FMODex.) using SDL_Mixer a library of the famous SDL libs. Now inspired by this, i have changed the audio code in the game and surprisignly it was working good, but only the sound fx where playing. In code i noted the music is streamed from a .dat file using some functions not present on previous conversion by Sebt3, plus my skills where not enough to solve this, and so i asked on Pandora forum (where you can often find some real and very talented programmer) and finally the “serial porter” named ptitSeb came in my help.
He not only write the code that streamed the music using SDL_Mixer but help find a solution with some Allegro media libs not copied correctly by the tools used to compile the project.
So in the end i had the idea to port the game and started the convertion from FMOD but if i dind’t have the help of the two Seb’s (Sebt3 and ptitSeb) this port would never be finished.
Another thing that made me proud of this is that, maybe this is the first and the only game, that run using two different “ecosystem” like Allegro and SDL working together each other for the respective parts (SDL_Mixer for processing the audio and Allegro for all the rest).
So enjoy the game, if you have a Pandora! Download from the Repo.
The sources are inside the PND.
Some shots of the game: