Mat@MDickie.com
Level 1: Blitz BASIC





 


Throughout the 1st decade of my career, I settled into making a series of increasingly ambitious
3D games for the PC - which was the most open platform available to me at the time.
They were designed for XP and may no longer be
compatible with
Windows 10 without software such as DxWnd:


Wrestling MPire Remix (2011)
This special "remixed" version of Wrestling MPire was an unexpected treat for all the loyal fans who were still playing the game long after I had disappeared! It was the most ambitious update yet - featuring a whole new page of editing options that allowed you to change every detail of a wrestler's appearance. The addition of real moving eyes also injected even more personality into the action, alongside a whole host of new faces to rub shoulders with in the expanded universe - not least those that were generated randomly to keep your career fresh! Both Career Edition and Management Edition were also offered with even better compatibility between the two:
- Career Edition
- Management Edition


Under Development
(2010)
Spanning over 30 years from 1981 to 2011 and beyond, Under Development puts the controller in your hands at gaming's most pivotal moments. Walk the halls of 9 different companies and assemble a team of specialists in 6 key areas - from design and programming to graphics and sound. Then let them loose on over 30 pieces of increasingly sophisticated hardware - all lovingly brought to life in photo-realistic 3D. And every step of the way, you'll be using games to make games - via dozens of charming sub-games that reflect your efforts. But if you thought game development was about bringing dreams to life, prepare to contend with the nightmares of office politics, fickle fans, scathing reviews, and economic woes! Whether you aspire to make games or play them, Under Development is an affectionate tribute to the ultimate art form...


The You Testament
(2008)
10 years before it became the most popular game of its kind ever made, the 3D original of my biblical epic was condemned as the "worst" game ever made! I had always engaged with religion through entertainment like movies, music and books - and never quite understood why interactive games had to be left out of the loop. I passionately believed there was a good game to be made about this fascinating period, and these were my first steps towards making it palatable - not just for myself but as a canary in the coalmine for whoever else might want to broaden the horizons of the genre. As with all of my 3D adventures, it was harder to depict sprawling outdoor environments in this format - but it was my best attempt yet, featuring malleable terrain littered with plants and trees. The relentless criticism didn't justice to how difficult it was to create a 3D RPG on this scale and find creative ways to tell a complicated story. Many of these issues had been ironed out by the time the 2D Coming hit mobiles, but this was an important first step in thinking the unthinkable.


Popscene: Track 2
(2008)
Before Popscene found its natural home as a 2D mobile app, the music industry sim made its name on PC in 3D - first in 2004 and then again in 2008 in its most polished form. Back then, people were still listening to music on CD's - which you were encouraged to insert as a real backdrop to your musical exploits! It was my attempt to do for music what my wrestling games had done for that genre - immersing you in a universe full of characters with fluctuating stats on the road to success.


Wrestling MPire (2008)
Up to this point, I had been remaking an entire wrestling game from scratch every 2 years - first in 2004, then in 2006, and here again in 2008. Along the way, each incarnation also offered BOTH aspects of the sport - wrestling in the ring or "booking" behind the scenes in an entirely separate strategy sim. GM modes have become standard in wrestling games since then, but at the time it was bold and risky to "expose" the business to this extent. Similarly, the gameplay itself was wild enough to ensure wrestling fans were having more fun than they could find anywhere else - with dozens of characters in the ring at once, along with destructible furniture and weapons! To this day, the game is a permanent fixture on YouTube where fans continue to share their own highlights.
- Career Edition
- Management Edition


Reach
(2007)
My boxing sim introduced the most polished graphics and gameplay to come out of this era, which I've barely improved on since. The "Boxing Entertainment Commission" has shunned mundane sport in favour of exciting action - and you're cordially invited to join the fun! Create your own prize fighter from scratch and immerse yourself in gaming's most involving boxing universe - featuring up to 100 characters spread across 3 weight classes. Here, what happens in the ring is merely the first round - as you proceed backstage to manage your business affairs and plot your next career move! Negotiate lucrative contracts with the suits and then arrange matches with the talent - filling up your weekly schedule with spectacular pay-per-view bouts and history-making tournaments. Along the way, you'll transform your body to survive in the ring and adjust your attitude to survive backstage.


Hard Time
(2006)
Before Hard Time found fame as a 2D mobile app enjoyed by millions of people, it started its sentence as a 3D adventure! After watching TV shows like Oz, I always felt there was a place for a gritty, character-driven simulation of life behind bars. Here, the drudgery of it was embraced to create a tense survival sim - where you had to eat and sleep amidst a backdrop of constant violence without losing your mind! The wrestling games had given me a good pedigree in trash talking and gang violence, so this was the same thing transplanted to a different setting. The "turn and advance" controls weren't ideal compared to what would follow in later 3D adventures, but it was a step in the right direction.


World War Alpha
(2006)
This is the 3D original of the same concept that would go on to find more success as Back Wars some 12 years later in 2018. I had been playing Civilization 2 and always found it interesting whenever a modern army came into contact with a primitive culture. I felt it should be the subject of an entire game, and dreamed up a cliched plot about going back in time to rule the world 1,000 years in advance! I stirred the pot even further by combining real battlefield action with a Risk-style concept of world domination, where each side took it in turns to deploy their units from one territory to another - populated by combatants unique to that part of the world. It wasn't historically or geographically accurate by any means, but it was what the crazy concept required! This version even featured a split-screen multiplayer mode, and was one of my first games to use real sprawling terrain - where hills and rivers made for more interesting battlefields than anything we saw in 2D.


Grass Roots
(2006)
Given the timeless popularity of sports games, I was puzzled that nobody had ever looked into the genre more deeply and given it an RPG twist - whereby the characters were more important than the teams (and even the sport itself). That was my intention with Grass Roots - an urban 5-a-side soccer sim, which saw an ever-changing team of amateurs playing their way around the globe. That refreshing twist aside, the game could never hope to match the smooth gameplay and polished presentation of its mainstream counterparts. They, like my wrestling games, had been honed to perfection over numerous years - whereas this was my first stab at a notoriously tough nut to crack. The project floundered under the pressure of those mainstream comparisons, and failed to find an audience with even the most diehard of soccer fans. The casual concept and fictitious setting didn't appeal to purists, and yet no amount of gimmicks could convert a player that wasn't already sold on the sport itself. It remains a popular request and a genre close to my heart, but it's simply not a team I'm qualified to play for!


Popcorn
(2005)
Ever since Popscene swaggered onto the scene in the Summer of 2004, there had been calls for a movie version of the game. With the predictably titled Popcorn, I duly obliged! It was yet another case of taking an ambiguous art form and turning it into a playable game. I was grateful to emerge with something surprisingly coherent, as you hired writers to lay good foundations and then hired actors to get the best out of each scene - which essentially involved composing a series of screenshots. Most people found this symbolism difficult to get excited about. Not least because Peter Molyneux's The Movies had (coincidentally) done a better job of the concept around the same time, and I simply couldn't pile in as much content. Popcorn sat well with Popscene's existing fanbase, though, and firmly established the management genre as my most successful outside of wrestling.


Wrecked
(2005)
Long before TV shows like Lost made survival sims ubiquitous, I was always planning to make my own. I originally envisaged it as a 2D side-scroller, which more closely resembled what we saw on mobiles in 2017. In 2005, however, I was experimenting in 3D for every project. It didn't make things any easier in this case, as I had been focusing entirely on wrestling up to this point - which meant outdoor scenery was new to me! So too were the animals that had to inhabit it, which ended up looking rather crude. I did my best and ushered in countless innovations that we hadn't seen until now - including fully interactive 3D terrain with water and particle effects. The presentation was also the most professional yet, and even offered a split-screen multiplayer mode - which we haven't seen before or sinceThe "turn and advance" controls weren't ideal compared to what would follow in later 3D exploits, but it was an important stepping stone towards better things. The game also introduced a spiritual theme to my work that would go on to be increasingly prevalent...


Sure Shot 3D
(2004)
The original was hailed as a "gem" by PC Utilities magazine. Now Sure Shot is back, better than ever, with a glorious 3D campaign! The concept harks back to the good old days, when games were simple but addictive (and so challenging that you could barely get past the first level!). That's about all that remains intact though - because the game has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Boasting infinitely superior 3D gameplay, immersive visuals, and sublime presentation, Sure Shot 3D is almost unrecognizable from its clumsy predecessor. Thankfully, the action-packed gameplay is still reporting for duty though - and now takes place over 25 unique locations. Bite the bullet and sign up for a real challenge...


Big BumpZ
 (2003)
The ultimate 3D incarnation of my classic "Stunt Challenge" gameplay - whereby you perform back-breaking stunts in the name of entertainment! Guide your wannabe superstar through a gruelling career - ranging from their humble backyard beginnings through to championship gold. Featuring 10 unique stages, 30 characters, over 50 spectacular moves, and dozens of destructible items... 


Federation Booker
(2003)
Step backstage and experience the REAL world of professional wrestling! Having won control of the hot new "Federation Online" promotion, it's your job to make it a success. A lucrative TV deal has been signed but only you can book the entertaining action that will make it a ratings winner! On your way to the top you must trade talent, develop their skills, deal with their tantrums, produce arena improvements, and book exciting cards. Then step into the ring and act it all out for real - thanks to glorious 2D gameplay! Federation Booker is the ultimate wrestling management game, boasting unsurpassed detail in and out of the ring...


Federation Wrestling
(2002)
The original 2D wrestling simulator that provided the engine for Federation Booker. Use the same great gameplay to blow off steam in a purely arcade setting! Create your own wannabe superstar from scratch and then guide them through an action-packed year in the controversial new Federation Online promotion...


Sure Shot: Star Wars Edition
(2002)
An inspired remake of the original Sure Shot, featuring characters and locations from the Star Wars movies. This version casts you as Han Solo and Chewbacca, as they blast their way through 5 familiar settings whilst trying to salvage Rebel droids (C3P0). New enemies include Storm Trooper variations, Remote Probes, Tuskan Raiders, and Bounty Hunters...


Sure Shot
(2002)
Hailed as a "gem" by PC Utilities magazine, this game offers an innovative spin on the shoot 'em-up genre.
You play as two soldiers working together to liberate an entire island full of hostile enemies - and there's only one way they can pull it off. Help them execute their risky Sure Shot tactic, as you follow their journey through 25 unique areas. Complete with a fully customizable training mode...

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