Laser Hawk is a horizontally-scrolling shooter released in 1986 in England for the Atari 8-bit family. It was released by Red Rat Software; the programmer was Andrew Bradfield. Graphics were created by Harvey A. Kong Tin. Work on Laser Hawk took about a year to complete. Hawkquest was started in 1986 and finished in 1989. Laser Hawk was called Hot Copter by Bradfield. Red Rat Software came up with the name Laser Hawk. A review of Laser Hawk in the January 1987 issue of Atari User concluded, "While the game concept is getting a little long in the tooth, Red Rat has tweaked it nicely, treating it in a thoughtful and refreshing way. What it may lack in originality it makes up for in finesse." The overall score was 8 out of 10. Laser Hawk was included in the 4 Star Compilation, Volume 1 published by Red Rat; the other games are Escape from Doomworld, Domain of the Undead, Panic Express. The same team created the follow-up game, released in 1989. Harvey Kong Tin was responsible for the overall design; the game used four floppy disk sides at 90K apiece.
Laser Hawk Hawkquest
Video game programmer
A game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who develops codebases for video games or related software, such as game development tools. Game programming has many specialized disciplines, all of which fall under the umbrella term of "game programmer". A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer. In the early days of video games, a game programmer took on the job of a designer and artist; this was because the abilities of early computers were so limited that having specialized personnel for each function was unnecessary. Game concepts were light and games were only meant to be played for a few minutes at a time, but more art content and variations in gameplay were constrained by computers' limited power; as specialized arcade hardware and home systems became more powerful, game developers could develop deeper storylines and could include such features as high-resolution and full color graphics, advanced artificial intelligence and digital sound.
Technology has advanced to such a great degree that contemporary games boast 3D graphics and full motion video using assets developed by professional graphic artists. Nowadays, the derogatory term "programmer art" has come to imply the kind of bright colors and blocky design that were typical of early video games; the desire for adding more depth and assets to games necessitated a division of labor. Art production was relegated to full-time artists. Next game programming became a separate discipline from game design. Now, only some games, such as the puzzle game Bejeweled, are simple enough to require just one full-time programmer. Despite this division, most game developers have some say in the final design of contemporary games. A contemporary video game may include advanced physics, artificial intelligence, 3D graphics, digitised sound, an original musical score, complex strategy and may use several input devices and may be playable against other people via the Internet or over a LAN; each aspect of the game can consume all of one programmer's time and, in many cases, several programmers.
Some programmers may specialize in one area of game programming, but many are familiar with several aspects. The number of programmers needed for each feature depends somewhat on programmers' skills, but are dictated by the type of game being developed. Game engine programmers create the base engine of the game, including the simulated physics and graphics disciplines. Video games use existing game engines, either commercial, open source or free, they are customized for a particular game, these programmers handle these modifications. A game's physics programmer is dedicated to developing the physics. A game will only simulate a few aspects of real-world physics. For example, a space game may need simulated gravity, but would not have any need for simulating water viscosity. Since processing cycles are always at a premium, physics programmers may employ "shortcuts" that are computationally inexpensive, but look and act "good enough" for the game in question. In other cases, unrealistic physics are employed to allow easier gameplay or for dramatic effect.
Sometimes, a specific subset of situations is specified and the physical outcome of such situations are stored in a record of some sort and are never computed at runtime at all. Some physics programmers may delve into the difficult tasks of inverse kinematics and other motions attributed to game characters, but these motions are assigned via motion capture libraries so as not to overload the CPU with complex calculations. For a role-playing game such as World of Warcraft, only one physics programmer may be needed. For a complex combat game such as Battlefield 1942, teams of several physics programmers may be required; this title belonged to a programmer who developed specialized blitter algorithms and clever optimizations for 2D graphics. Today, however, it is exclusively applied to programmers who specialize in developing and modifying complex 3D graphic renderers; some 2D graphics skills have just become useful again, for developing games for the new generation of cell phones and handheld game consoles.
A 3D graphics programmer must have a firm grasp of advanced mathematical concepts such as vector and matrix math and linear algebra. Skilled programmers specializing in this area of game development can demand high wages and are a scarce commodity, their skills can be used for video games on any platform. An AI programmer develops the logic of time to simulate intelligence in opponents, it has evolved into a specialized discipline, as these tasks used to be implemented by programmers who specialized in other areas. An AI programmer may program pathfinding and enemy tactic systems; this is one of the most challenging aspects of game programming and its sophistication is developing rapidly. Contemporary games dedicate 10 to 20 percent of their programming staff to AI; some games, such as strategy games like Civilization III or role-playing video games such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, use AI while others, such as puzzle games, use it sparingly or not at all. Many game developers have created entire languages that can be used to program their own AI for games via scripts.
These languages are less technical than the language used to implement the game, will be used by the game or level designers to implement the world of the game. Many studios make their games' scripting available to players
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Atari 8-bit family
The Atari 8-bit family is a series of 8-bit home computers introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1979 and manufactured until 1992. All of the machines in the family are technically similar and differ in packaging, they are based on the MOS Technology 6502 CPU running at 1.79 MHz, were the first home computers designed with custom co-processor chips. This architecture enabled graphics and sound capabilities that were more advanced than contemporary machines at the time of release, gaming on the platform was a major draw. Star Raiders is considered the platform's killer app; the original Atari 400 and 800 models launched with a series of plug-n-play peripherals that used the Atari SIO serial bus system, an early analog of the modern USB. To meet stringent FCC requirements, the early machines were enclosed in a cast aluminum block, which made them physically robust but expensive to produce. Over the following decade, the 400 and 800 were replaced by the XL series the XE; the XL and XE are much lighter in construction and less expensive to build, while having Atari BASIC built-in and reducing the number of joystick ports from 4 to 2.
The 130XE, released in 1985, increased the memory to 128K of bank-switched RAM. The Atari 8-bit computer line sold two million units during its major production run between late 1979 and mid-1985, they were not only sold through dedicated computer retailers, but department stores such as Sears, using an in-store demo to attract customers. The primary competition in the worldwide market came several years when the Commodore 64 was introduced in 1982; this was the first computer to offer similar graphics performance, went on to be the best selling computer of the 8-bit era. Atari found a strong market in Eastern Europe and had something of a renaissance in the early 1990s as these countries joined a uniting Europe. In 1992, Atari Corp. dropped all remaining support of the 8-bit line. Some time in 1975, Steve Jobs called his former boss at Atari, Al Alcorn, Vice President of Engineering. Jobs was sourcing components for the soon-to-released Apple II, asked Alcorn if he knew of a good switched mode power supply.
Such devices were commercially available. Alcorn instead suggested. Holt worked in Atari's consumer division and had become a leading expert on power supplies, at that time was between projects. Instead, Jobs hired Holt away from Atari, offering him "a ton of stock". Jobs began hiring many Atari engineers and refused to stop this behaviour when asked. In response, Joe Keenan, one of Atari's co-founders, began a project to make an Apple II clone machine, which Atari could produce for much less than Apple, they began design work. It was not long after that news of this project reached Jobs, two weeks he agreed to stop poaching Atari staff; the project was cancelled, ending Atari's first attempt at a personal computer. Design of the 8-bit series of machines started at Atari as soon as the Atari 2600 games console was released in late 1977. While designing the 2600 in 1976, the engineering team from Atari Grass Valley Research Center felt that the 2600 would have about a three-year lifespan before becoming obsolete.
They started blue sky designs for a new console that would be ready to replace it around 1979. What they ended up with was a updated version of the 2600, fixing its more obvious limitations but sharing a similar overall design philosophy; the newer design would be faster than the 2600, have better graphics, would include much better sound hardware. Work on the chips for the new system continued throughout 1978 and focused on much-improved video hardware known as the CTIA. During the early development period, the home computer era began in earnest in the form of the TRS-80, Commodore PET, Apple II family—what Byte Magazine would dub the "1977 Trinity". Nolan Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications for $28 million in 1976 in order to raise funds for the launch of the 2600. Warner had sent Ray Kassar to act as the CEO of the company. Kassar felt. In order to adapt the machine to this role, it would need to support character graphics, include some form of expansion for peripherals, run the then-universal BASIC programming language.
The 2600 had no bitmap graphics support or a character generator, all on-screen graphics were created using Player-Missile graphics and a simple background using fixed patterns. The CTIA was designed on the same model, mainly used sprites for drawing. Instead of expanding the CTIA to handle these tasks, the designers introduced an new chip for this purpose, the Alphanumeric Television Interface Controller, or ANTIC; the CTIA and ANTIC worked together to produce a complete display, with the CTIA in charge of sprites and producing color video output, the ANTIC in charge of bitmap and character graphics. Management identified two sweet spots for the new computers: a low-end version known as "Candy", a higher-end machine known as "Colleen"; the primary difference between the two models was marketing. Colleen included user-accessible expansion slots for RAM and ROM, two 8 KB ROM cartridge slots, RF and monitor output and a full keyboard. Candy was designed as a games console, lacking a keyboard and input/output ports, although an external keyboard was planned tha