- Full Name: Under a Killing Moon
- Original Developer: Access Software
- Original Publisher: Access Software
- Original Release Date: 1994
- Port Comissioned by: Green Dragon Creations, Inc.
- Mac Release Date: 1995
- Mac Publisher: Access Software
Excerpt from PC version review at Programmer in Black's Web…
You control the actions of one Tex Murphy, a down-and-out detective. The time is the future, the things Murphy will say reminds you of old detective movies.
The game is based on a *very* good virtual reality engine. You can do things like turn your head while walking forward, look up or down, stand on your toes or – very important – crouch down. My first impression when I started this game was wow. My second was “Why can't I be working on something like this?” Some people may find controlling all the movements of the character distracting or even disorienting though. Especially when you need to move quickly to a hiding spot.
The cast for the game is good. My favourite is James Earl Jones as The PI in the Sky, and having him remind you of the “Rules of a PI”. In fact, because of this, it does tend to be fun to die in this game. Though at a late part in the game, death gets a bit too frequent to be as much fun.
I must admit though, not all of the acting was enjoyable. I didn't really like Tex's ex-wife scene, it was just *too* much. I mean, a bit cheesy is one thing, but I found this excessive. The same goes for the 'valley girl' girlfriend you talk to later in the game.
Were I to choose one project I am most proud of from my early years, it would be this one.
This DOS game was written entirely in assembly, to try to get every bit of speed they
could out of their machines. We chose not to do that for two reasons: we had two architectures
to support (68K and PPC), and we didn't have the same considerations for our processors (no
64k address space limits). By the time we got the project the compilers were already sufficiently
advanced to take our suggestions rather than create very bad code.
My focus on the project was the virtual reality engine. I had never seen anything remotely like it,
and even today I have seen nothing like it. The original creators had decided in a stroke
of genius to setup actual rooms with the items inside and digitize them directly where they were.
As opposed to the 'artist rendition' version that is, even now, only has a vague resemblance
So my task was to take an assembly language program and line by line work out what it was doing, so
I could replicate it in C. Never having handled something this big, I got the idea to first
make a map of all the functions, who called what,
what were they called, and what functional groups were there.
It was to lay the foundation of how I approach every project since that time. With this knowledge,
I planned out the first steps of things to tackle.
There were three development phases going on at
the same time. As it turned out, my phase was completed long before anyone else's. The original
team lead chose to move on after completing his phase, and I took up the reigns behind him. This
was quite a jump for me, as this was literally my first project after leaving school, and I was
already in a leadership role. Therefore I helped bug-fix and wrap-up the rest of the project until