B Squad Demo Instructions
About the Author
My interest with computers began at the age of ten when my school bought a
Commodore PET. Over the years I have owned a BBC Micro Model B, an Atari
VCS, a Dragon 32, a Commodore 64, another Dragon 32, a ZX Spectrum (which I
only kept a week), an Atari 520 STE (upgraded to 1MB), an Atari 520 STFM and
an Aptiva Multimedia 486 PC.
For the last three years I have been a devoted Atari user. However, my
Atari has now taken second place to the PC as it can't compete with the
CD ROM, Hard Drive and software available for the PC. Also, the mouse port
isn't in such a stupid place and it doesn't reset itself every couple of
I studied Computer Science at University and am currently working for CODA,
a firm producing Accounting Software (yawn) for large businesses. My job is
a mixture of Testing and Development, programming in 'C' and COBOL on
Digital VAX and Alpha platforms.
B Squad was written in GFA Basic 3.0x and compiled using GFA 3.6 Compiler.
The graphics were put together in Canvas.
Sound effects were sampled on the PC from a variety of sources and 'ported'
to the ST using a utility from the front of an ST Format. They would be
better if it wasn't for the fact that my STE can not play samples after an
accident involving a mallet and a replacement PSU. As you can imagine this
made testing the samples rather tricky.
It took two years to complete this demo. This is mainly due to the fact
that I only spent an average of a couple of hours a week working on it.
The air supply in the escape pod was running low when sensors detected a
cruiser within range. Although the craft failed to respond to any distress
signals it made no attempt to stop the pod docking with the main airlock.
Now you are docked the air supply has been replenished but the pod will not
disengage. Even if it could, it was a one in a million chance to find a
ship before the air ran out in the first place. You may not be so lucky
Double click on BSQUAD.PRG and wait for the credits to appear.
The ship you have docked with has been infested with a number of alien
lifeforms. To survive you must destroy their queen who is nesting in the
Bridge. The aliens have taken control of the ship's computer and are also
in control of all the servo droids.
From the view of the ship as you came in to dock it seems to be a small
trader class with a cargo deck at the rear of the ship and an observation
deck at the top. The airlock is in the middle at the bottom of the ship.
Roxy Used to operate as a pirate on the outer planetary trade
routes. Trained to use an Assault Rifle.
Dorian Dissident poet. Weak with poor combat skills. Best left
with a Hand Gun.
Julius Cold and calculating, pyschopathic tendencies. Has little
experience with heavy weaponry.
Hooper Dismissed from the Marine Corps for excessive brutality.
Strong and well armoured, but slow. Favours heavy weaponry.
Tobias Priest in the service of the Followers of Soth - an illegal
cult. Average skills with most weaponry.
Tallis Trained as an assassin from birth. Agile and skilled with
most weapons. Prefers the Needle Gun.
Strength Physical Stamina of character - increases Life Points.
Agility Dexterity of character - increases Movement.
Skill Training and natural ability - increases skill percentages.
Life Points Health of character - dead when this total reaches zero.
Movement Number of squares that can be moved in one turn.
Armour Reduces damage taken when hit.
Grub Alien lifeform. Attacks by detonating explosive gases held
within it's body causing minor damage.
Droid General purpose android armed with a blaster.
Nest Warrior Alien lifeform. Breathes flame at target(s).
Gun Turret Computer defense mechanism. Slow movement - can only move
in straight lines. Fires a heavy laser cannon.
Mine High explosive proximity mine. No movement. Explodes on
contact - this includes being shot at.
Nest Queen Alien lifeform. No movement once spawning. Breathes flame
at it's target(s). Also spawns grubs through four birthing
tubes. These tubes must be destroyed individually.
Handgun Short range weapon, little power.
Assault Rifle Longer range than handgun, fires two shots a round.
Needle Gun Longer range than an assault rifle, more powerful.
Plasma Device Can shoot though obstacles to detonate on target.
Flamethrower Short range, high damage, large hit radius.
Frag Grenade Thrown - explodes on contact doing high damage.
Stasis Grenade Thrown - causes incapacitation over a wide range.
Photon Bomb Detonates causing incapacitating blindness.
Explosives Can be planted to create a mine.
Battle Armour Increases armour class. Hooper already has armour.
Targetter Laser sights increase %ge chance to hit.
Door Jammer Prevents a door from closing.
Medikit Heals user - returning some lifepoints.
Cloaking Device Causes invisibility when stationary.weaponry.
You cannot use weaponry while cloaked.
Scanner Provides statistics on target.
Teleport Bracelet Panic teleporting device.
Sequence of Play
Moving the map window
Click on an arrow button in the bottom right of the screen to move
the board in that direction.
Note: that you can't scroll into areas that you haven't visited yet.
(eg. at the start of the game you cannot scroll the board at all.)
These areas will start off blank but will be filled in as you start
opening doors. One exception to this is the lift shaft and lift;
these will always be displayed.
Note: to centre on a character click the button in the middle of the
arrows (you must have selected a character first of course). The
centre will override scrolling into unseen sections of the map so
can be useful for movement.
Note: to view the entire map seen so far click on the small green
button above and to the left of the scroll arrows.
Note: to display information on the room that the selected character
is in click on the small "?" button below and to the left of the
Selecting a figure
Click on the figure on the board, or click on the figure's picture
Note: the currently selected figure's picture is highlighted and the
box depressed. The 3D figure at the bottom right of the screen
shows the weapon held.
Moving a figure
Select a figure and click on the large button with a footprint on.
The squares that aren't valid for that figure to move into are
hatched out. Click on a non-hatched out square to move.
Note: you may move into areas that you haven't seen yet, although
they will remain blank when selecting your move. Once you move into
a blank area it will be filled in.
Note: that a move may be interrupted if an unseen figure blocks it.
Note: the number of moves left are represented by red LEDs under the
Note: you may move/fire, fire/move, move/fire/move as you wish.
Note: doors are opened automatically as required.
Taking an action
Click on the action button under the figure's name. Available
actions are listed on the three buttons. The top button is a weapon
action. The middle button is an item action. The bottom button is an
environment action (eg. use lift, pick up).
Click on the action that you wish to take. If you have more than
one item then you can click on the little arrow to the right of the
item action button to browse the actions available.
Note: some items have no action (eg. Battle Armour).
Some actions are taken straight away (eg. HEAL). Other actions
require a target figure to be selected to complete (eg. firing a
When a target is required squares that can be selected are
highlighted. When the pointer moves over the map window it will
turn into cross hairs. When it moves over a square that has been
highlighted it will give a percentage chance to hit for that square.
The percentage chance to hit is calculated using the character's
base skill, the distance to the target and the range of the weapon.
For example, if Roxy has a skill of 60% with a handgun with a base
range of 8 and a max range of 12...
1 Point Blank 99
3 Short Range 90
8 Base Range 60
12 Long Range 30
18 Out of Range --
(But you don't have to worry about this as it is all done for you.)
To complete the action click on a highlighted square. A roll will
then be made to test the skill of the selected figure. If the roll
is less than or equal to the percentage to hit then the action
succeeds. If it is greater than the percentage to hit then the
action has failed.
Note: the Assault Rifle fires it's second shot at -10% to hit.
Note: the Scanner will always display 00% as the percentage to hit.
This means that it is will always be a success and no roll is
Note: in the case of a failed weaponry action the shot/ grenade will
miss the target but could hit another figure.
To exit this screen click on the cross button next to the bottom
button, or select another figure.
Note: if an environment action is available then the action button
will be highlighted.
Note: you may make many environment actions, but only one weaponry
or item action each turn - making such an action disables the action
button until next turn (even if environment actions remain).
Viewing character Stats
Some character stats are displayed in the character's box (Name,
Moves left, Life points left, Action available). Other stats are
available by right clicking inside the character's box to toggle
to a second screen. To return from this screen right click again.
On this screen full stats are shown and equipment is listed.
There are three buttons available:
The "?" button gives information on the equipment. Use the arrow
buttons to browse through the equipment if the figure is holding
more than one item.
The "S" button lists the character's skills with various weaponry
and also their kill totals on this mission.
The "G" button invokes the Give Menu allowing the character to give
or swap items to adjacent figures. Use the arrow keys to select the
item to give and the figure to give it to. Then click "OK" to
proceed or "CANCEL" to return to the stats menu.
Ending your turn
When you have completed your turn click the thin vertical button
next to the map window. The aliens will then take their turn.
Finishing the demo
The demo will end when the Nest Queen has been destroyed or when
the entire squad has been wiped out.
Registering your copy
Please give me some feedback on this demo...
To register your copy send a cheque or postal order made payable to
R Hansell for three pounds to the following address:
25 Pembroke Street
Burton Stone Lane
If I receive enough interest then I will complete the full version with more
detailed plots and multiple scenarios. I may even make a few improvements
to the game engine. Here's my wish list:
o more character interaction;
o "movie" 3D combat sequences;
o more weaponry, including hand to hand;
o interesting things to do in rooms;
o bigger and nastier aliens.