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Author Topic: Pimp my Standees part 4: Hired Guns  (Read 5123 times)
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Age: 33
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Posts: 2393

« on: April 19, 2012, 12:29:27 PM »

Main thread:

Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures

This is the fourth part of my ongoing series of articles concerning the way I make and use paper standees.

This project has similarities to the one about Strange Aeons as both use computer game graphics for the character art. In this case, it's Hired Guns.

Note: To enjoy this, listen to the following medley Wink :

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/0WYUb8f_UqY&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/0WYUb8f_UqY&rel=1</a>

Hired Guns is a 1993 action/puzzle game released for the Amiga and later for the PC by Scottish developer studio DMA Designs who also made Lemmings and went later on to become Rockstar Games of GTA fame.

The interface and gameplay is similar to games like Dungeon Master and Eye Of The Beholder, with faux-3d graphics, step-by-step-movement, 90 degrees turns, four characters, and many puzles to solve and monsters to kill. This game however took place in a cyberpunkish future and told the story of the Hired Guns, a team of mercenaries who get hired to explore a mysterious planet.

Anyway, Hired Guns is not what I would call a well-known game, maybe it was not mainstream enough back in it's time to achieve greater success. One thing I do know however is that everyone I know who played this game thought this was the most awesome thing ever. For example, it was one of the first games I remember that had atmospheric environment sounds (which, believe it or not, was a new thing back then!). Thunder in the distance, wind howling when standing on high buildings, dampened soundscape when underwater and so on.

It's also interesting to note that the hordes of deadly monsters in each level were pretty much just one obstacle to overcome to reach the exit; the real challenge were the seriies of often quite elaborate puzzles involving moveable blocks, keycards, elevators, and even stuff like building your own bridges across chasms and "cutting" a path through water with so-called "Psi-Amps", strange devices of possibly alien origin.

The big thing however, was the multiplayer mode that allowed up to four players to either play through the campaign or single missions coop style or fight against each other in deathmatch arenas. Things like throwing grenades down from higher levels and setting up automatic sentry guns (clearly influenced by the movie Aliens) made for great fights that never got old.

Ok, so much about the game itself. I wanted to make a boardgame similar to Doom: The board game out of it, but the graphics of all the sprites were hidden in the game code, this was 1993 after all, when modding was pretty much unknown. I finally managed to rip all the graphics by a complicated process were I had to start the game via emulator, make a savestate, and then open that savestate in a memory ripper to search for and extract the sprites.

Unfortunately, the sprites were even more low-res than those from Blood, so I had to blur the jagged pixelated edges heavily to make it work.

Ok, let's look at some standees!

First, the Hired Guns...

Some biological horrors...


The end boss (actually one of many)

Hoverbot, a pillar, and an elite monster (red outline)


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