Chuckie Apple
 
Chuckie Apple Logo

Background

It's well known that, following the publication of Chuckie Egg by A&F in 1983, Nigel Alderton stopped freelancing and took his first PAYE job at Ocean Software alongside such gaming legends as Joffa Smifff and, later, fellow Chuckie Egg coder Mike Webb.
However, what has only been hinted at so far is a game that Nigel had been working on prior to joining Ocean. Nigel had been developing a Spectrum 'MR.DO!' style game that featured the 'Hen House Harry' character from Chuckie Egg. Although it was never finished, Joffa saw it during development and described it as "... really good - lots of bouncing apples and things". The idea of a sequel designed by Nigel appealed to many Chuckie Egg fans, especially those who felt that Chuckie Egg 2 (Choccy Egg), which was produced by A&F with no input from Nigel, had little in common with the original except the brand.
Of course when we finally tracked down Nigel, we barraged him with questions on this mythical sequel which had never seen the light of day. It is with awe and reverence that we are now finally able to reveal below, 23 years later and thanks to Nigel's generosity, the original design for Chuckie Apple. If you've read it and think you have what it takes, check out our Chuckie Apple Implementation Challenge, where you'll also find details of any fan attempts we hear about!
Creative Commons License

This design for Chuckie Apple and all related images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Chuckie Apple © 1983 - 2006 Nigel Alderton
 

Chuckie Apple Layout Design
Keys: Up, Down, Left, Right and Kick
 

Design

Man [Hen House Harry] can walk through stuff making channel as he goes. He can push apples through stuff. When he walks under an apple, it drops slightly to rest on his head. He is now carrying the apple. It will move with him as he moves up, down, left and right but it will not move into stuff, another apple.
If the man is moving up and changes to move down, the apple leaves his head and falls freely under gravity i.e. rising slightly - decelerating, then falling - accelerating.
If an apple ever has space underneath it, it falls towards the bottom of the screen - accelerating as it goes and only bounces off the ladder, the man or stuff. If one apple lands on another, the one underneath explodes.
If an apple is supported by < 50% of its base and their is 2c room for it to move into when falling, it will fall as shown below.
Chuckie Apple Falling
If an apple is kicked, pushed or lifted into one of the gates, it disappears. When all apples have disappeared, the exit opens Chuckie Apple Exit Opens etc. and the man is free to move to the next sheet by walking through the exit.
If the man pushes an apple, it moves along in front of him but slows him down. Pushing two apples at the same time e.g. Chuckie Apple Push Two Apples slows him down further, 3 further still etc.
The initial positions of the apples are different for each level but not random.
* If the man attempts to kick an apple that cannot move (i.e. it is against a wall) the apple explodes and only re-appears when the man walks through the position where the apple was (x,y). The apple re-appearing is in the form of an explosion in reverse and takes about 1 sec. If the man has not moved out of the way 1 sec. after he was at (x,y), an outline of the apple appears at (x,y). The outline will change to a real apple when no part of the man is on the square occupied by the outline of the apple. Until the outline changes to a real apple, it is ignored (i.e. it cannot be kicked, pushed or exploded etc.): it is simply an image on the screen.
If two or more apples are in a line and the man kicks the end (i.e. Chuckie Apple Kick Three Apples), then the apple at the other end slides (i.e. the apple marked 'c'). If apple 'c' cannot slide (because it is against a wall) the apple marked 'a' explodes as described above. (See * ) The apple tally is not increased.
Apple tally
The apple tally at the top of the screen indicates the number of apples that the man has removed from the screen i.e. when an apple is pushed, kicked or lifted through a gate or one apple falls onto another apple causing the lower one to explode, an apple is added to the tally. Apples are added to the tally from the top downwards.
Super Bonus
If all six apples are pushed through a gate in a continuous line i.e. Chuckie Apple Super Bonus a super bonus is obtained. The super bonus is ten times the bonus shown at the top of the screen. The super bonus feature does not operate above level 17. If it is attempted above level 17, the apples re-appear in their respective initial positions as they are pushed through the gate. Obtaining the super bonus also advances the player four levels.
Bonus
The bonus at the top of the screen is 1000 pts at the start of level one, 2000 pts at the start of level two, 3000 at L3 etc. up to a max. of 9000 pts at level nine and above. The bonus decreases during play at a rate of 100 pts every 5 secs irrespective of level. When the bonus reaches zero, it stops decreasing. The bonus reaching zero has no side-effects. When the screen has been cleared, the bonus is added to the score.
Kicking an apple
If the man is stood next to and facing the apple, pressing the 'kick' button gives that apple a velocity of constant magnitude along a line from the man to the apple. If the velocity 'v' is horizontal, the apple will slide with decreasing speed until it stops. If 'v' is vertical, the apple moves as if under the force of gravity i.e. constant downwards acceleration. If, when the apple is moving, it hits a wall, stuff or the man its speed is halved and direction reversed. If the apple hits another apple or a box, it stops, and the object it hit is given a velocity of half the magnitude in the same direction. If the object it hits cannot move, the apples speed is halved and direction reversed.
The original pencil and paper design is available for download in PDF (8.39 MB). This historical document contains Nigel's original description of Chuckie Apple, along with his first notes for the Spectrum 48K implementation.