Windows 95/NT Game Development

Michael P. Welch's "First" Game Development Page
I've been writing video games since 1993. This page was created in 1998 and I keep it around for nostalgic reasons. Come check out to discover what I've been up to since this page was last updated. I'm still happily coding shareware games, and there's plenty of new things in the works.

What's New:
Michael P. Welch starts his own game company!
[back in July of 2001]

Come check out and see our
newest games: Pocket Tanks, Super DX-Ball, Neon Wars


DX-Ball 2 v1.2 Released

dxb2game12.exe - DX Ball 2 install EXE (2.07 megs)

Windows 95/98/NT 4.0

New features include: music during game, 1-4 player support, faster explosions,
custom music directory, lots of little extras, and minor bug fixes
Additional DX-Ball 2 music pack by "Sidewinder" available at:


Classic Tribute Challenge
New DX-Ball 2 boards by Michael & Sarah Welch are currently in development. More info soon!


Scorched Tanks PC alpha progress!

(see below for more details)

Four early screenshots from my latest project:
STanks1.gif, STanks2.gif, STanks3.gif, STanks4.gif


DX-Ball 2 was released for Windows 95/98/NT 4.0
Download DX-Ball 2 today and find out about the new Board Packs.
Your support will make a huge difference to the team. It's a labor of love. :)


"Classic" DX-Ball 1.09 update released to fix a few old bugs:
- Speed bug on some video cards fixed. (Matrox Mystique and others)
- Highscore end-of-game bug fixed.
- Some sound problems fixed
DXBall19.EXE - DX-Ball 1.09 install EXE (820k)


-'Classic' DX-Ball level editor, cheat codes, plus hints & tips are FINALLY on this web page


Scorched Tanks PC is now in development. The Amiga computer's tribute to the famed Scorched Earth artillery game is finally coming to the PC. With many years of game development under my belt, I think it's time to bring back the original hit. I'm an old-school programmer, so you can expect the same retro feel that's in DX-Ball. The initial release will be high resolution (640x480 and beyond) hand-drawn art using my favorite paint program... Brilliance 2. You can expect a full MOD music sound track, and all the art production will be done on Amiga computers. I'll be reaching for the future and past at the same time, and it's everything you'd expect from an old C64/Amiga fan like myself. It's the artillery game I've always wanted to play, so I know you're going to like it.

What to expect: Simple artillery game with family and friends in mind, just like the original. Easy to learn and play, but plenty of hooks to keep the fanatics happy. I'll be embellishing the past, while moving forward with 2d artillery game design. The first cut will fit on a 1.44 meg floppy, which will force me to focus on high quality gameplay instead of over doing the art and sound. Amazing games were released for the Amiga 500, and it only had 512k of memory; I want to capture that minimalist spirit that I've always admired in classic computer games. Who needs another game with $1 million in development, fantastic art, and horrible gameplay? I love all the latest games being released, but I have this game idea in my head that you just can't buy in the stores 'yet.' ;)


Alpha screenshots from January 31st, 1999: It's been a busy month, but I've finally finished enough of the game to make it worth showing off a few demo images. It's still pretty early in development, but there's tanks moving around, bullets flying through the air, explosions causing havoc with the terrain, and real-time dirt falling. Next on my plate is filling out the panel with working displays, and then creating the weapon scripting language. What can I say... it's starting to look good. Remember, think retro done right! There's plenty of time for fancy 3D graphics in the sequel. :)

STanks1.gif, STanks2.gif, STanks3.gif, STanks4.gif


The History of Scorched Tanks

* Note: I didn't write "The Mother of All Games" Scorched Earth. Wendell Hicken is the genius behind that classic artillery game.

My story goes like this... I played about five games of Scorched Earth over at a friend's house in early 1992, and it was the first game I'd ever seen for the PC was better than anything I knew of on my beloved Amiga. Since I was a hardcore Amiga fan, I accepted the challenge of making an equivelant artillery game for my favorite system. Scorched Tanks was released in Fall of 1993, and it was far more popular than I had ever imagined possible.

The main reason Scorched Tanks was better than Scorched Earth is that I didn't own a PC at the time. I had no way to go back and compare my work to the original, so I created what I 'thought' was a Scorched Earth look-a-like. But the joke was on me, and Scorched Tanks was a lot better because of it. :) But it's not all my doing... the initial game generated thousands of e-mails and suggestions from Scorched Tanks fans all over the world, and I improved the game to their liking. So in a years time, the game evolved into something that was much greater than anything I could develop alone.

It's been six years since the final release of my game, and the PC shareware world still hasn't yielded anything better than the classic Scorched Earth. It's time for a change all you artillery fans. Stay tuned...




Level Editor Code:
-Ctrl-F1 at the Title Screen


Cheat Codes:
- Ctrl-F1 resets paddle
- Ctrl-F2 Grab paddle
- Ctrl-F3 Laser paddle
- Ctrl-F4 Double wide


Hints & Tips:
- Hit the 'p' key during the game to pause
- F5 toggles through in-game MIDI music
- F6 turns off in-game music
- The faster the ball goes, the more points you get for bricks
- Grab all the extra power-up you can, they're worth points

* Special Note to anyone who has ever sent me DX-Ball e-mail. I've received an incredible number of messages over the past 3 years, and it continues to make my efforts worth while. When I first released DX-Ball in 1996, I was getting 60+ e-mails every night! I managed to respond to that much volume for about 6 months. After that, I was too swamped to handle all the DX-Ball mail. To date I've received over 10,000 emails. I've read them all, but there's no way I could respond to everyone. Next time I'll 'believe' that I'm releasing a game worth playing, and setup some auto-responding software. <grin>




General Info:

Location: Endicott, New York (Upstate NY - Binghamton area - USA)
Games: dxb2game12.exe - DX-Ball 2 by Longbow Digital Arts (Win 95/98/NT4.0)
Games: DXBall19.EXE - 'Classic' DX-Ball 1.09 install EXE (820k) - [speed/highscore/sound bugs fixed]
Games: DX-Ball (PC/DirectX) 'Classic' official web page
Games: Scorched Tanks (Amiga)
Demos: Plasma effect demo (DOS)
Tutorials: C/C++ example of how to draw in a window using
  a CreateDIBSection class. (Win32 95/98/NT)
Skills: Win32 programmer with lots of experience using Visual C++ ,
  DirectX, and writing 2D games. (Still working on 3D)
Interests: Game development, Amiga fan, MOD music, euro demos, retro gaming, emulation


E-Mail: Michael P. Welch (aka: Scorch)

Last modified: May 19th, 1999 (added links back to on August 27th, 2007)