Posts Tagged ‘Retro’
20th Feb 2013
Remember Quartet, our flash game from 2010? Remember the Commodore64 port called Assembloids from late last year? After being an unexpected hit in the RGCD C64 Cartridge Challenge it is now available to buy on a C64 cartridge in both regular and deluxe editions from RGCD and also as a cassette tape from Psytronik.
I was excited to receive my deluxe copy in the mail today, and just as back in the golden days, the box comes full of goodies. Apart from the radioactive-green cartridge itself, there’s a neat little instruction booklet, a code-sheet for keeping track of your best scores, a sticker and a themed business card.
The game itself is further improved from the competition version, and features a multitude of neat little details.
Developing a game for C=64 has been immensely fun, in no small part thanks to having a great team of people. Enthusi (Dr. Martin Wendt) was constantly finding ways to squeeze even more stuff onto the cart and had endless patience for my (and others) requests and nagging.
It was a rare honour to have Conrad (Owen Crowley) employ his mastery of the legendary SID sound chip to provide a better-than-original rendition of my original Quartet MODs. Last but by no means least, Heavy Stylus (James Monkman) conceived and organised the whole effort and basically fathered the project.
Furthermore mad props to Jazzcat the trusty playtester and consultant who saved us from eternal shame on many an occasion. For me it’s always a blast making graphics on the C=64 as working around its limitations feels like a mix of doing pixel art and playing a puzzle game. Having to program a game from scratch meant re-balancing everything and the result is perhaps even more fine tuned to wreck your nerves just enough to still leave you wanting to have another go.
Here are some shots of the box contents (click for the high res version):
1st Nov 2012
Retro Fusion is a 72 page full colour magazine dedicated to retro and homebrew gaming. The first two issues were published years ago but it has recently enjoyed a revival via a successful IndieGoGo project that we were happy to support. My printed issue arrived today and it’s a great read. Some of the features include:
- Jon Hare talking about the ‘Over Use of Sci Fi’ in games
- A detailed look back on the Alien films and the games associated with each episode
- The Top 10 SCI FI Robots and Cyborgs within Film
- The best of the SCI FI related games
- From Screen to Toybox – a look at the most popular toys that have been spawned by movies
- Plok – a look back at a forgotten Pickford Brother’s classis – includes interview with Ste Pickford
- A brand new SCI FI game by Jonathan Cauldfield written especially for the issue with a background ‘epic’ story – the game is called Encyclopaedia Galactica.
We also took out a rather fetching half-page advert, so if you buy a copy look out for that
8th Aug 2012
The problem with working so hard on a framework and client projects, is that you have precious little time left for your own games. I felt the need to correct this. So I spent a day converting one of our Flash games to HTML5:
Droplets is a simple little game based on the range of vinyl toys created by Jam Factory. Just get the 5 droplets home, collect as many hearts as you can on the way, and avoid contact with pretty much everything else! The mobile version differs from the Flash one in that you slide left/right and have a lot of bounce – if you aren’t too careful you can end up ricocheting around the place like a pinball. Get home to the factory at the end to complete the level.
Simple, but still quite fun And I’m very happy with the way it resizes intelligently on most devices. I’ve tested it on a variety of phones and tablets, from an iPhone 3 up to a Nexus 7, and it ran ok on most of them. Some (like the Samsung Galaxy S3) don’t cope with the canvas scaling too well and thus the frame rate suffers, but on the whole it’s about all that the ImpactJS engine can handle.
1st Mar 2012
I’m pleased to say that our latest game is released. Veracode Defender is a Flash retro-styled tower defence game. It was a departure from our normal titles in that we made it specifically for a client, something we’ve never done before. It all came about via a casual tweet between ourselves and Melissa, a chiptune composer and NES fan (yay!) who works forVeracode. They were looking for a tower defence style game to help promote their security services. The deadline was a bit insane, but we pulled it out of the bag and delivered on-time. Having never written a tower defence game before it was a challenge, but a good one to under-take. And I now have a new-found respect for developers who churn out TDs by the bucketful, because believe me – balancing those game is far from easy!
The graphics were created by Diego, who I had met at Aardman where I work. He was a matte painter there, creating stunning backdrop scenery for our latest film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (do watch the awesome trailer! the film is out this month). Anyway he felt like taking on the challenge of moving from gigabyte sized Photoshop files down into 16×16 pixel sprites. So off we started and literally 10 days later the game was finished.
You can get some developer insights from me on the games page itself, but what I wanted to show here was the graphical evolution of the game from concept to final pixels:
Diego and I spoke about how the screen would be structured, I gave him some rough dimensions and he produced this first-pass concept sketch. We wanted the turret menu down the right-hand side, your available funds above it and the wave counter on the far right. The robots would attack from the left and be trying to get to your base on the right. The game turned out remarkably similar to this initial sketch, but went through a few iterations first. Especially the robots …
1st Dec 2011
Denathorn Games have released this sweet little retro-remake: Croco Magnet. Based on an Amstrad CPC original you control a blue ball that bounces left/right (rebounding off any wall it hits) and must clear the level of radiation, while avoiding the “nasty green blob things”. I really like the fact that the game flip-screens when you hit the edge, it means you need to really remember several screens worth of placement in order to angle the ball just right. Works very well!
All about Photon Storm and our
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