Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Holy 8-Bits! A Commodore 64 Bundle?


Right, so this is something you don't see every day. A short while ago we were approached by Denis 'Remute' Karimani on behalf of RETURN Magazine and Groupees, enquiring if we'd be interested in participating in a Commodore-64-themed games bundle. You know, like those various bundles on PC where you pay a couple of dollars or so for a whole bunch of games - but this time for the Commodore 64(!)

Seeing an opportunity for more people to be exposed to the scene surrounding our favourite 8-Bit computer, after a brief negotiation with the developers we agreed to give it a go; meaning that you can (for a limited time) play and own TIGER CLAW, POWERGLOVE, GRAVITRIX, JAM IT and the recently-released MOONSPIRE for a ludicrously low price!

Of course, that's not all; in addition to our games, our friends at PSYTRONIK have also joined the bundle with MY LIFE and SOULLESS - and for those of you into glitched-up chip-funk - DATADOOR have made the contents of their awesome DUBCRT available to download for the first time (worth the entry fee alone IMO).

So what are you waiting for? If you've missed out on any of these games in the past, now's the time to complete your collection for $1.99! On the flip-side, this *is* for a good cause (supporting our fave 8-Bit mag and developers!), so if you already own them all but still want to chip in, it would be hugely appreciated.

At the time of writing you have just under two weeks to get involved. Check it out!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Moonspire and C-2048 Available on Cartridge Now! (Commodore 64)


Well, look at that! No new C64 releases from us for nine months, and then suddenly three within a few weeks of each other!

Today we're happy to announce the cartridge release of both MOONSPIRE and C-2048, two games that (like JAM IT) were a looooong time coming. But hey, now they are finally here. Details on each game follows.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Moonspire Available Soon! (Commodore 64)


"Attacking under the cover of night, the Draxx strike force hit the human settlements of Arcturus 7 hard. Thousands of lives were lost in the initial attack, and hundreds more in the chaotic aftermath. The remaining colonists rallied and began to strategize a retaliation, but it was too late. The Draxx had called back their forces to the far side of the planet's only moon - taking with them the control orbs from the now rapidly cooling thermal-boosters. They weren't going to waste resources on a ground assault, instead they were simply going to put the planet back into deep freeze.

There were only two options available. We could abandon the planet and retreat back to the safety of one of the United Federal star-systems, but that would risk leading the Draxx directly back to the core worlds of mankind. Or, we could fight back... YOU volunteered for the second option."


Whilst catching up with releases on CSDB at the end of 2014 I came across a game preview for Moonspire by Victory, a demo group who were last active back in 1997. New releases from old C64 crews always pique my interest, so I grabbed a copy for my Ultimate 1541-II and booted up the C64. Much to my surprise, the preview was of a flip-screen labyrinthine shmup with a really unique visual style; loads of metallic looking textures, bold outlined robotic sprites and some fantastic animation work. Sure, it didn't push any boundaries, but as an obvious tribute to Cybernoid it was really nicely done - and most importantly - a load of fun to play.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Jam It Cartridge Available Now! (Commodore 64)


Woah! After being sat ready to ship here in the RGCD office since Spring 2016, the long-awaited and promised JAM IT cartridges are finally ready to go on sale! We're officially back on the C64 scene!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Developer Diary: Caren and the Tangled Tentacles (Commodore 64)


Following on from our previous 'Developer Diary' write-up (where we looked at the forth-coming Amiga version of Powerglove), Dr. Martin 'Enthusi' Wendt took some time out from his long-term 'Caren and the Tangled Tentacles' project to discuss some of the technical aspects of what is arguably the most impressive point 'n' click adventure game ever made for the Commodore 64.

You can download the latest public version (1.1) HERE.

2015 C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition Results

Holy hell! Here we are at the end of 2016, and I'm only just posting the results for LAST year's compo... Well, I'll write a bit about the last four months of inactivity in a bit, but first of all let's get this out of the way ;)

(Those of you whom follow the C64 scene closely will propbably be aware that the results were actually announced in the recent edition of Vandalism News (#65), and the article is reproduced here in full).

As already explained over on the official page, the scores were calculated using mean averages with the highest achievable score being 66 points (if all judges had scored a game 11 points in all categories). I won't bore you with lists and tables of who scored each game what, instead I have listed the games below in order of placing with the final scores and judges' comments.

As is traditional, I'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to everyone involved - yet again, through your hard work and dedication, the modern day C64 game development scene has continued to improve and impress, surpassing expectations again and again. Congratulations to everyone who submitted a final game :)



Icicle Race (John Christian Lønningdal & Saul Cross)
1st Place (59.22 Points)


"Icicle Race is a brilliantly executed puzzle game with gorgeous graphics, cute animations and very nice music to match. It's closest relatives are Solomon's Key, Spherical and Sokoban. It has a large number of levels, which seem to be very challenging. That's also the only complaint I have: This game is quite hard. But if hard puzzle games are your thing, then Icicle Race will keep you entertained for many hours." (Andreas Varga/Mr. SID)

"Wonderful port of Solomon's Key 2. Very addictive. I love everything about it - music, gfx, execution! Top notch!" (hedning)

"Fun little port of Solomon's Key 2 from the NES with cute graphics, had me tearing my hair out on some of the levels. Strong playability and puzzle element." (David Simmonds/Jazzcat)

"This game crushed me. First, it has a very unique icy music style. Second, the gfx are really good and detailed. Third, it is really huge. And fourth, the game has quite some cunning game design ideas in it - those come, however, from the NES original. IMHO the best game in the compo. All thumbs up!" (Jacob Voos/Jak T Rip)

"John and Saul do it again. An amazing port of a little known game, given its own special C64 flair. Superb stuff with loads of content crammed into 16KB, and in my opinion, leagues ahead of anything else released this year." (James Monkman/Heavy Stylus)

"This is a great game - really enjoyed the concept - lots of variety and depth. It's a real gem well done guys, couldn't fault it." (Jamie Howard/Physcopanda)

"Icicle Race is a bit of a fiendish puzzler with some slightly odd play mechanics that make it feel quite unique. Each puzzle is one screen and your Romancing the Stone-type adventurer must utilise blocks of ice to put out all the flames that happen to be roaring away in the ice caverns he is exploring. It reminds me a tiny bit of Puzznic in the way the rooms are set up and that gravity is an important factor, but it otherwise plays quite differently. You may climb up a block but you can't jump. You can create ice blocks with your wand, put only in the space directly in front of you and below your feet. This feels restrictive but puzzle games surely need these strict parameters to create a brain-mangling challenge. It works brilliantly. There's a huge variety in the puzzles, the challenge they represent, and the manner in which you solve them. Icicle Race has depth, too. There are one hundred levels, split into blocks of ten, and thankfully you can tackle them in any order, with the one proviso that you must have completed the previous nine levels in a set before you can attempt the tenth level. The first twenty to thirty levels are fairly achievable, but then the going gets tough - you could sink plenty of hours into this one! The presentation is excellent as well. Your adventurer has a lot of character and he reflects my state of mind perfectly when he fails a level and sits on the floor shaking his head! But he does do a weird dance when he wins (which I don't). The graphics are well above average and different pieces of in-game and menu music and very nicely composed and perfect for the game. Wonderful, absorbing stuff." (John Dennis)

"This was bugging me for a while why it looked familiar, and then I recalled "Fire 'n Ice" on the NES! And lo and behold, it's just as good, with tight controls and mind bending puzzles once you progress past World 1. The graphics are really nice hi-res works that evoke a lot of character, even the flames, and the sound is inoffensive and fits the theme. Thankfully if you get stuck, the levels are also the SAME, meaning you can look up a level guide and progress without too much frustration! Although I do rather miss the funny cut scenes from the original." (Mat Allen/Mayhem)

"This looks to be the biggest game in this years compo, with 100 levels! I didn't know the original until a few months ago when it was mentioned in Return magazine. Sporting great graphics and sounds and some tough puzzle action, this is the clear winner of this years compo for me!" (Paul Koller/Paulko64)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat is Available Now! (Windows)


Hey there RGCD friends and family! It’s James here, albeit a rather more exhausted James than usual. You see, after 18 months of late nights and weekend crunch sessions, our admittedly not-to-be-taken-seriously little arcade-style quasi-shmup Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat has finally been released for Windows as a launch title for Game Jolt’s all-new Marketplace!

Priced at $4.99 (plus VAT), the game is available to buy at both Game Jolt and itch.io, and we’ve launched a Greenlight campaign to get it on to Steam as well. Conga was a game designed for competitive score chasing, and we really want to get it onto Steam so we can use their online leaderboards - so please, give us your thumbs up!

We’re still working on the .APK version for Android devices with controllers, and that will of course be provided for free to anyone who buys the game from either of the storefronts listed above. If Greenlit, we’ll also provide you with a free Steam key too :)


I recently wrote a few words about the development of the game on our blog, as well as the reasoning behind the price point, but basically the short version of the story is that we really want to revisit r0x Extended EP and give it a rather ambitious update for its Steam launch. Consider it a ‘two-point-oh’ revision, with extra game modes, more enemies, greater stage/wave variety and massively refined gameplay using all the lessons that Conga taught us.

RGCD currently has over 2000 followers on twitter, 1000+ on our mailing list and a similar number on Facebook. If a third of you fantastic people out there reading this can help support us by buying the game, then we’ll reach our break-even target. So please, give us a hand spreading the word (we can provide review copies on request), and hit one of those widgets below! :)



Monday, 9 May 2016

Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat Release Imminent!


Exciting times! Here we are, 18 months after the first playable prototype of Conga Combat, and finally the game’s initial Windows release is only a couple of days away. Play Expo Blackpool proved to be exactly the stress-test we’d hoped for, with hundreds of games played bug-free and only a single additional feature request from the public (a few people pointed out that there should be a way to quit the game when paused). And that’s it - for now there’s no more work left to do on the Windows build.

We were lucky enough to be one of a couple of dozen developers invited as first-rounders on the new Game Jolt marketplace (opening to the public on Wednesday), so we decided we’d use that opportunity of potential ‘feature space’ to set Conga free into the wild. The game will also be available to buy on our itch.io page as well, and we’ll be launching a Greenlight campaign to get the game onto Steam on the same day (Conga is a game that was designed to use online leaderboards, so it’s a perfect fit). We’re still working on the Android .APK; there’s some optimisation to do to see if we can get it running at at least 50 FPS on low powered devices, but more critically the shader code for the sine-distortion effects used on the game titles is currently completely borked on the Amazon Fire TV.


The past three months of development-weekends have been pretty soul destroying for Jamie and I, a period of time that can be summarised as an ever-repeating cycle of finding a bug, fixing it and inadvertently creating another, but at the time of writing the game is pretty much 100% there. Amazingly, despite the hundreds of hours put in, we both still enjoy playing Conga in short bursts - which I guess is a good sign. I even recently managed to loop it twice, although I still haven’t managed to conquer the game by beating it three times. I do wonder if perhaps we’ve made Conga too brutally hard? I guess we’ll find out soon!

Since the last time we wrote about the game, our main focus has been on implementing the achievements system, stats, player feedback/ratings, credits, intro and laying on a thick coat of final polish. Like 2014’s r0x EP, Conga has it’s own built-in achievements and stats system so that it offers players some reward even in the DRM free version of the game. Doing this has of course also made it easier for us to eventually implement other platform API’s, such as those used by Steam, Amazon, Google and (possibly/hopefully) Game Jolt. A huge amount of time was spent tweaking these so that the game doesn’t ‘give it all away in the first 30 minutes of play’, but to be brutally honest, if I set my mind to it and beat my double-loop record, I reckon I could probably manage it in less.


You see, Conga is a SMALL, traditional arcade game. With a single loop of the 12 stages/4 dimensions technically possible in less than 5 minutes, you might ask why we feel it is worthy of the budget $4.99 price tag. That’s not a simple question to answer, but nonetheless we have our reasons;

  • With only one life per game (plus an additional hit-point per level achievable by collecting armour pods), Conga is quite challenging (read as “it’s 1986 coin-op style hardcore”). I have my doubts as to whether or not anyone will actually reach the ‘game conquered’ message. I’ll be happily proved wrong though :)
  • The mix of scripted and randomised game events give Conga a LOT of replay value. That and the quick ‘one button to try again’ functionality combine to give it that compulsive one-more-go vibe. We’ve tested the game at several events and it’s genuinely hard to pull people away once they’ve got into the zone.
  • We’ve not made a big song and dance about the competitive local multiplayer aspect of the game, but it is quite a laugh (when you can actually make out what the hell is going on amongst all the flashing and screen shake).
  • Although original, the game concept is admittedly quite simple, but we’ve made the very best game that we could out of it in all respects. The controls, the menus, the transitions, the flow of the game... a huge amount of work and attention to detail went into them all.
  • If/When Greenlit, those friends/global scoreboards are going to make it a whole lot more fun to play. High score competitiveness is what Conga is all about. Jamie and I have furiously been trying to better each others scores now for a year, and we still enjoy giving the game a blast. I’m still in the lead by the way ;)
  • You’ve never played anything quite like Conga. That’s a fact. Rob Remakes knows where it's at :)


In respect to the above points, we feel that the price is both fair and reflective of what we’d feel happy paying for a game of the same scale and standard. In these days of crazy-cheap games it also gives us room to move with future sales and promotions. Also, ignoring the unpaid time we’ve put in, Conga has already cost us about £1K in assets alone. That's no huge sum, but it's still money that we'd really like to get back to reinvest into giving r0x EP a console-release worthy update. However, even achieving that is ‘quite’ an ambitious target for a low-profile indie like us, equating to something like 350 sales. If we manage that, there’ll be some serious high-fiving going on here at RGCD HQ! :)

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Kickstarter Version of Tiger Claw Available for Download!


First up, let me start this post by clarifying that the results of our C64 compo are in hand and will be announced ‘sometime in May’. Jamie and I have been insanely busy lately - not only have we been wrapping up the final 1% of the work left on Conga-Combat (which now even has its own page over at itch.io), but shipping all those Tiger Claw carts took quite some time and effort!

Anyway, the last Tiger Claw cartridge was sent in the mail two weeks ago, so they should have all arrived at their destinations by now. Apart from one, which has been returned to me from Australia(!) If you think that might be yours, please drop us a line asap! (Obviously I know who it is, but I don’t want to disclose names publicly, and I’ve already emailed the individual to no avail).

Friday, 1 April 2016

RGCD C64 Cartridge Development Competition 2015

Hey, this is no April 1st joke! The fifth RGCD C64 Cartridge Development Competition concluded at midnight on the 31st of March with 11 entries (9 of which are brand new games for the Commodore 64)! The final line up is as follows:

  • Alienator (Georg Rottensteiner)
  • Blap N Bash Revisited (Richard Bayliss)
  • Bug Hunt (Eric Hilaire)
  • Icicle Race (John Christian Lønningdal)
  • Pickle's Pod Patrol (Steve Ody)
  • Platman (Andrea Schincaglia)
  • Qwak (Daniel Hotop)
  • Ring On A String (P-a Bäckström)
  • Slime Deluxe (Mike Johnson)
  • Terra.Heaven.Eternity.Arctic. (Simon Quernhorst)
  • Vortex Crystals (Richard Bayliss)

Congratulations to Georg Rottensteiner, Richard Bayliss, Eric Hilaire, Saul Cross, John Christian Lønningdal, Steve Ody, Andrea Schincaglia, Daniel Hotop, P-a Bäckström, Mike Johnson, Simon Quernhorst and their collaborators for making the deadline!

Well, that's it! The vote sheets will be sent out this weekend and if all goes to plan we'll have the final results ready to announce in a few weeks time. Grab the games here and fire up your C64 or emulator and enjoy!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition - Status Update #4

Wow! Even with the two month extension, the time has whizzed by - there's only a few hours left for this year's competition entrants to complete and submit their games! Since February's update there's been quite a lot of progress and few new entries, but before we have a look to see how our devs have got on, it's (finally!) time to discuss this year's prizes!

This year our competition has four sponsors (well, five including RGCD). First up there's the £250 prize fund (a good chunk of which was generously donated by our own Antonio Savona), with £100 going to both first and second place, and £50 to third. In addition to this, Jens Schönfeld of Individual Computing has kindly agreed to send us two of his RR-Net MK3 cartridge boards and a handful of Commodore Billboard/Funet double-CD's, and I'll be offering up my entire Psytronik Software disk and tape collection(!) I've been collecting these for some time (with many sent to me by Kenz as part of our collaborative release agreement), but I haven't had a datasette or 1541 drive for years, and I'm unlikely to pick one up again in the future - so I'd rather they went out to someone who'll get some real use out of them!

Finally, I'm excited to announce that Stian Søreng is sending us three of his long-awaited 16KB cartridge C64FC 'dev kits' - a cartridge board that links your C64 to a PC/Mac via USB, allowing you to send 'real' cartridge rom files direct to the hardware. The perfect solution for those wanting to see their cartridge games running on real hardware. Oh, but of course, the REAL prize is that each entrant will receive their entry on their very own, 1-of-a-kind, exclusive boxed cartridge :)

Anyway, now for the bit you've all been waiting for, status update #4!



Competition Entry #1: Alienator
(Developer: Georg Rottensteiner - Status: Complete & Submitted!)


Hey! I received an email from Georg just minutes ago with the 'final as it is likely to get' version of Alienator! I've not had a chance to fire it up on the old breadbin yet, but Georg gave a pretty decent description; "Alienator is a spruced up Space Invaders game. 99 waves of nasty Vogons are at it again and you're our last hope to avoid their poetry. Shoot enemies and collect power ups! Careful though, you never know what the power up will accomplish. Defeat all 99 waves (with a few laughable bosses strewn in) and save earth!".

I'm looking forward to giving this a blast! Not sure what the meaning of 'poetry' is in the above context though!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Huenison Released on Steam! (PC/AmigaOS 4)


The day is finally here! Huenison has thrown down the gauntlet and challenges you to enter (and doubtlessly perish within) his mind control wells! If you are brave enough to face him, then head over to the game's Steam page where a bonus 1-week 20% discount awaits! (Current price with discount is £3.19/$3.99).

As previously mentioned, all customers who bought the game for Windows and AmigaOS 4 back when it was available as a download from our online store and other legitimate sources should have by now received their free keys. Hit us up on the contact page if we somehow forgot you (a few emails bounced)!

Spaceman Splorf: Planet of Doom (C64)


Some of you may already know this, but I've been pestering Vanja to provide artwork for RGCD for some time now. After seeing her amazing looking artwork on various unfinished C64 game previews, I have begged her time and time again to collaborate with someone and get something released. And you know what? With the help of coder Andreas Gustafsson, she finally has! Enter stage left, Spaceman Splorf!

In the first of several planned Splorf outings, Mermaid and Andreas have played it safe by opting for their first project to be a 'simple' one-button arcade score chaser. But to be fair, there's more depth to Spaceman Splorf: Planet of Doom than you might initially realise. Sure, it has amazing graphics (the introductory cut-scene is worth the download alone), but Vanja has really gone to town with the 8-song soundtrack too, with the introductory theme borrowing from Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and even Dune! Oh, and it has twin-SID support too for extra dopeness.


Add to the mix some of the cutest animations and game graphics I've yet to see on a C64 and a full highscore system, and really there's very little more you could ask for. It's up there with C64anabalt, in my opinion, as a classic 1-button game. Despite the casual style (fire to thrust upwards, avoid borders and meteors, survive as long as possible), I find myself regularly going back for one more game - and I've been lucky to have been playing it for weeks already. It's a keeper.

If Vanja and Andreas can maintain the momentum and complete their next two planned projects (a Spaceman Splorf shmup and adventure) with the same attention to detail that they have employed here, then they'll be way on their way to the top of the C64 gamedev scene. Shame it's not 16KB, because this could have been a serious contender in our competition.


Grab your copy of Spaceman Splorf: Planet of Doom here (from the official website).
Run it using VICE (free software).



Important Note for RGCD Cartridge Fans!

Vanja and I have discussed the possibility of creating a nice Spaceman Splorf cartridge package (game cart, comic, postcards, A3 poster, DX case, 25mm button badge), and have worked out that we could do it for about ~£25 a piece (depending on quantity made). However, some additional work would be required for it to be 'GS' compatible, so before committing we'd like to have a rough idea of how many people would actually buy the game. So... it's over to you to decide whether or not this happens!

Take 10 seconds of your time to fill in this simple Google form to express your interest :)

Monday, 22 February 2016

Huenison Hits Steam on the 26th of February! (PC/AmigaOS 4)


It's been a long time coming, but the date is finally set! Huenison arrives on Steam in just over three days time, with an introductory 20% discount on the regular $4.99 pricetag and including the AmigaOS 4 version as free DLC with every purchase (undoubtedly a first for Valve?!)

Created by Retream and released in collaboration with RGCD, Huenison is an innovative puzzle-shooter that takes various elements from Arkanoid, BOH, Decathlon, Dyna Blaster, Impossible Mission, Oil's Well, Pac-Man, Pang, Qix, Slam Tilt, Space Invaders, Tetris and Vital Light, and puts them together in a hectic arcade mix. All in retro visuals and synthetic sonorities that recall the revered Commodore 64's SID chip.


As promised, the game now includes Steam achievements, trading cards, badges, emoticons and backgrounds to collect as well as many minor improvements and bug fixes that were identified during the lengthy Steam integration process. Check out the downloadable demo over on the game's Steam page here!

As previously mentioned, all customers who bought the game for Windows and AmigaOS 4 back when it was available as a download from our online store will be receiving a free key in the next couple of days - so keep an eye on your inboxes!

Tiger Claw - Arriving in Your Mailbox Soon!


We're fast approaching the end of the second month of 2016, and finally Tiger Claw is just about ready to ship. The amazing bespoke artwork by our good friend Jon Davies was completed a few weeks back (I suspect that many of you will have seen this already on either Twitter or Lemon64), and I'm pleased to announce that all of the print material has been ordered and is currently being processed. With each game coming with a poster, a professionally designed and printed manual (thanks to Chris Mantil), new format RGCD and Lazycow stickers and a button badge, Tiger Claw certainly sets a new standard for future RGCD releases.