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!

Competition Entry #3: Escape from Area 64
(Developer: Christian Gleinser - Status: Withdrawn!)

Sad news from Christian, who wrote in advising that unfortunately he won't be able to finish his game by the deadline. However, he hopes to still complete the game later in the year, so there's hope yet for this project. Good luck Christian!

Competition Entry #7: Platman
(Developer: Saul Cross & Andrea Schincaglia - Status: Complete?)

Some good news! I've been playing the final version of Platman as a .prg for quite some time now, and Andrea & Saul have done a great job with the port from the Amiga source material. Such a good job, in fact, that the coder of the original game has granted us permission to release the game as a cartridge when the competition is over! However, I've yet to see a final .crt copy of the game, so Andrea - if you are reading this - send me that final file please! :D

Competition Entry #8: QWAK
(Developer: Saul Cross & Daniel Hotop - Status: Complete & Submitted!)

Another submission in the bag, Daniel & Saul's C64 reinterpretation of the Amiga and BBC Micro classic arrived in my inbox this week, complete with 31 levels, 8 enemy types, 8 sound effects, 5 music tracks, 4 power-ups, 4 background sets, 2 bosses and '0 plot' ;)

The game is certainly closer to the BBC version than the Amiga game that most of you will be familiar with, and despite being a little slower than the Beeb version, Qwak plays really well on the old breadbin! Congrats guys! :)

Competition Entry #11: Pickle's Pod Patrol
(Developer: Saul Cross & Steve Ody - Status: Complete & Submitted!)

Another surprise release, Pickle's Pod Patrol was originally intended for last year's compo - but here it is at last! Pickle's Pod Patrol is a neato little single screen platformer in which your goal is to rescue the titular pods by pushing them back to their home whilst avoiding or spitting at the ever-so-cute nasties. I particularly liked the screen-wrapping, which adds some depth to the fifteen challenging levels.

Competition Entry #12: Terra/Heaven/Eternity/Arctic
(Developer: Simon Quernhorst - Status: Complete & Submitted!)

Ok! Well I've been asked not to share any info on this one (nor any in-game screens) by the developer, so this is all you are going to get for now. It does come with the disclaimer that Simon developed it for his young daughter, and as such it's a simple little game, but even I found it really quite charming :)

Competition Entry #13: Bug Hunt
(Developer: Eric Hilaire - Status: Complete & Submitted!)

Those of you who follow the indie scene might be familiar with Lazy Brain Games' bug-munching PC original, or perhaps you've seen the Sega Genesis/Megadrive port? Regardless, here's yet another decent little new arcade-style submission to add to the growing line-up :) Props to Joachim Wijnhoven (aka Yogibear) for the music!

Competition Entry #14: Slime Deluxe
(Developer: Mr. NOP - Status: Complete & Submitted!)

Another new entry, Slime Deluxe by Mike Johnson (aka Mr NOP) is a new C64 release based on an old PET game concept by Jim Summers. Although the game itself is character based, the presentation is fantastic and the gameplay is extremely hectic! Well done Mike for getting this to me (and apologies for the communication problems over the past few days!)

And that's all for now! A few more final versions of previous entries have been sent in, and I'll update the compo page with these details tomorrow evening. See you in a few hours with the final line up!