Wednesday, 20 December 2017

C64 News Update


[This article was originally written by J. Monkman for issue #67 of the world-famous Commodore 64 disk magazine Vandalism News, and has been reposted here with permission from the editor. If you wish to read it in its original form, download Vandalism News from CSDB].

Hey there, it's been a while. I've had a lot going on in my life since the last time I wrote an article for VN - in fact, this time last year I nearly lost my home and family due to spending too much time with this hobby, and as such I don't have a huge amount to report.

Back in the Spring I started refreshing some of our product range, and ordered new cartridge labels and commissioned new manual designs from Chris Mantil for Powerglove, Super Bread Box, C64anabalt and Bomberland (to match those used in Jam It!, Moonspire and Tiger Claw). At the time of writing, C64anabalt and Powerglove have received the update, with Super Bread Box due out this week and Bomberland, Space Lords and Rocket Smash to follow in the new year. You can purchase these from our store here.

In terms of new releases, I've received everything for the physical release of Paul Koller's long-awaited LuftrauserZ - apart from the manuals, which are due to arrive from the printers next week. LuftrauserZ is a faithful demake of Vlambeer's Time Pilot/Jetstrike style arcade shmup Luftrausers, and is the first game we've released that uses iComp's new GMOD2 cartridge. The game will be available just in time for Christmas, so add it to your wish list!

In non C64 related news, I'm currently swamped with DD/DS 3.5" floppies in preparation for the release of Powerglove (followed by Tiger Claw) for the Amiga. Now that LuftrauserZ is complete, the next job will be to convert and update the C64 manual and poster/map for these two games, before finalising a CD image (the games will run on the for the CD32, with a floppy provided for classic Amigas). I'm hoping that both of these games will be available early in the new year, if not before.

Another couple of releases that are sat here awaiting print material are Retream's MAH and Antonio Savona's Planet Golf, both of which are collaborative releases with Protovision and Psytronik respectively. If you've not played either of these yet, MAH is currently available to from Retream's itch.io page and Planet Golf can already be purchased from Psytronik as a download and disk release.

Since the release of Moonspire, Dusan and Ari have been working behind the scenes on a sequel/expansion pack for the game. Using the same engine, the follow up (currently going by the name 'The Draxx War') is a far more challenging game than the original and features new graphics, new enemies, new maps and an unfinished song by Agemixer that is (currently) seven minutes long! No confirmed ETA on this one, and we're undecided as to whether or not it should be download-only or available on cartridge (we'll let a poll decide nearer the time).

Yoomp 64, a C64 port of the popular and acclaimed Atari 800 game Yoomp, has been sat in my 'ready to release' folder for quite some time. The game itself is complete, but we're still waiting for the cover art - a 3D render by Thomas Koch that is due to reach us in 'a couple of weeks'. Yoomp 64 is a challenging arcade experience coded by Zbych that plays like Trailblazer wrapped around a 3D tube, pushing the C64 to its limits. The music by MCH is (unsurprisingly) awesome and a huge improvement over the already decent soundtrack in the original Atari game. We're working with Psytronik as a joint release for this one, so expect more news soon.

There's a handful of other projects on the horizon, such as a collaborative effort between Carleton Hadley and iLKke to create a console-style Picross game with all new, unique puzzles based on Ilija's artwork, as well as various games released by Psytronik that missed a cartridge release in my absence from the scene. I'm hoping to work out the feasibility of these over the coming weeks. Additionally, we've given our webshop a bit of a clean-out, and work on a new RGCD website, various presskit updates and itch.io entries continues in the background. Hopefully some of this stuff will be complete in time for the next issue of VN! See you next time :)