Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Moonspire II (Commodore 64)

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything about Dusan Milivojevic’s Moonspire II project, and for good reason. Originally planned as a free DLC-style set of extra levels, then re-styled as a stand-alone sequel, an early preview was uploaded to CSDB in which unfortunately 75% of the rest of the game levels we’re hidden in the cartridge image - and of course, when it was ‘cracked’, those half-finished, broken levels were found and unlocked.

This was hugely demotivating for Dusan in particular, and the project was almost binned. However, I suggested that instead of refitting an set of extra levels as a sequel, perhaps this would actually give us the opportunity to start the project again from scratch.

And that is what we’ve been doing for the past year.

Working together with Harris ‘rexbeng’ Kladis and Ari ‘Agemixer’ Yliaho, our plan for the sequel was to tear-up the rulebook and start with a fresh design; instead of crow-barring a plot into a game, this time we’ve been working on a properly structured story with cut scenes and mission briefings that fit the levels. In addition to this we’ve completely revised the control method and even included a huge, scrollable in-game map.

Where the original saw the player infiltrating an alien moon base, in Moonspire II they take the fight to the Draxx, stealthily boarding their leviathan space craft, and uncovering the alien's plans for the human race via a series of intelligence-gathering missions. This has required a huge amount of graphics reworking, and Harris has delivered a unique visual style unlike anything I’ve seen in a C64 game before, with detailed animations and mechanical, futuristic sprites and tiles.

Agemixer’s original acid track from the sequel has been further extended, with additional music being programmed for the intro sequence and outro. In fact, the only thing really holding back the demo release is a missing intro track (which we hope will arrive soon).

The upcoming single-level demo will showcase some of the new features - your mission involving hacking a number of surface mounted computer terminals in order to gain access to the inside of a Draxx fleet ship. There are now switches that unlock sections of the craft, teleporters that take you to otherwise impossible to reach locations, defensive gun turrets and tiles that restrict movement or inflict damage to the player. On the positive side, you now have a cloaking device that renders you temporarily invulnerable added to your arsenal - and the other weapons have been linked to the F-keys for faster selection (rather than using the spacebar-driven menu from the original).

rexbeng has bold plans for the rest of the game, and although development of the six remaining levels will no doubt be a slow process (fitting it in around family commitments and work), if the detail he has put into the demo is anything to go by then it will be worth it.

Moonspire II will hopefully be available in early 2020. In order to document the development and maintain motivation I intend to post regular updates as progress is made, so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook or sign up to our mailing list so you don't miss out when the game is released!

Note: the original Moonspire can be purchased as a *.crt image for download here, or as an actual physical game cartridge from our online shop!

Friday, 17 May 2019

Grid Pix (Commodore 64)

Nonogram puzzle games on the Commodore 64 are like buses, huh? You wait 30 years for one, then two arrive at once! Hot on the heels of Carl-Henrik's 'Nono Pixie' (released as an entry in our 16KB game development compo), follows our own commercial release of Carleton Handley's 'Grid Pix', featuring puzzles designed by Ilija 'iLKke' Melentijevic and music from Merman, TDM and Cyborgjeff!

(Of course I know there are other nonogram games out there for the C64 - Oziphantom released his 4KB 'Picross' game back in 2016, and there's an unfinished C64 port of CEZ's 'Illogical' out there somewhere too!)

We first showed Grid Pix back in February at the GAME>PLAY festival in Exeter, and since then we've been busy preparing the game for release, adding two additional soundtrack options, commissioning a fantastic piece of cover art by Ste Pickford and further tweaking and refining the game. Progress has been slow yet steady, but I'm pleased to announce we are (finally) nearing the finish line :)

Interestingly, the trickiest part of putting together a nonogram puzzle (or 'picross', as they are commonly known) is ensuring that they are logically solvable. For each puzzle, following the numerical clues, there must be only one correct answer, and when it comes to drawing the puzzles this can be a real headache. Ilija must have submitted at least another 30 puzzles that didn't pass Carleton's testing program - add this to the fact you really want to keep puzzles from being too easy to 'guess' and avoid excessive symmetry in such a tiny 1-bit frame, and... well, you get the picture! (pun intended)

An interesting bit of trivia is that when Carelton was originally designing the game, he used the puzzles from Mario's Picross on the GameBoy as test data, and as a result, Grid Pix saves it's data in exactly the same format! In fact, this week Carleton has been introducing a system allowing the cartridge version of the game to upload 'expansion pack' disks into RAM, and guess what has been doing the rounds internally to test that the system works?

(check out the image below - these of course are NOT available with the game!)

Our plan for the release is to ship Grid Pix with 100 puzzles, and then to provide free, future puzzle packs as .D64 images to add to the longetivity of the game. If you'd like to get involved and submit some puzzles for a future pack, please drop us a line! Puzzles can be any size up to 15x15 pixels, but obviously have to pass the testing algorithms before inclusion ;)

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook or sign up to our mailing list so you don't miss out when the game is released!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Retaliate DX (Commodore 64)

Way back in early 2018 I came across a preview of Marcelo Cabral's Retaliate on CSDB - a simple looking shmup that on first glance appeared to be no more than a generic Space Invaders or Galaga clone. However, upon closer examination my interest was piqued - the production notes described it as a demake of a Android/Roku game of the same name, and the summary page highlighted a novel mechanic whereby you have to collect bullets with your shield in order to fire them back at the enemies - similar to the system Nicolas and I devised for r0x Zer0 on the Atari STE.

After playing the game a few times I could see the potential - in fact, after familiarising myself with the Android version I realised that with a little polish the C64 version could potentially surpass the original - which is quite an uncommon feat for a demake!

At it's core, Retaliate is a high-score chaser, and an unusual one at that. In order to achieve a high score, you can't just camp out and use your shield to survive the waves of enemies - instead you must catch the bullets and take the fight back to your aggressors - hence the title of the game.

After introducing myself to Marcelo, I reached out to Trevor ‘Smila’ Storey, Richard Bayliss, Antonio Savona and Jon Eggleton, and as a team we’ve been assisting Marcelo to further refine the game - Trev redid all the in game art and helped redesign the GUI, Richard composed a new title track, Antonio assisted with the cartridge code and Jon Egg delivered an amazing title screen. Retaliate DX was born. I, on the other hand, simply pestered Marcelo again and again with tweaks and amendments - something that anyone who has worked with me before can probably relate to!

My initial concern involved the player hitbox - in fact the player has two hitboxes - a large one for when the shield is activated (by pulling down on the joystick) and the other for detecting death-collisions with bullets and enemies. No doubt to Marcelo's annoyance, this second hitbox caused me to request revision after revision; the game features several unlockable craft, all with slightly different spite shapes and sizes, yet we needed to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Personally I’ve always been a fan of smaller hitboxes (I love the feeling in shoot em ups when you fluke a near miss), but the original game features full-sprite-width collision detection, so whilst the C64 conversion does now differ, this has involved a lot of conversations about not deviating too much from the source material.

Talking of source, some of you may be interested to know that Marcelo has actually branched off the code for Retaliate and the source code for the game (minus the revised artwork, etc) will remain freely available on github as a ‘community edition’ for people to view and learn from for their own projects.

One of the nicest bonus features that made the transition from the original Roku game is the ability to customise the appearance of the player ship; using sliders you can repaint the hull of your ship and the colour of the shield. From this 'hangar' screen you can also select from the available craft, unlocked by achieving score targets in different difficulty modes, and each complete with slightly different stats.

As it stands, the game is now nearing completion and will hopefully be ready for release within the next couple of months. Marcelo has been frequently sending over new test builds for Antonio and I to play, and already the game seems very far removed from that original beta I played over a year ago. With its refined game play, smoother controls and a wider variety of enemies and attack patterns, we're hoping that you'll soon be enjoying Retaliate DX as much as we have been :)

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook or sign up to our mailing list so you don't miss out when the game is released!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Kickstarter: SID Chip Club: Vinyl album & C64 Cartridge

Those of you who are into modern SID music (and Commodore 64 cartridges) should check out this Kickstarter project by Markus 'LMan' Klein. LMan has been blowing the scene away with his unique club style SID tracks over the past few years, and with this project he not only proposes putting together a six-track vinyl album, but also making it available on cartridge so you can play the tracks on a real Commodore 64! Alternatively, for those of you who prefer records, "SID Chip Club" will be released on a high quality, 160g yellow vinyl record with a special black splatter effect. The pressing will be performed carbon neutrally by an experienced manufacturer.

I've been a fan of LMan's work for quite a while - after all, music productions by people like him, Jason Page and Linus are the reason why I have a C64 set up and plugged into a sound system on my everyday work desk. So it should come as no real surprise that RGCD have offered to help him with the cartridge side of things. You can rest assured that the final result will be a quality physical release that will have you dancing around your C64, lights off and volume up to the max, jacking like its 1988...

The Kickstarter is currently sitting at about 2/3 of the way to it's much-needed target, so if this is something that remotely interests you, please consider giving it your support by clicking here. Records are available for £22-24, and the cartridge is only £30!

Friday, 26 April 2019

SkillGrid Available! (Amiga Download & Physical Release)

Finally! All the packaging and printed parts have arrived and I'm proud to announce that RGCD and Retream's SkillGrid is available to purchase now for your AGA Amiga as either a physical release or digital download!

SkillGrid is an endless score-attack vertical shoot 'em up for AGA Amigas developed by Retream, featuring frenetic, tactical gameplay and comprising of a variety of different sub-games, boss battles and in-depth scoring mechanics.

Based on an original concept, SkillGrid faces the player against infinite waves of enemies to kill, bonuses and upgrades to collect (cyan cells) and maluses to avoid (yellow cells). Designed for AGA Amigas only, the game features three-layer parallax variable-speed scrolling (2 of which generated procedurally), 8-bit alpha channel transparencies and real-time palette changes, highscore saving, beautifully designed sprites with pixel-perfect collision detection, high quality prog-rock music in the form of lossless-packed 8 bit stereo 28.9 kHz samples and even in-game speech warnings (from the developer himself)!

All of this is crammed into a single load game that runs from floppy, CD or hard disk!

F​or full details on the game, please check out the official website here. Please note that SkillGrid is a PAL game. It will run on NTSC Amiga systems (the machine will switch itself to PAL mode automatically) but you will need a PAL display!

SkillGrid is available in two versions; a basic CD-only version that comes with an auto-booting jewel-cased, glass-mastered CD complete with a professionally printed 16-page manual, a large weather-proof vinyl RGCD sticker, RGCD and Retream postcards and two disk labels (so you can make your own floppies from the images on the CD). The deluxe version comes with all this plus a packet of four beautiful 25mm button badges, an A3 poster (rolled) and the game on two floppy disks - all presented in a plastic clam shell box complete with custom made foam insert.

Please note that SkillGrid is also available to buy here as a downloadable .ADF/.ISO image to use via emulation or on real hardware. Purchases of the physical package come with a download link of the game for free. Grab your copy of the game now from our online store!

Get 'Em DX Available (Again) on Cartridge!

A couple of months ago, RGCD were fortunate to be involved in a local gaming festival here in our home city of Exeter (GAME>PLAY hosted by Tech Exeter). We had a bunch of our games on rotation through the day, yet surprisingly the most popular one by far was Get 'Em DX, a previously discontinued C64 cartridge game that was developed in house by Georg Rottensteiner, Ilija Melentijevic and Sean Connolly.

Get 'Em DX is a one or two player (co-operative) maze-based arcade game. It's a bit like Pac-Man, but with procedurally generated levels and more shooting. The goal on each level is to eat all the crosses, then grab the key that appears and head for the exit door. However, there's also a motley bunch of nasty characters who'll try their best to kill you, block your path and otherwise hinder your progress. In fact, they'll even run off with the exit key if you don't collect it first!

It's a game that I've always been fond of, so seeing it being enjoyed so much at GAME>PLAY inspired me to give it the re-release it deserved, complete with professionally printed inserts, a new domed label and a beautifully designed manual by Chris Mantil. And fear not - if you already own the game on cartridge you can upgrade your own copy with a new manual and label :) Grab your copy today from our online store!

Get 'Em DX is also available for FREE download as a .crt and .prg image from our page.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Moonspire, Powerglove, Yoomp! 64 & Bomberland Back in Stock!

Unsurprisingly, quite a lot of our physical game releases ran out of stock during the Christmas/New Year period - but at the time of typing, most of our back catalogue is again available to purchase, including Yoomp! 64 (which hasn't been in stock for a few months)!

Currently available over at our online store we have:

Note that Rocket Smash EX (C64) and C-2048 (C64) will be available again soon (I'm awaiting a delivery from Tim at Sharewareplus). Also, our planned back-catalogue reissues continue this year, with Georg Rottensteiner's one or two-player arcade-style eat-em-up Get 'Em DX (C64) currently being worked on. Expect more news on this one at the end of the month.

Aviator Arcade II Available! (C64) (Download, Disk and Cartridge)

An unknown militarized terrorist unit, known as the X-Force, has occupied the peaceful city of Suburbia. As the top pilot in the Earth Defence Force (EDF) the job of defeating the terrorists falls to you!

Flying your state of the art attack helicopter you are sent into what seems to be a straight forward seek-and-destroy mission - but as the story unfolds it will become apparent that the X-Force's goal is more sinister than anyone could have imagined...

Grab your joystick, save the world, and see if you can get that all-time high score!

The initial version of AVIATOR ARCADE was released as a three-level, 16KB cartridge game for the RGCD annual C64 game development competition (in 2014). This greatly enhanced sequel, AVIATOR ARCADE II is a direct response to the feedback received after the first game was released, and features:
  • High octane 50/60 FPS SHMUP action!
  • Ten action packed levels!
  • All new background and sprite graphics!
  • Bosses at the end of each level!
  • Weapon and armour power-ups!
  • Three difficulty levels, auto-fire and more options!
  • Upgraded sound and bomb effects!
  • High score list and options saved to cartridge and disk!
  • Full PAL/NTSC compatibility!

Developed by Mark Hindsbo, Saul Cross and Thomas Petersen, AVIATOR ARCADE II is arguably one of the best vertical shoot-em-up games available for the Commodore 64, offering players a console quality arcade experience on the humble 8-Bit home computer!

AVIATOR ARCADE II is a Psytronik and RGCD Production.

The All-Important Links:

  • Download the game demo HERE ( (complete with VICE for Windows, macos and linux). The full version is available for $2.99.
  • Buy the game on disk HERE for £6.99/13.99 (Psytronik Software).
  • Buy the cartridge HERE for £36 (RGCD).

Powerglove Reloaded Available! (Win/Mac/Linux/Amiga Download & Physical Release)

The world's fossil resources are exhausted. Two polar subterranean thermal reactors supply the increasing energy demand of mankind. An explosion in the Northern polar thermal reactor has destroyed all primary and secondary energy connections and contact with the engineers and rescue robots has been lost.

Without an energy supply the death of billions is imminent! We need the six control diamonds to engage the station's backup systems. Use the shielded suit and the Powerglove to protect you against the maintenance robots.

You're our only hope!

Powerglove Reloaded is a classic-era run 'n' gun game developed by Lazycow and Pierre 'Cyborgjeff' Martin for the Commodore Amiga home computer. Based on the 2014 Commodore smash 'Powerglove', this enhanced port features improved graphics, a larger game map, deeper game mechanics and even boss fights!

Guide the hero through the polar thermal reactor complex, navigate the complex network of transport tubes, locate the six control diamonds and blast away every rogue robot that stands in your path!

Powerglove Reloaded features:

  • Classic run 'n' gun action over six huge maps!
  • Seven types of fiendish mechanical monsters to vanquish!
  • Four bosses to battle!
  • Cool stuff to collect (including Powerboots & Charge Shot)!
  • 'Classic' mode with chunky C64 graphics!
  • Awesome Soundtrack by Cyborgjeff!
  • Full NTSC/PAL support!

Powerglove Reloaded is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux and the Commodore Amiga (1MB RAM), both in digital format and as a physical release.

The All-Important Links:

  • Visit Lazycow's web site for full details on the game!
  • Download the game HERE ( for Windows/MacOS/Linux (FREE/pay-what-you-want). Amiga version available for $2.99.
  • Download the game HERE ( for Commodore 64 (FREE/pay-what-you-want).
  • Buy the Amiga physical release HERE (RGCD) for £15/16.
  • Buy the Commodore 64 physical release HERE (RGCD) for £28.

(Yep, the C64 version of the game is now free! Enjoy!)

Tiger Claw Available! (Win/Mac/Linux/Amiga Download & Physical Release)

Help TIGER CLAW kick and punch his way through 24 screens of martial-arts mayhem to retrieve the four mystic scrolls before Fire Fist, Thunder Chain and Angry Tongue can reveal their true potential!

Fortunately, Master Lee has transferred some of the mystic scrolls’ power into four masks of endurance before they were stolen. Find these masks and use them wisely. As Confucius said: “He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools!”

TIGER CLAW is a relentless beat 'em up game developed by Lazycow and Saul Cross. Originally released exclusively on Commodore 64 cartridge by RGCD for backers of the C64 in Pixels Kickstarter (Fusion Retro Books, 2016), then ported to Windows, MacOS, Linux and the Commodore Amiga in 2018!

TIGER CLAW was initially released as an entry in the 2014 RGCD 16K C64 Game Development Competition (where it placed 2nd out of 17 entries). Taking player feedback into consideration, the game was both further expanded and refined for the 64KB final, including the addition of extra rooms, foes and features, an arcade-style training mode and a 2-4 player deathmatch arena!

In December 2018, a new version of TIGER CLAW was made available for Windows, MacOS, Linux and the Commodore Amiga (1MB RAM), both in digital format and as a physical release.

  • Kill your friends in deadly 2-4 player versus battles!
  • Smash your way through the arcade-style training mode!
  • Collect ancient masks to gain new powers!
  • Slay dozens of enemy foot soldiers, deadly ninjas, fearsome daemons, rabid hounds and birds of prey!
  • 'Classic' mode with chunky C64 graphics!
  • Full NTSC/PAL support (both on Commodore 64 and Amiga)!

The All-Important Links:

  • Visit Lazycow's web site for full details on the game!
  • Download the game HERE ( for Windows/MacOS/Linux and Commodore 64 (FREE/pay-what-you-want). Amiga version available for $2.99.
  • Buy the Amiga physical release HERE (RGCD) for £15/16.

(Yep, the C64 version of the game is now free! Enjoy!)

(Belated) Happy New Year!

A belated Happy New Year to you all! The last couple of months have been insane here at RGCD; since the release of Aviator Arcade II (C64), Powerglove Reloaded (Amiga) and Tiger Claw (Amiga) in early December I have been swamped with over 250 orders, most of which were for multiple games. As you (probably) know, all our releases are hand assembled and packed by myself, Jamie and (in the case of most C64 releases) Tim in our spare time outside of our real-life jobs - and as a result I've only in the past couple of weeks caught up with the backlog. Phew!

Unfortunately, another side effect of the order-backlog was that I have completely failed to update this website! So, over the next couple of days I'll be quick-firing short blog posts to cover all the various projects that have been bubbling away in the background here. More to follow...

Friday, 7 December 2018

Powerglove Reloaded, Tiger Claw, Aviator Arcade II, r0x zer0 and more!

You know what? I really wish I had more hours in the day so I could post here more often. I love writing, but hardly ever get to do it anymore. With my limited time spent juggling RGCD, family life, my career and social stuff, there’s just no time left for updating this blog (or even Facebook and Twitter). So, yet again it has been months since my last post, but holy shit a lot of stuff been going on since then!

Remember that Hunter’s Moon Kickstarter? Well, in case you didn’t know, I personally flashed, packed and shipped all 300 of those cartridges in what was the most epic sized project I’ve faced to date. 300 games might not sound like a lot to ship, but every single package had a variety of different bolt-ons; postcards, stickers, t-shirts, CDs, posters, even mugs! Quite often they were in wacky combinations resulting in multiple packages going to the same address - but phew - the last one (a replacement) was posted a week ago, so that’s that finished. In total, I tallied up that it had taken me over 14 full (solid) 12-hour days to complete, spread over a couple of months.

In comparison, the more recent Zzap! 64 Annual Kickstarter perk I helped with was completed in less than a week, and the resulting 115 Sizzler cartridges will be personally delivered to Chris Wilkins this Sunday for him to distribute to his backers.

But what about our in-house projects?

Tiger Claw and Powerglove Reloaded

These two long-awaited Amiga releases, particularly Powerglove Reloaded, have been held back by pretty much every issue and road block that a physical game launch can possibly face. First up was the choice of packaging - initially I had this cool idea of using now-impossible to source CD jewel cases with a flip-out tray that could also house a floppy disk. I first came across these when I was working on the original r0x with Nicolas ‘Tomchi’ Flandin for the Atari STE about 10 years ago. In fact, this was how a limited number of physical copies of the game were distributed. So, decision made, I went out to source a new supply - and lo and behold! Someone on eBay was selling a huge box of of them!

After parting with what seemed like an obscene amount of cash, then paying import and customs fees from the USA, the cases finally arrived ... and every single one of them was completely fucked. They were clearly defective stock that someone had discovered in the back of a warehouse - the trays would not stay inside the cases and they simply fell apart when you opened them.

As I’d purchased the seller’s entire stock of 500 units from outside of the protection of eBay, after many emails I eventually had to go through PayPal’s tedious and dragged out complaint system to get a refund, which involved videos of me showing how every case was defective. In the end I got a fraction of my money back, and wow, I was feeling seriously burned and demotivated after that.

So after some time spent recuperating the lost money via other projects, I decided to try out another option as recommended by Christian Gleinser of Dr Wuro Industries - a simple clam-shell case for which I designed and ordered a foam insert to act as padding. 400 of these arrived in huge boxes that I kept stored in my shed whilst I worked on the print elements and other parts (whilst simultaneously shipping 300 Hunters Moon cartridges). A few months later, with help from Chis Mantil and Steve Day, the manuals and sleeve inserts arrived via courier. So, off I went to the shed, opened up the boxes of clam-shell cases and *SURPRISE* ... I’d inadvertently ordered a different model of case to what I had designed the insert for. So there we go, 500x A3 insert prints straight into the recycling and the project was held up by another couple of weeks whilst new ones were designed and ordered from the printers

On the more positive side, this comfort-zone-pushing project has resulted in some cool experiments and experiences. Unlike any other CD release I’ve been involved with before, Tiger Claw and Powerglove Reloaded are proper, glass-mastered CDs - or ‘duplicates’ as they are known in the industry (instead of CDR ‘replicants’). This was a super risky venture for two reasons; first, it’s expensive, and secondly, the CD32 has this bizarre copy protection method that involves a few bytes of ASCII copyright info being injected into the header of the CD. It’s not a file, but more like a the boot-sector you get on a floppy disk. So we had to lead our duplicating plant through the process in baby steps - with multiple test copies from different set-up arrangements arriving in the post for testing on my original childhood CD32 console. The good news is that the process worked, and I am now the proud owner of an epic stack of CD32 game discs (plus a dozen test coasters) :D

Similarly, for Tiger Claw Matthias and I discussed the wacky idea of including a rubber ‘practice’ throwing star (or shuriken) with the game. A sample pack of four of these arrived in the post, much to the delight of my two young boys, and wow - even though they are rubber, they are pretty damn lethal. I was initially concerned about how to package them without the sharp edges scratching up the rest of the physical package contents, but hey, wouldn’t you know that they fit perfectly in the anti-static bags I use for the floppy disks? Bonus!

So initially, throwing stars aside, Powerglove Reloaded and Tiger Claw were going to be presented in a package with the game box holding the following contents:

  • The game on auto-booting CD (complete with Windows, Mac, Linux, C64 and Amiga versions) inside a clear plastic wallet.
  • An A6 sized, professionally printed manual (designed by Chris Mantil).
  • An A3 poster with a game map on the reverse (supplied rolled but could potentially be folded and kept in the case by the customer).
  • A floppy disk of the game, with a spare label for ‘backup’.
  • A couple of postcards, badges and stickers.

This all seemed good and well, but then I started getting requests for a jewel case for the CD. It seems that some CD32 fans really love their jewel cases. So, I decided to do what several of the publishers did back in the day - I’d provide a jewel case inside the clam-shell with the rest of the package. I’ll have to find another use for the plastic wallets!

Now, of course, with us already behind on the launch I was not going to complicate issues and incur further costs and delays by redesigning the manual as a CD booklet. Nope - the final jewel case simply has a single-sided front and rear insert. The manual and everything else will have to stay in the big box on your shelf, CD32 freaks! ;)

Finally, Matthias and I played email tennis trying to work out a price structure that would cover all the costs and be acceptable for the paying customer. It’s incredibly hard to gauge interest and potential sales without opening pre-orders months in advance; something I have never wanted to do. Normally I calculate a sale price based on breaking even after a estimated number of sales, but for this project - with so many unknowns and such a high production cost - this price was looking a little prohibitive. So, instead Matthias and I have opted for a different system whereby we’ll keep the game price as low as we can, but until the production costs are recouped, neither of us will take any profit.

So, the games will launch at £15/16 (with/without the floppy disk version) plus shipping. Please note that if you choose the CD only version at the lower price, a floppy label will still be included in the package so you can make your own from the disk image supplied on the CD. This launch price may increase in the future (especially if we need to run a second production batch), but for now it is what it is.

The digital Amiga disk version will be sold via for $2.99, but the Windows, Mac and Linux ports will be free - much like how we did with Powerglove for the C64. However, this is classed as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ model, so please, if you feel our efforts are worth more then we would be extremely grateful for a tip :)

Finally, I guess the last thing to cover is that although both games will be available to buy this weekend, the physical packages are unlikely to ship before Christmas. This is simply the worst time of the year to post anything - so unless it’s fully insured at extra cost, I’m not going to risk it. However, all orders will be prepared and shipped at the start of the new year. In the meantime, enjoy the digital version!

Aviator Arcade II

Another one that’s been waiting in the release pipeline for ages, and likewise has seen various problems during production - with one right at the final hurdle! Aviator Arcade II features some code in the start-up sequence that auto detects whether it is running on a C64GS - and if so it forces autofire mode so that the fire button can instead be used for bombs. However, with C64GS consoles being rather rare, this was untested until very recently.

We sent a copy of the game on cartridge over to Jason Kelk of Cosine Systems to test on his GS, and yep, you guessed right … it didn’t auto detect the console. So Mark and Jason discussed the possible reasons for this and thankfully it is now fixed - and we even added a ‘hold fire when booting’ feature that forces this mode just to make sure.

Anyway, I’m pleased to say that Aviator Arcade II is now complete and ready to ship, and will also be made available to purchase this weekend on cartridge, disk (from Psytronik) and as a download. Please note that as the cartridge version of the game is in GMOD2 format (which is currently not emulated on hardware), so for now the disk image will only be included in the download (but this may change in future).

Skill Grid

More Amiga news! Saimo of Retream has been working on his abstract AGA Amiga shmup project for some time now, but after assisting him with playtesting and sharing my thoughts and feedback, we have now agreed to release the game together in physical format.

Skill Grid is at heart a simple endless-high-score-chaser, with enemies to kill, bonuses and upgrades to collect (cyan cells) and maluses to avoid (yellow cells). Of course, being a Retream release you can expect many, many levels of depth to be found, from scoring mechanics to mini games and boss battles.

Coming on two floppy disks and a bootable CD32 compact disc - and no doubt with a hefty manual to explain the more detailed aspects of the game - Skill Grid should be complete by early 2019. Check the Retream YouTube channel for regular video updates!

r0x zer0

Here’s a blast from the past! r0x zer0 is an Atari STE game that I worked on together with Nicolas Flandin about 10 years ago, and was then subsequently put on hold due to a variety of real life reasons and a lack of motivation (on both sides). However, over the past few months Nicolas picked up the project again and released a ‘party version’ of the game at Silly Venture 2018, where it won first place!

Loosely based on Terry Cavanagh’s ‘Self Destruct’, r0x zer0 is an endless shmup with an interesting mechanic - you recharge your weapon power by catching bullets when your shield is up. Oh, and here’s a first - it’s a three-button game that requires an Atari Jaguar joypad to play(!)

In all, and largely thanks to Vierbit’s graphical contribution, it’s a solid little game that has found quite some popularity in the Atari scene. Check out the review on Atari Legend here.

I’ve made plans to visit Tomchi for a long weekend next year with a view to further tweaking and polishing the game for a commercial release (possibly just involving improving the enemy attack waves, sound effects and adding extra level maps), so watch this space.

Monster Buster & Kobo64

Unfortunately these two didn’t quite make it off of the RGCD assembly line in 2018, but you can expect more news on both games early next year. Kobo64 is in fact ready to release, with just the manual to finish, and ALeX of is still busy finalising Monster Buster and its online scoreboards. Regarding other projects, work on Grid Pix and Moonspire 2 is still also ongoing.

RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Competition

Finally! Just a heads up to say this competition will be launched before Christmas! So many people have asked about it, but yes, I hereby confirm that there will be a new round of our popular game development competition launching before the year is out :)

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Rocket Smash EX Available (Again) on Cartridge!

I know, right? You don't hear a peep from RGCD for months, and now three news posts in a row!? Well, the truth is that just because we've been silent doesn't mean we've been idle - I really needed to get YOOMP! 64 released before announcing anything new. But here we are, this time with the announcement that the long-out-of-stock ROCKET SMASH EX is finally available to buy again on cartridge!

  • Check out our press kit HERE for a load of information about the game.
  • Download the game HERE ( for FREE/pay-what-you-want (complete with VICE for Windows, macos and linux).
  • Buy the game on disk or tape HERE (Psytronik Software).
  • Buy the cartridge HERE (RGCD).

Developed for the Commodore 64 home computer, ROCKET SMASH EX is an extended version of Saul Cross and John Christian Lønningdal's ROCKET SMASH, released in 2013 as an entry in RGCD's annual 16KB gamedev competition.

Your goal is simple; on each of the single-screen levels you must reassemble and refuel your crashed rocket ship before your oxygen runs out. However, the hordes of fearsome aliens and deadly meteor showers on each planet will ensure that your mission is far from easy!


  • Rockets! Aliens! Meteors! Lasers!
  • Story and pure arcade 'loop' game modes!
  • Three difficulty levels!
  • Cutscenes!
  • A hidden game! (Cartridge version only)

As with our other re-releases, ROCKET SMASH EX now has a new gel-label and RGCD comrade Chris Mantil has kindly given the manuals a professional redesign to match the rest of our catalogue, making this now the definitive version of the game. And don't forget, the cartridge also features a bonus game by the legendary 4-Mat (as announced in our easter eggs post!)

So what are you waiting for? If you missed out on the game last time round, grab your copy now! (Oh, and if you didn't miss around, note that the manual and gel label are available as an upgrade pack, with free postage when combined with another purchase).

YOOMP! 64 Available! (Download, Disk and Cartridge)

It took a little longer than I'd hoped, but at long last Zbigniew 'Zbych' Ross and Michał 'MCH' Brzeski's YOOMP! 64 has finally been released! Available now as a 'pay-what-you-want' download, disk and (of course) cartridge, from, Psytronik and RGCD respectively. The all-important links follow!

  • Check out our press kit HERE for a load of information about the game.
  • Download the game HERE ( for FREE/pay-what-you-want (complete with VICE for Windows, macos and linux).
  • Buy the game on disk HERE (Psytronik Software).
  • Buy the cartridge HERE (RGCD).

YOOMP! 64 is a Commodore 64 port of the classic Atari XE/XL indie arcade game Yoomp! Developed by Zbigniew Ross and featuring an original soundtrack by Michał 'MCH' Brzeski, bounce the ball through 23 three-dimensional textured tubes, collect as many points as you can and try not to fall off the edge!

Note that YOOMP! 64 is a PAL ONLY game. It will NOT run on NTSC Commodore 64 systems.

YOOMP! 64 features:

  • 23 levels of three-dimensional, fast-paced, rhythmic arcade action!
  • Innovative texture-mapping system!
  • Over a dozen bonus and hazard tile types to hit or avoid!
  • Password system to play previously unlocked levels!
  • An awesome SID soundtrack by MCH!
  • SD2IEC compatible loader!
  • Compatible with THEC64 Mini(!)

Please also note that as I felt we'd let Zbigniew and Michał down with all the (sadly unavoidable) hold-ups, RGCD are not making any profit on this release, so all money (minus costs and fees) will be going straight to the development team. So, please be generous and show your appreciation by sending a few virtual coins their way!

The cartridges are currently out of stock, but the page is open for pre-orders (so you can yoomp to the front of the queue for the next batch). The games will ship at the beginning of September.

Finally, Javier Couñago of Commodore Spain sent me this amazing photo of YOOMP! 64 being played the way it should be played - in an arcade tabletop C64. Just wow.

RGCD Easter Eggs: More Hidden Games & Screens

Waaaaaaaay back in 2014 I compiled a list of the various easter eggs that have been hidden away in the spare rom space of our game cartridges. Since then we've released quite a few games - and although not *all* of them have featured secrets, I figured that enough time has passed to spill the beans!

Quod Init Exit on the MAH Cartridge

It was a real honour to be involved in the release of Retream's leftfield arcade game MAH, and this greedy little easter egg game was added as a personal request of mine. You see, back in 2012 we released a cartridge version of Quod Init Exit, a beautiful looking single-screen eat-em-up using multiple, layered hi-resolution sprites that really looked more like an Amiga game than a Commodore 64 one. However, following the release, Simone decided that he wasn't done with the game and released a series of updates that rendered the cartridge version obsolete - meaning that I had no choice other than to remove it from sale.

So when Simone was looking for something to pad out the huge space on MAH's gnod2 rom, I knew what had to be done!

To load the (now) final version of Quod Init Exit, press Q on the main menu. It's as simple as that! You can buy the cartridge HERE.

Warpzone Remix on the Rocket Smash EX Cartridge

Another of my favourite secrets, courtesy of Jason Kelk and 4-Mat at Cosine Systems! Originally released back in 2003, Warpzone Remix was one of the early Cosine games that I'd always wanted to get on cartridge, and with Rocket Smash EX that finally became possible. An oldie, but a goldie, this arcade blast is launched by simply holding down FIRE on the joystick in port 2 when booting up the Commodore.

I particularly love the way that it drops you back to BASIC as part of the loading sequence! Worth booting up for 4-Mat's amazing soundtrack alone.

You can buy the cartridge HERE.

2K Race on the Planet Golf Cartridge

Hats off to RGCD's own Antonio Savona for producing the most convoluted easter egg to date! To access this neat two-kilobyte, open borders, casual-yet-crazy-hard minimal arcade game, first you need to achieve a high score in Planet Golf - which is no mean feat in itself! Enter your name as "I WANT MORE", and then the name entry will change to "SPACE FOR 2K RACE". Follow those instructions, and boom! Now you can 2K Race to your heart's content!

You can buy the cartridge HERE.

Music Player on the LuftrauserZ Cartridge

What's a reward without the risk? If you want to listen to all six music tracks in Paul Koller's LuftrauserZ without unlocking all the parts, you'll need to do something a little risky... From the options menu, select 'RESET GAME' - but hold DOWN on the joystick AS WELL as holding FIRE for three seconds. This will NOT reset your game, but instead load this little juke box! Use the joystick (left and right) to select the track, and read the short lower-border scroller text.

You can buy the cartridge HERE.

Invert on the Trance Sector Ultimate Cartridge

Moving on to the out-of-stock and discontinued titled, Trance Sector Ultimate received a limited release on cartridge back in 2015 (50 copies only). For those who have it, you might be interested to hear that another of Richard Bayliss' game was also hidden on the cart!

Originally an entry in our 16KB game development competition, this version of Invert is the full-fat TND version, and can be loaded by holding UP on the joystick in port two when booting up the Commodore. Although the cartridge itself is no longer available, the download of TSU can be found HERE, and Invert itself can be downloaded separately from the TND website.

Darkipede and Darkness OST on the Darkness Cartridge

Another limited edition release (yet one that I'd like to make available again in the future), Darkness also had a couple of undocumented extras; Darkipede, a homage to the Atari classic using the game sprites, and the Darkness OST, a joystick controlled jukebox similar to the one hidden in LuftrauserZ.

To load the games on the cart, after the intro sequence push UP on the joystick to load Darkipede, or DOWN to load the OST.

A Whole Load of Extras on the Tiger Claw Cartridge

Finally, this Kickstarter exclusive Tiger Claw cartridge was stuffed full of extras! I'm not sure whose idea this was, but in addition to the original game, the cartridge also featured an illustration of Bruce Lee, plus two full games by Wanax; Jump Ninja and Break 64.

I'm not sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that one of these (if not both) were altered slightly for the cartridge version, removing any necessity for keyboard. If so, they've not been publicly released AFAIK!

To load these, hold down FIRE on the joystick when booting up the Commodore. When you see a blue screen, continue to hold FIRE but also push UP for Break 64, LEFT for the Bruce Lee picture and music, or DOWN for Jump Ninja. Make sure to let go of fire as soon as you see the loading indicator '@' in the bottom right of the screen!

Tiger Claw is available to buy as a downloadable .crt HERE.

And that's all till next time!