Monday 8 October 2012

Retro News Update

So what's happening over at the RGCD HQ? Well, we've just had a new C64 game cartridge release (as well as a re-release), introduced a new game packaging option and are currently frantically preparing for our appearance as proud sponsors of the 'homebrew/indie showcase' at Play Expo in Manchester next weekend. Oh, and talking of which I think it's about time we made a small teaser announcement regarding Paul Koller's entry for the 2012 RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition...

Get 'Em DX Released! (C64)

Get 'Em DX was uploaded to our site in the early hours of Sunday morning in the form of a free (yet limited to single-player) C64 download - the full version will be made available for free after the 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition deadline (midnight on the 30th November) but until then it is available to buy on cartridge over on our shop page.

Of particular note here is that Get 'Em DX is the first game to use our new 'deluxe' packaging option. Using newly USA-imported Universal Game Cases from Jason Bierman (Retrotech) combined with a foam packaging insert manufactured to house the cartridges, the new plastic 'big boxes' are undoubtedly the best way to present our releases on your shelf. When we finally get our new eCommerce system up and running there will be an option to use this packaging or buy it as a replacement for some of our other games - and it will of course be used on all new releases going forward (in addition to the cheaper standard cardboard cartons).

Our partners Psytronik Software are currently preparing the disk and cassette versions of Get 'Em DX - when they are ready I'll update the game page and shop entry with the appropriate links. In the meantime, go grab a copy of the single-player version and check it out! :)

Fortress of Narzod Re-released! (C64)

You'll probably remember this game from our 2011 Cartridge Game Development Competition, and no, you're not going mad - yes, it was available to buy for a short while on cartridge last year before being removed due to legal issues. The good news is that after negotiating with Jay Smith and his son Spencer, we've come to an agreement whereby we can sell the C64 conversion of this undisputed Vectrex classic.

Originally released at Breakpoint 2009, TRSI's C64 conversion of this Vectrex exclusive title remains one of the highest scoring games on the Commodore Scene Database - and for good reason too. Fortress of Narzod is an amazing little vector-based shmup that is quite unlike anything else on the C64, with it's bizarre array of enemies, bullet-ricochetting blast 'em up action and unique visual style.

Fortress of Narzod utilises the border areas of the screen to maximise the play area and the excellent 8580 soundtrack by Linus really takes this production to the next level. The game requires no keyboard input (even the high score table is controlled via the joystick) so it will work on the C64GS, but unfortunately the full-screen action comes at a cost of not running on NTSC machines (sorry!).

The cartridge is packaged in a box designed by Kay Failla of BitFellas, complete with a printed manual. I will create a nicer gameplay video and long-overdue game page here for Narzod next week, but until then you can grab your copy over from our shop (or download the game from CSDB).

It took a while to get the agreement sorted, but the end result has certainly been worth the wait - especially so when you consider that TRSI's Peiselulli has been hard at work compiling a 64KB NTSC/PAL compatible cartridge compilation of Spike and Minestorm for his next release through RGCD. Jay and Spencer Smith, we raise our glasses to you!

Introducing Super Bread Box! (C64)

Super what-what? Can it be? Yes, the rumours kicking about the internet are true - an official conversion of Vlambeer's multi-format and widely acclaimed Super Crate Box will be hitting the C64 in the near future, courtesy of Paul Koller (Paulko64), Mikkel Hastrup (Encore), RGCD and the Dutch indie-game legends Vlambeer.

A full announcement will follow on the 22nd of October via Vlambeer themselves as part of 'Super Crate Box Month', but if you're going to Play Expo in Manchester next weekend (13th/14th October) we'll have the latest build of the 16KB version up and running on C64 hardware playing alongside the new Phlogiston Remix of Super Crate Box on a PC in a spectacular 8-Bit VS 64-Bit face-off. How does it compare to the original? Well, that's the idea - you tell US! :)

RGCD at Play Expo 2012

We're frantically packing and installing games and hardware ready for what is arguably the biggest retro-gaming event in the UK. We'll be working alongside long-time RGCD collaborator, Retro Gamer journalist and Cosine Systems/Old School Gaming chief Jason 'T.M.R' Kelk manning the homebrew/indie showcase in Re:Play section of Play Expo. We should be easy enough to find, thanks to a ridiculous-yet-rather-lovely two-metre high banner we've had made for the event.

As well as selling our catalogue of RGCD game cartridges at a no-postage/no-paypal-fees discounted rate (including a few exclusives) and you'll also be able to play betas of several unreleased PC indie games with a view to providing feedback to the developers - including (but not limited to) Retream's Huenison (by Quod Init Exit and BOH's Simone Bevilacqua), Pushcat (the debut game release from Zut Games), a new build of FreeLives' excellent BROFORCE, Jolly Corpse's Wyv & Keep and (possibly most excitingly) Andrew Morrish's long-awaited uber-sequel Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe.

We'll also be bringing a Sega Dreamcast and Famicom with a full collection of recent releases (and some older homebrew classics), and of course we'll have the latest builds of the entries for the 2012 RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition available to check out too.

Jason and Mark Ball will be covering a variety of other platforms (including the ZX Spectrum, more Commodore variants, Atari 8-Bits and even a Jaguar) so hopefully that will be most of the bases covered. Now if only we had an MSX! ):

Myself (James), John Dennis and Ruari O'Toole will be manning our space and no doubt fighting over game controllers. We're an approachable bunch and we'd love to meet some of our readers - so if you are coming to the event, please feel free to drop by and say hello.

Massive thanks go to Phil from Titan Computers and Jamie Howard (of Hyper Viper C64 fame) for helping us with our preparations!

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