GTW64 xmas update 2013

23 12 2013

Well, part of the usual promoting of what we’ve done recently for GTW64, here is the xmas update doing the rounds ….

The GTW64 xmas update has been published today with the following additions:

(*) 3 previously unseen full games recovered
(*) CDU Games Disk 6 recovered (Including 3 new full games)
(*) 12 previously unseen previews/prototypes recovered
(*) Potential Spore 2 finding
(*) Odd Melbourne House title surfaces in loading screen form (Questerious)
(*) Tangent and RISK prototypes found and added
(*) 31 other additional new entries added
(*) 10 other additional updates added
(*) Frank Gasking work disk collection added

Full news item and updates can be found at:

http://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64





Slightly Magic kickstarter

18 11 2013

Author of the Codemasters graphic adventure Slightly Magic, Colin Jones, has set up a new Kickstarter project to resurrect the game in a 8-bit legacy edition (with faithfulness to the original graphics), but also with an extra special incentive which will be of interest to those into unreleased games like us….

As you will know via GTW64, there was a sequel planned called Slightly Spooky - which sadly never saw the light of day.  Well, if Colin’s Kickstarter is successful and OUYA funding is obtained as well, then Slightly Spooky will also be produced and given free as digital copy to those who are eligible for Slightly Magic’s remake.

But that isn’t all!  If the stretch goal of £12,000 is met, then the third title in the series will be produced also.  A title was set originally for a 3rd game, but never started after the non-release of Slightly Spooky.

An additional bonus is that Allister Brimble will be re-recording his original music score with his latest instruments and equipment for the game.

For more details, check out the Kickstarter page here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/colinjones/slightly-magic-8bit-legacy-edition





Sound of the colossus

19 08 2013

Just recently i’ve been speaking with Gari Biasillo regarding some of his past C64 work.   You see, I grew up with most of Gari’s work on the C64 and have particularly fond memories of Target Renegade (brought from a now long gone newsagent which had a rack of budget titles for £2.99 each – with a “Star purchase” label on them).

One thing about Gari is that not only did he code, but he was a great musician too – the likes of Slayer, Steel, Basket Master and Target Renegade all featured tunes by himself.

Gari is still producing tunes today – and recently released a superb album released called Sound of The Colossus, which you can check out here:

http://soundofthecolossus.bandcamp.com/album/sound-of-the-colossus-ost

Maybe some day Gari will do some reproductions of his old classic tunes? … we’ll see!





Games That Weren’t xmas update 2012

20 12 2012

Well, ever since the upgrade of GTW64 was completed – it was straight onto preparing for the Christmas update. No rest for the wicked. Hopefully we won’t disappoint with some big findings to keep you going.

Our main finding this year is:

Otherworld full game

Followed by:

(*) Otherworld full game
(*) Fuzzball music found + more!!
(*) Epsilon preview recovered
(*) Exodus (Nexus) reconstructed
(*) Martin Piper racing game recovered
(*) Two full White Wizard adventures found
(*) Andrew Morris game graphics added
(*) Paddle Mania screens found
(*) Mountain Combaters new entry
(*) Beauty and The Beast tape file
(*) 67 new entries added
(*) 81 updates added

More details about the update can be viewed at:

http://www.gamesthatwerent.com…12-update/

Enjoy everyone, and Merry Christmas!





Past memories of Dover

20 12 2012

As a kid growing up in the late 80′s and early 90′s, there wasn’t a great deal to do in my home town of Dover.  Money was also low, so as kids we used to get up to all sorts – playing ball games in the street and also playing down a dis-used coal yard out the back of our houses.

The ‘Coal-tip’ used to be a storage area for moving coal to the furnaces to generate energy – built around the 1930′s / 1940′s – before then it was just a large field.  Around I think the 1970′s, the furnaces were demolished and the land emptied and left.

For years as kids, we used to hang out down there – as there was a concrete path that went all the way around which we could ride our bikes,  there were trees and bushes where we could create our ‘bases’ or ‘camps’ to then have fake wars with other kids.  My dad even used to walk the dogs around the track as well.

The back of our house even backed onto a bit of land (a grassy area with some trees/bushes) which just came off from the coal tip – and where we also had many bases and trees to climb.  Alongside was an allotment which my dad used to maintain.  Often we used to cut through our back garden and through onto the coal tip – as the end of the Coal Tip would cut onto one the streets going into town.   My dad used that as his route to and from work.  I even used to cut through to get my copy of Commodore Format from the newsagents.

Although there was no coal any longer, there were remnants everywhere, and walking down there when it was raining would result in black puddles and staining of clothes.  I used to remember some old guys who used to go and collect coal to take back for their fires.  There were other things to salvage from down there – there was a cooking apple tree which we used to collect from, a Katkins tree and also a flurry of blackberries every year from one of the hedgerows.

1993 was a sad time for me, as in previous years there had been machines brought in to test the land for suitability of building on.  It was decided to turn the dis-used land into a housing estate, and during the summer of 1993 – the diggers came in and cleared everything.  Demolishing the camps, trees and everything we enjoyed until it was just clear chalky land – we sneaked onto the land after it it was cleared during the evening, and it was like a ghost land – hardly recognisable.  Not long after, all the houses were built and the coal tip was no more.

Now almost 20 years on, I still miss the place – but have very fond memories.  Unfortunately, although my parents have a few photos from the grassy land just out from the back of the house,  we have none of the coal-tip in the form that we remembered.   A friend of the family very kindly dug out some old photos they had of the coal tip before and after it was build – dated from around the 1930′s to 1940′s, which you can see below.   The first photo shows the area before anything was built – even it seems my old school St Radigunds Primary!

The second shows more what I remember – but filled with stacks of coal and the factories in the background.  It’s hard to really see how we could have played on that land, but emptied there was a large oval shaped land to run riot.  Hopefully in the future i’ll some day find some later pictures!





Sub Hunter released on Cartridge

19 12 2012

RGCD and Psytronik Software present another collaboration project – an oldie-but-goldie from 2008, Sub Hunter is finally given an update and a long-awaited official cartridge conversion.

If you’ve followed the C64 scene for the last few years then the chances are that you have already played this great little game (and if not, well, you are in for some good times ahead, as highlighted in our own review - http://www.rgcd.co.uk/2011/05/sub-hunter-c64.html). Sub Hunter is one of the few homebrew titles that has really stood the test of time well, with its varied level-to-level game design always keeping the player on their toes.

This PAL/NTSC compatible cartridge version of the game features the intro sequence, instructions and main game all included within a GS-friendly joystick controlled menu system designed by Enthusi (Martin Wendt). Some minor bugs were fixed (raster splits improved), but otherwise it is the same as the previous version without the minor hassles associated with using disk or tape media.


Sub Hunter is available in two packaging types, a standard card carton and a more expensive ‘deluxe version’ that comes in a plastic case (a Universal Game Case with a specially cut foam insert to hold the cartridge). The standard version is priced at £25 inclusive of UK/Europe shipping, and £26 for the rest of the world, whereas the deluxe version costs £30 (UK/Europe) and £32 (rest of world).

The game itself comes in a transparent blue cartridge shell internally illuminated by a flashing LED, complete with a printed manual and a vinyl RGCD sticker.

Please note that Pystronik Software (http://www.psytronik.net/) are also selling the game as a download, on tape, and budget or premium disk for £1.99/£3.99/£4.99/£9.99 respectively (plus shipping). The game is also available (legally) for free download over at the Commodore Scene Database (CSDB) here:http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=74139

So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy from our shop page today!

http://www.rgcd.co.uk/p/shop.html#subhunter-shop





New River School Website launched

14 12 2012

Finally the new River School website that I have been working on for a while is now live.  Doing the website for the school has been my contribution as a parent for the past 4 years or so, and it was time for an update.

rivernew

It’s more of a refresher than a complete re-design to be fair – increasing the width, brightening things up and tweaking the headers, adding some CSS3 to jazz things up and just generally trying to tidy up and improve the layout of some of the pages to modernize things a little and keep things ticking over.  The Newsletters page in particular has had a large overhaul which was well overdue, as well as trying to improve the front page area and various other pages.

I found doing design work very tough this time round – and as I move away from that type of work more and more – i’m struggling to keep up.  Luckily CSS3 came to my rescue a lot this time round and helped to add a bit of gloss which would have otherwise meant reading up on the Adobe Photoshop manuals again.  It also helps having a designer in our office who is keeping on the edge of design technology and CSS who you can see what techniques they are using to know where to start after a break from it all.

To not delay things too much, I literally have just built on the flat file template structure I originally did (with some refinements to the php code in the back-end, and some unit testing integration).  I was keen to push things into WordPress whilst doing the redesign… but at the same time of doing this work, I was also in the process of getting GTW64 sorted out and moved into WordPress.  The GTW64 work was was a bout of migration and functionality building that took a good chunk of time in those limited free hours in the evenings – and something i’m glad I won’t have to do again for a while!

This is now probably my last major development on the website before at some stage I hand over the reigns to someone else.  For now i’ll be doing content updates for the school, and at some point will need to discuss a handover of sorts.  Doing website stuff at home as well as part of my day to day job can be a bit tiring :-)








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