IndeflataBall

Firebird

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Yet another Firebird title to go into the GTW archives, this time a title by Cory Kin. Indeflatable was written for Firebird Software back in 1988 – a few years before their other unreleased title Gem Quest.

The idea behind the game was to control a space ball that could change size by interacting with different enemy aliens – so that you could fit into different sized tunnels or pipes (in a similar concept as in Mario Bros). It was essentially a sci-fi based horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up mixed with some maze game concepts. A level is completed once you find the exit.
The game featured some excellent graphics by Toby Eglesfield, though we are not sure on the music yet – we assume that possibly Matt Gray would have provided a tune.

Once the game was presented in a final state to Firebird, they were apparently not too impressed – though the developers weren’t really happy with it either. It had too much spent on nice graphics and smooth scrolling, rather than the core gameplay.

For reasons unknown – but we guess because of the quality of the game – it was never released. However Cory and Tony were both paid for their work.

Since then the game had been sitting on Cory’s disks for many years – sadly at the time Cory could not find the game – but after sending his disks to us, we found it! Or at least remains of it! It was found on an unlabelled disk, and may be the only copy of the game left now.
We believe that we’ve found what is close to the final game state, along with a intermission screen which was never used. The game is actually pretty cool, but we can see that it needed tweaking on the game play.

A huge shame overall that this never got a proper release – but we are glad to share it with you thanks to Cory. There is still hope that more could be found, but this is a good starting point! We hope to hear Cory’s thoughts on the game very soon!

Contributions: Cory Kin

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  • Preview_Indeflatable
  • Cory Kin talks about Indeflatable:

    “Indeflataball master disks are at my parents house and I will try to get them sooner or around Oct time when they visit us. Hopefully those disks would still work ;-). The game was written probably around 1988, a couple of years earlier than Gem Quest.

    The idea behind Indeflataball was that you control this space ball that could change its size by interacting with particular enemy aliens to fit into different sized tunnels or pipes (e.g. the same concept as in Mario). It was basically a Sci-Fi based horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up mixed with some maze game concepts type of game with 3×3 tile maps. A level is only completed when you find the exit.

    Toby did some amazing graphics for it before he went on to join Code Masters as a full time professional graphic artist. I remember making several mini-games or demos to help show case his graphics to impress Code Masters ; one of them was our infamous Train demo that Matt Gray kept mentioning in his demos LOL!

    It was Toby’s idea to change from “Indeflatable” to “IndeflataBall” so that the notion of “Ball” would be enforced in the title – a play with words 😉

    Looking back, when we presented the finished version of the game to Colin and co, they were not that impressed. Mind you, we had slaved away too many long hours and days into it and wasn’t happy with the end results either. We had high expectations ourselves. I guess, we were too young and did what ever came to mind for what it was worth and it was our first game. We really should have concentrated on important factors such as game playability rather than nice graphics and smooth scrolling.

    Anyway, the past is the past and we can’t change things 😉 It was never published but we were paid for the work.”

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