Nimitz

Martech

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Nimitz was being produced by Martech back in 1988 (possibly started even further back in 1986!) and Andrew found the game whilst scanning through ACE magazine (September 1988). In the mention, the price was quoted as £9.99 for cassette and £14.99 for disk.

Anyway, ACE had this to say about the mysterious Martech game…

“Take charge of the largest and most powerful fighting ship in the world. Positioned between two warring nations, one of who is your ally, it’s not going to be easy to protect both yourself and your friends from the constant air and sea attacks. Have you got what it takes to be able to command 6,000 men, and some 100 aircraft? This naval strategy game promises to have some heavy arcade flavouring added.”

Strangely the game was first mentioned around 1986 by Zzap 64, which also assumes that the game was in development for well over a year.

Now looking at the date of 1988, this was around the time Martech went under, but we find that the game was actually cancelled by Martech before they went under.

We find that John P Gibbons was the man behind the game, who originally pitched the idea to Martech after completing Eddie Kidd Jump Challenge. This by his own account was a very ambitious title where the idea was to make the ultimate naval arcade game combining strategy, shoot-em-up and air-combat flight sim in one package. John looking back felt this was overambitious and part of the game’s downfall in the end…

Although fairly well advertised by Martech, there were many delays as John soldiered on to complete the game. However there was nothing playable as such, and something which John doesn’t describe as a game. A nice selection of demos were created which included some fairly impressive filled-wireframe vector animation, a impressive scrolling carrier deck with missile launchers and a map of the persian gulf. Probably more, but for an almost 20 year old lost title, things understandably are hazy.

Eventually Martech saw after 2 years that the game was not progressing very fast, so they decided to cancel it sadly.. much to John’s disappointment. And so the game gathered dust on his work disks.

What now for Nimitz in 2006? … Well, John offers the possibility that he may still have his floppies with all the remains of Nimitz, which GTW may eventually be able to show to the world. John will also be digging out some A3 flyers of the game which were given out at the PCW 85/86 show.

This is a huge step forward in this previously mysterious Martech title… could we one day see how impressive Nimitz was looking?… We hope so – watch this space!

A corner turned for this long lost game…

Contributions: Paul Norris, Gary Yorke, Peter Weighill, John P Gibbons

Supporting content

John P Gibbons speaks about work on Nimitz…

“I can’t believe Nimitz is resurfacing from the depths after this length of time – I thought i’d finally lived it down!

Nimitz was a c64 title that I pitched to Martech after i’d done ‘Eddie Kidd jump challenge’ for them in ’84? . the idea was to make the ultimate naval arcade game combining strategy, shoot-em-up and
air-combat flight sim in one package. ie. a hugely ambitious project that would have taxed the abilities of a team of programmers, artists and designers. unfortunately, there was only me – miles out of my depth!

I soldiered (sailored?) on with it for a couple of years until Martech finally saw the light and shit-canned it, not before having spent a shed-load on magazine advertising etc. — ironically, David Martin always said those were best ads Martech ever produced .. shame about the game! I still have somwhere one of the beautiful A3 full-colour flyers they were handing-out at PCW ’85. i’ll scan and email it to you if I can locate it.

So what did I have to show for the couple of years I spent working on Nimitz?

Not a game, that’s for sure, but a nice collection of demos including some fairly impressive (for the c64) filled-wireframe vector animation; a lovely scrolling carrier deck with missile launchers and a map of the persian gulf (if i recall). I probably still have some object code somwhere although it would be on 5 1/4 inch floppies (my development kit was quite primitive then). that is, if I didn’t chuck it all away in disgust.

Having Nimitz bomb hit my confidence quite badly at the time although I stayed in the games industry for another 5 years– moving-on to the st/amiga before switching to corporate multimedia when the home computer boom died.

Incidentally, one of my most recent corporate projects was a game, for the RAF! – A eurofighter bombing simulation programmed in flash, “typhoon quest”, which you can download from: http://www.rafcareers.com/altitude/games/ select “typhoon quest” . “

John P Gibbons.

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