Orbital Run

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Orbital Run was a particularly ambitious project which was planned and started back in 1991.

Shaun Pearson and some other guys believed that there was no decent C64 car game out there, and so they decided to create their own.

The idea was to be set across the universe, racing against other cars while using all the best playability elements of Outrun and adapting them for a C64. Ambitiously the game was to feature no multiload, and all the cars were to be made of sprites and not chars. Basically all the effects were to be geared around what the C64 was actually capable of.

The game progressed quite well, and all the road effect was coded… featuring straighs and 2 types of curve (One of which you could turn at full speed, where as another you had to slow down to turn it). The road effect featured 2 shades of grey with a stripe effect, in similiar fashion to Outrun. 2 cars were fully drawn, including a Porsche 928 (Chase HQ style) and a white Lamborghini Countach (player controlled). The backdrop was going to be a starfield which could scroll left and right, complete with a parallaxed effect. The road system based in space, would have mean’t that the player would be able to fall off the track (Similiar to Mario Kart).

Sadly it seems the game went by the wayside, and interest was lost. It only got as far as described above. Hopefully someone will still have code from this game which we can put into the GTW archives oneday. No doubt Shaun will probably have some graphics he did for it… we shall see!

More research needed, but a very promising title by the sounds of things.

Hopefully more to be found for this one…

Contributions: Shaun Pearson

Supporting content

Shaun Pearson speaks from his webpage about work on Orbital Run...

"Orbital Run [working title]: Back in 1991 there was a lack of good car games for the c64 and i/we had the idea of taking best elements of Outrun and adapting them for the c64 to make a really good game. The idea was for a high speed game that did not require multi loads (which sort of killed many games) and rather than being limited to conversion issues would have been geared around what the c64 was capable of.

The road effect was coded and featured straights and 2 types of curve, one type of curve could be driven at full speed while the other sharper type of curve could only be taken in low gear (just like Outrun) and the road used 2 shades of grey with a stripe effect (just like Outrun). Each car used 2 sprites, so we could have up to 4 cars overlapping on screen at any one time (including the main player controlled car). What we didn't want to do was use all the sprites on the main player controlled car and use characters for the rest of the cars (as that nearly always looks a bit naff on other games). 2 different cars were drawn complete with all their scaling frames.

We had a black Porsche 928 (Chase HQ style) and a white Lamborghini Countach (player controlled). The backdrop was to be a star field that could scroll left and right complete with parallax effect. The idea was for the player to make his/her way across the universe on the road system located in space. So it would have been possible for the player of fall of the track (a little like the rainbow track in Mario Kart/Snes).

So, if you can imagine racing at 200mph though space in a racing against time (without a multi load) then maybe you can imagine the concept of Orbital Run :)"

Shaun Pearson.

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