Task 2

Gremlin

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Around the time of Chris Shrigley’s early success with Bounder,
Gremlin Graphics were regularly employing the skills of what was later to be come Core Design. Chris was assigned to a game called Task 2, which was apparently named due to the objectives in the game. This game was brought to light by Terry Lloyd, graphics man for many C64 games.

The game was a horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up, with the main ship (temporarily) borrowed from Nemesis. The game involved
flying from one end of the map to the other, and go in reverse again in similar vein to Defender. The task was to get to the end within a time limit, whist avoiding obstacles (in similar vein to Scramble) and shooting enemies. Once you got to the end, you had to race all the way back (covering the map twice, hence Task 2). Although pulled, the guys felt that the game had a lot of promise.

Sadly the game was in development at the same time as Bulldog. Why is that a problem you ask?… Well, Gremlin looked at the situation and found that they were about to release two SEU’s around the same time of each other. Looking at the completion status of both games, Bulldog was the most complete, and so Task 2 was indefinitely shelved.

Completion was believed to have been around 50%, with most of the graphics all pixelled by Terry Lloyd. Music no doubt would have later been composed by Ben Daglish, and we are quite confident that he never started anything sonically for the game.

We have been in touch with both Terry and Chris, and it seems like we may never get to see the game. Chris is now based in America, and over the years has moved around a lot. Disks have sadly become lost, and it is very likely that the C64 materials from his early days are long gone. Gremlin work was often done on Wise terminals according to Chris.

A quick search however by Chris did sadly not dig up any results. However, one small possibility remains with Terry, who may have a few disks with graphics left on, and possibly a small demo of the game running. We live in hope, and hopefully we will be able to save and preserve Chris and Terry’s long lost game..

Chances of finding this game could be long gone sadly…

Contributions: Chris Shrigley, Terry Lloyd

Supporting content

Chris Shrigley speaks to GTW about Task 2...

"I'll see what I can do about Task 2. I haven't thought about that game for nigh on 18 years or so. I'm doubtful anything made it across to America with me, but I do have some really old archive HD drives stashed away someplace.

I don't think I worked on anything else that was unreleased / cancelled. Although, I did start several, spare time projects back in the day, that never went anywhere, beyond a playable prototype .. rather like Task 2, I suppose.

I did have a quick look through my archives last night, and boy, was it interesting :D No C64 source though I'm afraid, but I did find lots of other interesting things .. well interesting to me at least :) Now if I recall, all our development at Gremlin back then, was done on Wise terminals, linked to a mainframe, so it's unlikely any source made it out .. Shame really. I know I had backups at one point, but yes, things get lost."

Chris Shrigley.

Terry Lloyd speaks to GTW about Task 2...

"Yeah there was a couple of C64 games that never saw the light of day, (I'm going to have to rack my brains a bit though). But one that springs to mind was a game I was working on with Chris Shrigley
back in the old days of the 64.

But first a little bit of history:
There was a group of 4 of us back then in 85/86 and we'd commute from Derby to Gremlin at Sheffield. There was Andy Green (Lead Programmer), Rob Toone (Designer), Chris Shrigley (Co-Programmer) and myself as Artist / Designer.

Andy and Chris would work jointly on the game(s) but I think at the time Andy was more of the lead (Chris would correct me if I'm wrong {;~) I joined the team later after those guys had done Bounder on the 64 and were looking for an artist for their next game, so they bought me on board to do
Future Knight (which was my first published game).

After that was finished we were wondering what to do next, and as Chris was becoming more of an accomplished Programmer he wanted to do a game of his own. Chris designed a Horizontally scrolling Shoot-em-up (I think it was called "Task 2") And I was inspired by the great Arcade games that were around at the time (Future Knight had a bit of Ghosts 'N Goblins influence), and so I took the Task 2 ship from the Vic-viper that was in Nemesis/Gradius at the time.

The game involved you flying from one end of the map to the other (you could reverse like you could in Defender I think) and the Task was to get to the end within a time limit while avoiding obstacles (Scramble-like) and shooting enemies (Gradius-like). Once you got the end you had to race all the way back (covering the map twice - the reason it was called Task 2).

At the same time Chris and myself were working on this, Rob and Andy were working on a Vertical Scrolling Shooter called "Bulldog", which I did a few of the graphics for.

Task 2 was progressing a bit slowly and I think Ian Stewart (the Gremlin Boss) was getting a bit concerned about two shoot-em-ups at the same time. For a number of reasons, the game of Task 2 got canned:

1) I was getting pulled into also doing art for the Z80 team(s) Spectrum, Amstrad, etc.
2) We were going to need to start on another game (Footballer of the Year) I believe.
3) Bulldog was nearly finished and Task 2 wasn't.

But to be honest it had a lot of potentiall and it was shaping up to be a nice looking and playable game. I think I still have the graphics on a floppy somewhere and Chris may have the code. But that's a big 'maybe'."

Terry Lloyd.

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