Blitz (Colour Gameboy)

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Blitz was a simple Colour Gameboy budget effort being developed by Jamie Solomons (Code) and Frank Gasking (Graphics and Design) in 2000 for Thalamus Interactive when they were a development studio for the Colour Gameboy. This was opportunity for Frank Gasking to get work published properly on an 8-bit platform, being just a little too young to get something released for the Commodore 64 (Which was the original dream! πŸ˜‰ )

Level 3's map

Jon Wells was one of the developers already at Thalamus who helped Frank and Jamie try and break into the industry and suggested doing a conversion of his Blitz 2000 title from the Commodore 64. This suggestion was taken on board under the development team named “Cyber Systems” which was better known for its PD games on the Commodore 64 and a different set of graphics were produced. Jamie Solomons was a recent addition to the team to start development specifically for the Colour Gameboy platform.

Frank Gasking got to work on the graphics and set about producing 6 level maps as a starting point (With refinining and finalization to be carried out during the later stages of the project). In addition to this, some mocked up Get Ready, Game Over and Title screen were produced. Some very early sprites and explosion sprites were created using the tile editor and a Thalamus logo was also designed (which was to appear before the game started).

Level 5's map

Jamie Solomons made a start trying to learn C and attempted to get some CGB code running, however this was being juggled along with a long running Amiga game project and a college course and progress was slow. Jamie managed to get a test demo of a guy running around a platform, and then began trying to get some of the graphical assets displaying. Unfortunately he hit a few problems and snags which were close to being resolved when Jamie then decided to ditch the idea of producing for the Colour Gameboy and concentrate his efforts on finishing his Amiga space exploration game.

With Jon Wells already busy with larger projects, the project was canned and the assets archived onto CD and forgotten about. In 2011, the remains were recovered from the deterioating CD and can now be shared to give a small glimpse of what might have been.

Overall at this stage it looks pretty simplistic, though over time this could have been refined into a fun little title to be released alongside Space Invasion and various others.

Download map and tile assets


3 Responses to Blitz (Colour Gameboy)

  1. Wow… this is a blast from the past! My wife stumbled across this the other day and I was totally stunned in a very nostalgic way! I remember working with Frank on this project, but yes I was obsessed at the time with the Amiga game I was building. It was a space game called Domination which was similar in genre to Starcraft/Supremacy/Command and Conquer. It was a game where you would build up fleets of ships and send them around the galaxy gathering resources and colonising planets.

    To be honest at the time I was blinded by the Domination project because it was frustratingly restarted a number of times as my programming knowledge grow and I discovered new techniques. I wish now that more time was spent helping frank with the Blitz game because he is a very talented game designer and graphics artist and the game could have gone a long way. But I was young… hey ho!

    I now live in the North East, married to Sharon and the proud owner of a software development business called ProtoByte Solutions. We are going from strength to strength when it comes to web development, having developed a number of products and websites. But Im not here to sell my business, Im here to say Frank please get in touch and lets have a catch-up and maybe chat about starting a new project together! Maybe we could resurrect Domination for the iPhone…

  2. fgasking says:

    I think the Amiga game was to be a commercial release by one of the companies at the time, or Jamie hoped it would be. From what I saw, it looked pretty neat – though I don’t think it ever fully got completed. If I get hold of Jamie some day again, i’ll ask him – could be another GTW entry πŸ˜‰

    The Colour GB game was being developed as a test really – if done very well and deemed playable, then it could well have been released properly. Otherwise it would have maybe demonstrated our abilities and potentially gotten us a proper assignment to work on.

  3. Alex Ross says:

    What a shame that never got done – you’d think by that stage a Gameboy Colour game would be a bigger ‘thing’ than an Amiga game – would it have been homebrew or an official licensed release?

    Nice to see though! The dream lives on – one day, Frank, one day…! πŸ™‚

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