Backroom Software

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Steve Dunn did a few fair titles on the C64, but also had a few interesting unfinished/unreleased titles under his Backroom Software label.

Blast was one of these titles which was a sort of Warhawk clone in its early stages with some basic backgrounds and enemy patterns. Also feature some various mixed music and fonts from various sources it seems.

Unfortunately Steve did not recall much about the game, but it was possible that the game was taken to Elite or Grandslam for evaluation, as Steve was asked to do a C64 conversion of Space Harrier (We’re not sure if 1 or 2, hence both company names).

Gaz Spence makes a good case that the game could also be an early beta of Zone Z.  Similar engine, but was it the same game?

It’s not a bad little game, not very playable and could well have been a good shooter. Steve later decided to leave the games industry and do business software programming, which he continues to do today.
As for Blast, nothing more was ever done and this is pretty much it!…. Never completed as there were no takers for the game.

Case closed!

Contributions: Gaz Spence

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  • Steve Dunn talks about work on Blast:

    “I can’t remember many details on “Blast” as I shortly gave up games after
    that for a few years, only to return to writing business software back in
    the 90’s (to which I’m still doing).  I can’t remember who it was for, but
    it was almost complete except for difficult tuning.  I do remember meeting
    Activision at the end of that game where they wanted me to do the conversion
    of Space Harrier, but I didn’t take it as I thought a C64 conversion would
    be rubbish (and it was!).

    Just out of interest, I used to live just down the road from “Orlando” (aka
    Nick Pelling).  He’s got some great stories on the good old days, especially
    when he met at the Zzap offices with Jeff Minter and Archer MacLean where
    they had code-offs!  He’s now doing smart security camera software.”

    2 Responses to Blast

    1. Compounded says:

      This game looks very much like an alpha build of Zone Z, which was published by Starlight Software and best known for its great music. Perhaps Steve’s recollection is a little hazy over time.

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