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.
Steve recalls that Blast was one of the last games that he did on the C64. He had an idea where he wanted to utilise the debris caused when blowing something up to cause explosions elsewhere – so you could set off a chain reaction by carefully blowing up one thing on the screen and cause everything else to blow up. Unfortunately the recursive nature of the idea would mean too much CPU time being taken up, so he ditched it as a whole.
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 is possible that Steve did take elements from this 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.
Contributions: Gaz Spence
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.”
25/07/20 – Steve Dunn gives a few details about the game.
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.
Potentially could be!… similar sort of engine, so i’ll ask! Cheers Gaz!