California Games 2

U.S. Gold

Status: No Download, Findability: 3/5

California Games 2 was the long awaited sequel which was supposidly available for mail order release in 1991 or 1992 by Tenex Computer Express. It is not certain if any copies leaked out to anyone in the public or not. The game was never marketed in the end.

This sequel offered five new events. You could maximize your cruising time over the California countrside in Hang Gliding, choose your ride and your course in jet Ski, master a barrel roll off the lip of a wave in Bodyboard, then freeze your toes off in snowboard. Once you’ve mastered the others, you’re ready for Skateboarding. Land yourself in the Hall of Fame or Shame.

A list of programmers and people who worked on the game, although not certain if these are C64 related, are as follows:

Programmers: Gil Colgate, Darrel Fetzer, Kevin Furry,Jesse Taylor
Graphicians: Art Koch, Matt Crysdale, Paul Vernon, Collette Michaud, Joel Mariano
Musicians: Chris Ebert, Bob Aron, Chris Griegg
Producer: Matt Householder
Additional Design: Tom Schumacher

Sadly Matt Householder confirmed our worst fears…

“I’m sorry to report that California Games II was never completed on the C64. I was directly involved in every finished version of CGII, excepting the Amiga. The C64 version was started prior to the 1989 bankruptcy and massive lay-off, however. So, some C64 art/code may have existed at some point. But, if so, I’m sure it has been lost. You should have seen the dumpsters full of trash — piles of floppies, cartridges, tapes…

Regardless, the Snowboarding and Hang-gliding events were conceived and designed after the bankruptcy. So, any C64 version wouldn’t have included them. We designed and coded from scratch all the events’ gameplay after the bankruptcy. ”

GTW as a result originally closed the case… until something quite fantastic turned up…. again thanks to Wayne Billingham!….

Wayne confirmed something which GTW never knew…. Tiertex were ALSO doing a conversion of California Games 2… most likely after the collapse of Epyx and their conversion.

This sadly was also never completed, but about 2/3 events were completed and playable. The code was being done by Paul Cole, who coded Strider 2 for Tiertex. Apparently it wasn’t looking and playing very good, and so it was scrapped.

We recently got hold of Paul who had the following to say:

“Sadly I don’t have the code for the C64 Version of cal games II.

We started development either in 89 or 90. At Tiertex they were working on the Amiga and C64 versions of the game. Most of the events had had some work done upon them, but the game was pulled from higher powers (US Gold)

I don’t recall any reason for cal games 2 being pulled, just that all versions were stopped.

We started the project from scratch we had a copy of the graphics supplied to use ( Amgia I think ), that we ran through a converter to produce rough graphics to start with, but no previous code was used. ”

Wayne has created an astonishing possibility that we could see something of the conversion!… Wayne is sure that he has all the graphics he did… and at the very least we should see something of the game soon for the first time ever…

See what Wayne has to say in Creator Speaks… but the question is…. what do we search for now?…. There seems to be TWO versions out there somewhere, so our search doubles…

Now how is that?…. two possible routes to finding this big GTW title at long last…

Can it really be found from Wayne?…

Contributions: Martin Holland, Wayne Billingham, Mat Householder, Paul Cole

Supporting content

Creator speaks

Wayne Billingham speaks to GTW about work on California Games 2…

“We did a jetski bit, high diving, and I cant remember any more. It was being worked on for C64, Amiga and ST probably..based on a CGA PC wasnt very good..

There was a coder at Tiertex called Paul Cole, and he did Strider 2 (which started out as a game for TOR, but it was so bad, the only way to sell it was to rip strider graphics into it and pass it off as a third rate game…I dont think I ever put it on my cv..I was only asked to spruce it up, but it was beyond that…so I think it was Paul Cole.

I’d be very suprised if you can track down anything for Cal games2, and to be honest, it wasnt any good either, nothing like the Epyx games…remember it was Tiertex…. I learnt a lot there, it was my first job inhouse, i’m suprised they’re still limping on doing phone/java things..”

Wayne Billingham.

Posted in: GTW64 archive | Tagged: | 4 Comments

4 Responses to California Games 2

  1. There is no original California Games entry, but the series was originally proposed as “Rad (as in short for Radical) Games, but name changed after it was realised very few people would really understand what the Rad stood for..

  2. I don’t wish to sound overly harsh on RG Magazine, as i know the Atari formats are niche, here in UK espically, but it’s instances like this i feel there is an it were, 1)To at least credit/mention what has been discovered via sites like GTW (and perhaps point people wishing to know more, in GTW’s direction.)

    and 2) We are all too aware, just how costly an excercise looking into Lost Games is, no matter the format and it’d be nice to see likes of RG/Gamestm and Edge (mainstream Press) ask a few more Q’s about what happened to the unreleased titles as well as go over what was released.

    I appreciate every publication is limited to space per article, but rather than devote a full page to rating each event, o personally feel the space could of been better used, to provide balance, asking about what went wrong with the dissapointing games/conversions and what became of the annouced but never released conversions.

    But i fear Lost Games is itself a niche angle?

  3. I was a bit dissapointed not to of seen the fantastic work done looking into the Lost C64 version of Cal Games 2, featured in a recent look at the whole series, in RetroGamer magazine.

    Entire article seemed keen to gloss over the dissapointing instalments.No mention of WHICH versions of Cal Games II were canned, nor scores for Amiga version 68% The One/ SNES 20% NMS or MS 16% Joypad…

    Amstrad GX4000 Epyx World Of Games not even mentioned (another huge let down, only 4 events etc.49% in C+VG).

    Nothing about Gamesmaster Magazines B.S claim Lynx version was 50%

    Nothing on dissapointing Master system version of Summer Games and Winter Games 41% and 50% C+VG

    And nothing about annouced Atari 800 versions of Summer Games II and Winter Games II.I know space is limited, but if they can rate single events, surely some space could of been devoted to the weaker games and those that went missing?.Espically when likes of GTW have uncovered so much…….

  4. Did’nt seem to set Amiga reviewers alight…68% in The One ‘Nothing outstanding on offer gameplay wise’, so no great loss on C64 i guess…

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