A wonderful looking platform game, which looks very much like a 16-bit console game. Probably in the same league as Mayhem, with a touch of the style used in Yoshi’s Island. It was originally developed to prove that hi-res graphics without colour clash could be done on a C64.
The game plays ok, though a lot is missing, and it seems the game’s creators have emphasised more on the graphics than they have with anything else.
The preview consists of one fairly big map, which you can scroll along, before it gets to a blocked end, where the map may normally loop. Also within the preview are some lovely coloured hi-res overlaid creatures, including a rather cute large blobby character, all done up in a nice hires overlaid effect.
Although very promising, the game was stopped here and that was the end of it. The developers ran out of steam on the C64, and moved onto pastures new.
Check out Creator Speaks for more info about what happened and how the game was born.
Wonderful eye candy, which sadly remains a walk in a gallery.
Available downloads for this entry
Martin Kristensen speaks about work on Cave Wizard (From CSDB)…
“This is an early iteration of an experimental hires game I worked on from 1993-1997. This preview was released sometimes in the end of 1994 IIRC, as a proof-of-concept to convince some gfx’ers that it was possible to make a hires game on the C64, which didn’t have the colorclash look known from the Speccy.
When I originally got the idea for the project I tried to get some gfx’ers involved, but everyone I talked to were nay-sayers, insisting that it would never work. So I had to try making some graphics on my own, and put together a simple “game” (well, more like a “walk in a gallery” like Games That Weren’t called it) to prove them wrong.
It didn’t result in very much feedback from interested gfx’ers, but around the time it was released, the Profile team dropped their “Liberation” project, and Kring/CML joined my project instead. We continued to work on it on and off for some years, until our interest for the C64 ran out sometimes in 1997.
A few years later I got the interest for C64’ing back, and considered whether I should continue working on this game, but after looking at the source code I decided not to, since it was way too messy. If I was ever going to give game development on C64 another shot I would prefer to start all over.
Some later iterations of the project, which don’t look anything like this, can be found as Beep Boy Preview and Blockman 64 Preview. ”
FROM LEMON64 IN 2017
Wow, a thread about this old project of Jesper’s and mine. Guess I should answer.
It started out with some thoughts on the common limitations of gfx in C64 games back when Mayhem in Monsterland got a 100% rating. While it was a very nice looking game, I wasn’t convinced this was the absolute best the C64 could do.
Multicolor modes were the standard at the time, but I had done some experiments in hires bitmap that I thought looked promising, so I my idea was “why not make the background gfx in that mode, scrolled with VSP?” Little did I know of the now infamous VSP bug.
As for sprites, I was annoyed by the fact that in platform games, there usually weren’t more than a couple of enemies per rasterline. And since they tend to move only horizontally in these kinda games, it would be pretty easy to use several multicolor/hires sprites on top of eachother for each enemy, as seen in a few games like the platform parts of Octapolis.
And since I was part of the demoscene, where trackmos were all the rage, I thought “why not go completely crazy and stream new gfx from disk while the game is playing?” That way a level could have a whole diskside of gfx instead of being restricted to 64K. This version was later released as “Cave Wizard”.
As it turned out, that meant quite slow scrolling in only one direction without the possibility of going back. So we dropped that idea and converted it to a left/right scrolling version without disk streaming. Some iterations of this were released as “Beep Boy” and “Blockman 64”.
The project stranded on the code becomming a bug-ridden spaghetti nightmare. But I still have a box of about 30-40 disks with the code and gfx, which I have promised to transfer and release several times. Guess I should get around to do it one of these days, although I doubt anyone could use it for anything other than getting a good laugh.
The tools used were Art Studio for background gfx, Deluxe Paint on Amiga for sprites, as well as some tools I coded for gfx conversion and level design.