In the days of playing Dizzy and first collecting Commodore Format from issue 11, the next issue (12) featured a mammoth covertape with loads of demo goodies. This and issue 11 are fondly remembered as the time I really got into the C64 scene properly.
One demo was a specially created demo for Commodore Format by David Dewar of Silverwing PD and Entropy. I have always remembered this demo for one reason, and thats a strange part in the demo with some errie music, and a still from an up and coming game which is promised. It still sends a shiver down my spine today.
Nothing much can be said from the still, apart from that it looks like a Skeleton with a sword who must fight gargoyle type creatures.
After the still, follows a list of features to expect in this strange new game, which unfortunatly hasn’t been given a name. But the list of features planned sound very mouthwatering…
“Biggest main character ever on a 64
Superlative graphics and animation
Atmospheric in-game soundtracks and fx
Challenging on screen sequences
Fast addictive gameplay and much more!”
Well, apart from its appearance in Commodore Format, nothing was ever heard about this mysterious game and that was that. All that currently exists for us, is this still image from the CF Demo.
David recently got in touch with GTW recently and the mystery surrounding the game has started to clear. The game was infact being produced, and came from an idea David had developed while still at school.
The working title was “SPOOKY”, which featured a fully animated Skeleton, which walked around and fended off flying Gargoyles. Although we were only treated to a still of the game, there was going to originally be a lot more happening. David tells GTW that the trailer was to have the skeleton walking around with the gargoyles attacking, though so not to allow any of the game ideas to be stolen (Possibly), David cut this feature out so to focus on the idea of it being a CF demo and to save some of the game away until it was more complete.
The game was infact started before the CF demo, and several levels were created and were playable. Though the game was put on hold while the CF demo was done, and then the game never got started again after that.
David Dewar went on to produce enhancements and music for Shawn Pearson’s wonderful SEUCK efforts, and Silverwing PD eventually faded away and David left the scene and moved on.
I scanned the demo to see if there were any remains of the game, such as additional sprites, and there were none sadly, though strangely it seems that the Skeleton was a set of sprites placed onto a still image. This skeleton in the demo is in hi-res, but in multi-colour, it seems to work quite well too. So was the game to be based in Multi-colour?… Did david hide the true design of the graphics with the hi-res? Here is the skeleton in its mulicolour glory.
As one mystery ends, another begins… one day, could we see what may have been? The answer is possibly, though as with many GTW titles, its up to the creators and if they still have their old work disks. Hopefully Dave will allow us to see more someday in the future. Dave also mentioned that a demo was sent to Tony Horgan at Commodore Computing International, and a screenshot was actually printed. It would have been around 1990/91, so can you help us find this screenshot? We’ll certainly be looking!
One more thing, but a GTW forum post was made recently mentioning a possible link to an old Amiga game called “Blade Warrior“, and check out the link…. Looks a bit familiar doesn’t it?…. We’ve asked Dave and hope to hear about it soon.
So “Spooky” it is, and a page turned…
Contributions: Dave Dewar, Jacques
Available downloads for this entry
David Dewar speaks to GTW about work on Spooky…
“This demo was actually based on a game that we began creating whilst still at school.
The trailer originally included much more action, with the main skeleton character walking across the screen, being attacked by the awoken gargoyles, flying above his head and him then fending them off with his sword.
This never made the final version for two reasons: (1) It increased the overall size of the CF Demo, which was supposed to be the main attraction. (2) Reluctance to show off the graphics in case somebody stole them. I also believe some sound fx were eventually removed.
The game was given a working title of ‘SPOOKY’.
Several playable levels were eventually completed, we took time off it to finish the CF SHOW and the game been on hold ever since.”
Upon asking a few more questions, the following responses were given…
1) Was the game to be in Multicolour, and did you make the screenshot in Hi-res to hide away game detail? (The main sprite seems to look fine in Multicolour).
The character was in hi-res and so were some of the levels, which were made to make some of them the levels look sparse, atmospheric and help set the mood we wanted to create. Other levels were made in multicolour.
2) Does anything of the game and its levels still exist today?
I believe these do exist, but the location of them is still a mystery. I do still have several c64 disks that I have kept with me, though I suspect because of the time they were made these levels and images might be hiding somewhere at my parents house?