A game in similiar mould to Scumball/IBall 2, with a similiar look and feel. This was developed in 1990, but was soon cancelled due to the developers feeling that this game could never do well, due to the dying C64 community. However, the C64 did go on for another 3 years until it finally died out.
The game after cancellation was left in a disk box and forgotten about, until the developers came across the disks once more and decided to see what was on the disks, uncovering their lost game which they had forgotten about. Apparently the coder pretty much keeps everything, so there was no chance of this game ever becoming lost 🙂
Defector is in very early stages, but is playable enough for you to move the main character (somewhat reminisent of the main character from One Man and His Droid) around a fairly sized map. Graphically its quite spectrumy, but clearly defined and animated well enough. This could have been a sufficient budget release had it been completed. There is no sound in the game, which no doubt is down to the early stage of development.
It’s uncertain who this game would have been pitched to, though it would have been pitched to all the companies for certain. It is one of those games which asks the question “What if?”…
At least what remains has been saved, and can finally be enjoyed by others and appreciated.
Contributions: Craig Grannell, Martijn Althuizen, Peter Morris
Pete Morris speaks about work on Defector…
“A friend and I started to write it just to see if we could, we hoped to release it once finished but then C64 game sales dropped and we decided it wasn’t worth finishing.
The background went something like this:
Planet Earth’s oxygen supply is depleting, our only hope for survival is to
move mankind to another planet. Unfortunately the lack of oxygen has had an
affect on the people of our planet and we are unable to think straight.
Instead of travelling to the new host planet the migration plan is to build
super-gravity beams which will pull the planet close enough for us to simply
step onto it (it will save in petrol costs).
Only one man can save us, a scientist who has been working in an underwater
sea lab for the past years remains unaffected by this mass delerium. He has
to find the correct security passes and shut down the super-gravity
generators before the whole universe is sucked into a quantum singularity!
The game doesn’t do too much at the point it was stopped. You can basically walk around the map (which is unfinished) and interact with some background pieces.
We were teenagers and were not very organised. We have about 5 disks (double sided) with different versions of the game on, and no idea which is the latest. The build I sent was the latest we could find.
We basically gave up because we had all our source in a single file. We couldn’t use FastLoad because that would corrupt the source (it was so big). We couldn’t even compile the source without it getting overwritten, so our steps were:
1) Save source (15 minutes)
2) Compile source
3) If it fails then reload source (15 minutes) and fix compiler error
4) Load character set
5) Load blocks
6) Load map
7) Run it
8) Hope there are no runtime errors, otherwise repeat step 1
It was too time consuming. I was learning Pascal at the time and we started to write a cross-assembler, but then the C64 sales were suffering so badly that we packed it all in!”