It was a graphic adventure game created using GAC for all the 8-bit machines. It was based on an 2000 draft of a sci-fi book series which sees humanity surviving in the 23rd century. The heroes are six random people who timejumped from the 20th century thanks to technology from the 23rd.
The game would have centered around the storyline of Book 7 – Shadows in the Dark. The Confederation are mining on an empty planet but there are a series of mysterious deaths – on examination of the bodies reveals they were killed by a savage animal, but nothing can be seen of it at all.
As Commander Gareth Mason, you have to help the rest of your crew survive while they get the vital ore required for the war and if you get the chance, destroy the creature.
This game was not quite completed, but has been salvaged from a work disk and released for the first time. This segment of the game was set in the Confederation spaceship and was mean’t to be a test layout of the rooms. You can now download this very early adventure game.
Additionally you can download the Spectrum version from World of Spectrum, and Patrick may finish the game one day – who knows!
Patrick Furlong speaks about work on The Frontier of Warriors…
“I’d forgotten about this game until I dug out an old notebook which detailed most of the programming involved and had a few sketches for the graphics.
I’m not sure why I picked Shadows in the Dark to be the first Frontier of Warriors game – the story wasn’t even completed. It must have been picked due to the story being a self contained one with minimal action – the rest of the series concentrated on warfare.
According to the book which has a page entitled FILENAMES, it has a list of filenames for both the C64 and CPC versions. The game was written using emulators (VICE and WinAPE) running GAC.
The book also notes that the files were backed up onto a 3.5″ disc. Where the disc is now, I have no idea but there is a chance a backup of the disc is being looked after by one of my sisters-in-law (I have six of them) or in the worst case scenario, one of the items destroyed when our Venice apartment flooded last year. But programming was defiantly done. A lot of code was marked TESTED AND WORKING and some was crossed out and rewritten. There is a 50/50 chance of the disc still existing. If it can be found, I’ll send a copy of the existing and working C64 files to GTW. (I would work with seperate D64 and DSK images to minimise the chance of losing something)
The version of The Frontier of Warriors this game was based on was soon scrapped and abandoned for four years until I resurrected the franchise in 2004. The game would have been scrapped as soon as the version of the story was scrapped. It’s intresting to note that Shadows of the Dark has been retitled and resurrected for the new series.”
Emiliana DeLuca speaks about work on The Frontier of Warriors…
“My uncle had been writing his science fiction stories ever since I knew him when I was five years old. He would read them out to me and I would enjoy them.
Since I could, I was intrested in drawing and was drawing anything I could, whenever I could. When Uncle Patrick told me he was working on a game based on his books, I wondered if he would use any of my design ideas for it – I’d drawn a few spaceships and aliens based on his characters. I then had a surprise when he asked me if I would do the graphics for him. I was only 10 at the time.
He showed me how to do the graphics on the Graphic Adventure Creator program. As soon as he had finished the room descriptions, he asked me to do the graphics – he told me I could make them look how I wanted. I found the Commodore 64 version tricky to use, that’s why they didn’t look as good as the others.
We’d completly forgot all about it for years until Uncle Patrick dug out a notebook with all his notes on the project – he’d since decided to rewrite the entire franchise. Luckly, he left a copy of the disc in the safekeeping of my mother. It was weird seeing it all again.
I had a big surprise when Uncle Patrick sent me links via e-mail to both a page on GTW64 and World of Spectrum which featured the game. Well, I wasn’t surprised that the game featured on these websites but the fact I was credited as Graphic Designer. He told me he was going to make sure I get the credit I deserve.
I’m now doing GCSE Media Studies, English and Art at college. Uncle Patrick tells me he plans to make the game again and wants me to do the graphics for him. His wife, Aunty Amy tells me I’m truly his niece – he’s full of mad ideas and she says I’m showing signs of it as-well. I’m also doing designs based on the new books in his franchise and am working on a video of these designs for my GCSE Media Studies practical project. It’s stuff like this that has Aunty Amy calling me mad.
I had a look at the GTW website and think the people behind it are very good to make all these discoveries no-one thought they would ever see and I’m flattered something I worked on qualifies as a GTW.”