Although eventually released by Audiogenic around 1992, this particular title wasn’t the same game which was first previewed in Zzap Issue #77. If you check the graphics, you’ll see there is a noticeable difference to the game which was released.
The game released was a slightly rehashed version of a cricket game by Audiogenic in the 80’s. So what happened to this other version? Did Audiogenic decide the leave the C64, scrap the current game and cut their losses by re-hashing the old game?
As you can see from the scans below, the version reviewed in Commodore Format (issue 12) and Your Commodore (issue 84) is considerably different.
We got in touch with Audiogenic years ago when they were still running, who suggested the original team were not making good enough progress. As a quick solution, the old game was recoded slightly and released at the end to make back some money. But was that really the case, considering it was reviewed by two magazines. Surely two magazines couldn’t have reviewed an unfinished game?
Our biggest lead was that some ex-Tynesoft guys were behind the original version – so, looking at the credits of previous Tynesoft games, we had a few names to investigate. Audiogenic did not recall any names, and did not have any of the code.
Recently thanks to Andrew Fisher, we eventually confirmed that the developer was none other than Kevin Franklin of Zybex fame. Graphics were done by David Peacock, who did graphics for other Tynesoft games. No music was thought to have been composed – Adam Gilmore having no involvement.
When we got in touch with David, he recalled that he went to Audiogenic after Tynesoft closed. He remembers tracing the bowling animation from a recorded cricket game on VHS using a sheet of paper taped over the screen.
Graphics were done on Deluxe Paint on the Amiga and then ported down. David believed he no longer had anything of his work, and didn’t realise the game had not actually been released.
When we finally got hold of Kevin – he had no idea what happened to the game and why it was never released. When he stopped working for Audiogenic around April 1991, the game was pretty much finished.
Overall it looked bleak – with Kevin and David confirming they had nothing of the game. At best, David suggested he may still have a few disks knocking about. Sure enough in 2014, David found some disks and passed them onto GTW64 for evaluation. All graphic disks were sadly PC formatted, so work continues on preserving them (which should be of interest across all formats).
However, there was one single C64 formatted disk which was labelled with “64 Cricket (Keep)”, which happened to be possibly the last remaining copy of the game! A frozen copy produced by Kevin to show David how the game was shaping up with his graphics in place. David didn’t even know that he had this, so it has been a surprise turn up!
Interestingly the main title screen has a different title of Graham Gooch All Star Cricket, which we’ve added as a sub title. Was the name later changed? It seems so… possibly this could be a build before Audiogenic decided to tie the game into the World Cup. So, missing still is a slightly later version with a different title, but the rest of the game seems to be in place.
We are not 100% sure how incomplete the title is, but it does look very close! No sound though, so we are keeping the entry as a preview. In the meantime, there is potential for a Spectrum, Amstrad set of graphics to also be saved in the near future.
The complete and lost title screen could also well be on a 5.25″ PC formatted disk that we have with the C64 graphics on, so watch this space! For now, check out another big finding!
Contributions: Chris, Peter Carver, Kevin Franklin, David Peacock, Iain Black, Pugsy and Jazzcat
David Peacock recalls work on the game:
“After Tynesoft closed a handful of staff started working for Audiogenic. While Audiogenic found an office in Newcastle I was temporarily working in a colleague’s house. I remember tracing the bowling animation from a recorded cricket game on VHS using a sheet of paper taped over the TV screen.
I don’t know of any business decisions as to why it wasn’t released. In fact I had no idea the 64 version wasn’t released.
I don’t have any backups of old work. I used DPaint on the Amiga for the graphics. My only Amiga backup (on 60 disks) has a few disks missing which makes the whole thing useless and there is no guarantee it contains my Audiogenic work. It would be great to see that work again.”
- 17/06/23 – Major tidy up of a poorly written write up.
- 23/06/14 – Final remains of the game found and saved thanks to David Peacock and with fixing work by Pugsy and Jazzcat!