Well, this entry may not come as much of a suprise, especially now you have learned about how the actual released game came about. We all talk about Aquablast as being what Live and Let Die used to be, but what about before Aquablast came along?
Surely Domark had something else in the pipeline before they learned about Aquablast?
Well, they did… and infact Lynnsoft in particular were the guys behind it. They actually were pitching the idea through Lynnsoft to Domark and got the contract originally. Zzap 64 even at somepoint mentioned that Lynnsoft were behind the game that was coming soon.
Some code was actually started and a really nifty FLD routine was created which would have been awesome for the boat effect.
Basically Domark had the Bond license and were looking for devs to build it. To date their efforts had resulted in spectacular failures (View to a Kill for example) and Lynnsoft were given the chance at the Live and Let Die movie. The actual design for the game actually came from Jake Simpson who spent a weekend with a very dodgy video copy and determined that probably the part that lent itself to gameplay the best was the water chase, so they based their design around that. It was basically pole position with jumps and some other stuff.
This was also to be Lynnsoft’s first 16 bit game as well – they even had some of the first versions of 16 bit PDS.
The C64 game was coming along well – though Jake had a few issues with trying to get the water drawing fast enough on the C64 – he tried 3 or 4 different approaches. Lynnsoft this time had an external artist work on dashboards for the boat for them (The ST screen apparently was just beautiful). It was all chugging along fine when all of a sudden Domark changed project managers on us – who was rumoured not to be particularly great. It is rumoured that the project manager looked at Lynnsoft’s design, went back to his old company and offered them the design for a back hander. They accepted, so he pulled the project from Lynnsoft and that was that. Lynnsoft at the time didn’t have any other work and so most of the team were sadly laid off. Only one coder – Gordon Fong – was left.
Later on that year, Jake was at the Commodore show and got into a huge blazing public row with the guys from Domark over the issue, where Jake played the final game then had a right go at them over the design being very much the same as Lynnsoft produced. Jake later left the show, left gaming and went to finish his degree and go on to be a mainframe coder instead.
Steve Wilcox when question recollected that the take over of Aquablast came about because the engineers creating the game for Domark had let them down and Domark were keen to satisfy their commitments to their licencors – DanJaq (?). Was this true, or did Domark feel that Elite already had a finished game with Aquablast and decided they could save some money?
Seems that the other company that the project manager worked at didn’t get the game done either and could be yet another version that exists.
We hope to find out soon, but the good hope is that we may just see something of this development very soon!
More soon on this title we hope…
Contributions: Jason Kelk, Matt Wheeler, Steve Wilcox, Jake Simpson