Our next entry into the GTW archives is a very neat proof of concept that has unfortunately been cancelled, but looks very impressive indeed.
Red Baron 3000 is a vertically scrolling shooter, with some cool parallax effects and simultaneous music and sfx. It was created by Hein Holt who was inspired by the parallax effects of Flimbos Quest and Hawkeye 2.
Originally planned to be a demo part, it expanded rapidly into a game, with enemy routines and collisions.
Work was halted when a major rework was required to try and free up more memory for the game as a whole, and also doing the artwork was found to be a slow and cumbersome process for Hein. There was a brief reprieve for the game, when Hein got inspired by seeing Xenon 2, and was going to manually convert all of the assets to the c64, when interest was lost again.
Hein decided to fully close the door on the game, and now it has been released into GTW64 as a result. A huge shame, as the game certainly looks and plays impressively, even at this early stage.
Hein Holt talks about the creation of his game:
“It started in 2007 as a proof of concept for a parallax routine to see how much can be optimised. I really liked the Flimbo’s Quest and Hawkeye (2) parallax. It turned out a full-screen parallax is doable. Originally I wanted to use it as a demo part for a big demo that was themed around underwater worlds.
Eventually I added a spaceship that could shoot it’s way through the background. Before I knew it a sprite multiplexer was added and work began on some sort of game engine. The game engine that’s in the preview contains a simple enemy movement system, a sound fx routine (which was my first bit of SID programming) and player / bonus control routines.
There it kinda stopped, since a lot of rework was needed to change the level set-up because of the scarce amount of free memory left. Doing the low priority background graphics is terribly cumbersome as well, so this kept me away from redoing the graphics. A brief burst of inspiration sparked when I played the Amiga version of Xenon 2 again. A port to C64 of that classic game was my revived goal.
I’ve collected most of the Xenon 2 assets and level layouts from the internet. And then I lost interest again. I guess I’ve become a terribly lazy pixel artist, wondering how on earth I could’ve spend so many hours on doing pixel graphics in the first place. Hats off to the die-hard people still doing that.
But programming the game was a nice learning experience nevertheless, with some good old vaporware as a result.”