This was one of the first games to be released by newly set up team, Arcanum developments. This team consisted of Mark Kelly, his brother, Robert McGowan, Barry Leitch and Alan Mac.
The game was being done for Hewson, and was to be a Quix clone featuring cool looking graphics. It was rumoured that Firebird weren’t really happy with the idea of a Zolyxx clone being produced, so they came down on Hewson like a ton of bricks and the game was promptly cancelled.
However, Richard Hewison sees it differently and that there wasn’t really any pressure from Firebird at all. It is suggested that Hewson saw the issues with the on-going court case with Telecomsoft over Morpheus (and Magnetron) and this influenced their decision to ditch the game. But there is a little bit more to it aswell, which seems to be the overall answer. Essentially the developers were quite young at the time, Robert McGowan had the following to say:
“At the time, me being 16 and xenon being about 14 I think, neither of us really had the mathematical skills to work out the fill routine in stix (basically an algorithm to subtract successive squares and pick the smallest possible enclosed area) so we just started working on whatever we liked (for me that turned out to be the scrolling shoot-em up called Marauder which Hewson actually sold)”
Eventually the team broke up, and no-one really got paid… the game was canned as a result. It is not known if the game still exists today, but we hope to find out soon by getting in touch with Mark and seeing if anything still exists anywhere.
Barry’s music still exists, and can be found here to download and have a listen to. Barry described it by saying “It’s shite! :) “… but its still a small piece of the game which has survived.
Time will tell, but more research needed at the moment…
More soon on this we hope!…
Contributions: Andrew Fisher, Alan Mac, Barry Leitch, Robert McGowan, Richard Hewison