Many of you may remember this game from the later days of Zzap64, created by Kevin Murphy, whom originally tried to sell the game through mail order.
Well, before that, Thrusterball was sent to various big games companies of the time, and sadly none submitted any interest in the game, which is why Kevin turned to selling the game. The game didn’t seem to sell that well, so eventually Kevin sold the game to Zzap 64 and they put it on their covertape.
Thrusterball is very similiar to the classic Cybernoid series on the C64, featuring a very similiar style of play and graphics. The game didn’t feature any music, but did feature a set of neat sfx.
The game played very well, and its a mystery why no company picked this game up and released it. Maybe not a full price label, but certainly a budget label should have done.
Apart from the bad start, the game was to be given a new lease of life when Legendary Designs got in contact with Kevin about tarting up the game and selling it abroad. Kevin agreed and so work begin on tidying up the game and improving the presentation.
All of this was complete, and money was told to be transferring into Kevin’s account very soon. This never happened and Kevin was left unpaid, and the game also never made it out as intended.
In the GTW archive exists both versions of the game that was created, and its an indication of a man’s work which sadly was not as recognised as it should have been.
Credit is well overdue for this and other games of Kevin’s…
Contributions: Kevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy speaks to GTW about work on Thrusterball and his past...
"I had written several games before Thunderzone, trying to break into the games industry but not having much luck. I had written 3 games previously called, Thrusterball, Rainbow Chaser and Zytron.
Having had these games rejected by various publishers i decided to try and sell them myself as a 3 game package via an advert in zzap64.
I made only a handful of sales with that advert at the time but it did introduce me to a company in Belgium called Legendary Designs. A fellow by the name of Ben Hermans wrote to me saying how impressed with the games he was and how he would like to try and improve on Thrusterball by adding some music and a front end and then trying to find a publisher for this new improved version.
This i agreed to and in due course the game enhancements were made and the game was re titled Mega Thrusterball.
After i had completed my version of the game and after being rejected by various publishers i decided to throw away the source code for the game as i thought it wouldn't be needed anymore. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake as Ben Hermans kept writing to me asking for the source code as he needed prove the game was his to sell.
Anyway, after various phone calls and letters back and forth from the UK to Belgium i was eventually informed that a publisher had been found for the game and payment would be forwarded to an account of mine in due course.
This was the last i ever heard from Legendary Designs and Ben Hermans. I didn't see any payment for the game or received any further correspondence. After being rejected by various publishers and now being blatantly ripped off ( as i saw it ) you can imagine i was rather depressed.
I don't own any source code for any of my games now but i do have a friend who might. He used to collect all sorts of bit's and pieces and knowing he was a fellow coder too he might still have something. It's a tall order though as many years have passed since writing the game.
I am still programming games and demo's on the pc to this day. Just as a hobby. I never did make it into the games industry as a pro. Life takes some funny turns. But i do have a web site now with demo's for download if anyone would like to visit. http://126.96.36.199/~maskedc/
And i must praise you on an amazing web site You've brought back a lot of very very good memories for me. Damn i loved the C64. A great machine."
It’s Ben Hermans (Powerplant) deceiving people.