It was always thought that Alter Developments would be doing the C64 conversion of Troddlers, if anyone. It was announced they were trying to do Troddlers in an issue of Commodore Force. These were the same team who brought you Lemmings on the C64.
However, the guys from SCS-TRC were also trying to get the contract, so there was a bit of competition there.
The Alter Development version of Troddlers consisted of 6 levels which looked good and would work very well. These levels were done for the purpose of demonstration to Sales Curve. The SCS-TRC version looked more impressive, and so it got the contract away from Alter.
Sales Curve continued with the project with the other team, and eventually they pulled out of the market and decided not to go with any more C64 stuff. The game would have been canned anyway. Alter had already stopped work on their version anyway, so that was that.
Remi says that he felt sad that Sales Curve didn’t continue, and what with their past work, you would expect the conversion to be very good.
Remi told GTW that the previews may still exist in his disk collection, and hopefully they would be uncovered….
….Well.. its happened!!!… Thanks to the game’s programmer, Niels Brouwers, we bring you the first ever glimpse of the original conversion that was taking place. Niels got in touch with GTW, and kindly passed on all the previews which existed.
All in all this contains 6 playable levels and a few pictures which would have been included in the game.
Although it does not look as polished as the accepted contract version, this contains more playable aspects of the original game. No doubt in time, this would have been tweaked and improved at the end. It still looks an impressive conversion, and there is much more here to look at.
It is interesting to compare both versions, but essentially with the two versions there is a half complete version of Troddlers. Sadly the game is missing music, but we are unsure if any was actually composed for this version. We will try and find out soon.
Check it out and see what you think :)
Found at last, and another case pretty much closed!…
Contributions: Remi Ebus, Niels Brouwers, Andrew Fisher
Remi Ebus and Niels Brouwers talk about work on Troddlers V1…
REMI – “At the time we were finishing up with Lemmings, a second team consisting out of Niels Brouwers (programming), Marc Hermans (graphics), and if I recall correctly Roel Bosch (music) were working on some preview levels of Troddlers.
The time must have been somewhere around 1994. At the same time some friends from Success+The Ruling Company (demo group coalition) were competing with us for this contract. (I believe you’ve got stuff from their version at your site).
Our negotiations with Sales Curve Interactive (SCi) were already at quite some length before they came to the conclusion that the C64 was no longer a valid market for them and all development was ended, since no agreement could be reached with the publisher to have another distributor publish the game.
All in all I think only a few levels were made by E&E software serving as a demonstration for SCi, I think the number of levels ported to the C64 were 2 or 3, with little to none player interaction possibilities. But the demo’s have a very impressive look to them and looked excellent, it’s a real shame that SCi didn’t continue on the C64.
As for the availability of the demos… I might have them lying around somewhere (collecting dust), or perhaps Niels or Marc might have a copy of them. ”
<FROM THE LEMMINGS DIARY – C-FORCE 1993>
“In the first issue of COMMODORE FORCE you read about the teams first impressions of the Lemmings conversion. Everything was still going smoothly and without any major problems. . . You can probably already guess what I’m going to say next. . . major troubles! Basically, our graphicer – Nikaj Eijk – wasn’t doing his part of the job. You may have read or heard the rumour(s) about other potential productions involving Alter Developments (now called E&E Software Company) such as Zool and Troddlers. Well, we’re still looking for a company interested in publishing Zool on the C64, but the problem in question was Troddlers.
At the Spring ECTS show in London, we agreed to do Troddlers for The Sales Curve as it was a Lemmings clone of sorts (we even had to change our contract with Psygnosis to enable us to work on Troddlers!). A representative of The Sales Curve promised to send out a copy of the game, which we would use to make a few small demos – as we did with Lemmings. But The Sales Curve didn’t send us a copy of their game; several puzzled letters and phone calls resulted in complete nothingness. But as we were still interested in the game as we felt it had some potential, so, half a year later we decided to make a demo-version of a five level Amiga demo of the game.
A week later we got up to 40 Troddlers walking around in a very early version of the game, and then sent our efforts to The Sales Curve. Their feelings on the demo were included in a small letter that stated they weren’t interested with a C64 Troddlers project, but a few phone calls later we knew better. It seemed that another (Dutch) team were also working on Troddlers. That team had already been offered a contract, but if we could come up with a better version of Troddlers than theirs – before they had signed up – we could conceivably been given the project. However, the contract offered didn’t give us enough security to continue – even if we had made a superior version in the short time scale available, we’d have only been paid royalties (a percentage for each sold copy of the game) and no advance. So we decided to drop the Troddlers conversion.
All very interesting isn’t it? But why all this in a Lemmings diary? Well, we knew the other team and guess who was doing the graphics for Troddlers? Nikaj Eijk! Not only did he snatch a conversion away from the company he worked for (at that time still Alter Developments), he also was working on another game while he should have been working on Lemmings! I don’t think anyone could imagine how angry we were with Nikaj at that time! Our first intention was to completely abandon Nikaj, not using any of his graphics and not paying him a single dime.”
Remi Ebus .
NIELS – A game-demo was developed but due to double play of an employee at E&E the Sales Curve chose to have it developed by another team founded by the (by then ex-)E&E employee. They never finished it (because their demo looked nicer but was useless for a real game).