Xiphoid

Tim Forsyth

Status: Preview, Findability: 2/5

A very cool Ghost n Goblins clone which has some nice graphics and a lot of promise at this very early stage. There is no sound in the game, but the rest of it seems to be coming together really well.

If the intro plays up, soft reset and SYS5215 to kick the game into action.

In this particular preview, there are about 4-5 levels in total – before it gets stuck after a crocodile bad guy. However, there is enough here to see that this could have been a nice budget release had it been finished.

So what happened exactly to the game, who was behind it and who was it for? Well, this was a mystery for some years until developer Tim Forsyth came forward in December 2021.

He developed the game when about 15/16 and started making his own game engine in the summer of 1988, with his brother Nic handling graphics, with a friend of a friend creating the animations.

Although things progressed very well, but it was felt too much time was spent on the technology and not the gameplay. Once summer was over, most of Tim’s free time was taken up with an apprenticeship and he eventually brought an Amiga and moved on.

Sadly as a result, the game was never completed and the preview you have here is essentially as far as it got. Tim does suggest that some music was written for the game, along with prototypes of end of level bosses. It is hoped these can be recovered some day to be released alongside the preview.

Contributions: Tim Forsyth

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Coder Tim Forsyth talks about his game:

“I was having a conversation with my son tonight, who’s 6, about making games and told him that I tried to make a game once.   Searching for it, I came across this page.

Back in the 80s, when I was about 15/16, I spent the summer months writing a game engine. I had previously written several low key demos for a little known group called safecrackers under the handle “The Tex”.  I had also released quite a few tape to disk cracks as safecrackers but I think these only did the rounds in the local area.

My brother drew the majority of the graphics and a friend of a friend created the animations. It was going so well until we realised, too late, we had been focussing on the technology and not the gameplay.

There was no design brief, so we had no idea what this game would be about or how long it would take to finish. Once summer was over, I started an apprenticeship that took most of my free time away. I started earning money, bought an Amiga 500 and moved on.

Although I continued to write code on the Amiga, I drifted towards my other passion, music.  I was a member of Nerve Axis for a year or so and wrote music as “Squidge”.

I often wonder if I had been persistent creating games what I would be doing now. These days, amongst other things, I make C64 remixes. I just finished a Christmas novelty remix using Reyn Owehand as the theme, it turned out pretty well I think…. https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/yQyQ1M1sTUbUjYP17

Tim Forsyth.

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