Starquake Update: 20/03/2013: Where have you been?

Wow, nearly three months since my last update, I bet most of you thought that this remake had gone the way of too many before it, namely on the scrapheap, never to be seen again! Well, fear not, I’m glad to say that the remake is far from dead. So you might ask, why the lack of updates? In truth, it boils down to a number of things. I’ve been spending the last few months working on designing an all-new funky theme for the site that hosts the excellent Retro Asylum podcast show. If you haven’t checked this out yet and you have even a vague interest in retro gaming (and lets face it, you must if you’re here) then you really should check this out, you’ll thank me later. Anyway, I’ve been busy completely redesigning and coding a new WordPress theme, which is no walk in the park – though I’m sure you’ll agree the result was more than worth the effort!

I’m also a member of the Retro Asylum podcast team, so I’ve been working on several shows (with plenty more in the pipeline) including a completely impromptu think-on-your-feet episode I had to do at the last minute with my good pal Glenn, when a combination of technology failures and demanding babies threw our carefully made plans out of the window!

Anyway, enough of all of that, I’m sure what you really want to know is how has Starquake been coming along amongst this hive of activity? Well the answer is, surprisingly well. I’ve been plugging away at it and I’m delighted to announce that the game is nearly code complete. What I mean by this is that it will shortly contain all of the elements to make it fully playable. In this state it could be released out into the wild, but I’m not going to do that and I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait a little longer. You see the next stage is all about refinement. This is where I’m going to be adding in all of the little graphical and audio embellishments, the touches that will make this game more than just good remake – remember what I said at the beginning, my plan is to make this the definitive Starquake remake and not just another clone!

In the last three months, much has changed. Blob is now white like the original 8-bit versions (you will be able to select from a variety of Blobs, including a Satanic version!). I’ve completely redesigned the status panel to provide a much cleaner look. The game now has a ‘game over’ screen and high score table and Blob dies in a… well spectacular way.

I’ve spent many hours tweaking the gameplay. This is one of the hardest elements to get right, making all of the various components behave well together. I’ve been working hard to balance the playing experience and try to make the difficulty level match the original – ensuring that the nasties aren’t too challenging and making sure that there are no unfair deaths due to poor collision detection (always stack the odds in favor of the player and you’ll get one satisfied gamer!). I’ve also fixed more than a few bugs, so here’s hoping that what you get in your hands will be (virtually) bug-free.

So there it is, that’s what I’ve been up to. There has been a lot going on, but as they say, a picture (or in this case several) is worth a thousand words, so without further ado, here’s a selection of screenshots showing some of the lovely new bits!

New Hi-Score screen Game Over screen
Blob dies spectacularly! The all new white Blob
Comments
10 Responses to “Starquake Update: 20/03/2013: Where have you been?”
  1. mitze90 says:

    Great to here the remake is going well, I’m glad somebody is remaking it, this and Joe Blade 3 where only favourite games!

    • endangermice says:

      It will be done soon, I’ve had to take some time out to concentrate on some other projects so it has been inevitably delayed a bit but I have a mate looking at the sound effects which is one of the outstanding bits left to do, that and an end of game sequence plus music which will also be in hand so it’s getting very close now.

  2. mitze90 says:

    What are the chances of a mobile app, copyright problems?

    • endangermice says:

      While it would be nice to see a mobile version, one of the problems the other is that the game is written C# using the now defunct XNA framework. It would be quite a lot of work to convert it to a mobile platform and realistically I just don’t have the time to do this – as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it has beeb a struggle just getting this one near to finished!

      Having played a few arcade game remakes using a touch screen, I’m not convinced that they’re suitable for games of this type, a lot of the game’s feel is lost in the transition.

      All is not lost, if you are desperate for Starquake on a mobile platform you can buy an emulated rendition of the Speccy version for both the IPhone and IPad. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/starquake-zx-spectrum/id422257669?mt=8

  3. Chris Hart says:

    Yo Steven, I used to play Starquake on the the Spectrum 48k back it the day, was one of my fav games. Nice to see your doing a remake. It’s been a while the last update so how is it going?

    I am a C# developer by the way.

    Chris.

  4. mitze90 says:

    How’s the remake coming?

  5. StevetS says:

    Hi there, just checking up again on your progress for Starquake. Hope you’re still perservering with it given that you’ve come so far. It was also one of my favourite games on the Spectrum and an awesome achievement by Stephen Crow.
    As you’re a programmer you probably know the last 10% takes 40% of your time!

    • endangermice says:

      Hi Steve,

      Yes I am still persevering with it, albeit slowly right now. I’m really sorry for the total lack of updates but unfortunately I’ve had a lot of other work commitments recently but I’m planning to get back on the Starquake wagon very soon so keep your eye out for some new updates!

      Cheers,

      Damien

  6. praashek says:

    are we there yet? are we there yet? are we there yet? :) how is the game progress now?

    • endangermice says:

      Hey, yes it’s getting very close – I need to get my cousin to do the music (over the next month or so) and then it should be pretty much done. I’ve done a load of work on it over the last few months despite the lack of updates to this blog!

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