A sequel to the approximately 30-year-old ZX Spectrum game under construction • .net

I thought it was nearly 20 years waiting for Shenmue 3 to approach some record, but that’s something else. Just introduced on Steam last week, Jetboard Joust is a sequel to ZX Spectrum’s Skateboard Joust, released in 1988. However, it is no exaggeration to say that not many people were out of breath and waiting. This particular follow-up.

“Yes, that was a bit of a crap,” admits that skateboard joust developer James Cross told me more than 30 years later. “That’s part of the reason I started this. It was a bit of a joke because the skateboard joust wasn’t very good.”

The skateboard joust was made when James was 16 years old. He had never played the inspirational game Joust, but he had seen the screenshots once. He had never skateboarded, but knew it was all the rage, so he made a game that took advantage of trends. At that time, the term grandma’s food was often used. This is a game designed to trick people into buying grandchildren. With James’ own approval, the skateboard joust would have been a perfect fit for the term.

He started coding with ZX Spectrum, which his father bought home from work. After running out of available games, he started by hacking Jet Set Willy’s level map for a project that turned into an underground nightmare. At that time, publishing the game was much easier. Much Easier-It’s a way for a 16-year-old cash shortage to decide to make quick money by knocking out video games. It was all about skateboarding jousting.

“There was such a market just by sending things to publishers,” he says. “I sometimes went to trade fairs, but in reality there weren’t many.”

So was it just sending tape to the envelope and waiting for the check to come back?

“In fact, joking aside, it wasn’t too far away. It was a lot easier back then. I sent an envelope and then got a pretty big check. I think I was paid two. Skateboarding. The joke was £ 50,000, which was a fair amount at the time. The money I earned from it continued until the end of my college trip. I bought a car.

“I didn’t get my prepayment back. Weirdly, when I was watching some of the videos on YouTube the other day, I met someone who had a Commodore 64 transplant. In fact, they were more than I was. I was rewarded. The original game. “

The game and its various bosses are rich in references.

However, there are fans in the skateboard joust. There are some confusing YouTube playthroughs from people who didn’t understand the central mechanic. “Many people aren’t even aware that you can jump off the board and kill things,” says James. “It’s not a great game anyway, but if you don’t understand it will probably look terrible.”-Some people can see the benefits, but James himself certainly loves it. ..

“I always thought there was something in the middle mechanic of a skateboard-armed man who jumped off the skateboard, though it wasn’t very good, and I’ve never seen it I thought. In the game. I always thought there was something cool about it. So I thought I’d try it again, but this time I actually made a good game , Try to rebalance the game’s skate. “

That’s where Skateboard Joust comes in. James went back to the beginning after working on graphic design, digital marketing and mobile development. “But when I switched to smartphones, I wasn’t too obsessed with how the market works and pushed people through in-app purchases and in-game advertising routes. That’s not the purpose of the game for me. I avoided console-related work if possible, but here it’s five years later. It took a little longer than expected. “

Jetboard Joust was adopted by its predecessor and its core idea was raised on a large scale, but everything else is very different. “An important inspiration is the arcade games of the early 80’s. It’s about this feeling I got from them, rather than trying to recreate them generously. It doesn’t really make sense. I Imagine being somewhere between the ages of 11. Fifteen were playing defenders in a local swimming bath. It was a truly complete sensory attack. “

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Jetboard Joust performs Defender’s functionality very well (if you’re a masochist, you also have the option to play with Defender’s original control configuration) and incorporates enough of your own ideas to make it worthwhile. Masu-There are upgrades and skill trees, and in addition to a lot of style, that returning jousting mechanic that gives you a thrilling release moment when firing the board at your enemies. It’s nice to see someone go back to the idea they had over 30 years ago and try to make it justice-and Jetboard Joust does more than that. This is a game where you can see that the creator has been crazy for a while. “Well,” says James. “It probably took years for the original to take months to create.”

Jetboard Joust is also launching a very different market. “Well, the big difference in general is that it now depends on marketing,” says James. “Even when I was playing a feature phone game, I’m sure you could put it out there and it would be picked up. The bar to entry was pretty high. Now up to entry The bar is pretty low-there’s a lot of trash. It’s a good game that’s not just about making, it’s seen as marketing, and more about how the product is perceived. , Expecting the fact that it’s a good game means selling itself. “

Thankfully, Jetboard Joust is a great game. This is a game that you enjoyed exploding quickly here and there and getting lost in the arcade overkill. This is a significant improvement over the original Skateboard Joust. And there are two games, probably James has a series in his hand … “Yes,” he says. “I don’t know if I want to sign up myself …”


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