Previews? Reviews? Any blog can do that.
Here at J-OMG we love to give you release-day interviews. Something to read while you download a great new freeware game.
And today’s contestant is… Rocky Memphis & the temple of Ophuxoff.
Firstly – here’s the Rocky Memphis download site. (Open it in another tab, so you can keep reading while it downloads)
It’s a flick-screen platform game for the PC (EDIT: and now the Mac!), released earlier today… with Commodore 64-style graphics, and a number of casual-friendly gameplay touches. Oh – and if you’re wondering where the word ‘Ophuxoff’ in the title comes from, it’s the English phrase you might say when you hear there’s SIX HUNDRED screens to navigate!
J-OMG regulars Stu C and Smila are the men responsible, and they put down their torches and stolen treasure to answer the following questions.
Smila, you started this project saying you wanted to do a “do a humongeroo map for a platformer”. What’s that about? Is it just because level storage problems (on a modern PC/Mac, as opposed to a C64) are no longer an issue? Which big-map titles did you enjoy on the Commodore?
I’ve always loved explorey platformers where you can get lost finding your way around and always wanted todo a ‘biggy’. On the C64 I loved games like Monty, JSW, Saboteur etc. There’s just something about having a big map to wonder around that’s always appealed. And after playing Joe Gunn – it inspired me to do it.
Gentlemen, back in August… the plan was “Complete the map as quick as you can for a better score. Infinite lives, save when ya want and an ingame map will also be available.”
Is that how it’s turned out?
Smila: That was the aim and that’s what weve done. We did add some powerups to add a bit of variety and an ingame map to help the player find his way around.
The “complete it as fast as you can” is an interesting idea. Where’s that come from? (I don’t recall many C64 platformers with a ‘race’ mechanic.)
Smila: The reason I went for the infinite lives/save when you want… is because i wanted to do something that even people who aren’t too good on platformers ( I’m looking at you Stu. LOL. ) could play for a good amount of time and still complete the game. A lot of platformers are hard and some people get frustrated and give up quickly. Everyone will be able to complete this game if they spend enough time on it, and having the save means they can play “5 mins here – 5 mins there”.
The ‘infinite lives, save anywhere’ idea has a casual-friendly sound to it. Very unlike platformers in the 80s. Is there any chance Rocky – or a friend – might end up on another format? (Browser, phone?)
Stu: With 600 screens, which equates to about 3 hours of game play (or more like 6 hours for me) you can’t expect people to sit at their computer for that length of time. We’re also actively encouraging people to actually *finish* the game so theres no “fall deaths” and certainly no “infinity deaths”!!!!
I can see a MAC version of Rocky being released, but as for other platforms no plans yet.
Smila, you floated the idea of making the content available for (Joe Gunn creator) Endurion to make a ‘real’ C64 version. Any update on this?
Georg started on the engine for it and as far as I know he’s still fiddling with it. [We've emailed Georg to find out more. -Ed] As soon as he’s ready to go further I’ll convert the gfx to ‘c64 friendly’ format for him.
The game has a rather Rick Dangerous-esque character going through flickscreens that look a little similar to games like Manic Miner. Are there any other influences in the mix?
Smila: Rick D was a big influence for sure and so was Joe Gunn but only in its location. The game itself has no puzzles to work out as such, you do have to find keys etc but thats as far as it goes ‘puzzle wise’. The game is about finding all 4000 objects [!!!] across 600 screens [!!!!!] as quick as you can, then uploading your time to the online highscores.
Stu: At any stage you can upload your progress, so there’s no need to actually finish the game before posting! The website and all the backstage php/mysql stuff is all in place. It will be nice to see lots of times being posted which in turn should give a competitive edge to users. We’ve given users 5 slots to save games into – so they can save often and indeed reload from these get an even faster times.
The table will only allow your best time/score to be uploaded, so no more 100 scores from the same person appearing ! This is off putting for alot of users so we have taken steps for this not to happen.
You’ve both got multiple projects on the go at the moment… Can you please give us a quick ‘status report’ on each one?
eg: Myth, your Retro Arcade, Last Ninja, etc etc? (By the way, we’re getting HEAPS of people coming to J-OMG after googling ‘Last Ninja remake’…)
Smila: Last Ninja is going very well – the first level is basically ‘there’, now that Rocky Memphis is done, I’ll be spending more time on that.
The arcade – again going very well. The environment is done; we just need to get it into the engine then start on the games themselves.
I’m doing a w.i.p web page here.
Myth – not sure when/if we’ll ever finish this one, think we got a bit bored doing it but we may finish it next year, its only missing the last couple of levels.
Stu: I’m also working on 2 x iPhone games (“TBA”) and looking at some extension programing for MMF2.
Ooh and im going to be a dad for the second time just in time for xmas…………
Finally, earlier this year you released your first ‘greenlit commercial remake’, Armalyte. Did the response meet your expectations? Any plans re ports to other formats, sales promotions, etc?
Smila: I was really happy with the finished product, i think we did a damn good job on it. sales wise it was about what i expected. It may make it to xbox arcade someday.
Stu: It was never going to be a big seller, so my expectations weren’t high. I would have preferred ‘thousands’ rather than ‘hundreds’ though. It’s life I suppose; We release games for free and get tens of thousands of downloads, but ‘charge’ and you get nowhere near it.
No plans for re-ports just yet.
Final words, gentlemen? (After all, I’ve got to go and play Rocky!)
Stu: Just a big thankyou to the folks that came to visit our stand at the recent r3play event. We had alot of positive feedback and converted quite a few to the remakes scene!
Rocky Memphis is freeware, and now available to download (PC/Mac)from the official Rocky Memphis site. See you on the highscore table!