Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 15, 2010
Okay, news of the simultaneously goofy and AWESOME… Ultimate Newcomer is going gold. This is a massive, sprawling CRPG that has been twenty years in the making. It will be available soon for your Commodore 64!
What? You don’t have a C-64? Me neither. I hope it’ll run in my emulator (I use CCS64). The C-64 was my computer back in the 1980’s. I loved it. But I think the last time I touched a real one was around 1992 or so. We were at a friends’ apartment, and we played a four-player game of M.U.L.E. on it. We had a fabulous time.
Sigh. Okay. Nostalgia geeking. Done now.
Anyway – this game. Was totally off my radar until I heard about it on Rock Paper Shotgun, RPGWatch, and a couple of tweets. Apparently it has been through a couple of previously-available iterations. RPS has a way of putting weird stuff on everyone’s radar.
The game promises 180+ NPCs you can interact with, and ten or more that may join you in a party of up to six characters. 180,000 + words of text. Let’s see, at an average of 5 characters per word, one byte per character… that’s a mere 879 K – almost a full meg of text data alone. On the “real” C-64, that would have taken up about six floppy disks all by itself. Yeesh. I expect those screens like the one above for the intro and outro are about 32K each, using up a whole disk in 5 screens or so.
Yeah. A company would have gone bankrupt trying to sell this game in the old days. Distribution costs would have topped $100 in 1985 dollars. It may be old tech, but it’s something that simply could not have been done back then for practical, commercial reasons.
It’s a funky, weird thing, making a game for a (mostly) long-dead platform. But cool.
I am definitely playing this one. Probably not to completion, but there’s no way I could let this one pass by without giving it a try. After all, this was the machine which introduced me to CRPGs – via Telengard, Ultima III and IV, The Bard’s Tale, and others. I may as well give it another test-drive for old times’ sake and one last hurrah.
Filed Under: Indie Evangelism, Retro - Comments: 8 Comments to Read