Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Psytronik gets all puzzled!

Greetings Psytronikoids!

An interesting release has recently been added to the Psytronik Software C64 line-up which came to us literally as a bolt from the blue ... Well, kinda! The game is called Oracle III - The Final Chapter and was originally produced in 1995 by Art Project Studios. Unfortunately, the game was never commercially released on the C64 due to problems with the publisher at the time. Our chum Jazzcat suggested Psytronik as a possible publisher and after seeing the game in action I decided it would make a nice addition to the Psytronik range.

Psytronik has not actually released a puzzle game before and I was immediately impressed with the quality of the graphics and overall presentation of the game. I got in touch with the author in order to start the ball rolling on making this an official Psytronik release. The actual game itself was complete and the version I received to test already had been updated to include messages to say it was a Psytronik release so it was literally ready to be released straight away on the Psytronik label - but then things started to get even more interesting!

In of the message exchanges between myself and the game author Tufan 'SoNiC' Uysal, he sent along an example of one his SID tunes - a superb ambient track. He mentioned that back in 1996 he was thinking of changing the game music to his own compositions and would be interested in making new music for the game. I was so impressed with the music he sent me we decided to delay the Psytronik release of Oracle III slightly so that the game could include brand new soundtracks for the 2011 Psytronik release.

But then things got even better! Tufan had been sending me mp3 recordings of the soundtracks for the game recorded from his very own SID chip. This gave me the idea of bundling a free soundtrack CD in with the game that features all the music from the game. Tufan had also been thinking along the same lines and so we decided to run with that idea and include a CD with the Premium version of the game - that way people will hear the music with the filters as intended (the music was produced on the 8510 SID chip and so may sound different on the older 6581 chip).

Another problem that had to be solved was what to do for artwork for the game. Oracle III is a puzzle game that features blocks that are moved around the screen by your character that looks like a frog (or F.REE R.OAMING O.BJECT G.RAPPLER - as I decided to call it). The object of the game is to move two or more matching blocks next to each other in order to remove them. Once all the matching blocks are cleared you move onto the next screen. Anyway, for the artwork I called on the assistance of my chum Mat 'CGI' Recardo (he of www.preferredimage.co.uk fame) and sent him details about the game. Mat designed an excellent cover picture featuring a cool robotic-frog moving blocks around on a spacey backdrop. Perfect! I dropped in elements from the game as a border around the artwork to complete the cover design - you can see the completed artwork below.

Oracle III - The Final Chapter will be available for the C64 as a Premium & Budget disk release and as a digital download in October 2011. You will be able to pick up your copy exclusively from the Binary Zone Interactive Retro Store.

Thanks for reading!

Kenz / www.psytronik.net.