UPDATE 2004-10-29: I have received around 25 positive responses so far. That's on the edge of where I'd be willing to do it. Any more takers?

UPDATE: Added questions #10 & 11 in the Q/A.

The NUON port of Decaying Orbit is complete at last! Whew, it took longer than I thought. Had I known when I started work back in July 2002 that it would take over two years to complete I likely would not have done it. Thanks for being patient with me.

Grab the zip below for the NUON.CD and README files. Also, check out the official Decaying Orbit site for updates, including cheat codes. Most of the content is geared towards the Yaroze version, but I'll be updating that over time.

Decaying Orbit (992 kB)

Once you've had a chance to try it I have something to ask you.

The Proposal

Would you buy my game?

The game as it stands is pretty much a straight port of the Yaroze (PSOne) original. If I were to keep working on it, enhance it significantly, and get discs made, would you buy it? Making discs is not cheap so I would need some minimum number of takers before I would try this. Hence why I'm asking.


So you need convincing eh? Here's a list of definite enhancements that I will include:

  • A second galaxy to explore. The full game was conceived to have five parts, of which the original Decaying Orbit only had the first. I will make part two, the C'Thar galaxy, to go along with the Sparrj levels.
  • New object types and enemies.
  • Change the sprites to be full color 24-bit images. Right now the sprites use 4-bit (16-color) images since that's what was practical for the Yaroze. Making them 24-bit would look much better.
  • Totally new shop screen with much better artwork and usability. Not only is the shop the single ugliest thing in the game, its interface is not intuitive or user friendly. I'll fix that.
  • Replace all the crappy programmer art with real graphics. This includes all the ship system pics, the text crawl pics, and anything else that I deem "ugly" coughshopcough.
  • Revamped and less intrusive heads-up display.
  • Snazzy full color disc artwork, instruction booklet and packaging
  • Incentive to finish the game. I ain't saying what it is, but it'll be cool :)
  • Lots of extras included on the disc.

I have a few more things in mind, but I'm keeping them under wraps for now. Can't spoil everything can I?

My plan right now is to get CD-Rs printed with custom artwork (not adhesive labels). I will then burn copies of the game as needed. This means that the game will only work on the Samsung N50X machines. The RCA players will boot the game, but it won't be playable due to the lack of controller ports. You *could* try to use the remote, but that'd be masochistic.


I plan to make two different packages available for purchase. Both will include the same game - the only difference will be the packaging. For the cost conscious there will be a version around $10-15 (US) that comes in a printed cardboard sleeve. Game instructions will be printed on the sleeve. The deluxe version will cost around $20-25 (US) and come in a full DVD case with printed instruction booklet. Shipping is extra. International buyers are welcome and the price will be pretty much a straight currency conversion. Shipping overseas will cost more obviously.

UPDATE: From the responses so far most have said they'd buy the deluxe package. If the trend continues then I may not even offer the cheaper version.


So sound off and tell me what you think. Once you've finished reading the info here hit this link and fill out the form. All questions are optional, but the more info I have about what you want the better off I will be.

You are not committing to anything by responding. I just want to guage response at this point.

Help Needed

I have posted info about this on a couple forums, but need your help getting the word to more people so as to make it more likely that this project will be a go.

Obviously don't be a spammer, but if you know of a group, forum, or news site that might be interested please point them to the survey page at


Do let me know if you spot a site linking to me. I'll keep a running list here:


Here's answers to some questions you may have.

1.What is Decaying Orbit?
It's a space action game that I wrote for the Yaroze (Playstation 1) starting way back in 1997. It was featured on the cover disc of the UK OPSM issues 49 (1999) and 108 (2004). You fly around the levels destroying enemy turrets while your ship gets influenced by planetary gravity. Visit here for general game info and here for the official game site.
2.How many do you need to sell to make it worth doing?
I don't know the precise amount. A hundred would be enough. Ten wouldn't. I'm hoping I will either receive so many or so few responses as to make my decision simple. If it's somewhere in the middle then I'll have to actually work out the numbers to make sure I won't take a bath on the thing. I don't even mind if I barely break even - I want to do it just to do it.
3.When will the game be released?
When it's done. I have been so bad at predicting my own schedule in the past that I hesitate to give a date. I'd estimate at least six months of development.
4.Why are you charging? Why don't you just do it for free like with Chomp or the Boot Loader?
The only reason I would continue working on Decaying Orbit would be if I could get discs made. I want to hold in my hands a completed package and say "I did this". If I don't get discs made then I'd rather put Decaying Orbit on the shelf and start work on a new game.
5.Why do you plan to burn CD-Rs rather than doing true CD replication?
For one, cost. For short runs it's cheaper to do duplication rather than full replication. Second, a side advantage of getting CD-Rs is that I can use a unique build of the game for each copy. This has certain...advantages.
Take a hint. It's a secret.
7.What about DVDs?
Applications built with the public NUON SDK only work when burned to CD. To use a DVD we would need to authenticate the disc just like an official NUON game (Tempest 3000, Merlin Racing, etc.). The tools to do that are not public. I have asked Genesis Microchip (the current owners of the NUON trademark and IP) about releasing the rights to NUON, but have thus far received no response.
8.What about a two player mode?
Do you want to see the game released this decade? Seriously, I had planned some cool multi-player modes way back when originally designing it, but I think it'll take too long to implement them. Let's put that on the "maybe" pile.
9.Background music?
The only way I could add background music would be using the streaming audio library. However, that requires the game to be authenticated on a DVD, which doesn't appear likely to happen (see #7). Believe me I hate the silence as much as anyone.
10.How about some FMV?
There's two deterrents to this. First, reading FMV from the disc would be unreliable unless it was from an authenticated DVD. Second, it would take a really really long time to create quality movies. I'd rather add more gameplay.
11.Can you make it work with the emulator?
Great question and I hope the answer is yes. I'll definitely work with Riff to make the game as emulator-friendly as possible. I don't know if we'll be able to make it run full-speed by the time it's released, but I'll try. Doing so would tremendously expand the potential audience.

Done reading? Take the survey.

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