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
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.
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
- 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
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
- 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
So sound off and tell me what you think. Once you've finished reading
the info here hit
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.
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.
|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.
|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.
|When will the game be
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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
Microchip (the current owners of the NUON trademark and IP)
about releasing the rights to NUON, but have thus far received no
|What about a two player
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
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