Despite the very simple hardware (compared to today’s standard), some really good games were produced during the first age of computer games (from early 70s to middle 80s). One game of that period that I like a lot is StarCastle, an arcade game by Cinematronics. It was designed by Tim Skelly (who also designed many other titles released by Cinematronics) and programmed by Scott Boden
Basically the player controls a spaceship that could move forward and rotate around its center, and had to destroy the bigger spaceship on the center of the screen by firing bullets towards it. There was a force field (FF) that the player should destroy to reach the enemy ship. This FF was a composed of three regular polygon composed of twelve edges (a dodecagon), with different radius, and the player could destroy only one edge with each bullet. The FF’s edges regenerate after some time and 3 bullets were fired to the player coming from these edges. When any edge of the inner most FF was destroyed, the enemy ship started to fire bullets towards the player. After destroying the enemy ship, the FF contracted until it explodes and, after a elapsed time, it forms again expanding until the original radius were reached. There were another. Like the majority of the arcade games, it was designed to make the player lose at some point, thus the game becomes more and more difficult, raising the speed of everything that can make the player’s life harder (like the regeneration of the FF, or the speed of the bullets).
I made a remake of this game in Unity3D. It’s not exactly the same (the bullets are not as fancy as the original bullets were, and you can destroy the small bullets but not the big one), but it’s close to the original. Except by the textures of the stars, the particle systems, and the sounds (which I bought here), everything else was made by code and using Unity’s primitive shapes. I haven’t tested it much, so it’s not bug free and I’m not sure the gameplay (the progression of the speed) is well balanced. If you find any bug or have a suggestion to improve the game, send me an email through the contact menu. Enjoy the game. You can play it here (you’ll need Unity Web Player).
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