Jon Hare remaking Speedball 2 for iPhone
A Sensible man.
Sensible Software founder Jon Hare has remade a vintage C64 [old fossil here, Speedball 2 was originally an Amiga and Atari ST game -Kristan Reed] game for iPhone. It's not Sensible Soccer, it's not Canon Fodder, it's not Wizball - in fact, it's not even one of Sensible Software's games.
It's Speedball 2 Evolution, an adaptation of Bitmap Bros. futuristic American Football game.
Development is finished, and Hare's Tower Studios (which once included Bitmap Bros.' top brass) will release the game on PSP minis and Apple devices "at the beginning of next year". At least, that's what Hare stated in a lengthy monologue - the Tower Studios website states "late 2010" on Bada and Android as well.
This will be the second Tower Studios game for today's raft of very capable mobile machines; the first was Shoot to Kill, an arcade-style blast-'em-up.
"Today I am painfully aware that the saturated downloadable and mobile markets with minimalistic price-points mean that achieving similar success to the past requires more than talent and hard work; luck and timing also plays a big factor," Hare commented.
"To me, it is not acceptable to expect companies to be large, reckless or lucky in order to find success.
"For every Angry Birds game hitting the market, another 999 are vanishing in the void. This is not the kind of odds with which you want to be gambling your family's house or the contents of your under-performing savings account. 999/1 odds are OK for youngsters with nothing to lose, but not for people who are a bit older, and with a bit more to risk.
"Unfortunately, those older people include just about the entire publishing community in the UK," he added, "most of whom are entrepreneurs who like to make things happen, but who are not willing - or able - to take unnecessary irresponsible risks."
Hare is worried that Speedball 2 Evolution - "a truly excellent version of a classic old game on modern technology" - will be smothered by the glut of iPhone games available because the licence is only well-known in Europe. Or he could simply be "unlucky".
"These days it seems that making great games is the easy part; it is generating enough publicity and getting consumers to put their hand in their pocket for something that is not mainstream that is the challenge," he said.