Originally published in the c64 diskmag http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=101774
- VN#57 Opinion Poll -
Edited by Jonatan "Macx" FG.
The commercial scene around the c64 has been gone since almost twenty years, after more than ten years as a literal cash-machine for Commodore and its game milieu. But the imminent death that many spoke of has, as we all know, been proven wrong time after time. The demo- and hackingscene kept growing stronger and many would argue that it is still peaking year by year. The vibrance of todays laid-back scene wich allows a constantly germinating flora is a solid backbone for the c64 scene as a lasting hobby for as long as we are alive.
Meanwhile, during the demo-revolution the past two decades, games have come trickling out in a slow but steady stream. Lately however, a renaissance for releases of quality packaged games has been witnessed. It is obviously small-scale, the way we like it, but due to a crowdfunding of sorts, it is today - anno domini 2011 - possible to join the c64 commerce once again: RGCD on the cartridge market, Protovision for full price packages and Psytronik's (sold through Binary Zone) premium disks.
The author of this chapter has been on a spending spree for c64 software and hardware lately and has just the past weeks received several carts from RGCD and a few premium disks from Psytronik, on top of the black and beautiful DC2N from Luigi Di Fraia. To be honest lies my main appetites amongst gaming not in the midst of platform games or shoot-em-ups though. On the other hand do I find it hard to belive that I can pursuade Sid Meier to develop Pirates! 2 for the old Commodore or make Tim Follin part of a team converting Solstice from NES to the breadbox. But there are entire genres of games that are far underdeveloped on this machine and that would work good on it:
The old c64 game IQ (Europe) or Worms? (N.A.) by David S. Maynard and Steven Hayes could be far more intuitively enriched with better and smoother controls and with the removal of the worst of the murder sounds. Imagine the DS title Electroplancton intertwined with SID play, or the Bit Generations GBA games such as Dotstream, Orbital, Soundvoyager or Digidrive.
This chapter is however not an arena for my own ideas for future games. The third Opinion Poll this year, after OLDSKOOL MULTIPLATFORMING and HARDWARE EVOLUTIONS, bears the title of GAMING RENAISSANCE. As often before does this issue's edition of The Charts come with a few top lists accompanied with this chapter, browse over to it for TOP c64 GAMES OF THE 21st CENTURY and TOP c64 GAMES OF ALL TIME. To participate in future editions, make sure you send an email to macx64*gmail in order to receive future Opinion Poll- and Votesheets. Now we turn our eyes to the questions posed in the VN#57 Opinion Poll and this time the queries were phrased as follows:
A) Are you interested in new games at all? Are you willing to purchase games for the c64 or should it all be freeware today?
B) Does a physical box with a disk or cartridge and possible paraphernalia create more value, or is a diskimage enough?
C) How much would you be willing to spend on a full price game for the Commodore 64 developed today, and how often would you consider buying new games?
D) What are your thoughts of the projects of the contemporary game houses of e.g. RGCD, Protovision and Psytronik? How come there is still an interest?
E) Do you have any ideas for c64 games that should be developed further?
The comments are as usual presented in an order where the most important sceners are randomly mixed with the less important sceners. Enjoy!
Lemming / Finnish Gold
A) I've bought three games during the last 20 years: Ultima VII and Space Giraffe for the PC, and recently Hyper Vyper for the C64. Both freeware and commercial titles certainly have a place, although these days I think commercial budget titles are bringing more attention and interest towards the C64 from "new school" 'regular PC-users' and videogamers, which is very positive and kind of amazing actually.
B) This does not seem to be trendy with modern 'Spotified' thinking, but for me personally it does bring a lot of additional value, ie. a game with a box, or a cart, is a full-blown product and not just zeroes and ones. Then again I (still) do buy CD:s and vinyls and do enjoy adoring their packaging, artwork, lyrics, etc.
For budget titles, digital download is very convenient though. I would prefer the combination of both; first get an instant digital download and then wait for a snailmail with the whole product; packaging, media, external artwork, manual etc.
C) Depends on the media. For a major cart title I'd go as high as 30 euro, for budget titles 4-8 euro is reasonable.
D) Brilliant, I've especially enjoyed recent Psytronik titles. I wish game houses would remember the power of a catchy ingame-tune though, there needs to be more of those. Back in mid-eighties for example some Mastetronic titles we used to play were honestly crap, but a mega-tune by someone like Rob Hubbard would always bring us back to the game. For example Hyper Vyper was kind of
lacking in this sense.
E) Oh yes. I want insane blast'em ups! And adventure games! Plenty of Speccy and Apple II titles needs porting. Lots of people like STE'86 have graphics for games that never got developed further, I'd like to see these manifest to complete titles, as well. I've been dreaming for eternity that someone would port Sierra's Adventure Game Interpreter for the C64 (or C128!) and bring us Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest, Larry I, etc ...
And then there's of course the Last Ninja IV...
hedning / Genesis * Project
A) I am already buying new games. The persons making games to our beloved C64 should be honored. My latest purchase was Not Even Human (cart).
B) I like to buy physical stuff. Cartridges are sexiest!
C) If the game is good, I'll gladly pay around 10-15. I can't tell how many I would buy... Maybe five/year?
D) Keep it up!
E) I miss adventure games, like Zak MacKracken, but also strategy like Pirates! With today's graphics and use of cartridges it would really rock.
A) Depends on price.
B) Real deal creates more value.
C) 90 SEK.
D) Good stuff.
DJ GRUBY / ARSENIC / OXYRON
A) Well, not only I am interested in playing new C64 games, I am also working on at least two new titles at the moment. If that may help companies selling new C64 games to gain some profit, I am very happy with that.
B) Yes, a physical box with a disk is exactly what would convince me to buy a new C64 game. I would definitely not buy a disk image.
C) Spending 10-20 once a month or two would definitely not ruin my monthly budget. As long as I can afford supporting the development of new C64 games, I will be happy to do that.
E) Yes, I do. I am not going to share them with you though, since I want to be the first one to bring them off. ;)
Morpheus / Flash Inc
A) Yes, without doubt. Good games with good packaging will always sell, albeit in small amounts. Crackers of this century should leave the new games alone and support any release instead. Cracking today is as you know non-existent. Let the SEUCK games be freeware.
B) Definitely. I want the whole shebang!
C) If it's a top game, like the new one from Jason Kelk seems to be, £10, if there's a proper inlay with instructions, etc. Poster by Oliver Frey would be nice too. And get SIT, Mirage or STE'86 to draw a hires screen for the game.
D) I think the initiative is great! Kenz from Psytronik and Milo from Protovision are both doing a great job to support the C64 scene, but the overall standard on games should be better. I got Sub Hunter from Psytronik though, and it was great to hold this fresh and fun game in my hand. Mr.Z enjoyed it too. More of that please.
E) Grand Theft Auto and Death Rally (from Remedy). And of course, I'd love to see Sonic the Hedgehog make it to the C64.
Sixx / Genesis Project
A) The more games, the better, commerical or freeware!
B) Cartridge for the win.
C) A couple time each year, ON CARTRIDGE.
D) Nice, pity "all" games are developed by sceners and a big no no to crack!
Jazzcat / Onslaught
A) Absolutely. I love receiving them in the mail, new jewel cases, disks, tapes and even new cart games! Having a crack of the game is fun for scene nostalgia, but to have the original is quite special and important to me as a collector. I do not think it should be freeware. We are all adults now and should be able to support our hobby, especially with the extremely cheap digital downloads available. This supports the creators, at least to cover reproduction costs of the jewel cases, printing, disks etc.
B) The physical box - must have. I am very much a sucker for 'deluxe' or 'collector' editions of things. I want those extras, it is part of the collecting process. Even to the point where the disk version may lack a loading screen that the tape version has - then I have to have both versions!
C) I buy new games generally as soon as they are available. There is so many new titles in the making, I very much have to keep an eye on things regularly to make sure I am getting the games as soon as they "hit the shelves". Maximum price? Hmmm, I guess up to 30EUR is the maximum I would spend, but then that depends on the particular game, the quality, etc.
D) Absolutely awesome! Protovision offer the German groups a local office to distribute, they also seem to be the ones distributing the most hardware. Psytronik have given life to the English scene again, offering oldschool "jewel cases" and beautiful artwork for their disk and cassette inlays (thanks Kenz!). RGCD is the one that is pushing the cartridge renaissance and they are doing it beautifully, my most recent purchase from them was my own group's game, "Not Even Human", I have it on tape but I simply could not go past a cart version too!
E) I would like to see some "scene based" games, like the "scene quiz" game ROLE was developing a few years back, also games with animation. Our scene is not regulated like the PC and other platforms, so we can do pretty much anything we want, we do not have to be concerned by morals, sexism, racism, etc... We should of course have some limits, as we are a mature bunch (we like to think), but the possibilities due are endless!
The Shark / INC
A) Not interested in new C64 games.
B) Not much value to me.
C) Wouldn't buy any. Too many amazing PC games to take my attention away.
D) No comment.
E) Convert some of the top selling simple smart phone games over to the C64.
Enigma / Cyber Systems
A) Yes. Purchase all the time from Psytronik. I think its fine if companies want to sell the games - and I'll support it, as long as its not overpriced and of good quality.
B) I like the physical product - mainly for the nostalgia of getting a game like I used to 15 years ago or so as a kid in the various gaming shops. Disk image is fine for playing the game, but sometimes cool to have a fresh cassette/disk to open up and load up like old times sake.
C) Around £10 for a tape/disk game, up to £20-30 for a multiload based cartridge game (I.e. Katakis 2 if ever finished).
D) All do an excellent job keeping the nostalgia alive. Quality of production is superb and as good as what you would have found in gaming shops during the 80's and 90's.
E) Would be good to see the likes of Penguin Tower, MOOD and others (which sit in GTW) completed.
SIDwave / Ancients
A) I will buy, good games, with long lasting gameplay.
B) I went digital 4 years ago, diskimage please.
C) 20 euros, 1 per year. Its not about price or number of games, but if I get 5 games, I won't play them. If I get one very good game, I will play that, max it out and get something out of the game.
D) Their projects seem fine enough, but they are slow to develop them.
E) I have a HACKER type game in development. Kinda inspired by the old games, HACKER 1 and HACKER 2. But this is much more advanced, level 2011 :)
rudi / darklite
A) Yes new games for the C64 would be awesome. I'm too tired of realistic games nowadays. Retro is the new future! I am willing to purchase, only the demo of a game should be freeware, that is I would love to test the game or see a running demo before buying it.
B) I loved physical boxes back in the day. I still have my old boxes, they're an own charm. It's much easier to have loads of games on diskimages, but it's not the same as having the real thing. With a box or cassette it feels more original.
C) About 5 euro, but it depends on the quality of the game and developers. I guess once in a third/fourth month. it depends also on the length of the game.
D) Newer heard of them. So I can't answer.
E) Not actually, Im still not sure about the restrictions of the 6502, whats can or can't be possible to do. Since i have three 6502 books to be read fully through. So having a crazy idea could be dangerous.
Another thing is that I like to improve on other peoples ideas. I guess cooperation with graphic artist(s) would bring some interesting ideas out too.
radiantx / Panda Design
A) I'm quite interested in new games. Perhaps more interested from a technical viewpoint than as a gamer, due to working as a game developer at the moment. The last game I purchased for the C64 was Knight'n'Grail, and I'd definitely do it again for that level of quality.
B) I like boxes! I still buy CD albums as the last human being on Earth.
C) I'd be willing to spend up to 20-30 EUR for a game of excellent quality and gameplay that appeals to me.
D) I think it's awesome what they're doing. The games could be of higher quality of course, but it's hard to make demands from games which aren't developed professionally.
E) Oh yes. Keeping them to myself!
A) Yes, I buy the good ones released.
C) 10-20EUR - 1-2 times a year.
D) Great - hopefully they will continue!
E) No :).
Skate / Plush
A) I'm always interested in games but I don't play them that much. I always follow new c64 games. I don't like SEUCK games but rest is ok for me even if they have ugly graphics and sound. What I'm seeking for is fun and fun only.
I believe stupid little productions should always be free. But if there is too much effort spent on the project, why should we differ the software projects than the hardware projects? we all bought MMC 64, Retro Replay, IDE64, 1541 Ultimate etc. and we don't complain about them for being
commercial products, do we? So, I think non-free games are ok. Would I buy them? Well, to be honest I haven't bought a c64 game for a long long time but it doesn't mean I don't purchase games. I buy at least 2-3 indie or oldschool games a year. I've planned to buy some Protovision games a few years ago but I've waited to make a batch order with some hardwares and the hardwares I was looking for were not in the stock back then. I may do that order soon. I can be considered as a potential c64 games buyer.
B) I'm a fan of physical boxes etc. That's why I never buy/listen to mp3s. I like to hold stuff in my hands. If possible, I even buy a new one if my copy is damaged (like the box, the booklet etc. It doesn't matter if it is a music/film CD/DVD/Blue Ray, C64 game or demo. For instance, I really
liked when HCL spreaded the "Let's Scroll It!" demo disk at X'2006. It was an ameteur hand-made disc but it's 1000 times better than a *.d64 image for me. I'm always able to transfer d64 images to 5.25 but cover/label art makes it unique!
C) I'd spent up to $19.95 ~ 13.95 + shipping for a C64 game. I'd never pay rounded up values like $20 ~ 14 because I'm an idiot :). I buy 2-3 indie/oldschool games and 4-5 PS3/PC games a year. I don't bite more than I can chew. ;)
D) I like Protovision except their childish behavior about cracking. Who doesn't know about the scs-trc FTP and who cares if the crack stays at CSDB or not? If I want to buy that game, I buy that game. I wouldn't give a shit if the game is cracked or not. And you know what, in today's scene, there is not much to crack. So, everything is going to be cracked sooner or later. You must accept this fact and shouldn't act like a Metallica of our scene.
Psytronik is ok too but they also re-release games like Mayhem In Monsterland, Creatures etc. I guess they've made some agreement with Thalamus, Arex etc. It looks too "commercial" to me. But I'm completely ok with new released games like Sub Hunter etc.
RGCD is rather new I guess. I don't know much about them. So, I'll save my comments for the future.
E) Definetely! If I can find some time in near future, I'd like to make some c64 remakes of Prince of Persia, Another World etc. Why? Because they are all started but never completed game projects on c64 platform. Many c64 fans waited for them for a long long time and they are still waiting or
lost their hope completely. I remember playing Lemmings on c64 for the first time. That feeling is special for a c64 lover! I don't care if I can do or someone else does but these games "MUST" be ported to c64 as good as they can be. It's never too late to play them on c64.
Frantic / HT
A) I never paid for a game. :)
B) To me it doesn't matter that much, because in most cases the extra stuff isn't really enhancing the game as such. If it would, somehow, I guess the situation would be different.
C) Nothing really. Other things are more important to me than buying C64 games in these days.
D) I know too little about them so I tend to mix them up. Protovision seems to be quite lame, I think. Was it psytronik that did the Knight'n Grail stuff? Looked quite sweet I must say. RGCD doesn't sound familiar at all?
E) Zillions. :)
Weasel / Padua/ C.A.P. TV / G*P/ Hitmen
A) Sure thing of course!!
If quality (gameplay AND graphics, music etc.) is great: Purchase
If just average: Freeware
B) If purchased: physical box etc.
If freeware: diskimage
C) High-quality: 25EUR. If games are great, I'd buy almost every title nowadays probably! :-)
D) Very cool that those still care about game-developing for our good old c64 !! \o/ :-)
E) Look at those great past classic title like:
- Maniac Mansion
- Last Ninja
- X-Out / Katakis
- ...and so many more!
I'd assume that orientating new projects and ideas on such high-quality titles from the past and trying to meet those standards it should be possible to develop a real great game even these days on the c64! :-)
Conjuror / Onslaught
A) Depends on the quality.
B) To pay for it, I'd want a physical copy more for the collectable feeling.
C) 20 euros tops.
D) Great that people are still developing games. Though I dont play games, I want to write them myself one day (especially for the c64).
E) With demos having pushed to many technical limits and the graphics taken to such a high level, I'd like to see that sort of quality brought to c64 games.
Richard / TND
A) Yes, I am most definitely interested in new games, and willing to purchase games for the c64, although it is mail order. Depending on the quality of the game production, I would purchase a really good quality game from a UK retro software publisher, such as Psytronik Software or Cronosoft.
B) A physical box with a disk, tape or cartridge (just like the good old days) seem to create more value, compared to downloading a disk image, tape image or whatsoever. It really depends on how the person would want to play the games. I play the new games on my Commodore 64C, rather than
on an emulator, because it feels very retro - and more comfortable to me. I am guessing that a majority of people would prefer to download a .D64 or .TAP image and install it on to their PC, laptop, Arcos, and play those games on their system.
C) I would be winning to spend at the most £10.00 for a full price game, and £3.99 for a budget game developed today. If the games are being sold in the UK and they are new, I sure would buy the game on disk or tape as soon as I hear about the production being available. It does not even take long to receive the productions either. It depends on whether or not the products are ready and of course it's all to do with spare time as well.
D) Protovision works really hard to get the quality out of new C64 game titles. Unfortunately my problem is that I can only buy software from UK retro computer software games as I find international payments very awkward. When I bought software by Protovision, it was all through
Commodore Scene. Commodore Scene was very quick at sending the software if I remembered correctly. :)
Psytronik Software is definitely half Psygnosis and half Mastertronic. The games are professionally packaged, and the inlays are pure artwork, compared to what we used to have in the 1980's. I can't say much about Psytronik's releases as most of the time, I am involved with the tape mastering and disk menu production of each piece of software. I also enjoy it as well. I was well and truly amazed with Psytronik getting permission from Apex Computer Productions to allow Mayhem in Monsterland, Creatures and Creatures 2 to be sold. It was fantastic to see those
games back from 1993.
E) Well, I have an idea for a new C64 game, which I hope to be implementing for the RGCD 16KB Cartridge competition. Yet again, it will be involving sheep, but a platform game this time round :)
Taper / TRIAD
A) I'm both willing and able... :)
I gladly buy new games, there is nothing like a beutiful original box on my c64 shelf, and I think those who put extra effort into boxing a game these days deserve support.
B) For me, a physical box with disk, tape or cart does add value, yes.
C) I think the prices charged by Psytronik for their finest disk editions are fair. That is about how much I'm willing to spend. I could buy atleast one game every month. More if I only had the sparetime to play even more. I still play games on my c64 more hours every month than on any of my
other computers or consoles. Sadly, it's still too little...
D) They do good extremly good jobs considering their limited capacity.
E) If I did, I wouldn't tell you... :)
Viscid / Neoplasia
A) I would just pay for a totally new kind of game or something with superb quality. The reasons are mainly the fact that I don't play too often, or let's say, I didn't play for ages now. There has to be something totally stunning... and then I'm willing to pay for it.
For example I would play Monkey Island on the C64 if it will ever comes out ;)
B) Both should be available, for collectors with box and for others as discimage (less pricy of course). Maybe if the cartridge has some extra-RAM or a Network-Device for Networkplaying it could be interesting. Hardware should be at no cost meanwhile. And with the gamebox you would have the same hardware on every player. Instant start, you know.
C) Depends on the Game. Usually about 15 Euro, from 5 Euro to 30 Euro (for a fullprice one). Maybe 40 Euro with special Hardware.
D) Nice productions, but nothing whom I couldn't get to sleep at the moment.
E) I always wanted to code a PacMan-Sequel where you can choose to be the bad ones. I started the project back in 2002 or 2003, based on the Original Ataricode but lost the interest due timepressure. Could be interesting with multiplayer.
Yogibear / Los Burros del Soft / Protovision
A) Yes. If its not too expensive.
B) It does create more value.
C) 20 euros, not that often.
D) I think they are very admirable.
E) A totally new idea: A Rummy game! (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rummy).
A) I'm very much interested in new games on c64. Although demos are always impressive to watch from a technical point of view, I always wonder if some of the effects can't be used in an interactive environment (i.e. games). Knowing that games need a lot of things running in the background make them in some way more impressive. I do not think making money of c64-games today is anywhere near viable. However, money can be an incentive to spend your limited free time in
finishing c64-game projects (like I hope to do for my RGCD-16KB-cart entry).
B) Personally I'm not a collector. I'm only interested in the games as such. However, for others a physical box can create more value. This in turn can raise "sales" and perhaps motivate others to finish their own projects.
C) If you really want to go the "commercial" way, I would say a pricepoint of ~10 euros would be fair.
D) Very good. Promoting new c64 games raises interest which can only be a good thing!
E) Yes, I have lots of ideas for c64 games and too little time to spend on coding them ;-). To be honest, I think the quality of c64-game-ideas can still improve a lot. Just look at the current indie-scene, lots of fresh new ideas that would easily fit in 64KB! Also some genres never had good c64-games, e.g. Zelda games, RTS-games, ...
Almighty God / Onslaught / Level 64 / API
A) I'm really interesting in C64 games and I agree to buy originals when the game is worth to buy. I'm not agreed with companies like Psytronik Software that produce a lot of games that should be freeware due to their poor quality, like for example Hyper Viper. I'm more to pay for games like Knight and Grail or JimSlim that have a lot of work behind and really are great productions. I'm not buying everything just because it's coming in a nice box, and that seems to be what some development teams aim for.
B) Definately it's nice, at least for myself, to have good originals with a box, disks, instructions etc. I think that the best is give three posibilities: With box, Disk only and download. That's the way to go and you are free to choose.
C) I'll be glad to buy C64 games every month. Actual prices are not bad, maybe sometimes there are a bit high.
D) Protovision: Well I like the way they go. They have a price category acording to the game quality and the the box etc. Normally they come out very adictive games and big productions.
Psytronik: Well this group is more on to get money with C64 game production (that I'm totally agree with it, do not understand me wrong), but they do sell lame games at the price of full prices sometimes. A point in their favour is that the games they sell are really profesional packed with box etc. of high quality. Last game I bought from then was KnG and it really worth the money I paid for it.
E) I have several Ideas for games, as as you know I belong to a small developing team called INSIDE. We are two memebers at the moment and we have a game out already called Nanako in classic Japanese monster castle and we are working on some ideas. One is Ilogic All, a picross style game with original version as for NCJMC was from the mojon twins but we are thinking on a original arcade game about time travel... But it's nothing yet, Algarbi, the other group member is inactive at the moment but I know will be active in the future...
bepp / TRIAD
A) Willing to buy just to get the nice box and then crack it =)
B) Add more value, no doubt! Compare LP with CD or CD with Spotify.
C) 20-30 EUR, couple of times a year perhaps.