Probably a very dumb question about Ultimate...

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jdanddiet
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Probably a very dumb question about Ultimate...

Post by jdanddiet » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:05 am

I found the article in this month's RG about Ultimate's C64 games very good, but it brought to mind something that has always puzzled me: why didn't Ultimate "port" any of their Spectrum games to other formats, especially when they became so successful? Is it because they were not familiar with other formats and didn't want to put the games in the hands of other developers?

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Post by witchfinder » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:06 am

Sabre Wulf, Atic Atac, Jetpac and several others all made it to the BBC Micro. Were they ports by other developers or not?
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Post by Coopdevil » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:08 am

You mean non-Speccy versions of Speccy games? They did, I remember BBC versions of Knight Lore and JetPac. I think a compilation of three of the BBC conversions is one of the most collectable pieces of Ultimate Play The Game memorabilia.

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Post by jdanddiet » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:09 am

I was unaware of the BBC versions, but presumably there were no C64 versions of Knightlore, Gunfright, Nightshade etc?

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Post by Coopdevil » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:18 am

According to wikipedia there was a C64 version of Nightshade, conversion done by Firebird.
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Post by TMR » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:27 am

Coopdevil wrote:According to wikipedia there was a C64 version of Nightshade, conversion done by Firebird.
There are conversions of Sabre Wulf and Underwurlde too, all three shifted over by freelancers working for Firebird by the look of it.

i get the feeling that Ultimate's in-house efforts were directed mostly at the Spectrum (CPC ports from there are relatively inexpensive) and the other formats just sort of happened by luck or freelancer really; Martin Galway seems to have pitched a couple of conversions because there were early prototypes of Lunar Jetman and Cookie for the C64 on his workdisks.

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Post by GenghisJones » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:54 am

I had Jetpac on my Vic20 - probably the most 'glamourous' Vic20 game ever...

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Post by liveinabin » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:51 pm

I think at the time of their heyday, the Spectrum was SO much more popular than any other computer in the UK (C64 included) that it didn't make much commercial sense to port the whole range.

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Post by Lorfarius » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:44 pm

liveinabin wrote:I think at the time of their heyday, the Spectrum was SO much more popular than any other computer in the UK (C64 included) that it didn't make much commercial sense to port the whole range.
I'd have thought the cost of porting games back then (especially something as popular as Ultimate games, guaranteed sellers) would have been pretty minimal. So surely it would have been an easy market to peddle to?

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:27 pm

liveinabin wrote:I think at the time of their heyday, the Spectrum was SO much more popular than any other computer in the UK (C64 included) that it didn't make much commercial sense to port the whole range.
There has never been a time when the Spectrum was so dominant that not porting to other formats was more sound than doing it.
Lorfarius wrote:I'd have thought the cost of porting games back then (especially something as popular as Ultimate games, guaranteed sellers) would have been pretty minimal. So surely it would have been an easy market to peddle to?
Not really no, porting from any platform to another without thoroughly arsing things up on the way will always take a reasonably skilled (as in not particularly cheap) coder and shipping from one CPU to another adds to the difficulty level because y'can't take the source code from the Spectrum version of a game and simply convert it to the C64 on a line for line basis... well, you can but it really needs to be optimised properly at the other end because whilst the C64 has a means to deal with memory in the same way the Spectrum it's not the most optimal method for it.

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Post by Matt_B » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:18 pm

I'd think an important factor was that, whilst there was money in it, a lot of ports at the time were slow, buggy and rather unfaithful to the original versions. Ultimate were a company that took a lot of pride in their products, and didn't want to see this happening to their games.

At least that theory holds until they released Imhotep. :wink:

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Post by markopoloman » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:24 pm

Imhotep :evil:


That needs the retro shamer treatment
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Post by TMR » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:30 am

markopoloman wrote:Imhotep :evil:


That needs the retro shamer treatment
[Scratches head] Would Imhotep have been considered such a dog if it hadn't had the Ultimate label on it though...? It isn't particularly special, but i'd not say it was actually a bad game personally and there are far worse.

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Post by Mayhem » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:12 am

To me, yes... it's just plain bad in all senses of the word. Still a level above Robobolt and Breakthru though :twisted:
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Post by markopoloman » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:44 am

TMR wrote:
markopoloman wrote:Imhotep :evil:


That needs the retro shamer treatment
[Scratches head] Would Imhotep have been considered such a dog if it hadn't had the Ultimate label on it though...? It isn't particularly special, but i'd not say it was actually a bad game personally and there are far worse.
If Mastertronic had released it on a Budget Budget label it would still have been dire censored! That game is one of the worst games ever released for the C64.
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