Spell Unbound. 

You may, or may not, have noticed a lack of activity on this blog for a number of months. 

I would love to tell you that we have been examining data, crash reports, feedback and general shouting about the beta of SpellboundOUYA which began late November 2014, coming up to 6 months ago now. 

I would also love to tell you that we have been working hard ironing out creases, upping difficulties, adding puzzles, freeing wizards and generally doing all the things a major software house likes to do before releasing the first build onto the deserving public. 

I would love to tell you, also. That SpellboundOUYA is currently sitting in the OUYA store awaiting the press of the big red button to give it the go live. 

Nothing would make me happier than to tell you all of the above and so much more positive news regarding the little masterpiece, destined to turn around the flagging fortunes of a rapidly expiring console. 

I would love that, but, of course, I can’t. 

SBO has been in a state of limbo (ironically) since the launch of the beta. Several issues have barred our way with the game and, although I am proud of what we achieved to get it to the playable, testable stage it currently lounges at, I am bitterly disappointed to officially announce the halt, possibly permanently, of development on this title. 

Many things have hampered the project’s completion, some are obvious, like the fact that, with each of us having full time jobs, families and other less game-centric commitments, there just stopped being time we could all work towards the final goal, and it was teamwork that kept the project alive, no one person stood alone at the helm. There was also the fact that the OUYA, the only console, indeed piece of hardware we had secured permission to develop for, has been kicking it’s legs in the air like a dying fly for month and months. Other reasons are not so obvious and need not be discussed here, suffice to say it was a difficult day when I explained to both Saul and David that I believed the end of the project was upon us, and not in the happy joy joy lets release the game kind of way we all wanted. 

So there you have it. It is over, certainly for the moment.

I should thank a bunch of people for helping get the game as far as it stumbled. 

Obviously, I would not have got anywhere close to having such beautiful graphics and wonderful sounds as I was given if it were not for the assistance of Saul Cross. Saul is a magnificent talent and a pleasure to work with. 

The other member of the team, the Daddy of Magic Knight, the guy I owe not only the pleasure of officially working on a game involving one of my all time great gaming icons, but probably the pleasure of gaming itself to, Mr David Jones. 

In the wings are some guys I talk about on and off who have helped me in many many ways, John Ward of Karmatoad.co.uk, Rob Fearon of Retroremakes, takethismachine, Merseyremakes and, of course, Death Ray Manta fame, Scott, Andrew, Ian, Jeff and the rest of the guys at Retroremakes for the encouragement, testing and crashes, Philip Anderson for the amazing disassembly of the original 48k version of the game at  http://community.dur.ac.uk/philip.anderson/disassemblies/spellbound-48k/ and, of course, my beautiful wife,Ginnette and daughters Kim and Zoe for sticking with me with patience, love and an endless supply of Lady Grey Tea. It was very much needed. 

I guess I should apologise, even now, 3 months after deciding that there was little point coding any more Spellbound, I am gutted that I – WE – couldn’t finish the game. I am sorry. 

Spellbound is still available to download on the ax spectrum for free, legally, with David’s permission at the World of Spectrum archives. Once the forum is back up and running then head on over and perhaps chat with David yourself about his upcoming Finders Keepers Plus game. Keep the little metal knight alive people. 

Good Knight MK.


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