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Spell Rebound

I’m not too sure where to start with this. 

It’s been a month and a half since the last entry in this little blog. It was not an entry I enjoyed writing either. Not to go over old ground, but Spellbound OUYA was no longer a going concern. There were several reasons for this, the majority of which I outlined in the last post, some of which, well, for fair means or foul, did not need airing.

This post serves, in part, to reassert the fact that Spellbound OUYA is no longer an ongoing concern. 

The OUYA, a wonderful idea with huge potential and a (relatively) large catalogue of format specific games, apps and utilities, is still a dead duck. This is a shame, it’s a lovely little bit of kit and, when handled with gentle caresses and soft tickles can be coerced into housing some amazing ideas. We had hoped Spellbound OUYA would be one of these. It turns out that we were late to the party. Actually, I don’t think we really ever made sure we were free for the date of the party. There was no party. 

Spellbound OUYA is an ex-project. 

But isn’t it odd though, one door closes…..

You see, it isn’t impossible that there might actually be a version of Spellbound released for the OUYA. 

Still with the wonderful graphics and audio from Spellbound OUYA, still with the permission and assistance from the Lord of the Polygon Table himself, David Jones and still with me tying it all together with more spaghetti than your local Prezzo. 

Development has restarted. Development has re-begun. 

Spellbound OUYA is dead. Long live Spellbound. 

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, 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 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.



One of the most interesting and unexpectedly pleasing things in the life of a coder is to have a perfectly good, working piece of code that’s sat in the source for months on end, doing its job more than sufficiently and causing no problems whatsoever and to suddenly see why it’s just not good enough.

My reset game code for Spellbound was great. Really, it was just dandy.

Now, after a week of writing and rewriting the code, it’s not only nice, faster and better documented*, but now it forms the basis of the fully working save / load game feature, one of the key headaches I faced when considering how we could bring Spellbound to a new platform. Yes, it was obvious that I should have made it work this way from the off, but then I wouldn’t have had the big smile on my face right now would I?

I should thank John, the iOS side of Geminus Porta, for kicking me hard enough to see the solution.

I do love it when code is gutted instead of me!

*This last statement may not be true. It’s not worse documented though.