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Here is the Story behind the Dizzy reveal... to be embargo’ed until after 4.00pm (UK time) on Saturday 24th October 2015.
Hi Thomasz, Actually, let me give it to you now.... Here is the Story behind the Dizzy reveal... to be embargo’ed until after 4.00pm (UK time) on Saturday 24th October 2015. So it began at Play Blackpool in May, some 5 months ago...Andrew and I were on Stage, delivering a talk about our early games...(short version here ... http://bit.ly/1hEcY39 ) I’d been in the loft looking for some fun props to take to the talk and found a hand drawn map to Wonderland Dizzy. After the talk Andrew and I were discussing it and questioned, was it a new game? Was it finished?If it was, could we release it? Perhaps using a emulator to run it? So I went up in the loft to see if I could find it... I tweeted my search... I found... a disk .... I hoped that I’d be able to load it after all this time and that it hadn’t deteriorated over the 22 years up there. Sadly the finished compiled game file wasn’t there... but ALL the source code and graphics were. But somehow, I had to work out how to recompile it.I wrote to Jason Fitzpatrick at The History of Computing in Cambridge and Andrew Joseph of Yolkfolk.com – the biggest Dizzy Fan site.Andrew was very excited, and said one of the Dizzy fans he knew would be able to compile it. A few days later – Lukasz Kur, from Poland, delivered a ROM image to Andrew Joseph who forwarded it onto us.Wow! He’d got it working.We ran it on an emulator – it was very hard and slightly buggy.We spoke to Lukasz about this and said... ‘how do you feel about fixing some of the small bugs that we can identify and adding a ‘Fun’ mode, basically infinite lives, because players today don’t expect games to be so difficult. Oh and add your name on the front screen with a “Special thanks to...”Games were hard back in the 8 bit days!Lukasz came back and said... yes, he’d be happy to, but did we mind if he added an option to select Polish language too. As there are a lot of Polish who are fans of Dizzy.We were very pleasantly surprised by this request, but said of course. And then I pushed it by saying, ‘if you can add Polish, how about adding French, German, Spanish and Portuguese – if there’s enough memory?’. The ROM has a maximum limit of 256k bytes (that was a large game in those days ... but now it’s the same as 2 iPhone App icons or about 15 seconds of a MP3 song ! ).Lukasz provided the English text, and we organised an agency to translate it, and supplied it back to him. Meanwhile, Andrew Joseph has been busy too... he surprised us by sending us a link... and saying hit this.... http://yolkfolk.com/playdizzy/sdg.htm(It didn’t have the surrounding graphics back then.) Wow! He got it to play in a browser! That’s when we thought... cool! Let’s release this free to the world.I did a tweet...We played the game, and slowly the memories re-emerged. I remembered adding the Cheshire Cat fading in and out. Andrew remembered how he programmed the rescuing of each of the Yolkfolk. But we a had to work out the puzzles ourselves having completely forgotten them! It was 22 years ago!The background map was based on the structure of Magicland Dizzy (made by Big Red Software), but we’d completely re-coded it from scratch, redrawn all the graphics, in the 4 colours per character mode, created new puzzles and added a mode to play as Daisy and a 2 player mode with Dizzy and Daisy as a tag team. I had a conversation with Codemasters to inform them what we were doing, Frank Sagnier the new CEO was happy, saying it can do no harm to raise the profile of Dizzy and goodwill of the community. We had a couple of guys at Radiant Worlds, create a new logo and a nice piece of artwork. Andrew Joseph used this to create a box mock up... We then discovered this ... http://www.olivertwins.com/history/page/18 Doh! That site had referenced Wonderland Dizzy as being finished and unreleased & it’s been public about since March 2001. As you may be aware Chris Wilkins of Retro Fusion Books is going to launch a Kickstarter for “The Story of The Oliver Twins”. We decided we’d hold an event to launch the Kickstarter book & do the Dizzy Reveal... and what better place than The History of Computing Museum on Cambridge. Birthplace of the UK Games industry – home to Sinclair (ZX81 & Spectrum) & Acorn (BBC Micro).I did a tweet... Two week ago, I tried playing it again and thought it’s so large and hard, surprisingly so... hey what if we did a competition for people who could prove they can beat it in the original classic mode.So Lukasz has kindly added some code to display a unique Code for people to enter a free completion of lots of limited edition special Dizzy goodies. Here’s a directory of assets for the article... http://bit.ly/WLDizzyPressAt 4.00pm (UK time) on Saturday 24th October we will switch on www.WonderlandDizzy.com (which will redirect to... http://yolkfolk.com/sdg/ - this site is still in progress. Which will fire up the game. )(and I’ll schedule some Tweets and Facebook Posts!)So everyone can play it for Free!Do let me know if you have any further questions. I hope you like the story and that it makes a good article for your readers. Thanks, Philip
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