I was going through my book shelf of Color Computer collectibles I have, and was photographing them to share on some Facebook groups. I found the binder that contained the handful of written items I had received during the lifespan of Cosmic Aliens in the 80’s, from the written review to the offer to purchase.
This got me thinking, “What are the odds I could find a copy of this on the internet?” and a quick Google search found it on the first page! There was an emulator/archive site that had a copy of the original ZIP file that had circulated the various bulletin board systems of the 80’s!
I quickly download the file, and attempted to run it. My modern Windows 10 PC wouldn’t even let the program execute for “security reasons”, so I fired up the good old DOS BOX emulator, and it ran, but it ran super fast! I played around with the settings, and found out the by pressing either CONTROL-F11 or ALT-F11 (function key 11) I was able to lower the CPU throttle speed, and somewhere in the neighborhood of around 834 CPU cycles in DOS Box let the game run at the speeds that seemed “appropriate” based on my memory and the actual ability to play the game. I recorded a YouTube video, telling the back story, then playing the game for a little bit:
I shared this video on the Color Computer Facebook group, and it was well received, and I even got compliments on the game. This led to the decision to re-write this game on my Tandy Color Computer! I knew I was close to starting a game project, hadn’t decided on “what” yet, and fate handed me the decision! My classic game I found, lost in the sands of time, why not make a CoCo version? Well, that’s what I’m attempting to do!
The first video I played was literally just to refresh my memory on what the game play was like, and show off some of the features. After the decision was made to port the game to the CoCo, I played another time, this time as “research” to really get a feel for the mechanics, and features and progression of the game, and honestly, I’m impressed with it, despite the simple graphics, it’s fun to play!
Ideas have already come to mind, like adding shields, and power-ups or pick-ups, a multi-shot, and even “bosses”, so as I played the game, I started to think about what else I’d like to add, and hopefully, those features will make their way to the CoCo version!
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