» Log in

The Pickford BrothersJohn and Ste

 

Rasterscan

« Return to Softography list

An odd sci-fi puzzle game featuring 'digitised' graphics.

» View press cuttings relating to this game

Rasterscan screen shot 1 Rasterscan screen shot 2 Rasterscan screen shot 3 Rasterscan screen shot 4 Rasterscan screen shot 5 Rasterscan screen shot 6

Project details

Started:

Wed, 01 Jul 1987

Development studio:

Binary Design

Main client / publisher:

Mastertronic

Status:

Finished

Proper Pickford Bros game?

Yes, this is definitely one of our games!

Core studio team:

John Pickford

Game Designer

Steve Hughes

Programmer

Gary Ireland

Programmer

Phil Alsop

Programmer

Ste Pickford

Graphic Artist

Jez Nelson

Graphic Artist

Lee (?)

Graphic Artist

Jas C Brooke

Music and Sound Effects

Rasterscan ZX Spectrum EU cover

Platform:

ZX Spectrum

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

Wed, 01 Jul 1987

Title:

Rasterscan

Publisher:

Mastertronic

Developer:

Binary Design

Sales:

16,666

» Download this game!

Steve Hughes

Programmer

Rasterscan Amstrad CPC EU cover

Platform:

Amstrad CPC

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

Wed, 01 Jul 1987

Title:

Rasterscan

Publisher:

Mastertronic

Developer:

Binary Design

Sales:

16,666

» Download this game!

Gary Ireland

Programmer

Rasterscan Commodore 64 EU cover

Platform:

Commodore 64

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

Wed, 01 Jul 1987

Title:

Rasterscan

Publisher:

Mastertronic

Developer:

Binary Design

Sales:

16,666

Phil Alsop

Programmer

Lee (?)

Graphic Artist

Rasterscan MSX EU cover

Platform:

MSX

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

Tue, 01 Dec 1987

Title:

Rasterscan

Publisher:

Mastertronic

Developer:

Binary Design

Sales:

5,000

Steve Hughes

Programmer

Rasterscan PC EU cover

Platform:

PC

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

Tue, 01 Dec 1987

Title:

Rasterscan

Publisher:

Mastertronic

Developer:

Binary Design

Sales:

5,000

Ste Pickford

Rasterscan probably needs some explanation, as I don't think many people could make head nor tail of it.

Visually the starting point was that we got a 'digitiser' at Binary Design. This was a cheap black and white video camera (the sort used as security cameras, not the 'handicam' type personal home video cameras), connected to some software which could convert the analogue signal to a digital image, probably through an RS232 port or something. It sounds trivial now, but we were quite excited by it at the time, even though the results were rather poor - you can see lines of interference on every image.

John had an idea to base the look of a game around these photographic images - poor by todays standards, but still a very different look than an artist could create - and also the idea of out-of-context images, like those newspaper competitions where you had to guess what the objects were in extreme close up photographs, hence the tape decks and spanner images in the game.

The graphic of the main ball controlled by the player was a created by a program John wrote on the Spectrum, so ultimately the visual theme of the whole game was computer generated imagery - almost taking the artist out of the equation completely, but we didn't have the RAM to store enough digitised graphics to go all the way.

Further, after the success of Feud, Rasterscan was another game where John came up with the game concept but didn't program the game, but this time it didn't work out so well. Partly because there wasn't really a strong game idea, as the visuals were the starting point rather than gameplay, and partly because so much time had to be spent arguing the case for, and justifying, the odd visual approach that there was less time available to consider the game, and partly because the team dynamic didn't work as well on this project.

The visuals themselves didn't work really either. We were more excited by the fact that the game looked new and different to appreciate just how horrible it looked! Ultimately we ended up with a confusing, ugly, mediocre product.

But, as our ironic motto went at the time, 'its only for kids!'

 

† Sales Estimates
Almost all sales estimates given are educated guesses. Being lowly developers we rarely had access to the publisher's sales infomation, and in many cases hadno contact with the publisher whatsoever after each game was completed. Even in cases where we were the owners of the development studio and on royalty deals, for various reasonsit was very rare that we received accurate sales figures from the publishers involved. We'd be delighted to correct any errors, or hear more accurate sales figures for any of the titles here.Please email the webmaster if you know something we don't!

‡ Downloads
We don't condone video game piracy. We would prefer that all our games were still available for purchase by those who wanted them,but unfortunately most of our games are not commercially available in any form, with the IP or code in the hands of defunct commercialentities with neither the will nor the ability to commercially exploit these products, if not forgotten about completely. In such cases we're happy for the game to be madeavailable free for enthusiasts to download, rather than being consigned to the dustbin of history. If you would like us to remove a link,please email the webmaster to explain why.

Credits
The credits listed are accurate to the best of our recollection, but if we've made any errors or ommissions (quite likely!) please email the webmaster to let us know and we'll try to make a correction as soon as possible.

 

We are The Pickford Bros, veteran independent video game designers based in the UK.

Plok Vol 2 now available on Kindle, iBooks and in print

Buy Pickford Bros prints on BigCartel

Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint now available on the App Store

Support Plok on Patreon

 

All our games:

» Softography

Recent stuff:

Magnetic Billiards

Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint

Naked War

Workshop

Metacrtic ratings: