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Cluster

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This was Zippo Games' second project. A space exploration game, for Psygnosis. The game was set on an asteroid belt, with an overhead view, and the player controlled a mining robot which roamed and jumped from asteroid to asteroid.

Eventually cancelled by the publisher after the programmer left the studio.

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Cluster screen shot 1 Cluster screen shot 2 Cluster screen shot 3

Project details

Started:

Sun, 01 May 1988

Development studio:

Zippo Games

Main client / publisher:

Psygnosis

Status:

Unfinished

Proper Pickford Bros game?

No, either a work-for-hire project, or we aren't claiming much credit for this game.

Core studio team:

John Pickford

Game Designer

Jim Baguley

Programmer

Ste Pickford

Graphic Artist

Someone from Psygnosis

Concept Art

Cluster Atari ST EU cover

Platform:

Atari ST

Territory:

Europe

Release date:

(Unreleased)

Title:

Cluster

Publisher:

Psygnosis

Developer:

Zippo Games

Sales:

0

Ste Pickford

Unfortunately I could find no screenshots or graphics backup disks for this game. The three screenshots shown here weren't done by me, or anyone at Zippo, but were given to us by Psygnosis.

Ian Hetherington from Pysgnosis (who was the external producer) came to the Zippo offices one morning, on one of his fortnightly visits, and gave us a disk with these concept images on, done by one of his artists, and basically said, "We want the game to look more like this!"

This was typical of their arrogance. Their art was lovely, but it wasn't game art - it was concept art. We could add a few screens like this between levels, or on the front end, but the game itself couldn't look like this.

Our game was a 2D overhead tile based scrolling game, with a little robot character running around and jumping between flat asteroids on a starfield.

It would be tempting to dismiss Ian and Psygnosis' approach as typical Publisher / Producer ignorance, but Ian Hetherington was also still a game programmer at that time, and a bloody good one.

He spent most of the time on his visits to Zippo showing off the latest build the the Amiga game he was writing called Aqua Ventura. This was an absolutely beautiful, ambitious 3D affair, and the quality of his game made it impossible to be dismissive of any suggestions he made about our work.

 

† 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!

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.

 

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