PC remake of NEWCOMER, the classic C-64 RPG/Adventure made in the 90s.

Description

Newcomer is an ambitious 3D adventure/RPG hybrid. The protagonist finds himself having been teleported to a jail island. He is accused of a murder, surrounded by people like him. There’s an almost total lack of contact with the outside world. Islanders use every kinds of weapons, the island is abound with tough warped animals and there are almost no women.
 
The game can be played solo or with a party, each character possessing various skills used during interaction with characters and objects, or in combat. Using other companions’ help, utilizing his skills and items, the protagonist’s task is to escape the sinister place. In the process though, he will unveil a secret that is going to rattle his very core.
  • Retro sci-fi
  • Epic
  • Immeresive
  • Unique
  • Non-linear
  • Challenging
  • Lots of text
  • Consequences
  • Turn-based combat
  • 6 member party
  • Speed run proof
  • Promotes friendship

Welcome to the island, newcomer!

C64 Original

In 1990, Zoltán Gonda, with no background of game making, had a burst of idea, based on his experiences with Interplay games that he should make his own asap. He looked for a programmer (András) in the local computer club and utilized his childhood friend (Csaba) for the graphics job.

Development was extremely difficult on many levels and took 4 years to finish the original version. It was released in dec. 1994 by “Valhalla Páholy” in the Hungarian language. The game sold slightly more than 1500 copies which was a huge success at that time, although it never paid off financially

2 years before the release, British publisher Grand Slam took interest in the game offering a joint venture. Alas, the game wasn’t finished in time and Grand Slam along with Commodore ceased to exist.

C64 Enhanced

After a few years of pause, in 1997, the team decided to add a a couple of exciting story lines along with bug fixes. Development took another 4 years and in 2001, at a Slovakian demo party, Enhanced Newcomer was released. This time NC was translated into English as well to make it available worldwide.
It was an amazingly lot of work to expand the already complex storyline. The game already offered multiple solutions of tasks, branching events and whatnot. Testing such a game, on 8 bit machines in particular, is extremely difficult. The result was worth the efforts though.

Unfortunately, after releasing the game, a critical bug was reported which occured at a chance of 70-80%. This and the demand of making the game compatible with new and enhanced hardware led us to decide on starting the development of the ultimate version. This was in about 2003…

C64 Ultimate

For the 3rd iteraton of the game, a new programmer named Zsolt Kajtár, joined us. He is an extremely skilled bitwizard who practically rewrote the entire game engine so the new stuff could actually fit in the memory. The ultimate version finally began to support NTSC and the SuperCPU, including hard disk.

The project got out of the hand of the original lead and was taken by István “Hoild” Belanszky. Under his command, the game was nicely developing. Me, Zoltán, played the game in 2006 and didn’t find any particular issue. Yet there was one, but nobody was aware.

The development got slowed until, finally, after many years, in 2012 it completely stopped due to a very nasty bug which made István completely frustrated and disillusioned. As a result, Ultimate Newcomer aka UNC has never been finished. This is why, me, Zoltán, decided to take steps in 2017. See Newcomer Gold…

Mockup picture made by Csaba Fóris back in the day. Currently, I can’t show you anything spectacular, although lots of work has already gone into it.

Newcomer Gold PC

Newcomer Gold is a bold attempt to recreate the game from scratch for the PC. Zoltán uses the Unity Game Engine for this task, working alone. This is a difficult endeavour because there are other projects too that need to be worked on if you want to make both ends meet.

Let’s see what has been done so far. All areas, interactive objects are created as placeholders. This helps with testing. Code is about 80 percent done, except combat. Practically every single game feature works already. ID-fying of original text is done (5 nov 2021). About 25% of story scripting is done. (16 jun 2022)

As you can guess, without your material help, Newcomer Gold will never see daylight. This is a project of love, but needs some funds to buy assets and pay artists.

Demo - 2007

In 2007, with 3 of my colleagues we made a Newcomer demo that was supposed to be a promotional material for a possible publisher. It was done in a few weeks and featured many things without combat. Unfortunately, due to several unforeseen problems, the demo sank into oblivion. Here are some pictures…

Links

Original

Story, Scripting, Music: Zoltán Gonda

Programming: András Lay

Graphics: Csaba Fóris

Enhanced

Story, Scripting, Music: Zoltán Gonda

Programming: András Lay

Graphics: Csaba Fóris

Additional Design: István Belánszky

Ultimate

Design, Scripting, Project Lead: István Belánszky

Programming: Zsolt Kajtár

Additonal Graphics: Mihály Szemeti