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Rasterscan (1987)      

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Details (Sinclair ZX Spectrum) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Mastertronic Ltd
Binary Design Ltd, John Pickford, Steve Hughes, Ste Pickford
Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Audio cassette

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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Your Reviews

John and Ste Pickford (Unknown)   22nd Mar 2013 01:32
An odd sci-fi puzzle game featuring 'digitised' graphics.

Ste writes: "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!'"

Issue 40 (Crash)   14th Mar 2011 04:56

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This title was first added on 1st June 2006
This title was most recently updated on 22nd March 2013

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