Freescape games

Group Description

Games built around the solid 3D Freescape world from Incentive Software.

Freescape was conceived in 1985 by Chris Andrew. He was inspired by Elite 3D game engine and was certain that computers of that time had enough power to draw solid 3D polygons instead of wireframe graphics. In September 1986 together with programmer Stephen Northcott and graphic artist Paul Gregory they started creating a system originally codenamed "Being There". It was developed in assembler on Amstrad CPC mainly because, according to Chris, "it was best positioned for development work due to its availability with built-in disk drive plus its processing speed and graphics capabilities, at least capabilities appropriate for 3D." During development process the team were facing fairly typical problems in that era: performance and lack of memory. In order to save space, the geometry representation was very high level with relatively low precision. They also invented an efficient format known as Freescape Control Language that held the complex game logic and enabled easy level authoring without bloating data size.

When the system was completed, the team started porting the code to other machines beginning with Spectrum. It wasn't a hard job because both computers were Z80-based machines. The most difficult task was to port the engine onto C64. According to Paul Gregory "the relatively weak main processor on the C64 was a real problem, While various co-processors complemented it, none of them were particularly useful for 3D, so it was up to the main processor to do the grunt work."

Selected Covers

Dark Side Commodore 64 Front Cover
Front cover for Dark Side
Castle Master DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Castle Master
Total Eclipse ZX Spectrum Front Cover
Front cover for Total Eclipse

Selected Screenshots

Copyright information
Screenshot from Dark Side
Title screen
Screenshot from Castle Master
Title screen
Screenshot from Total Eclipse
Game group created by Martin Smith (66852), additional games added to group by Pseudo_Intellectual (60501) and Terok Nor (26757)