Being a Star Wars fan since the early 80's and buying all Norwegian Star Wars comics available from 1983 to 1987 in which this particular story was so exciting and thrilling I could never get it out of my head. As the story takes place on the ice planet from Empire Strikes Back (HOTH), it tells about Luke Skywalker's oldest friend "Wedge Antilles" which gets stuck back on HOTH after the others extracted from the planet.
Regarding the movie itself; remember some of the scenes was also filmed on snowy mountain (around Finse) here in Norway, just 2-3 hours drive from my home, so thats pretty cool!
Tip: I just discovered a very nice website regarding HOTH and the locations of filming, check link at bottom (HOTH Festival).
I always felt a connection to Empire Strikes Back and the snowy scene and landscape, even before I was aware several scenes where filmed in Norway back in 1979. Of course, how could I be aware that time, I was only about 5 years old and there was no internet. Even the news on TV and newspaper would be of nonsense to me at that age, heh.
I believe I first watched Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi probably in 1986 or 1987 on VHS back-to-back. Actually, I was visiting my sister which worked as a cook & waiter at a mountain hotel "Solfonn Høyfjellshotell" in the hotel's dining hall (it really felt like you were in one of the The Shining scenes), I was all alone in there watching these movies with loads of choclate, soda and salty paprika chips!!
The hotel is even closer to Finse than from my home today and back then. Imagine that, beeing so young, watching these movies, on the very same area as HOTH scenes I just saw, was pretty much outside the window there. It's impressive how things come to be and how you can "feel" a connection without knowing why, just dwelling into the background so many years later for this writeup.
Origins of the game concept twist
So back in 2010 I had an visual comic conversion idea to have a slide-animated scanned version of the entire magazine with a speech synthesizer voiceover and created at that time just a quick mockup to see if it worked. For some reason, I was not too happy with it and was probably very busy fixing the house and other related computer projects from 2010 and beyond. It was never worked upon again.
I have scanned both the Norwegian and English magazine below.
Play Video: Star Wars: Hoth Stuff - Test slide-animated story attempt
Fast forward to late 2020, I was reading alot of old retro computer magazines the past years on my IPAD 1 and did take notice of the wealth of Game Engine and Creators that had actually been produced to both Commodore 64 and Amiga, ranging from text adventure creator to platform game engines, who can forget Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit :-)
The game creators and engines are mostly from the early 90's and beyond and my focus was only on Amiga 500. You can see details and screenshots from all these, as well as downloads for all of them below.
So, this project kind of had a strange back-history to it, going from comic book story, to a animated slide-story-telling going nowhere and ended eventually up into the game development category of "bag of ideas".
Now, here's the unique twist I wanted to tell you more about below. Bear with me, because it is gonna be something that might have not been done before with this kind of wierd and probably (I hope) creative thinking.
Note: This does not have to be a strict Star Wars game, as the story is quite generic; guy all alone on planet, find a way to survive and escape. The game design does not really need and rely on the Star Wars universe at all, its just the inspiration for the story. So, for those Disney and Lucasfilm lawyers out there would not sue us, yes?
The game concept twist = use every engine for each separate level for full game
You might already believe that the "game concept twist" I have mentioned that have never before been done (?) involves 1 of these engines and creating a game based on the "HOTH STUFF" story in it?
Well, right now I can tell you that is not the case. Maybe you even tought of making the entire game in full for each and every engine? Not so.
What if I told you I want to see this game, or any other game, actually use EVERY one of these game engines to produce different levels for the full game.
Naturally we can probably categorize these game editors as:
Text Adventure Engine.
Shoot 'em Up Engine.
3D Environment Engine.
Now, the mixing of genres have naturally been performed in the past on gaming system, where a game would have platform, action, driving, puzzle, possibly even 3D that have their own visual style and gaming style. But, it just sounds like it would still be made by either the same programming tool or development tools.
But, I believe that nobody have ever created a full game that would for instance start with text adventure (Adventure Construction Set by Electronic Arts) for level 1, then level 2 was a platform (-=REDPILL=- Amiga Game Creator Beta by Gus Entertainment), level 3 would be an action/shooting (Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit (S.E.U.C.K) by Palace Software), level 4 back to text/graphics adventure (GRAAL (Graphic Adventure Authoring Language)) and so fourth until each and every one of the engines I have listed was used).
A even more fun challenge would be to randomize the engine to use for level 1 to 15 for instance. The results would differ each and every time and would put you to work instantly!
It means that the developer must use variants of game engines to produce each level, which would be quite a daunting task but still probably refreshing from the same perspective. It might even let the developer become more creative storywise and performwise as the tools used differs so much. Naturally for the gamer, I believe it would be quite interresting to have to deal with different types of visual, concepts and playing these as they move through the levels,as oppose to having to play 129 levels of the same-same in Lemmings or PP Hammer.
Now, for the introduction, movies and animated story lines, we could even use demo-makers, AMOS etc. to produce more entertaining intros for the next level to come (instead of just having the introduction written in a text adventures for example or beeing locked into 1 single editor).
Mix that with Protracker tunes (running in background, or create own assembly tools), or any other format all compiled into a big ass batch file that are executed (with a global tool to keep track of progress, scores etc. execution of the next engine or intro part). Storage space would naturally increase as for many of the engines, the compiler or run-time environment would be needed to run each speciic level based on the game data.
What do you think?
If you find my concept thrilling and actually want or have started to produce a game based on my ideas here after you have read this/found this (check date of this post 4 September 2021) - I would like to know about it and hopefully I can get credit for my twisty concepts, hehe.
The other aspect of this (if such a game ever was made by me or others) could be to celebrate the hard work done for all these programs mentioned in this post to salute the varity of results and actual tools that these game engines offer.
The time spawn of these released game engines for Amiga are from 1986-2021, which more or less covers the public life of Amiga's (are there any from 1985?, possibly Fred Fish disks had one engine that I have missed, I had no time to check).
Gallery of many Amiga based game creators and engines
The list of Game Creators I have discovered during my research:
3D Construction Kit I by Domark (1991).
3D Construction Kit II by Domark (1992).
ADL - Adventure Definition Language v3.2 by Hewlett-Packard (1987).
Adventure Construction Set by Electronic Arts (1986).
The Alan Adventure Language System v2.7 by Thomas Nilsson (1996).
Backbone v2.10 by Monolith Designs (1998) .
Create Adventure Games v1.3 by Marco Pinto (1991).
FRAC - The Fantasy Roleplaying Adventure Creator v1.1 by Derek Whiteman (1991).
- Note: There are reports of a v2.0 of FRAC, but I was unable to find the software.
GameSmith Development System Release 2 by Oregon Research and Bithead Technologies (1994).
GRAAL (Graphic Adventure Authoring Language) v1.03 by Per Thulin (1996).
GRAAL (Graphic Adventure Authoring Language) v2.1 by Per Thulin / Performance Software (1997).
GRAC - Graphic Adventure Creator v1.0 by E.W.Clay (1994).
GRAC - Graphic Adventure Creator v2.0 by E.W.Clay (1995).
Hatrack II Interactive Adventure Generator v1.34 / v1.02 by Heyley Software (1992) .
Inform v6.30 by Richard H. Poser II / Graham Nelson (1997).
+ Note: a later version called "Frotz v2.40 Release 14" can also be uzed.
Reality - The Ultimate Software Construction Kit v1.0 by BPM Promotions (1996).
-=REDPILL=- Amiga Game Creator Beta v0.8.2 by Gus Entertainment (2020).
Scorpion Editor v220.127.116.11 by earok (on github) (2020).
- Note: Allthough a Windows 10 software, but are able to produce Amiga binaries!
Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit (S.E.U.C.K) v1.0 by Palace Software (1989).
T.A.C.L. - The Adventure Construction Language v3.00 by Alternate Realities (1989).
TADS (Text Adventure Development System) v18.104.22.168 by Michael J. Roberts (1996).
Virtual Reality Studio II v2.01 / v2.07 by Domark (1992).
Visionary v1.xx by Aegis Development (1991).
Additional tools: AMOS BASIC, BLITZ BASIC, VideoTracker, RED SECTOR DEMOMAKER, DEMO-MANIA, DEMO MANIAC.
There are for sure more game engines out there, but some may of other native
languages (like german) and/or more advanced development studio type.
I choose the ones that are more or less complete with and/or GUI interface.