Cecconoid Press Kit

About the game:

Cecconoid is a retro-styled, twin-stick, arcade shooter, very loosely based on Cybernoid, by Raffaele Cecco. Cybernoid was released for the UK 8 Bit computer range by Hewson Consultants in 1988.

Cecconoid is not a remake of Cybernoid, it takes some elements from the original — styling, flick-screen rooms — and merges it with elements from Robotron, to create a fast paced twin-stick shooter.

It has:

  • 50+ Rooms

  • 6 Power-ups

  • Online High-Scores (Steam version only)

In addition it includes a full bonus game, Eugatron: 50 Levels of Robotron inspired, arena-based, classic twin-stick shooting.

“The starship Equinox is under attack from Stormlord and his robotic minions, the Exolons! You're the crew's only hope. Take your Samurai-1 fighter, find Captain Solomon's Key, clear the decks of evil robots, and save the Equinox from certain destruction!

Cecconoid is an 8-bit inspired, flick-screen, twin-stick-shooter, set in an alternate dimension where the pixels are still chunky, and the bad guys are black and white.

Except for their dangly red bits...”

 

About the author:

Triple Eh? Ltd (AAA, geddit?) was formed in 2013 and is home to games developed by Gareth Noyce, an industry old-bloke with more than a decade of experience shipping first-party, AAA titles, for console and handhelds. 

Starting in 2003 at Climax Studios, he was later a co-founder of Xen Services and then Ruffian Games.

Credits include: Sudeki [Xbox], W.I.T.C.H [GBA], Black Hawk Down [Xbox], Crackdown [360], Space Giraffe[360], Too human [360], Project Gotham Racing 3 [360], Fable 2 [360], Crackdown 2 [360], Kinect Star Wars [360], Kinect Play Fit [360], Kinect Training [360], TxK [PS4], Polybius [PSVR].

His first independent title, Lumo, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. 

 

Trailer:

 

Q&A

What were the inspirations for Cecconoid:

Cybernoid, by Raffaele Cecco and Robotron, by Eugene Jarvis.

What specific elements have you drawn on?

The controls, enemy count, and pixel shattering of Eugene Jarvis, melded with the setting, pumping soundtrack and flick-screen nature of Cybernoid. Turned up to 11, smooshed about because we have incredibly hardware, then tempered to feel like it could have been on a Spectrum+++, if Uncle Clive had of ever made such a thing back in 1987.

What appeals to you about the Twin Stick control system?

Robotron is probably the greatest arcade game ever made, and I’ve taken on-board the lessons that Huge Euge taught us: Everthing should shatter into its constituent pixels, and no amount of enemies is too many.

I’ve owned the arcade cabinet, and played hundreds of hours (1.75m top score, not great, but not too shabby). It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I’d look for an excuse to do something twin-stick at some point...

And let’s not forget Llamatron…

Why did you make cecconoid?

The university where I teach (TAMK, in Tampere, Finland) wanted to provide their 2nd year students the source-code to a full, shipping game. I offered to make one, with the same sort of restrictions in scope and time that the students would have, and open it up to them for teaching purposes.

Rafaele Cecco produced a development diary in Crash Magazine that I followed, and I’ve had a soft spot for Cybernoid ever since, and always fancied doing something similar. This all worked out to be a good opportunity to scratch that itch.

Except, I didn’t listen to my own advice, and made two games in the time-frame, instead.

Are there other 8-bit, spectrum-era games that you intend to re-make?

It’s probably safe to assume that.

Are there multiple difficulty levels in the cecconoid?

No, just the one; nose-bleed hard.

Are the rooms in cecconoid procedurally generated?

No, room layout is fixed. In-room baddies have fixed spawn locations, but may randomise their movement. All power-ups are in fixed locations.

Eugatron has fixed level setups, with the only randomisation being the decisions of the on-screen enemies, and which power-ups are spawned in each level.

Why did you go with the “Downwell” 2-bit aesthetic, when Cybernoid was so colourful?

Cecconoid is not Cybernoid. The name is a hat-tip to Mr Cecco, not a statement of intent on my part. Anyone thinking they’re getting a modern version of Cybernoid will probably be disappointed.

WHY WORK ON A SMALLer indie GAME, AFTER LUMO?

Cecconoid was a side project for most of the year, and during that time I’ve also been working on Maenhir — a top-down Zelda-a-like, in the style of Link Between Worlds — as well as several freelance contracts and some web development.

which do you prefer, small projects, or AAA?

Small projects. I’m extremely lucky to be able to work on, essentially, what I want, with some excellent and talented collaborators. It’s risky, but it’s the sort of development that inspired me, back when I was a kid in the 80s.

Why didn’t you opt for chip-tune music, to fit the graphics?

It was more important to me to have a great sound-track. Jeron Tel’s was famous, it seemed only right to try and make something great; the technology is irrelevant. DJ Hoffman is an incredibly talented musician, who I gave free reign to. He’s produced some bangers, that have the right energy/fit for the gameplay.

Why is there no save-game in cecconoid?

Cecconoid itself is not very big, average play times are small. It was conceived as a quick-play, drop-in/arcade style experience, where a good run might take you to the end, but the aim is to do it with maximum points and flare. A save-game would fundamentally change the focus away from this.

Will there be online leaderboards?

Steam versions will have online leaderboards & achievements. iOS and Android versions TBA.

Who did the loading screen?

The renowned, highly talented Mr Ste Pickford.

What platforms will the game be available on?

At the time of writing: PC, Linux, iOS and Android. There are no plans for a console release at this time.

When will the game be available?

October 8th, on PC & Linux. Mobile versions are TBA.

 

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