Nearly 20 years ago, in 1994, one of the best-known Llamasoft games ever was released on the Atari Jaguar – the seminal Tempest 2000. This title came to be recognised as one of the finest games on the system. Based upon an early ’80s arcade game, T2K aimed to be more than just a port of an older game. Instead, T2K took that old classic game as an inspiration, and offered up something entirely new and modern.
The original coin-op game was based around a colour vector display – a look it was impossible to replicate on raster displays and with graphics hardware of the day, so T2K defined a style all of its own. The floating platforms in space that defined the play areas were created using Gouraud-shaded polygons, as were the enemies that populated them – in that pre-PlayStation era such polygonal graphics were considered cutting-edge.
T2K also introduced design elements that were to become Llamasoft trademarks – flowing particle systems, full-screen video feedback effects, and objects that shattered into thousands of glowing particles.
100 levels of intense shooting action were interspersed with gentle, floaty bonus/chillout rounds. The package was completed by some of the best music ever to appear in a videogame, a perfect partner to the onscreen action. T2K is rightly remembered as a classic and a perfect treat for the player’s eyes, ears and thumbs.
Now Llamasoft and the original designer of T2K are back to do for T2K what T2K itself did for its ancient arcade ancestor. The new game – TxK – will draw on the spirit of the classic T2K, extending and enhancing it using the fantastic graphical power of the PS Vita system, resulting in what we hope will be a new modern classic arcade shooter.
New terrains, new bonus rounds, new enemies and weapons will be wrought together into an exhilarating whole. The PS Vita’s beautiful OLED screen will blaze with colour and light as we bring to bear 30 years of experience in designing both games and music visualizers, to bring you a game that feels excellent to play and looks stunning and unique. An array of musicians are already at work creating original music that will fit the gameplay perfectly.
We’re already off to a good start getting familiar with the PS Vita development system, and we aim to finish and release the game this year. It’s very much a labour of love for everyone involved – we all loved T2K and the opportunity to create a new game in a similar vein on some really great hardware is something that we are all enjoying immensely.
We’ll be releasing more information and media as we move forward in the development process, so keep an eye out for updates in the coming weeks and months.