'Space Covidders' Goes to the Arcade?
Space Covidders is a little game hack I put together last year. Old enough PC-heads may recognize it as a graphical modification of Space Commanders, an early Space Invaders clone from Columbia Data Products. Yep, the same CDP which in June '82 came out with the MPC 1600, the first true IBM PC compatible on the market. One of the perks of that machine over IBM's was its lineup of bundled software, and by '83 this "Columbia Super Pack" grew to include CDP's take on the subtle art of blasting aliens.
My more contemporary update came about when someone asked me for a little creative input for a video, which was going to feature several ways of venting frustration at pandemic-related hardships. Rather than do any actual video editing work for that part, I figured it'd be much easier to modify the game's sprites and just use the footage. When that was done, I thought I'd flesh it out a bit more, so I gave it a title, an entirely new splash graphic (before the title screen), and some other minor fixups.
At the time I only posted a video of the game (and the download link) on Youtube. I didn't imagine that the theme would still be topical more than a year later, but to our continuing horror it very much is, so here are the links:
- Download Space Covidders (16K), or
- just watch the video
Like the original game, it'll run on just about any PC that runs DOS, but CGA and 4.77MHz are recommended for best experience (so if you're using DOSBox, set machine=cga and cycles=280 or thereabouts).
So, why am I making a new post about it now? Recently, the following photos were shared by game archivist and photographer Servo, AKA Tom of Pixelated Arcade and Pixelated Images. He's a software and hardware collector who's made many excellent contributious towards preserving and documenting rare titles, and as I know now, he also has a formidable talent for designing and building arcade cabinets.
This was something he put together and showed off at a party (I want parties like that around where I'm at, please). There was other stuff he did as well, which I hope he'll choose to share because it's even better than this. [UPDATE: now he has, so you should definitely check out Silpheed: The Arcade Game (Sort Of!): there's a full writeup of his process, plus a big bunch of photos and videos of the final results, and even more in the gallery links at the end.]
This particular exhibit is "only" a Tandy 1000HX sitting on a table and running Space Covidders, but just look at the outsanding marquee graphics he made for it, lit up and all!
Made my day to see it, and as he reports, the game was a hit with the crowd too. So thanks to Servo for putting together such a cool display for it, and for letting me share these photos here: