Rollcage, Redux

Rollcage Team

A little while back, I was having a conversation with an old friend of mine. We turned to reminiscing about the past, to a time when we used to work together, in an old converted stable somewhere in deepest, darkest Warwickshire. Rollcage, a game we had both worked on, became the conversation's focus. "You said something pretty profound, way back in 1999" he said, "it's something I've never forgotten. Can you remember what that was?"

I thought about it for a moment, but of course, I couldn't recall what it might have been. It was so long ago, I hadn't a hope of guessing what it was he was referring to. So he kindly followed-up. "You said then, that Rollcage was set to be a momentous game, and although most of us were then unaware, it was probably the best game we were ever likely to work on". Essentially, "this is it, this is the one". Yet for many of us, this was our first game, at the start of our careers. It was our passion, our addiction, our everything. How were we to know that every game wasn't going to be like this? It was a bitter-sweet prophecy.

Rollcage Magazine Cover

And sure enough, for my friend and I at least, what I had said then rang true all those years later. We had worked on many games since, some good, some bad. Some much more challenging, some much more polished, some even that were fun to play, but none that came close to touching Rollcage. It was indeed special. It was indeed, the one game we would all remember.

I feel pretty ambivalent about it all now. I'm never sure whether I should feel sadness that nothing since has ever quite ignited me the way that game did. Or, whether I should feel bloody lucky that I worked on a game such as this at all. I know many, who are still searching in the wilderness, to finally work on a game worthy of entering the industry for. That killer project.

You might be wondering why I'm writing about this now, about something that happened in practically another lifetime. Well, to my huge surprise it seems that people are actually still playing this game, fifteen, long years after we made it! Recently, I was kindly asked by some of its apparently lifelong fans if I might be able to make it more compatible with modern systems, as although it still worked pretty well there were some small, nagging issues that had crept in over the years.

Well, predictably, given all that I've said, I was delighted to help. I dug the source code out of my archive, cranked up the compiler, and almost incredibly it compiled, compliantly, first time. Within minutes, those rocket cars were back on my screen, just brimming with nostalgia. And within a day or two, I'd gotten most of the compatibility issues out of the way. And in the weeks since then, it's just gone from strength to strength with upgraded DirectX, new audio, improved graphics and the like.

Blistering Speed

So here it is, Rollcage, [Redux] - the most additive racing game you'll likely play this year, or perhaps even this lifetime. This momentous game, for those that worked on it at least, is available again to get your fill of that lethal cocktail of weapons and speed. It might look a little dated, to be sure, but believe me, good gameplay never dies. [Download] it now, and kiss goodbye to your lunchtimes.


PS. You need an analog gamepad controller to stand any chance of getting good at this game - only when you make it onto the master level does it really come into its own.

[Posted 09/03/2014]

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