Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Thu, 04 Jun 2009
Subject: Cosmic Pirate
This is a another concept art drawing for our Amiga / Atari ST game, Cosmic Pirate, from around 1987.
One of John's core ideas for this game was to get across a feeling of dramatic scale. The aim of the game was to capture cargo ships in space, with your little one-man fighter ship. The cargo ships were actually the scrolling background itself, which was a fairly novel idea at the time (treating the background as a discreet entity, rather than just then environment in which the game takes place), although had been done a few times before in other games (R-type!).
The ships you attacked got progressively bigger throughout the game. The first couple were barely any bigger than your ship, and could easily have been made of sprites rather than a scrolling background. They work their way up to screen sized, or bigger, until eventually you're capturing ships that are twenty odd screens in length, and just flying across them would take some minutes.
We thought this slow build up would really impress upon the player how big the later ships were, rather than just starting with 20 screen sized ship-levels from the beginning.