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Cult studio Llamasoft blazes onto PS Vita with TxK

Jeff Minter's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Minter on Apr 24, 2013 // Founder, Llamasoft

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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 recognized 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 color 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. PS Vita’s beautiful OLED screen will blaze with color 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 labor 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.

//Add Your Own

45 Comments

1

+ daddychaddy on April 24th, 2013 at 8:08 am said:

I was thinking about Tempest for the Vita about 6 months ago now I can’t believe it, its going to be so cool on the Vita. I’ve been waiting to buy the vita. now its clearly time.


2

+ sentry-23 on April 24th, 2013 at 8:11 am said:

:D Yak on Vita… Now that is unexpected.
Really great to see you here, and fingers crossed we’ll see more from you on PS hardware as well.
If it can bring back a fraction from the excitement when first playing T2k on the Jag, this will be the best game for me.


3

+ Dr_LHA on April 24th, 2013 at 8:22 am said:

Llamatron next please. :)


4

+ Zezzler on April 24th, 2013 at 8:33 am said:

It’s great to see that the Tempest legacy is living on!
I can only imagine how great this game is going to look on Vita, I hope to hear more about it soon.


5

+ PublicSudoku on April 24th, 2013 at 8:39 am said:

I am literally trembling with anticipation!


6

+ FriedConsole on April 24th, 2013 at 8:41 am said:

Awesome!! Day one! There are a lot of great vertical shooters already on Vita but Tempest 2000 is really different enough that it fits in and is worth playing. Hopefully the music is awesome. No dubstep!!!


7

+ mockduck on April 24th, 2013 at 8:46 am said:

Heck yeah! Tempest is great. Can’t wait.


8

+ Gorvi on April 24th, 2013 at 8:48 am said:

This is great to see. I read about it on your site a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been excited since. I never owned a Jaguar but had a friend who did, I always bugged him to play Tempest 2000.


9

+ TwinDad on April 24th, 2013 at 8:50 am said:

“Upcoming Months”. Great, waiting will be very difficult now.

T2K is the only reason I purchased a Jaguar. Worth every penny.


10

+ wilfareus on April 24th, 2013 at 8:55 am said:

this is great news :D can’t wait!


11

+ xClayMeow on April 24th, 2013 at 9:00 am said:

Please grace us with a gameplay video ASAP!

Sounds like this could be a visual and audio treat!


12

+ Rezolution77 on April 24th, 2013 at 9:17 am said:

I used to agree with the idea that if you have nothing nice to say ………..say nothing.

Unfortunately, how would anyone being fed something they do not like, ever be given the opportunity of a change, without first speaking up.

I like many other Vita owners, are looking for that one great game that makes its console worth owning.

Yet, I myself, am trapped in buying classic favorites, and waiting for deals to make the hefty price tag of its substandard quality games worthwhile.
(As the PS Vita, is still the best handheld of its time)

But instead we are forced, to yet another arcade quarter eater.

If you want to revamp classics, then, very please do so. But, this, is ridiculous.

We already have Super Stardust Delta, and that was the last $10 I wanted to waste / spend / contribute to a game like that.

Why are these new titles constantly introduced, when there are quite a few older ones that have not been introduced to the store yet ,and yet, very much should be.


13

+ Rezolution77 on April 24th, 2013 at 9:35 am said:

Simple Version:

You want me to get excited for a classic..

Try Socom 3, or CounterStrike. ( I am sure there are more )

They made having a PS 2, and Xbox more worthy of a reason for console ownership.

Maybe a laptop was a better choice, as it at least offers a wide variety of free, and lower priced games.


14

+ Neil on April 24th, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

I bought an Atari Jaguar the day it was released and, while I was disapointed with the system, my friends and I used to love playing Tempest 2000. Looking forward to what Jeff Minter does next with the Vita.


15

+ erapago on April 24th, 2013 at 9:45 am said:

@12, 13

“Trapped”, “forced”, “fed”. Jeez. You make it sound like retro games (which are not sub-standard, by the way) appearing on the store is some sort of brutal torture scenario. Sounds like you must be living rough nightmare, if that’s the case. Maybe check in with a psychiatrist.


16

+ voodooblue_2008 on April 24th, 2013 at 9:46 am said:

Can’t wait to see a demo. I enjoy having these old style games available on my Vita at any time. However, as a classic I do hope the final price is less than $5. I’ve noticed many “classic” games at the $10 range, that’s crazy expensive on any platform. I have not purchased any at $10 a pop so even though I’d like to try TxK I’m not going to overpay.


17

+ Aces73High on April 24th, 2013 at 10:01 am said:

Hi Jeff, as a huge fan of your wonderfully retro games, I’ve grabbed every single one of your iOS App Store releases. So naturally, I’m absolutely psyched to learn that you’ll be supporting Playstation Vita – my handheld weapon of preference.

I have a quick question though – obviously you’ve posted this article on the NA blog, but I can’t see anything over on the EU site!? Will you be bringing TxK to the EU store?


18

+ Aces73High on April 24th, 2013 at 10:12 am said:

Sorry, one last thing Mr M – can I please take this opportunity to lodge a personal request to bring Minotaur Rescue, Deflex, and Gridrunner to Vita too! Super Ox Wars would be nice too. As would Minotron 2112. And… … …

In fact, sod it, I want your entire catalogue of retro delights on my Vita! That would be soooo cool.


19

+ mcbuttz78 on April 24th, 2013 at 10:48 am said:

wow tempest.. that’s a very good game I remember that in the arcade, 20 yrs ago which seems like yesterday. Also remember cyber morph from the jaquar. those are the only 2 game I had for that console .the atari jaquar which was not that bad lmaoo .. I always wanted that doom game they had on jaquar.. never could find it.. But I’ll see what I can for picking this up for vita..

Ill need another memeory card, I hope sony releases/announce a 64gb card during E3

Mcbuttz78
vp-psn legioniaree group


20

+ LJPvonzity on April 24th, 2013 at 11:05 am said:

Looks cool, but I swear Full Frontal Assault for the Vita is the Detox and the FF versus XIII of the vita.


21

+ BLite on April 24th, 2013 at 11:20 am said:

I’m not sure Jeff Minter can write objectively about his own game. Just saying.

As a fan of Tempest (I own two), I wrote a review of Tempest 2k on rec.games.. when it first came out on the Jaguar. The review criticized the particle effects for blocking the action in the tubes. Other than that, it wasn’t particularly negative.

I remember Jeff responding with a “Why are you ‘slagging’ my game?” message. I found that to be rather amusing.

All of that said, I’ll get this. I’ve grown to appreciate T2K over the years and love the audio. I wish this was coming out on the PS3/PS4, because it would be a sight on the big screen w/ theater sound backing it up.


22

+ Jedi_Jeff on April 24th, 2013 at 11:42 am said:

I liked T2K enough that I built some custom rotary controllers, and then I liked it even more. :) Any chance there will be a PS3 version?


23

+ cobrafang on April 24th, 2013 at 1:41 pm said:

Sony how about you get some of the better iOS and Android developers to bring their fun games to the PS mobile section. As it is now PS mobile is the worst list of junk games ever.


24

+ Vcheese on April 24th, 2013 at 1:42 pm said:

good, but psvita urgently needs more AAA games (just in case you havent notice)


25

+ Elvick_ on April 24th, 2013 at 1:48 pm said:

Awesome. :D


26

+ tusunami on April 24th, 2013 at 3:31 pm said:

Man they went way way way back with this 1, never even heard of this game before. But it sounds interesting never the less. This is definately a perfect fit for PS Vita.


27

+ cat9966 on April 24th, 2013 at 4:00 pm said:

Wow, Tempest was one of my favorite Arcade games. I’ve always wondered why nobody has adopted the concept before.


28

+ AgentX on April 24th, 2013 at 4:35 pm said:

I absolutely LOVE both Tempest 2000 and Tempest 3000!

A few days ago, I heard the news that Jeff Minter would be delivering a sequel to these games to the PS Vita. Needless to say, I was very excited. I didn’t expect a new Tempest game to be made at all, let alone one for the Vita, so this was certainly a pleasant surprise.

Since the game’s announcement, TxK has quickly rocketed toward the top of my “most anticipated” games list. I’m looking forward to Yak working his magic again!


29

+ WrekGar on April 24th, 2013 at 4:46 pm said:

MAJOR FLASHBACK = MUST BUY!…


30

+ EmperorSupreme on April 24th, 2013 at 5:15 pm said:

I used to collect the old vector graphics games like Tempest, Major Havoc, Star Wars, Asteroids, etc… Would love to see these re-done in modern form for the Vita. They make perfect portable pick up and play games.


31

+ winterdust on April 24th, 2013 at 6:01 pm said:

Totally hyped for a new game from Llamasoft, especially since it’s for Vita. The last game I played from Llamasoft was Space Giraffe, and that was ages ago.

I know it’s not from Llamasoft, but Every Extend Extra is another game I’d like to see on Vita. Stylized, retro, techno games are so few and far between these days.


32

+ Nooterman on April 24th, 2013 at 7:08 pm said:

Thanks for supporting the Vita(although Sony probably paid you to.) I hope this sells well.


33

+ loveinspace on April 25th, 2013 at 2:56 am said:

@24 – psVITA needs more games, full stop


34

+ BushLovesOsama on April 25th, 2013 at 5:48 am said:

So, is this a confirmed vita exclusive? I like that there are vita/ps3 games but Sony really needs to get in their heads that if the vita gets exclusives you cant get on other handhelds and consoles, they’re making the vita irrelevant. Harsh but partly the truth. Exclusives help gets the sales.


35

+ Rezolution77 on April 25th, 2013 at 8:35 am said:

@ 15

Obviously you have taken the need to be insultive of someone you do not even know, while yet hiding behind buisness objectives.

Kudos.

As for your opinions, of which, had no bearing of Vita or the game in question.

Trapped, forced, and fed, would of course refer to the FACT that they are one and the same.
As those who are “stranded” with the Vita, are hoping for games that make the purchase worthwhile.

Not everyone can afford everything we want, when we want it.

As for your psychiatric opinion.

Maybe, that is due to people like yourself. One would not be needed, if you had the strength and courage needed to say it to my face, or you could refrain from personal and derogatory comments.


36

+ TheGameMeister94 on April 25th, 2013 at 2:54 pm said:

@ 35

Where to start? First off, everybody here understands that “trapped, forced, and fed” mean the same thing. That’s not the point. The point I believe erapago was trying to make was that these games really aren’t being forced on you. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. There are plenty of other games out there. And you have to keep in mind that even though you don’t like a certain game or genre, there are probably plenty of other people out there that do. Likewise, the games that you want to play could be of no interest to other people.

Now, to actually address for your original post WHY so many new “retro” games are being announced instead of the classics that you want….the short answer is that Sony has no control over that. For the long answer, almost all of these new games are being made by developers outside of Sony, whereas straight ports of classics on PSN are worked on by developers within Sony. When a developer tries to make a game for Sony systems, Sony can’t just say “No, work on porting these classics for us instead.” Unless a game is being released directly by Sony, it isn’t competing in any way with resources being used to port classic games.


37

+ TheGameMeister94 on April 25th, 2013 at 2:55 pm said:

@ 35

By the way……I’m curious, how exactly was @15 “hiding behind business objectives”?


38

+ jts2082 on April 25th, 2013 at 3:44 pm said:

Fusion Frenzy on PSVITA that would be awesome! anyone agree?


39

+ Arder896 on April 25th, 2013 at 7:02 pm said:

DO anybody knows any info of assassin’s creed rising pheonix for PSVITA


40

+ Rezolution77 on April 25th, 2013 at 7:09 pm said:

@36

I will continue the debate at hand, about the current point.
Instead of your hope of misleading the conversation, towards the direction you wanted.

It was simple enough in the comments above.

As for hiding behind business objectives, there are so many, that I also; would not know where to begin.

And as I do not have an available staff of intelligent resources to help me, I will have to stick to what I know.

That is, informing players and Sony alike, of the things we “actual players” want and would like to see.
This is simply not one of those things.

You can try to dress it up with as many votes, as you think helps.

But to talk down to a person, expressing his own opinion, about more than the game, is obviously one of those objectives.

I also believe that by giving companies the impression there is a real market for games like this, for anything more than a free application for my phone, would differ the real potential of much better games.

Anyway, sorry I could not elaborate more on the rest of your concerns, or be given more information to do more than talk about you, or myself.


41

+ Ouren on April 25th, 2013 at 8:01 pm said:

I loved Tempest 2000 for Saturn. Still a go-to for me on that platform.


42

+ tvav_42 on April 26th, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

Tempest has always been my all time favorite arcade game! I still play it on my iPad. It’s as fun today as it was when i was playing it at the arcade when i was a teenager. Jeff Minter is a psychedelic-genius game developer! So excited for his next creation!

@40 – Rezolution77, I get the feeling that you are very young and trying to sound older or smarter by using big words, but everything you said is so out of context and off the wall that I just don’t believe you’re REALLY as dumb as you’re playing at. Are you? Don’t answer that! I just couldn’t resist commenting on this even though it’s a day old. Wow. Just……wow. Funny stuff.


43

+ onlinebest963 on May 3rd, 2013 at 8:11 pm said:

Wait, whats llamsoft? what does it do, or what is it?


44

+ onlinebest963 on May 3rd, 2013 at 8:12 pm said:

Oops! ment Tempes, sorry guys!!!


45

+ m4Ck_r055i on May 11th, 2013 at 6:59 pm said:

I still have my Jaguar with the Tempest 2000 cart permanently seated in it, hooked up to my 71″ tv, (with s-video, the picture quality isn’t bad). Brilliant. TxK is the only thing that will convince me to buy a Vita. Good on ya Jeff.


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