There’s something very cool about a friend (in this case, THE Mr. Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr.) calling you up and saying essentially that he is going to make history by bringing back a classic video game. Now, for someone who was raised on Atari and other systems that followed…that is a VERY BIG deal indeed.
To be sure, for anyone in the gaming community this is great news. Even more, for a developer who is looking to stand out amidst the sea of overwhelmingly beautiful, modern, fancy, seemingly insurmountable video games, this is a smart move. But beyond smart, it is personal…it is history…it is important. Preserving the classics…well, it just makes one feel good.
My friend, Davis, is doing this very thing. He is developing the sequel to the classic “Jumpman” video game.
Recently, my son @MichaelMcGannon and I had a chance to get a peek into what is happening with this development. Here is a short interview and below that is the official press release for this project. Thank you for taking a few moments to learn more and discover how you can be a part of this project…how you can be a part of making history!
MM: This project seems to have a long history. What was the first thought you had when starting work on Jumpman Forever? What was it like to be given the opportunity to take part in a classic’s legacy?
DRS: Very much so. For me, Jumpman is one of those moments in “computing history” for me. My family was always tech oriented – we had an Atari 2600 in the house pretty early on, then a Commodore Vic-20. I enjoyed the games I had for them, but, the first time I ran into a Commodore 64 that it actually made me take notice was in the Pawnee Plaza Mall in Wichita, Kansas. It was running the original Jumpman, and something about the game really captured my attention. I think it was about 6 months later, my parents bought a Commodore 64, and a copy of Jumpman!
So, for me, it’s not just working on a piece of video game history, it’s working on a personal piece of history.
MM: Ouya made a nice stir when it was released earlier this year, although actual activity has seemed a little slow. I personally have high hopes for the Ouya’s future and was excited to see that Jumpman Forever was coming to the microconsole. Did you have any thoughts that stood out from releasing the game on this system as opposed to the PC and app-based worlds?
DRS: Honestly, there’s only two things that make an Ouya first release of Jumpman Forever happen:
1) It’s on my TV. It might sound funny, but, having Jumpman Forever setting in my TV is a bit more cool than having it on my computer or my iPhone. That’s probably because I grew up with consoles like the Atari 2600 – being on the TV was “big time”, while being on the computer was something anyone could do.
2) The Ouya Free The Games Fund is a pretty cool idea – encouraging game developers to bring their titles to the Ouya first, in exchange for a 1 to 1 matching fund. Every dollar, up to the amount of the Kickstarter goal, is matched by Ouya.
MM: Do you have any hopes for future work with Jumpman Forever beyond the updates planned for the first two years?
DRS: Yes. First, since there’s a level editor and a community system to keep the game moving on it’s own for quite a while. Give people a level editor, and they’ll do amazing things – quite a few games have shown that over the years.
At the two year mark, we’ll start evaluating where to go with it from there. The “plotline” is two year story arc, but after that, there’s already some thoughts on where we could take it. I can’t say for certain though – a lot of it will depend on community feedback.
We also want to continue to support new hardware platforms as they become available. Right now, we’ll be supporting five platforms. Later, down the line, we may pick up a couple more platforms – like GameStick – and will continue to evaluate what viable game platforms we can port to. I suppose we should have called it “Jumpman Forever, Everywhere”.
“Jumpman Forever” developer reveals community plan for classic C64 / Atari era game sequel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WICHITA, Kansas (December 11, 2013) – Video game developer Midnight Ryder Technologies announced their plans to bring a cloud based file sharing community to Jumpman Forever to remove the hassles related to downloading 3rd party content and potential expansions. 3rd party content is expected to be created with the level editor being integrated into Jumpman Forever’s planned phase 2 release for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Phase 1 release is planned for the Ouya micro-console in late February 2014.
Jumpman Forever, an authorized sequel to the Commodore 64 / Atari 400/800 era classic game Jumpman, takes the player back to a different time in video games. Jumpman, which was somewhat ground breaking for it’s time, having shipped with 30 levels, was a platform game who’s gameplay centered around action based puzzles. Jumpman, and it’s sequel two years later, Jumpman Jr, saw releases on Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, Apple II, IBM PC, and ColecoVision, along with a modern re-release in 2010 on the Wii’s Virtual Library in the UK.
“The original Jumpman game, now over 30 years old, still has a following,” said lead Jumpman Forever developer Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr. “We want to encourage Jumpman Forever to have that sort of shelf life by giving people a way of creating their own content with the Jumpman Forever level editor, then give them a simple way to share or download levels without ever having to leave the game.”
Midnight Ryder Technologies has selected upcoming file sharing platform cloudPages.me – currently in beta – to handle the community file sharing features. Mr. Sickmon explained there were multiple reasons for the decision, including the fact that he’s a contract developer for cloudPages.me. “cloudPages.me was designed with a very different philosophy.” says Davis “It’s designed to be integrated into apps directly, or as a complete stand-alone package, it’s designed to be simple enough for grandma to use, and it’s designed with features that are attractive to both communities and individuals.”
Ryan Daggett, head of cloudPages.me, views the collaboration as a win-win for the company. “It’s not very common to have a situation like this. We get the benefit of one of our developers both writing the API, and being an API consumer at the same time, which can speed up development considerably. It also means we actually ship the features that a real product needs, not just the features we feel ‘sound cool.’”
Jumpman Forever is currently part of a Kickstarter campaign. More information can be found at www.JumpmanForever.com
cloudPages.me plans to have their first full release out in December, and plans to release API support for developers when Jumpman Forever ships. Beta access signup and information can be found at www.cloudPages.me
Midnight Ryder Technologies (www.MidnightRyder.com) began in 1999 with video game development and game development services for PC & Mac platforms, and later expanded to include other platforms including iOS, Android, and now adds Ouya to it’s supported platforms. Since 1999, Midnight Ryder Technologies has has eight self-published video game titles, including it’s most recent, RetroBreaker for iOS, Android, and Mac.
Contact: Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr email@example.com Midnight Ryder Technologies 2922 East Conamore Wichita, Kansas, 67216 ph: (316) 290-9048 Twitter: @midnightryder Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/midnightrydertechnologies