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Thread: Commander Keen in Keen Dreams - Android FREE release & development story

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    Never let dreams die! CMA Death Adder's Avatar
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    Default Commander Keen in Keen Dreams - Android FREE release & development story


    We @ Super Fighter Team did something unorthodox for us back in 2013: developed + published an Android game [!!]. Originally a commercial affair at 99 a pop, we recently released it as a free download. W0w.
    So what's the game? (Hint: It's mentioned in the subject title you clicked on.) It's Commander Keen in Keen Dreams, adapted from the original for PC (DOS).

    If you have an Android device and like classic games, mayhaps this is for you.

    On another forum I took a moment to do a quick write-up on the game's development history, figured I'd copy & paste it here too in case people here also find it interesting. Hope y'all enjoy a little reading...

    We first agreed to develop the Android version as a favor to the previous IP holder. Super Fighter Team is a classic games firm, meaning we produce new games for classic consoles and computers. Doing mobile stuff -- aside from Super Fighter Block Battle for the Symbian OS that we'd done years before -- wasn't something we were interested in at the time. I didn't even own an Android device back then, I was using a Nokia N9 running MeeGo. When I finally decided to "give in" and produce the Android version, however, I admit I got a bit excited to have us embark on development for a new platform. Not wishing to jump ship on Nokia just yet -- even though just about everyone else in the world had already -- I refused to buy an Android device, instead opting to install the buggy and very unfinished NITdroid port as a dual-boot on my N9, to do my QC testing. (Our programmer had a full-fledged Android device.)

    And... surprise!! It turned out to be a fun project. We adapted the game from the original DOS source; there's no emulation involved anywhere. (As a purist, I'm not exactly big on emulation). The sound effects were recorded directly from the YM3812 chip of the Ad Lib sound card using special hardware called "adlib digisnap." The reason that some people seem to hear "things that aren't there" when playing the Android version is because the volume of the SFX had to be raised quite a bit. The original volume being fed to the YM3812 chip is very low. The card relies on the user to control the volume via the volume slider on the card or through powered speakers. If you play the original Keen Dreams on a DOS machine, and turn your volume WAAAAY UP, you'll hear those same "things" that some people pointed out. It's all in the original code/data, folks. It just isn't easy to notice. FM sound and music are quirky like that.

    I'm happy to boast that our version of Keen Dreams, unlike many many MANY apps floating around out there, has absolutely NO ADS, NO IN-APP PURCHASES nor any other GARBAGE that you don't want hindering your gaming enjoyment. We at Super Fighter Team don't believe in all that crap. We're not chislers. We just want to make good, high-quality, fun games and share them with people.

    The game was recently released for free after my push to make it so. I personally did not wish for it to be a commercial game in the first place, but since we didn't/don't own the IP, we didn't have final say in the matter. The game cost us a good chunk of change to develop and it never turned a profit... but see, we never cared about that. We were just happy to get a license to produce and publish the game. But as has been announced here already, the game is finally FREE now since we were finally able to convince the IP holder to let that happen. So please, visit Google Play or our website and download it to all your devices, share it with friends, enemies, strangers... heh, heh.

    If, in the future, we end up producing and publishing versions of Keen Dreams for classic machines, those will be physical products and thus we'll charge for them. But Keen Dreams for Android is a digital download. So... go download it with our compliments.

    Cruise by Diskman Presents : filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!

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