Five designers, one game...

Blaster Master: Retribution :: Sophia the 5th prototype layout Back in 1997, not too long after BMUG was launched, I had a desire to develop a game. Not just any game though: I wanted a game based on Blaster Master that would fit into the storyline of the series. Reflecting back on those times, I believe this idea rose out of a lack of any new games in the Blaster Master series, and partly out of a personal desire to learn about game development. So, I contacted a good friend of mine who had expertise in 3D art design and development. Tharius had both educational and self-taught design experience, and some high-profile academic-related design work in his portifolio (including art studies related to SGI), so I asked if he would be interested in pursuing this project.

The answer was a resounding "yes".

Blaster Master: Retribution :: Sophia the 5th and the 'rover' In only a few short months we had hand-picked a small team comprised of people skilled in writing and art, which was then formed under the moniker CounterMeasure Software. During the same period of time as we were recruiting, Tharius and I were building a site to house the project, which we dubbed Project: Rebirth (PR). I gave PR as much visibility as I could on my own site, and in addition, Tharius and one of the lead artists, Devilbane, also advertised the project on their own sites.

A site was built using Fortune City, which was one of the better free service providers available at the time. Several concepts were created specifically for this game, such as the use of a remote probe (seen in the picture at right), a new set of enemies, power-ups, and a new generation Sophia vehicle (dubbed "Sophia the 5th", after the generations 3rd and 4th). Though only after a few months of development, some of the team turned over, and not too long after that, the project was put on hold. NeoDevilbane would form a new CounterMeasure group later, which was ended in 1999. This marked the end of the BM:R project. It was something of a pipe dream for those involved, but at the same time we all gained some first-hand experience at software project management and game development.

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