Space... Suit... Sammy! Yes, deal with it.

This project had me at my most ambitious, but all the great plans eventually gave way to the grim meathook realities involved with the ascetic game-making apparati of the nineties. Modern "simple" game-maker utilities really rule compared to what was available back in the day, and because of my dismal programming skills - I still can't code - I had to make do with the items available. In this case, the game-maker application was named Klik 'n Play, and it allowed for slight scripting, 2d sprites and a little logic to work the on-screen magic.

It certainly captivated me at the time - with my friend Sami, a weekend of dicking around produced the rough concept and a few first prototype screens of what eventually became Space Suit Sammy getting killed in glorious, gory fashion. We couldn't stop laughing when the godawful laser shots erroneously emerged from the crotches of characters, and I dreamt up a referential Space Quest pastiche of a storyline to showcase a thousand potential death scenes the protagonist would encounter. Sami's involvement kind of vanished after our few first sessions, but I kept drawing screen after screen of additional scenes for the game, all in my unambitious Paint pixels. It is quite visible in the game that as I kept adding to it, my patience and skills for drawing increased somewhat and the game gets a little more aesthetically pleasing as you go along. Not very much, but a little.

I'm still slightly amazed at how I would invariably take the least effort possible in drawing things back in the day. Even the one-colour animations of Jake Cool could've been made to look amazing through slight increases in effort and effects used.

The idea for Space Suit Sammy was that the journey through the station under occupation would be a long one, full of bad jokes and politically incorrect situations. And yes, eventually Sammy would need to journey outside the station in a space suit. A Larry reference justified! Of course, the finished product shows you it wasn't to be with Klik 'n Play. What eventually became an issue was that the makers of Klik 'n Play hadn't counted on people making such convoluted, long games with it. I started to get serious error messages upon addition of new scenes in the game, and at some point the buggy game-making software just refused to co-operate: I couldn't add new scenes. I think the game hit some predetermined maximum on something. This was a bit of a downer, and I ended up losing interest in the unreleased SSS for a couple of years.

At some point I decided I'd "reuptake" the game and do whatever I could to get it released after all. I fired up the old Klik 'n Play. The errors preventing me from expanding the game were still there, but at least I could trim some of the existing scenes and make the ending of the game fit somehow. The final scene of the game I had conceived long before, thankfully. I guess I was always thinking of the ultimate punch-line to end a game of constant player deaths. In a couple of days I fit the game together with the space Klik 'n Play was willing to provide, deleted a scene or two to gain some memory I guess, slapped in a patented Xenogears Placeholder(tm) to railroad the plot and voila! It was finally complete, in a manner.

The game even got a mention in MikroBitti, the old-timers' favourite computer magazine. The magazine hadn't been very good in years, but at l(e)ast I had made the cut! I doubt I made any fans with SSS, whereas Jake Cool actually earned me a couple of fan phonecalls in the day. Oh, well.