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The ONLY full-size recreation of the 1980s personal computer ... the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
The ONLY full-size recreation of the 1980s personal computer ... the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
821 backers pledged £63,194 to help bring this project to life.

Functionality Of The Bluetooth ZX Spectrum

Posted by Elite Systems Ltd (Creator)
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We're working on a simple one simple one-page ‘infographic’. It's intended to provide an 'at a glance' summary of the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum's features: "One Device ... Two Functions". It has been prepared but needs some further refinement before it can be shared. We now hope to do that tomorrow.

It, along with the full project update of the Kickstarter appeal (which is also in the works) and the addition of a device specification to the http://BluetoothZXSpectrum.com site should, we hope, provide improved clarity regarding the functionality of the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum device.

We appreciate your patience with us whilst we prepare these documents.

Kokotoni Wilf, Elite®’s First Game For The ZX Spectrum et

Posted by Elite Systems Ltd (Creator)
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We're planning to write a short feature each day this week. Each feature will be about one of Elite's ZX Spectrum-games. Each will be written from a contemporary perspective - and so may contradict previously written reports about each game - and most will include some unseen documentation relating to each game. Today’s short feature is about Elite®’s very first game, a game called … Kokotoni Wilf.

Kokotoni Wilf, Elite®’s First Game For The ZX Spectrum et al
Kokotoni Wilf, Elite®’s First Game For The ZX Spectrum et al

Kokotoni Wilf was written by four then-teenagers, Andy Williams, Neil A. Bate, Stephen Lockley, and Rory C. Green in the store room of a tiny shop, called ‘Bowies’ in Bradford Street in Walsall (in the UK) in the autumn of 1984. All four were novices and Kokotoni Wilf was (probably) their first commercial game. It was inspired, as were many ‘platform’ games at that time, by both the format and the commercial success of Matthew Smith’s Manic Miner and more significantly Jet Set Willy. Andy wrote the ZX Spectrum version of the game, Neil the Commodore 64 version and Rory produced the graphics for both. The game was written on a Spectrum for a Spectrum and each line of code and graphical asset, once created, was saved onto a cassette tape. Like the game’s theme, this method of doing things now seems pre-historic. In an attempt to differentiate the game from the dozens of others which were similarly trying to emulate Matthew’s achievements, Wilf the game’s protagonist was given a special power. He could fly by batting his wings. This required repeated / rythmic pressing of a key on the ZX Spectrum’s keyboard. Wilf’s movement left and right was also managed by keyboard control.

Kokotoni Wilf was written by four then-teenagers, Andy Williams, Neil A. Bate, Stephen Lockley, and Rory C. Green in the store room of a tiny shop, called ‘Bowies’ in Bradford Street in Walsall (in the UK) in the autumn of 1984.
Kokotoni Wilf was written by four then-teenagers, Andy Williams, Neil A. Bate, Stephen Lockley, and Rory C. Green in the store room of a tiny shop, called ‘Bowies’ in Bradford Street in Walsall (in the UK) in the autumn of 1984.

Despite being an ‘original’ and ‘unlicenced’ work (that is, not a port of a game from another system and not being associated with any third-party brand) Kokotoni Wilf achieved a degree commercial a critical success. From memory, unit sales - on first release were in the low tens of thousands of units - and despite our (now obviously) outrageous suggestion that it could / would be a Jet Set Willy beater, it was treated relatively kindly by the media. The gameplay, as was normal at the time was challenging (read tough) and the art, as can be seen from the loading screen, was competent.

PS: the name Kokotoni Wilf was derived by contracting the name of a town (Mkokotoni) featured in a then a contemporary work of fiction and matching it with another male forename, Willy became Wilf.

Kokotoni Wilf: The gameplay, as was normal at the time was challenging (read tough) and the art, as can be seen from the loading screen, was competent.
Kokotoni Wilf: The gameplay, as was normal at the time was challenging (read tough) and the art, as can be seen from the loading screen, was competent.

Kokotoni Wilf will be available to play in all of its rubber-keyed glory with the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum.

EXCLUSIVE! Added New Rewards - Manic Miner & Jet Set Willy: Limited-Edition Collectors’ Prints – Signed By Matthew Smith

Posted by Elite Systems Ltd (Creator)
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Manic Miner Artists’ Proofs – Signed By Matthew Smith
Manic Miner Artists’ Proofs – Signed By Matthew Smith

In the spring of 2011, Matthew Smith - author of legendary ZX Spectrum games Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy - created the first of two sets of limited-editions by signing 50, individually numbered, digitally re-mastered collectors’ prints of Manic Miner; along with 5 artists’ proofs. Print #50 of 50 is owned by Matthew Smith; prints #2-49 of 50 had already been sold prior to the launch of this appeal, print #1 of 50 is now being offered as a reward.

The limited-edition collectors' prints do not include any of the devices. We hope to make the prints more accessible this way. Since this is our first appeal we're not entirely sure of the mechanism of pledging for multiple rewards but - according to this informed source http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamforge-games/something-wicked-this-way-comes-crusader-plastic-m/posts/290134 "... to pledge for multiple rewards, simply add the totals together for all rewards you would like to participate in (including shipping), then make / amend your pledge to cover all rewards you wish to back. When the project ends, you will be sent a survey, simply list the rewards you pledged for."

Here’re an example of how we think we can make this work in practice, (and in so doing, avoid the need to add a whole host of new reward combinations or to create rewards that include items that you may not want).

Say you want a print and a device.

E.g. Jet Set Willy, Limited-Edition Collectors’ Print (#42-49 of 50) at £60 and a Bluetooth ZX Spectrum for iOS devices - Founders' Edition at £50, both to be shipped to an address outside the UK. To pledge for this you would add the two rewards together (£60 and £50, plus £10 for the cost of shipping the device to an address outside the UK; total £120) and pledge that total amount. IMORTANT: be sure to select the Jet Set Willy, Limited-Edition Collectors’ Print as your reward, because it is a limited reward with the smallest number available. Then send us a message and let us know what exactly you are pledging for and we will take care of the rest at our end. We will deal with such pledges on a first come, first served basis. When the survey goes out you will be able to "spend" your remaining £60 on the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum for iOS devices - Founders' Edition.

TAKE NOTE: Please do not attempt to pledge for two or more print rewards, whether the same or different. Both are limited rewards and are likely to sell out. In this eventuality, we will supply only the reward for which you’ve pledged.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please do not attempt to pledge for two or more device rewards, unless they are different. Kickstarter’s rules for hardware projects forbid this. In this eventuality, we will supply only the reward for which you’ve pledged.

The last few of individually numbered, digitally re-mastered collectors’ prints of Jet Set Willy - signed by Matthew Smith - are also being offered as rewards.

Jet Set Willy Limited-Edition Collectors’ Prints – Signed By Matthew Smith
Jet Set Willy Limited-Edition Collectors’ Prints – Signed By Matthew Smith

We have some unseen smartphone camera video of Matthew signing the individually numbered, digitally re-mastered collectors’ prints of Manic Miner. If you have an interest and some creative ideas about how we could make this available as a reward, and so support this appeal, then please share them with us all.

EXCLUSIVE! Never (?) before published photographs of Elite®'s Awards for ZX Spectrum and other games.

Posted by Elite Systems Ltd (Creator)
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Elite Systems Ltd, Elite® has been an eminent publisher of ZX Spectrum games since 1984.

The following photographs, taken earlier today, are of some of the original awards won by Elite® in the 1980s - along with some of the ZX Spectrum games for which the awards were won. It’s thought that no photographs of these awards - which have been boxed and kept in storage for many years - have previously been published (but if you have evidence to the contrary we’d love to see it.)

Many of the ZX Spectrum games, for which Elite® won the awards, along with many other ZX Spectrum (and other) games and more will be published as part of the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum range of apps. Each will be playable on the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum in all of their rubber-keyed glory.

Caption: 1985, Elite® is ‘Commended’ in the Computer and Video Games magazine (‘C&VG’) Golden Joysticks Awards in the category ‘Software House of the Year’. The award is signed by the then editor of C&VG, Tim Metcalfe.
Caption: 1985, Elite® is ‘Commended’ in the Computer and Video Games magazine (‘C&VG’) Golden Joysticks Awards in the category ‘Software House of the Year’. The award is signed by the then editor of C&VG, Tim Metcalfe.
1986, Elite® wins ‘Software House of the Year’ in the Computer and Video Games magazine (‘C&VG’) Golden Joysticks Awards. Elite® wins ‘Best Software House’ in the ‘Crash’ (ZX Spectrum) magazine Readers’ Awards.
1986, Elite® wins ‘Software House of the Year’ in the Computer and Video Games magazine (‘C&VG’) Golden Joysticks Awards. Elite® wins ‘Best Software House’ in the ‘Crash’ (ZX Spectrum) magazine Readers’ Awards.
1987, Elite® wins ‘Game of the Year’ in the Entertainment Software Trade Awards at the In-Din. The award was presented by Chris Tarrant of Tiswas / Who Wants To Be A Millionaire fame at the Roof Gardens, Kensington.
1987, Elite® wins ‘Game of the Year’ in the Entertainment Software Trade Awards at the In-Din. The award was presented by Chris Tarrant of Tiswas / Who Wants To Be A Millionaire fame at the Roof Gardens, Kensington.

The 14 year-old girl (our daughter) who took these photographs enquired, "Who's Frank Bruno" ... aggghhh!

Note: Encore was an imprint / label used by Elite® in the 1980s to re-issue its and others’ games at a lower price, once the market for the games at their original price had been exhausted.

Progress and the correlation between media coverage of our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum and your pledges

Posted by Elite Systems Ltd (Creator)
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Just as soon as everyone’s back at their desk we’ll publish a project update discussing in some more detail the differences between the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum’s ‘Game Layer’ and its ‘QWERTY Layer’. This should assure those with a keen interest, that the device's performance as a Bluetooth keyboard is a key consideration in its design.

In the interim, whilst we’re still in the midst of ‘silly season’, we thought we’d share a little information about the progress of our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum, its prospects and the importance of promoting its existence to the widest possible audience. Remember, “A successful Kickstarter appeal is an essential pre-condition of Elite’s plans for the delivery of the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum.”

Here’s a mock-up of one of several ‘banners’ currently being prepared for use of part of a holiday season Twitter campaign. We’ll be encouraging you to share these banners to help us promote our appeal. (If you have ideas for how to promote our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum, then please don’t hesitate to share them with us by contacting us here, at http://BluetoothZXSpectrum.com or by email to: zxspectrum@elite-systems.co.uk)

A mock-up of one of several ‘banners’ currently being prepared for use as part of a holiday season Twitter campaign.
A mock-up of one of several ‘banners’ currently being prepared for use as part of a holiday season Twitter campaign.

By 6pm GMT today (that’s 6pm UK time) almost 10% of the duration of our Kickstarter appeal will have elapsed. At the time of writing (9:24am GMT), we’ve achieved some 17% of our appeal’s £60,000 funding goal. This is encouraging. Nonetheless, we know we've set ourselves a VERY demanding goal - fewer than 1%* of successful Kickstarter appeals achieve such an elevated goal. We'll be working hard, alongside our backers and supporters, throughout the holidays and beyond to ensure that we build on this positive start and realise our objective ... recreating the ZX Spectrum.

Here’s one of the things that Kicktraq is currently saying about our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum. (We should all take this with a pinch of salt as its forecast changes every few hours and is currently based on relatively little data. Nonetheless, we are monitoring it.)

One of the things that Kicktraq is currently saying about our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum.
One of the things that Kicktraq is currently saying about our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum.

Yesterday was a “quiet day” for pledges and - as you can see by looking at Kicktraq’s records of last year’s (much larger) Kickstarter appeal for Frontier’s Elite Dangerous - is typical for Christmas Day. 

We can clearly see a close correlation between media coverage of our Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum and your pledges and we now appreciate, more than we did even a few days ago, that media coverage of our Kickstarter appeal is as important as is our explanation of the technical features and specs of the device.

You can read more of Kicktraq’s records of last year’s Kickstarter appeal for Frontier’s Elite Dangerous here: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous/#chart-daily

Source*: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats