Welcome to our Kickstarter campaign for Hunter's Moon Remastered, the official 30th anniversary PAL cartridge edition of the classic Commodore 64 shoot 'em up. Hunter's Moon is regarded as one of the finest games on the C64, and we’re working closely with creator Martin Walker to ensure we stay true to his original vision.
Released in 1987, Hunter's Moon became an instant classic thanks to its measured balance of strategic planning and psychotic blasting. Boasting one of the earliest uses of procedurally-generated content in a computer game, Hunter's Moon pushed the boundaries of the genre and helped redefine what a shoot 'em up could be.
Hunter's Moon Remastered will be the first release from the Thalamus Remastered collection, which will feature cartridge versions of classic Thalamus games tweaked and updated in various ways. These remastered editions will come in PAL cartridge format and boast numerous enhancements and exciting new features.
Our goal is to raise funds to produce 250 copies of the game, with 25% of the proceeds from each game going directly to the original developers. We believe there is a community of fans who share a love for this seminal retro shoot 'em up, and with your help we can bring the concept to fruition.
After flying your trusty ship Hunter too close to a black hole, you find yourself lost in space on the wrong side of the galaxy, surrounded by sprawling, hive-like cities. At the core of each city lie mysterious alien starcells – these contain valuable navigational data, and must be collected in order to plot a course back home to Hunter's Moon.
The aim of each level is to blast through the hive and grab the starcells, a task made even more challenging by the invincible white worker cells which endlessly patrol the cities repairing any damage inflicted. These workers also bring the hive's defenses to life, causing them to spew deadly spores that can only be resisted by using your ship's trusty Perma-Shields.
The game features 128 levels spread across 16 star systems. When all the starcells on a level have been collected you'll enter the bonus game where you can earn a perma-shield and an extra life. You must complete every level within each star system to advance to the next; however, should you manage to collect four flashing starcells before the time limit expires you'll automatically jump to the next system.
As you progress through the different star systems you'll encounter an array of diverse and challenging hive types, including Attackers that throw out deadly spores, Wormcells that roam freely in space, Darkcells which are only visible on radar, Stargates requiring precision timing to navigate, and Switchers that change direction without warning. Do you have the dexterity and psychopathic blasting skills to find your way home to Hunter's Moon...?
- New Levels: We've reverse-engineered the game to find out how the stunning procedurally-generated levels were created, allowing us to add more levels to the game. And if you pledge to join the Beta Zone, we'll give you the chance to design a level of your own.
- New Graphics: We'll be performing some tweaks and enhancements to the graphics, including a new logo on the Title Screen, thicker lasers for the Hunter, and hopefully some extra layers of parallax on the in-game starfield.
- New Packaging: A Thalamus game wouldn't be complete without slick packaging: the cartridge will be housed in a sturdy clamshell case, complete with a redesigned and updated A6 instruction manual, cover art postcard, and Thalamus sticker.
- New Cover Art: The game will boast remastered cover artwork by Oliver Frey, based on his Zzap!64 cover from 1987. Oli designed the majority of Thalamus’ cover art back in the day, as well as hundreds of covers for Zzap!64, CRASH, Amtix!, and The Games Machine.
- New Loading Screen: New cover art naturally means a new loading screen, which will be displayed before the game starts. We'll be employing the exemplary pixel-bashing skills of legendary C64 artist Robin Levy to translate Oli Frey's new cover artwork to the C64.
- In-Game Music: If you fancy a little music to accompany the action, you'll now be able to choose between in-game music or sound effects on the Title Screen. We're also hoping to add some brand new music from composer Matt Gray (see Stretch Goals).
- Hint Pages: One minor criticism of the original game was the instructions – it seems people either understood the game or didn't. With this in mind, we'll be adding hint pages to the game’s front end which will cover the fundamental basics of playing the game.
- Trainer Mode: If the thought of conquering 128 levels fills you with dread, the Trainer Mode will be right up your wormhole: choose from infinite lives, infinite perma-shields, and the ability to jump to any one of the first eight star systems.
- Saving & Passwords: As well as a save feature which will saves your progress directly to the cartridge, we'll also be including a password system that will jump automagically to the Star System of your choice. And if we reach the Level Editor Stretch Goal, you’ll be able to save your new level designs to the cartridge, too.
- Gameplay Tweaks: They say art is never finished, only abandoned. In this regard, we'll try and address some minor issues (wouldn't it be great if those Perma-Shields lasted just a little bit longer?), and possibly include some ideas which never made it into the original.
- Demo Mode: If you've ever seen the early Hunter's Moon demo, you'll appreciate how cool it is to sit back and watch the computer play. With this in mind, we'll add a rolling demo to the attract mode, which will show tantalizing glimpses of the game's 128+ levels.
- Bug Fixes: Games often have their bugs and quirks, and Hunter's Moon is no exception. We'll use this valuable opportunity to address some of the minor bugs in the game (and hopefully squash as many of them as possible…).
- Localised Text: As this is a European (PAL) game, we'll be translating all of the in-game text to French, Italian, German, and Spanish. We're also hoping to raise sufficient funds to translate the instruction manual (see Stretch Goals for more information).
- Original Version: For all of you die-hard Hunter's Moon purists still wearing shoulder pads and living in 1987, we'll also be including the original version of the game on the cartridge (accessible via a handy new Boot Menu).
- Boot Menu: We'll be adding a boot menu to the game which will allow you to choose the version (Original or Remastered), activate the Trainer, select your language, and access the Level Editor (see Stretch Goals for more information).
- Expanded High Score Table: To compliment the Immortal and VIP pledges, we’ll be expanding the High Score Table to include five high scores instead of four.
If we manage to reach the campaign target, any additional funds will be invested back into the project in the form of Stretch Goals. With your help, there's an opportunity to turn the whole package into something really special.
- Random Mode: As seen in Martin Walker's classic C64 game Citadel, we'd like to add a Random Mode to the game which randomly shuffles the level order; even if you're an experienced player, you'll never quite know what's coming next!
- Manual Illustrations: Many Thalamus games featured illustrations by Oli Frey in their instructions, adding a great deal of character and charm. As we're revamping the instruction manual, we'd love to commission Oli to create some new illustrations.
- Level Editor: As we're creating new levels for the game, we’d love to give you the chance to do the same. This Stretch Goal adds our Level Editor to the cartridge, allowing you to create your own devilishly tricky alien cities and share them with your friends.
- New Ships: The original game gave players the chance to respray their ship, but what if you could upgrade your ship completely? If there's enough coins in the purse we'll create some new ship designs to compliment the original Hunter craft.
- Packaging Upgrade: The packaging is already pretty lush, but we'd like to go one step further and add a glossy cardboard sleeve that neatly slides over the top of the clamshell case. Yes! A cardboard sleeve! You'd be crazy not to want this as badly as we do.
- New Graphics: Once again, pixel supremo Robin Levy will be enlisted to give the in-game graphics a few tweaks, including a fresh coat of paint for the Hunter and additional animation frames for the enemy installations.
- New Music: As we'll be adding an in-game music option, it would be nice to add some new music. If we meet this goal, Matt Gray will create some brand-new SID tracks for the game, designed to perfectly compliment his original Hunter's Moon soundtrack.
- New Intro: Nothing sets up a game like a lush, atmospheric intro sequence. We'll utilise the graphical talents of Robin Levy once again to help us create an intro which sets the perfect mood and tone for the action that lies ahead.
- New Outro: To compliment the new Intro Sequence, we also want to expand the original blink-and-you'll-miss-it Outro Sequence (allowing us to include all of our wonderful backers' names in a blink-and-you-definitely-won't-miss-it credits sequence).
- Localised Manual: As well as in-game text translations, we'd also like to print the instruction manual in French, Italian, German, and Spanish. All translations will be professionally handled by the renowned MoGi Group.
- Optimisation: This Stretch Goal will allow us to tinker with the nuts 'n bolts of the game and perform various tweaks and optimisations to the game engine, including enhanced scrolling routines. We're also hoping to produce a NTSC version.
Thalamus Digital Publishing is an independent game developer and publisher specializing in high-quality retro games. Our team of dedicated professionals have decades of experience, and have collectively worked on over 160 titles for a variety of world-class companies.
Andy Roberts and Dan Hotop will be the key personnel on this project, with Andy handling the design, project management, and day-to-day running of the project, and Dan handling all of the programming duties. Robin Levy will be in the artist's chair, and Matt Gray will be stepping in to provide additional music (if we meet that all-important Stretch Goal).
- Andy Roberts [Designer / Producer] Andy has worked in the games industry since 1989; cutting his teeth on Zzap!64 magazine , he went on to freelance for numerous publications including Commodore Format. During this time he also worked on three of the most successful C64 games of all time: Creatures, Creatures 2, and Mayhem in Monsterland.
- Dan Hotop [Programming] Dan is an experienced programmer hailing from New South Wales, Australia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Computer Science (Games Tech), he went on to join Sony Computer Entertainment, working on various PSP, PS2, and PS3 titles such as MediEvil: Resurrection, Heavenly Sword, and LittleBigPlanet.
- Rob Levy [Graphics] An accomplished artist and animator, Rob began his career as one third of the now legendary Cyberdyne Systems, who created the spectacular C64 shoot 'em up Armalyte. As well as contributions to games such as Hunter's Moon, Hawkeye, and Citadel, Rob also worked for System 3, producing visuals for Last Ninja 3 and Turbo Charge.
- Matt Gray [Music] Matt began his career in 1987, after impressing Thalamus with his high-energy tracks for QueDex. He went on to produce music for games such as Driller and Hunter's Moon, which led to Matt joining System 3, where he produced audio for Bangkok Knights, Dominator, Tusker, Vendetta, and his much-lauded soundtrack for Last Ninja 2.
- The Game – Digital Edition [£15] If you don’t have a C64 or prefer to get your retro fix via emulation, this is the pledge for you. We’ll send you a digital version of the game, digital manual, cover art wallpapers, and a digital copy of Thirty One.
- The Game – Physical PAL Edition [£40] There are 50 Early Bird copies available for £35 each; these include a Loader Postcard and will be signed by Martin Walker. The regular purchase price is £40, or you can purchase two copies for £75. If you pirated the game back in the day, you can pledge £45 for the Karma Edition (the extra money goes right into the original developer's pockets).
- Thalamus T-Shirt Pledge [£60] Be the coolest cat in the 'hood with this exclusive Thalamus t-shirt. Emblazoned with the iconic logo, this quality white Gildan shirt is a must for any die-hard Thalamus fan.
- Strategy Guide Pledge [£60] Created by veteran C64 tipster Andy "Gamebusters" Roberts, this small but perfectly-formed official strategy guide will be printed in full-colour and feature 64+ pages of hints, tips, and detailed maps for each of the game's 128+ levels. Includes PDF version.
- Hunter's Moon T-Shirt Pledge [£65] Designed exclusively for this campaign by Marty Millar of Slippytee Clothing, this stylish Hunter’s Moon shirt is a perfect fusion of retro pixel art and sleek, modern design sensibilities.
- Soundtrack Pledge [£65] Lovingly crafted by Rob Levy, the Hunter's Moon soundtrack is a hypnotic aural journey through psychedelic soundscapes inspired by Matt Gray's original C64 music. The signed CD will feature stunning new artwork by Rob, and come with a rolled A3 poster.
- Commpendium Pledge [£65] Bitmap Books' stunning Commodore 64: a visual compendium is a lavish, full-colour, 424-page hardback book combining both editions of the C64 commpendium into one authoritative volume. Each book will be signed by graphic designer Sam Dyer, and will come with a set of free Gremlin Graphics pin badges.
- Sidologie Pledge [£75] We're offering several copies of the forthcoming Project Sidologie physical box-set, featuring remixes performed by Marcel Donné and mastered by Allister Brimble. The box-set includes 7 audio albums and an audio DVD, as well a digital download of all 7 audio albums in FLAC/MP3 format.
- Reformation Pledge [£75] The forthcoming Reformation album is the definitive collection of Matt Gray C64 games soundtrack remakes. We have limited quantities of this stunning 4-CD box set, each of which will be personally signed by Matt.
- Yew Tree Magic Pledge [£75] Martin Walker has released several ambient albums via his Yew Tree Magic label over the years. We're delighted to offer several copies of Martin's albums The Greenwood and Secret Trees, which contain music inspired by the mystery of ancient forests and woodlands. Both CDs will be signed by Martin.
- Beta Pledge [£100] We're backers the opportunity to access the Beta Zone, a private Slack forum where you'll be able to offer feedback and contribute your own ideas. We'll also give you the chance to help create and playtest the game's new levels, and you'll also receive an acknowledgement in the manual.
- Star System Pledge [£125] New levels means new Star Systems, and we're giving three backers the opportunity to choose suitable names for these new systems. You'll also gain access to the Beta Zone (see above).
- Immortal Pledge [£125] We can't build your statue or name a street after you, but we have the next best thing: a coveted spot on the Hunter's Moon high score table. You'll also gain access to the Beta Zone (see above).
- SIT Pledge [£200] Legendary C64 artist Stephen Thomson – a.k.a. SIT – will create a one-of-a-a kind 320x200 chunky pixel portrait for you. We'll also provide you with an exquisite glossy A4 print of your portrait, signed by SIT himself.
- The Swag [£200] The game plus a digital version and all the physical swag (save £40!).
- The Works [£200] The game plus a digital version, all the physical swag, and a portrait by SIT (save £50!).
- VIP Pledge [£500] This pledge includes a signed game, a Loading Screen postcard, a Thalamus t-shirt, a Strategy Guide, a Hunter's Moon t-shirt, a signed soundtrack CD and A3 poster, access to the Beta Zone, the chance to name a star system, their name on the High Score table, and a portrait by SIT.
- A3 Cover Poster [£5] If your pledge includes a PHYSICAL copy of the game, you can add an A3 poster of the game's cover artwork.
- Digital Edition [£10] A digital version of the game, digital manual, cover art wallpapers (in various resolutions), and a digital copy of the Thirty One album.
- Signed Game [£10] If you're jealous of those lucky Early Bird backers and their fancy autographed copy, fret no more – add on a little extra and we'll get your copy signed too.
- Digital Strategy Guide [£15] A PDF of the official Hunter's Moon Strategy Guide, created by Andy Roberts.
- Pin Badges [£15] Now you can add the perfect finishing touch to your outfit with this exclusive set of four Hunter's Moon-themed 38mm pin badges on a custom back board.
- Thalamug [£15] Enjoy your morning brew and be the envy of your co-workers thanks to this stylish mug featuring the iconic Thalamus logo. Coffee and smug grin not included.
- Set of Slippytee Postcards [£15] "Having a lovely time in the outer reaches of space. Weather is ok. Food is nothing to write home about. Wish you were here. Love, Kenny"
- Set of Slippytee A4 Prints [£20] If postcards aren't your thing, grab this set of A4 prints featuring six exclusive retro/contemporary fusion designs created by Slippytee Clothing.
- Thalamus T-shirt [£20] An exclusive Thalamus t-shirt featuring Oliver Frey's iconic logo.
- Strategy Guide [£20] The official Hunter's Moon Strategy Guide, created by Andy Roberts. Includes PDF version.
- Hunter's Moon T-shirt [£25] A retro/contemporary t-shirt designed by Slippytee Clothing.
- Soundtrack [£25] The Hunter's Moon soundtrack CD signed by Rob Levy and an A3 poster.
- Signed A2 Cover Poster [£25] Grab yourself one of these exclusive A2 posters featuring the game's cover artwork. Each poster will be signed by Oli Frey and delivered in a postal tube.
We'd like to extend our gratitude to the following companies and individuals for their incredible support, guidance, and generosity:
Risks and challenges
Creating and publishing computer games can be a huge challenge. However, as a game designer and producer well experienced in managing video game projects of varying scope and complexity, I am more than qualified to deliver this project to a high standard.
I have over 27 years' experience in the games industry, having worked on 80+ games across 20 different formats. In 1993 I helped publish the classic C64 game Mayhem in Monsterland, including duplication, packaging design and print, advertising, localization, and order fulfillment.
The development process is something I have absolute confidence in; the project has been in the planning stages since late 2014, and I've already invested hundreds of man hours to mitigate as many risks as possible:
- I've consulted with some incredible advisors, including Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books, Chris Abbott of C64audio.com, and James Monkman of RGCD.
- I've worked tirelessly to try and source rewards from trusted, quality suppliers and manufacturers, as well as backup suppliers should any unexpected issues occur.
Certainly, it's a logistical challenge to bring this many moving parts together to deliver a final product, and it would be foolish to suggest that everything will run without a hitch. However, the team is ready, we've done the preliminary R&D, and I'm confident that any problems that arise from this point on would merely cause a delay.
And if delays do occur, naturally you'll be the first to know: one of my promises to you the backers is that you'll receive regular, weekly updates direct to your inbox. No surprises, and no radio silence – I'll keep you in the loop every step of the way.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch.
- (30 days)