On this page, I try to round off the tribute site by giving my overall views and ponder on the future of this classic game.
I am informed that an official sequel to Exile is possible and has certainly been considered by Peter Irvin, retainer of all copyrights to the game. Due to Peter's other committments at the moment it is not likely for the immediate future.
I wonder though if he would be encouraged by any interest shown by current RISC OS or emualtion games fans reading these pages. Well, you could ask myself or the Acorn Arcade team to foward your comments...
Lets just say for the moment that a sequel would probably retain the same view of the game world (see Peter's comments below) and internet access would make a large contribution to the game-playing experience of the sequel. Intrigued?...
What does seem to be clear however is that there is some demand for a game in a similar vein to Exile, that is with the freedom of movement and freedom to explore and experiment in such a vast 'arena'. It is also probable that such a game, if it were to be released, would be best recieved if it adopted a similar graphical style (i.e. 2-dimensional cross-sectional view) providing the graphics were acceptable and made use of modern hardware capabilities. These exceptional attributes of Exile together with the realistic implementation of animation and movement would hopefully create the same kind of 'immersive' atmosphere fostered by Smith and Irvin.
Peter Irvin has some especially interesting comments in respect of the idea of a sequel. He, like certain fans of the game including myself, have envisaged creating a 3-dimensional version of the game:-
It would take an awful lot of time and effort to design and balance a sequel, as the original did, and it may end up too samey. Moving into 3D would be interesting, but I think manoeuvring in 3D and the amount you can see going out of sight of the spaceman would be difficult to represent, and may detract from the experience.
Certain fans have speculated about using the 3D 'engine' behind the conversion of the PC game Descent to create a 3-dimensional representation of Phoebus, the world of Exile, and its inhabitants and objects. Peter, it is interesting to know, has considered this idea for a long time:-
When I first saw Tomb Raider when it was first demo'd at a computer entertainment trade show I remember thinking that it was a bit like Exile could be in 3D.
It is worth noting that, as Peter notes, for a long time after Exile was published it would not have been possible to do this as the processing power was not available in desktop computers.
In summary then, it seems that we will have to hope that any potential authors of an unofficial Exile sequel will aim at the high standards set by Irvin and Smith. Since the focus today seems to be on 3D games, to quote Peter 'any remaining 2D games have to have something special about them to survive'. However, occasionally a game is released which challenges the conventional perceptions of what a game requires to be successful and so maybe this format will be seen again with the cosmetic improvements permitted by today's machines.
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Last modified 04/00