June 22, 2005

Stargunner Released as Freeware!

Back on November 19, 1996, we released a title that was legendary in our company history. Why is it legendary? It's because this title was the final release to be released under the Apogee banner, the name we released games under from the founding of the company in 1987 until 1996. This game of course, is Stargunner. A shooter game in the vein of Major Stryker & Raptor that preceded it in our product line, Stargunner garnered many awards and sales in it's day. It was discontinued a couple of years ago, but today we're bringing the full game to you.

Available now as freeware, you can download Stargunner via one of the following links:

* Fileshack
* Filefront
* Fileplanet

Please be aware that this game is being released as freeware - not public domain (or even abandonware which is illegal). You're welcome to enjoy playing the game, but this means that we retain copyright on the game, and you're not "free to do what you want" with it. We've got a few words from David Pevreal and Scott Miller about the release of Stargunner into freeware:

David Pevreal (Stargunner's original project leader):

Stargunner represented the first completed attempt at a game for all of the developers involved. While the commercial success of the game was mild, it certainly launched the careers of the 3 programmers who all moved on to find success in the games industry. Stargunner's artist also found success in his chosen field, though outside of games.

The game itself was written in C++, but with heavy usage of assembly for the video and sound routines. It was one of only a few games that could run at 60 frames per second on the current "486" hardware of the day. Most of the art was developed on the Amiga using Deluxe Paint. In fact, the game was originally supposed to be an Amiga game with a PC version supposed to follow, but the PC version soon overtook and led development, and sadly the Amiga version was eventually dropped.

We hope you enjoy Stargunner, and appreciate the attempt to faithfully bring to life on the PC a style of game seen most commonly on the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga throughout the 80's; the good old days.

Scott Miller (President and founder of Apogee):

Stargunner, released late in 1996, was Apogee's final game. Apogee had officially started in 1987 with the release of a shareware game, Kingdom of Kroz, solely developed by Apogee founder, Scott Miller. The Apogee label rang loudly for nearly ten years in the shareware arena, with games like Commander Keen, Duke Nukem, Raptor, Wolfenstein 3-D (the father of the FPS genre), and Rise of the Triad. Apogee pioneered the shareware method of selling games, and it was this method that allowed Apogee (as well as Id and Epic) to rise from nothing to become a successful, entirely independent game studios.

But as the industry matured, it became apparent in to us 1994 that 3D was the future, and so a new company name was created, 3D Realms, and this is the name that soon replaced all signs of Apogee.

Stargunner was Apogee's final song. It was a great little game, but great little games didn't cut it by then, because in 1996 we lived in a would dominated by three-D's: Doom, Duke, Descent -- the 3D revolution had begun.

Many of Stargunner's developers are still in the industry, picked up by bigger studios and making their way just fine. So the story ends well. In fact, with the freeware release of Stargunner, the story continues...

If you'd like to read more about Stargunner, you can do so via this archived catalog page for the game on our website.

Posted by Joe Siegler on June 22, 2005 at 11:54 AM | Permalink
News Categories: The Classic Games