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The Kiwi's TaleWitchBlasterDerelict Blow Stuff Up

Game Design Scrapheap #5: Traffic Department 2192 (Remake)

It's about time I finally laid this one to rest.

Traffic Department 2192 (Remake)


In-game screenshot. The buildings are 3D, the draw distance is longer, and some of the textures have been converted to hi-res.

The original Traffic Department 2192 was one of my favourite games back in the early 1990s. After the invasion of the Desert planet Seche

by the Vulture cult army, the former Traffic Control division becomes a guerilla fighting force for the people. While the gameplay was merely average, what made the game truly special to me was its expansive and interesting Science Fiction storyline. Each of the 60 levels in the game was bookended by a decent length dialogue sequence that was more entertaining then levels themselves were.

I have attempted and failed to remake the game no less then three times! The first time was back in the early 00's using The Games Factory, replacing the freeroaming gameplay with something closer to Spy Hunter but staying true to the original story. That was doomed to fail, it's difficult enough making something in TGF that has the scope of Super Mario Bros, let alone a game that featured more dialogue then the average novel. In 2006 (and again in 2007) I had another go at remaking the game, this time in Blitz Basic 3D.


An example dialogue sequence. The main enhancement over the original is the background watermarking of the current scene.


When I first attempted to remake the game in Blitz Basic 3D, I had actually managed to hack the graphics and level data from the original game, allowing me to transfer it to my project verbatim without needing to take an excessive amount of screengrabs. I succeeded in getting a 3D version of one of the cities from the game running (as reported here) but didn't get any further. I hadn't even attempted to bring the dialogue sequences across. I guess, because I was working on the project alone, there was no one following the project, and because a massive amount of work had to be done before the game became good, I just left it to collect dust.

That was until about half a year later when I was contacted by "Commander Stab", a fellow TD2192 fan who also had ambitions to remake the game. He had a strong desire to actually have every line in the game recorded by a voice actor. So we got to work on the project, my domain was working on the programming and gameplay side of things, his was to work on bringing the story across and collect auditions and lines from voice actors. Things went pretty well for awhile, but ultimately the project collapsed again.

What went wrong

Illustrations like this helped tell the epic story.

Commander Stab eventually became extremely busy with his real life (University, moving etc) and we fell out of contact. He had worked incredibly hard on the project seeking out voice actors and writing a program converting the original dialogue files into a format we could use in the remake, but since he stopped contributing to the game I lost motivation and stopped working on the game entirely soon after.

The Moral of the Story

Actually there's two this time. The first is that working on a game with a friend who is equally enthusiastic about it is a massive motivation boost. The second is that, a large game project requires commitment.


I dabbled in several different game projects before getting started on Derelict. Traffic Department 2192 is still a game I care about a lot, so maybe, just maybe, a TD2192 remake will actually see the light of day.


BLueSS (not verified)

As a long time fan of TD2192, I have always thought that the plot deserved more than to be put into a simple videogame with circular ai that took 3 minutes to figure out.

I would have loved to play your remake. Do you have any file of the entire plot? I would love to have it in a simple type of e-book, txt file to read. I opened the dialog file from the original game but the formatting of it isn't great... and I've read part of it like that but it's not great.

I sent you an email through the contact form, so hopefully I hear back from you!