New Branding Logo Reveal

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By Kodiak

I have endured a cascade of setbacks over the summer months this year, but still have been able to continue progress with my Commodore 64 projects, including a new action game in development that I am hoping will prove a very useful "pathfinder" for the launch of Parallaxian.

I am not yet ready to publicly disclose details of that new game, other than to say it is designed for 1-4 simultaneous players and it uses a lot of the C64 demo-scene trickery that forms the coding bedrock of Parallaxian.

Meanwhile, I wanted a branding moniker for all of my games (and anyone else's games that end up being published by me), given how cool I think the Nintendo and Sega splash screens look, but for the past few years I just couldn't settle on a name from my shortlist:

  • Closed Canon: The original idea behind this was a sideways glance at certain individuals in the coding scene who went out of their way to try to discredit Parallaxian's game tech, but really, who even cares any more? The logo would have featured some kind of "CC" motif but C is one of those letters that's hard to get right on a logo for the Commodore, especially in the form I had envisaged, so that may have also contributed to my loss of enthusiasm for the Closed Canon idea.
  • Pixel Perfect Productions: Well, it's punchy and memorable and condenses nicely to PPP, but it's a bit too wordy and thus limits one's design options.
  • Artisan Games: This one seemed to have legs for a while and I even went so far as to brainstorm out early font ideas with my very good mate, Mr John "Hend" Henderson, the Wild Wood guy (whom I incidentally had the pleasure of meeting at his splendid house in England back in June - thanks again for the steak dinner and the Zzapp annual, mate!) But Artisan Games wasn't clean cut enough for me so I dropped it like a hot potato wrapped in lava.

For a long time after that, I had lost my inspiration and resorted in desperation to trying to work animal names into it... daft stuff like Eagle Games or Warthog Wares (just kidding with that last one!)

Then I started to think about 8 sprites being used in the logo and what that constraint might dictate.

Nocturnal Ruminations, Diurnal Inspirations

I knew this was burrowing into my subconscious a little excessively when I would waken up at night for a leak and find myself thinking what combinations would fit into an 8 sprite schema.

As you do.

And then one day in July, YouTube recommended an old clip from The Terminator; the Tech Noir scene, which features an eponymous club where Sarah Connor is lying low when Kyle Reece rescues her at the last moment, just as the T-800 was about to attack.


(As an old friend of mine used to say, when in fact he meant Eureka).

From that moment, I knew Tech Noir was the name I was after, evoking so much 1980s nostalgia, which was the golden age of the C64 after all.

Next order of business: design the logo!

Retro Runway Overshoot

My first concept was the image shown below:

Tech Noir Initial Design

I sent it to Hend and our mutual friend, NM156, for some critical feedback, but their muted responses said more than any lengthy diatribe ever could (not that either man would stoop so low!)

This design was simply not up to snuff.

I mean, I am all for a retro, 1980s vibe, but seriously... this is too close to the beginnings of the C64's emergence rather than the sweet spot of the mid-to-late 1980s, which was when the machine reached its apotheosis.

And before you ask, "why not model it on the logo of the Tech Noir club from the film?", just Google said logo for yourself and tell me that's the edgy vibe I was looking for.

So, it was back to the drawing board.

Or rather, back to watching Terminator clips to nudge my inspiration a little further.

And then I saw it.

Right at the tail-end of a fandom fake trailer for a new Terminator movie was an incredible modern remodelling of the classic Terminator logo, with a font so cool it could freeze dry a rhinoceros at forty paces.

So I did what any right thinking gfx designer would do in such instances and totally plagiarised it, albeit with a few minor adjustments here and there to pander to the foibles of the C64's high resolution display capabilities.

Sci-Fi High Five

So what we have here is the logo, in all its resplendent, erm, splendidness and splendour:

Tech Noir Final Design

Of course, this is so much more than a logo... This has to form the basis of a slick splash screen on all of my games and, well, how shall I put this... The code for that has pretty much been completed, at least to a foundational degree, with a special demo-level effect that still wows me away every time I see it.

But, I don't want to ruin the impact of you seeing it in a deployed game for the first time, so at this point I shall have to cease and desist in the hope that you'll trust me when I say it is a fresh, or dare I even suggest new effect on the Commodore 64.

And with that, I wrap this article, other than to say if you like anything I am writing or doing, kindly share on Twitbook and wherever else you can ;-)

This is Kodiak signing off.


PS: Don't forget to check the home page regularly for more articles like this.

And of course, kindly subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Last of all, for additional short snippets of content, check out the posts on my Ko-fi page.


Help Make Parallaxian Happen!

...and get special perks!

Progress on Parallaxian has slowed down since summer 2021 for several reasons, one of which has been the very low level of support from the C64 scene which has made it difficult to continue justifying to my family the long hours of hard work a project as complex as this requires.

Now, I understand these are difficult times and I admit I am not entitled to any support at all, but it really does encourage me to continue developing this sensational game when you make a Paypal donation.

And as a special thank you, all who do this can enjoy the following perks:

  • Your name credited in the game (unless you opt out of it if you have the same kind of incognito hermit tendencies I do).
  • Access to the ongoing beta-testing of the game (unless you would prefer not to see it before its release date).
  • The finished game on media (e.g. cartridge) for FREE one week before its release.