Network 23 (company)

Network 23 (company)

Network 23 was a British video game developer founded by teenagers Chris Lloyd and Russell Hughes in 1990. Located on the Isle of Wight, they produced games exclusively for the Acorn Archimedes range of computers from 1990 to 1996.

The studio’s name was derived from the dominant mega-corporation Network 23 featured in Channel 4's 1985 short film ’20 Minutes into the Future’ (aka Max Headroom)

History

Network 23 were well known within the Archimedes demoscene from 1987 to 1990. Their best known releases from this time included ‘Wibble’, ‘Granny Chow’ and ‘Graffiti Street’

The company changed its name to R.A.G.E. Software Developments with the launch of its first commercial game ‘Provocator’ in 1991, but reverted back to its demoscene name in 1992 to avoid being confused with newly formed Amiga games developer, Rage Software Limited.

Network 23's graphic style was influenced by the Amiga games of the day, especially those of the Bitmap Brothers and Team 17. The graphics were designed using Deluxe Paint on an Amiga 500 and ported to the Acorn using custom hardware, which gave their games a unique look. The Archimedes games market slowly dried up as the 90’s progressed, and the company closed it doors in November 1996.

Chris Lloyd went into business software and is now an independent I.T. consultant. He wrote the popular Archimedes emulator ‘Archie’ in his spare time, but was forced to shelve the project in 2001 due to time constraints.

Russell Hughes stayed within the games industry, and worked on titles including Carmageddon, State of Emergency and JFK Reloaded. He currently works in Melbourne as an artist for Blue Tongue Entertainment / THQ Asia Pacific.

Games

Provocator

Network 23’s first published game ‘Provocator’ was released in September 1991 and published by Isle of Wight developer Computer Tutorial Services (C.T.S) Provocator was a fast space based shoot-em-up, reminiscent of the Battlestar Galactica TV show from the late 70's. It required the player to protect a huge convoy of ships from alien attack as they passed through hostile territory, and dock with a mother ship after each wave of attacks.

Warlocks

Released in late October 1993, Warlocks became Network 23's biggest hit. A platform shoot-em-up featuring a reincarnated knight who was tasked with freeing the world of Lylvania from the tyranny of 3 demented Warlocks. Warlocks' advertising boasted that was the only Acorn game to ever feature 8 directional, 256 colour, parallax scrolling whilst running at a consistent 50 frames per second. '''

Deadline

Network 23's last game was Deadline, published in August 1995. A top down shoot-em-up, that set the player the mission of rescuing hostages from 8 war torn battlegrounds.

References

External links

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