The Martins and their burgeoning demo group known as PPP Team seized Recreational Software Designsâ€™ Game-Maker with a ferocity and a measured European flavor of design. Over two or three years they assembled upwards of 24 games, each more ambitious than the last. Since they were developing with an unlicensed copy of Game-Maker, most of those games were strictly for their own entertainment â€” which may to some extent explain the energy that went into them.
There are three branches of PPP Team software. In our previous article we discussed their one-off, often experimental titles. These games tend to be both character driven and strongly inspired by Commodore and shareware design sensibilities. One of those games, Blork Carnage, introduces a character named Jack Booster. This game and this character serve as the roots for the second of PPP Teamâ€™s branches â€” their defining franchises.
If the one-off games housed a wealth of interesting whims, itâ€™s PPP Teamâ€™s series that received the bulk of their effort and originality. Of those, both the most significant and the most varied series are spun off from the Duke Nukem styled Blork Carnage. A third, early series also showed itself during the teamâ€™s Game-Maker era, to further build off one of those spin-offs. Weâ€™ll start with the series that more or less equates with PPP Team, in terms both of iconography and of their design sensibility.