There are some games that were played by virtually everyone you talked to. Prince of Persia was one of them, Doom is another. For us, one of these games Letadlo. The game was quite simple - a bomber plane descends while traversing the screen from left to right. The player controls the bombs and the guns of the plane and their goal is to destroy the city before the plane crashes into it.
However, we consider destroying cities - surely full of innocent people - immoral and inhumane. So we moved the game below the water surface and replaced the city with stacks of barrels full of toxic waste.
One day, we thought it would be a great idea to try out, how much of a game we could create during one afternoon. Due to some technical issues, it took us two afternoons, but in the end, we had something playable. We uploaded an archive to our web site and forgot about it. To our surprise, we found our prototype a few months later reviewed on one of the Czech freeware game portals. They gave it a terrible score and complained that the game feels very unfinished - and they didn’t even mention us as the authors.
That motivated us to get back to the game and make a version we wouldn’t mind seeing played and reviewed. We rewrote the code from scratch, replaced the original greenish graphics, added animations, sounds, menus, bubbles, and we released the game for Windows in November 2002.
The final version of the game appeared on most Czech freeware and download portals, and also on some CDs and DVDs bundled with Czech game magazines. After some time, it also appeared on at least one German game portal - the traffic they generated almost got us kicked out of our hosting.
Overall, we estimate that the game was downloaded at least 10,000 times but the overall number of people who played the game could be even higher. We got some fan e-mails from players! And someone actually made a conversion to Atari 800XL. How crazy is that?
It has been a long time since the game was released. Since we have learned a lot about coding, graphics, and design (e.g. that we should not put dark blue text on a black background), but Ponorka still has a special place in our hearts. If you would like to be part of the nostalgia, you can download the game from Itch.io - it still runs on Windows 10.