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Odin Computer Graphics

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Odin Computer Graphics (Odin for short) were a Liverpool-based computer games developer who came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a variety of titles for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers.

HistoryEdit

Prior to the release of their debut title, Nodes of Yesod, in 1985, Odin had previously released a number of games under the name Thor. Although they developed a couple of in-house titles as Thor, they mainly acquired the publishing rights to homegrown titles from anonymous bedroom programmers. These early titles were mostly regarded as critical disappiontments but not commercial failures. When Thor decided to switch to in-house development, Paul McKenna (Managing Director & Owner) thought it apropriate to form a new joint Company, hence Odin Computer Graphics was born.

Odin made a very deliberate attempt to ensure they were mistaken for Ultimate Play The Game, one of the most critically acclaimed game developers of the 1980s. As well as establishing a very similar name (Odin Computer Graphics vs. Ashby Computer Graphics), many of their games were heavily inspired by Ultimate's output (Odin's Nodes of Yesod certainly owes a considerable debt to Ultimate's Underwurlde). The advertisements for Odin's games, which won many acclaimed awards, also bore an uncanny resemblance to the highly stylised, airbrushed artwork that graced the adverts for Ultimate's games.

Just prior to the Telecom deal, Odin had secured a major Contract with Capcom to develop 'Robin Hood' on the coin operated arcade machines. Unfortunately the Contract arrived a day late.

Nodes of Yesod became an instant critical and commercial success, prompting Telecomsoft (the software division of British Telecom) to offer them a six-figure contract to develop ten games within a 12 month period. While Odin's later games (including Robin of the Wood and Heartland) were very well received, some later titles failed to live up to expected standards.

In 1987, Odin finally closed their doors, mainly due to an inability to expand the size of their teams while maintaining the quality that had put the company on the map in the first place. Although they delivered more than all the necessary titles to fulfil their contract, Telecomsoft deemed several of them to be not worthy of release. By this time many of Odin's core programmers and artists had already jumped ship. Several ex-Odin staff initially joined Denton Designs, another Liverpool-based games developer, before going their separate ways.

During the Telecomsoft era, the warehouse area attached to the Odin studio was used by Telecomsoft as a Distribution Warehouse and to store thousands of copies of games on their Firebird, Rainbird and Beyond labels.

In 2005, Paul McKenna reformed Odin Computer Graphics Ltd, to develop and produce new titles and convert Nodes of Yesod, Arc of Yesod, Heartland and Robin of the Wood on the Mobile Phone formats.

Games developedEdit

  • Nodes of Yesod (ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC)
  • Robin of the Wood (ZX Spectrum, C64)
  • Arc of Yesod (ZX Spectrum, C64)
  • I.C.U.P.S. (ZX Spectrum, C64)
  • Mission A.D. (C64)
  • Heartland (ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC)
  • Hypa-Ball (ZX Spectrum, C64)
  • On the Tiles (unreleased)
  • Sidewize (ZX Spectrum)
  • U.F.O. (unreleased)
  • Gladiator (unreleased)
  • The Gunpowder Plot (unreleased)
  • Tank Game (unreleased)
  • P.L.O.D. (unreleased)
  • Lusitania (unreleased)
  • Crosswize (ZX Spectrum - actually not an Odin game, but a sequel to Sidewize)

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