It was a long time ago, much time before the AMIGA began to explore the world of new processors. In the year 1993 a project began which had the goal to develop a game for the AMIGA and to achieve a high level of quality. Such a project can hardly be done by only one single person, so two swiss AMIGA freaks joined to make it possible: Sam Jordan and Dario Hardmeier.
The team figured out quite quickly, that such a project would take very much time to complete. During all this time they asked themselves very often if it really does make sense to continue the work. But finally the goal was reached, after 3 years the game was completed: a shoot'em up game called 'Starbirds'.
The game was developed using very simple methods: the programming was done on a plain A2000/68000 with 1MB RAM, without a harddisk. The memory often wasn't sufficient to run a complete level in the development environment. Despite these difficult circumstances (which couldn't be improved due to almost no financial background) the team could motivate itself again and again to reach the goal step by step.
The original goal of the project was to develop a game, which should get out as much as possible of the existing hardware and which should run on every AMIGA. The programming language was chosen to be assembler, the game should access the hardware directly. This way most such games were programmed in past. The authors are proud that these goals could be achieved. The game runs on almost every AMIGA and only requires a minimum hardware configuration.
Those people who think that this game is just another freeware product among thousands of others are on the wrong track: Starbirds is a game which has the quality of a commercial game and which can be compared with the famous shoot'em up games, that were released in past. Certainly people, which aren't interested in shoot'em up games won't play Starbirds intensively. For all other people which miss this kind of games today, provides Starbirds the possibility to travel into the past and to discover a new shoot'em up game.
Why freeware? When the game was completed in 1996 it was clear, that a commercial release wouldn't make any sense: the amount of AMIGA users was decreasing permanently and the shoot'em up fans did the same (as they are only a part of all AMIGA users). And finally only a part of the interested people would actually buy the game (unfortunately a lot of people still don't understand what it means to support piracy). But it was never the goal of the Starbirds team to make as much money as possible with the game. The main goal was to create something fantastic.
For Sam and Dario, Starbirds is a fantastic game, which even motivates after several years to be played, because Starbirds isn't a game which can be learned by heart after the 10th time. As an example, Sam still didn't manage to complete the game in the hardest difficulty mode without loosing a credit :)
We hope that a lot of people also will enjoy the game.