The Nightfall Incident Project

In 2002, Lego launched a range called Spybotics. These were spy robots. You could load up “missions” on your computer and complete them with the robot in the real world. To accompany them, they published a game on their website called The Nightfall Incident. In it, you work for a fictional organisation called S.M.A.R.T, and hack into different nodes across the net with “databattles” – turn based strategy battles.

It’s a very good game, especially considering it’s a small online game made to sell products. I replayed it recently and really had to think about my strategy in the battles, making victory rewarding. Lego took it down from their site years ago, but it’s still available at Jay Is Games. However, because it was made in 2002, it uses Shockwave. Shockwave was discontinued and doesn’t work with modern browsers. You have to go to great lengths to find and use an old browser, then install Shockwave on it, making it inaccessible for most people. In addition, it uses an obscure, small resolution (650 x 420 according to the above video) meaning the game window is tiny on high resolution screens, reducing usability.

The solution to all of these is to create a new game inspired by/based on The Nightfall Incident. I’m not the first to have this idea. There have been at least eleven attempts by other people to create things inspired by The Nightfall Incident, and almost all of them have been abandoned. It’s almost a running joke.

For my attempt, I’ll be using my favourite game engine, Godot, and documenting it on this blog. My aim is to imitate the mechanics of the original, so all the original levels can be replicated, while adding the ability to create levels, maybe new mechanics, and an updated, higher resolution UI. I can’t wait to be added to the list of failed attempts.

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