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The Fourth Dimension (4D) was a major video game publisher for the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Acorn Archimedes and RiscPC between 1989 and 1998. Previously, The Fourth Dimension had been known as Impact Software, which specialised mainly in BBC Micro games. Some of 4D's staff had worked for Superior Software. Notable release included Cyber Chess, Stunt Racer 2000, Galactic Dan and Chocks Away.
In 1989, The Fourth Dimension was founded by brothers Mark and Steve Botterill in Sheffield. Originally it was called Impact Software. It released software for Acorn's 8-bit and 32-bit computer ranges.
Although the Archimedes market was relatively small, it had a fast 32-bit RISC processor with a slim accelerated pipeline that encouraged fast graphics operations. Certain of 4D's games anticipate the 3D, first-person viewpoint style of graphics that was becoming popular on the much larger PC market at the same time. For example, E-type is a car racing game; Chocks Away is an air combat game with a two-player dogfight mode; and Galactic Dan is a primitive 1992 first-person shooter with a pre-Wolfenstein 3D graphics style, combining a 3D Maze look with ray-traced sprites.
List of published games
- Apocalypse (Gordon J. Key, 1990)
- Arcade Soccer (Peter Gillett, 1989)
- Birds of War
- Black Angel (Gordon J. Key, 1992)
- Boogie Buggy (Coin-Age, 1991)
- Break 147 & Superpool (Gordon J. Key, 1991)
- Carnage Inc. (Coding: Chris & Stuart Fludger; Graphics: Andrew Jackson; Screen & puzzle design: Chris Fludger; Vector Graphics: Stuart Fludger 1993)
- Cataclysm (David Postlethwaite)
- Chocks Away (Andrew Hutchings, 1990)
- Chocks Away Extra Missions (Andrew Hutchings, 1991)
- Chopper Force (Andrew Norris, 1992)
- Cyber Chess (William Tunstall-Pedoe, 1993)
- Custom McCoy (4 games chosen by buyer from list of appliable games)
- Demon's Lair (Dr. Kevin Martin)
- Drop Ship (Andrew Catling, 1990)
- The Dungeon (Martin Dennett & John Parker, 1993)
- Enter The Realm (Audio, Visual & Code: Graeme Richardson, Music: Peter Gillett, 1991)
- E-Type (Gordon J. Key, 1989)
- E-Type Track Designer (Gordon J. Key, 1989)
- E-Type Compendium (Gordon J. Key)
- E-Type 2 (Gordon J. Key)
- The Exotic Adventures of Sylvia Layne
- Galactic Dan (Coding: Ian Holmes; Graphics: James Davidson, 1992)
- Grievous Bodily 'ARM (Software Engineering: Simon Hallam; Graphics: Sophie Neal; Music: The Byford Brothers, 1991)
- Haunted House (Gordon J. Key)
- Holed Out! (Gordon J. Key, 1989)
- Holed Out Designer (Gordon J. Key, 1990)
- Holed Out Extra Courses Vol. 1 & 2 (Gordon J. Key)
- Holed Out Compendium (Gordon J. Key, 1991)
- Inertia (David Postlethwaite, 1990)
- Logic Mania - Gloop, Blindfold, Atomix, Tilt (Robin Jubber, Dave Williams, 1996)
- Man At Arms (Coding: Matthew Atkinson; Music: Peter Gillett, 1990)
- Nevryon (Coding & Graphics: Graeme Richardson; Music: Peter Gillett, 1990)
- The Olympics (1990)
- Pandora's Box (Coding: Chris & Stuart Fludger; Graphics: Andrew Jackson; Additional Graphics: Chris Fludger; Title Music: Simon Carless, 1992)
- Powerband (Gordon J. Key, 1990)
- Pysanki (Coding: Matthew Atkinson; Music: David Postlethwaite, 1990)
- Quazer (1990) (Published as Impact Software)
- Real McCoy Compendium series:
- Real McCoy 1 - Arcade Soccer, Quazer, U.I.M and White Magic (1990)
- Real McCoy 2 - Apocalypse, Holed Out!, Inertia and The Olympics (1991)
- Real McCoy 3 - Drop Ship, Nevryon, Powerband and The Wimp Game.
- Real McCoy 4 - Cataclysm, Galactic Dan, Grievous Bodily 'ARM and X-Fire.
- Real McCoy 5 - Anti-Grav, Chopper Force, Demon's Lair and Pandora's Box.
- Real McCoy 6 - Bloodlust, Carnage Inc., Silverball and Technodream.
- Saloon Cars (Andy Swain 1991)
- Saloon Cars Deluxe (Andy Swain, 1992)
- Saloon Cars Deluxe Extra Courses Vol. 1 (Andy Swain)
- Spobbleoid Fantasy (Graeme Richardson, 1995)
- Stunt Racer 2000 (Fednet aka. Andrew Hutchings and Tim Parry, 1993)
- The Time Machine (Gordon J. Key)
- U.I.M: Ultra Intelligent Machine
- Virtual Golf (Gordon J. Key)
- White Magic (John Whigham, 1989)
- White Magic 2 (John Whigham, 1989)
- The Wimp Game (Thomas E.H. Nunns, 1990)
- X-Fire (The Soft Lads aka. Mark Neves, Martin Portman and Paul Carrol, 1992)
- Williams, Chris (27 July 2004). "We own 4thD, admits APDL". Drobe. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
[...] officially confirmed yesterday, APDL have bought The Fourth Dimension range of games from CJE. [...] Stunt Racer 2000, Galactic Dan, Chocks Away and others — the real games that The Fourth Dimension were famous for.
- "Retro Inspection: Acorn Electron". Now Gamer. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "A brief history of Sheffield game development companies | Mark James Hardisty". markhardisty.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
- Williams, Chris (3 August 2002). "Programming in the Fourth Dimension". Drobe. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
[...] CJE Micro's has relaunched its "RISC OS Programming Initiative". [...] This time, it's under their acquired Fourth Dimension label [...]
- Goodwin, Richard (3 August 2002). "CJE RISC OS Programmers Initiative is back!". The Icon Bar. One Point Nought. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
[...] 'CJE RPI' [...] The Fourth Dimension (A sister company to CJE Micro's) has now secured enough computers to restart this scheme [...]
- Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Galactic Dan Acorn Games Video Archive A3010/TV Card. YouTube.