Welcome to Games That Weren't, a site dedicated to news around the world about unreleased games, incomplete games or prototype games and findings. As well as news, reviews and features, we have various platform specific archive projects with downloads and more in-depth reviews and interviews. Please feel free to browse and also use our forum to get in touch and help with our quest to document and preserve all that is currently lost.

Latest news

First GTW64 update for October

First update for October which includes the following:

5 new entries added

3D Snooker, Hooray for Henrietta, Mix and Match with Maggie, Rick Dangerous 3, Samurai Warrior V1

10 updates added

7 Minutes To Midnight, Batman Returns, Cable Run, Crystal Chamber, Fireblaster, Great Giana Sisters, Money Minefield, Reach For The Moon, The Tripods, Xybots

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Aliens: Colonial Marines (PS2)

A quick post to show some magazine scans reporting on the cancelled Aliens: Colonial Marines title on the PS2, thanks to Ross Sillifant.

Seems even more staggering that as technology grows, the expense of cancellations is far greater – especially with a game shaping up as nicely as this was.

Gallery

Posted in Playstation | 2 Comments

Andrew Holdroyd talks briefly about his C64/Vic 20 days

Thanks to Ross Sillifant, Andrew Holdroyd gives some brief history about his C64/Vic 20 days and any released and unreleased works:

“The Vic20 was the first computer I owned and learned my trade on it. The first wave of home computers (Vic, Spectrum, Atari 400/800 etc) started around the time I left school. I joined British Telecom as an apprentice and after some deliberating bought a VIC, partly because it was cheap and had a ‘proper’ keyboard and also someone I knew well at BT owned a PET so the name was one I knew.

It was an uphill struggle learning to program it but I persevered and produced a few basic programs that were published in magazines. To give you an idea how much of a novice I was then, I could not understand why my programs were so much slower than commercial games. Long before you could ‘Google it’ I eventually learned that to get your programs running faster needed something called ‘machine code’ so I went to a computer shop in Manchester and asked an assistant ‘can the vic 20 do machine code?’ He paused, then said ‘Erm… yes.’

The magazines led to me doing a little freelance work for the multitude of start up games companies springing up around the Manchester area doing piecework and producing tool and utility programs which gave me a peek into the world of commercial software.

By now the C64 was around. I bought the Zaks 6502 programming book, the programmers reference guide and a Mikro assembler cartridge and later a 1541 drive. Many people complained about basic 2.0 in the Vic and 64 but I think for me it made the transition to assembler so much easier. Just switch PEEK and POKE for LDA and STA!

It was around this time that the then state owned British Telecom was heading for privatization and the shop floor was rife with rumors of mass redundancies which at 19 years old I found a little scary. At the same time my contact list in the software world led me to a company called Menton Technology looking for staff making micro controller boards so I decided to take the opportunity.

Working at Menton was fun at first but soon became a little mundane. You were given a flowchart to write the code. ‘If input A goes high, output C should go low’ ‘If input B is high and input D is low, wait 20ms and set output B high’ etc.

Train_RobbersI had been working on my own game in my spare time as a learning exercise. I learned one very important lesson. MAKE BACKUPS! One of my disks became damaged and I had to virtually start again although with the experience I’d had by then the second version was an improvement and I sent the game off to a couple of publishers. Who should come back with an offer? My old employer BT! They got me a couple of Rob Hubbard tracks to add to it and ‘Train Robbers’ was published on their budget ‘Firebird’ label.

It was a weird sensation seeing my game on the shop shelves and pictures in magazines. It was even awarded a ZZap64 Silver medal!

Menton eventually folded, I think because as the market for microcontrollers expanded then bigger companies were taking their business. So I had a published game and a Zzap 64 silver medal and Tiertex were looking for a 6502 programmer…”

Here is a link to the full interview:

http://shinobiman.proboards.com/thread/9878/andrew-holdroyd-desert-exclusive-interview

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Interviews | 2 Comments

Thank you to Cory Kin!

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Cory Kin, who has recently posted some disks for GTW64 to preserve – but also included a Zoom Floppy device for us to keep.

Already it’s proved invaluable in backing up C64 disks to PC and is saving a great deal of time and making the process easier for us.   Many thanks Cory for your kind generosity!

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Two new releases and more on GTW64

Last update for September, which includes two previously unseen games from Jason Kelk in the form of Fireblaster and Crystal Chamber.   In addition to this, some news of a previously unseen game by sample maestro Cycleburner and a number of updates too.  Check them all out below!

Crystalchamber1

2 new releases added to the site

Fireburner, Crystal Chamber

8 new entries added

7 Minutes To Midnight, Grey Slayer, King, Legendary Wings, London Exchange, Money Minefield, Test Match Special, The Sentinel 2

6 updates added

All Terrain Gardener, Cycleburner, Gold Runner, Lock On, Nimitz, Pimple Panic

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Adverts with advertised GTWs

This post came about after something interesting from RESET’s editor Kevin Tilley was sent through.   Club Max Software club was an Australian ran software club that was fairly popular.   They had a store which Kevin used to visit.

What’s interesting about them then?  Well, take a look at the scan below – and you’ll notice inclusions such as Gauntlet 3, Dynablaster and Mega Twins.   Did they really have copies of them in stock?    Or was it pre-empting the new releases arriving in time to fulfil any orders made?  Who knows! :)

Shortly after, contributor Cal got in touch with more adverts depicting games which were advertised in catalogues, but never sold.   7 pages are from a computer shop in the early 90’s in Perth, Western Australia called Amitar.  It’s likely most of the games were never actually in stock!

Here we go:

Maxwells Catalogue July 1992

Click for full size

 

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | 3 Comments

A chat with David Jolliff

When contacting developers to ask about their unreleased games, we often send a barrage of questions to bombard them.  Sometimes the answers are pretty short, but other times we can get some brilliant answers which often tell a great story about that time.  

David Jolliff was one such developer, who after asking some questions based on his low time on R-Type V1 – there were quite a few bits we wanted to share which didn’t fit into our GTW articles.  David was happy to agree to us putting up this mini Q/A as a result…

Continue reading

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Interviews | 3 Comments

More GTW64 updates for September

After a few contributions recently and new info appearing – here is our latest update for GTW64.  Includes some revelations regarding Nigel Mansell’s GP and also David Jolliff talks to GTW64 about R-Type – to almost complete the story on the Catalyst Software conversion, as well as confirm his involvement on Ace Attacker.

3 new entries added

Hit and Run, Monster Squad, Zyborian Terror

11 updates added

Ace Attacker, Cargo, English Invaders, Here and there with the Mr Men, Jimmy’s Grandprix, Le Mans, Nigel Mansell’s Grand Prix, R-Type V1, Space Action 2, Time Scanner V1, Xenon 2

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

XLCUS – a brief history of a C64 developer

paulkFollowing on from our recent Parallel Logic piece – I also recently got speaking with Paul Kubiszyn to find out more about XLCUS, which was a short lived company which was aiming to keep the C64 going.  I only needed to find out a few bits for an article i’m writing, but again like with Phil Boyce – Paul gave an excellent account which I felt was worth sharing in its Q/A form…

1) When did XLCUS roughly start out?

It would have to have been around the time of 1994 or 1995. Without going through individual programs and games to see what the title screens say I cannot say for sure. I had a quick look and think it started sometime after Amorphous and MegaForce, but before the PD demos which appears on Commodore Format magazine.

2) What triggered you to kick off XLCUS?

square-scape1Prior to XLCUS I was developing with assistance from my brother Mark and so the original Square Scape was credited to M&P Software (Mark and Paul, see what I did there ) Amorphous and MegaForce were pretty much fully my own work, although some of the music in Amorphous (the end game sequence) could be credited to XLCUS.

When I started to write demos they were mainly under the name XLCUS; this was because I teamed up with my good friend and Acorn Archimedes programmer Jonathan Hunt. He was known at the time as Arcus and I was known as XL, so we took the names and squashed them together to form XLCUS. Later this went on to change to XL.C.US for some odd reason which I cannot remember

3) Was the move to selling your games to Commodore Format down to poor sales would you say?

Square_Scape_IIA little yes. I was also young at the time and desperate for money Commodore Format gave me the opportunity to write a game, send it in and immediately receive payment for it. I use the term immediate with a roll of my eyes as getting money from that magazine was absolute hell.

I remember pestering Karen the editor on an almost daily basis chasing payments. In regards to private sales of games, I must have sold about 100 in tops of all my releases. I still have all of the nice kind letters which people wrote accompanying their payments – There might even be one or more of yours in there. There were definitely a few from the late great Derbyshire Ram as I recall.

4) What made you decide to call it time on the C64?

This occurred during the very early days of the Internet. With no magazines, no ways of reaching C64 users, and with C64 users bailing to go the PC route, it seemed like the right time. I had also just entered the world of full time employment and found I had little inclination or time at the end of very busy days to sit down and program.

Little did I know at the time that the C64 community would actually become stronger than ever with the advent of the Internet and the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately even with the fan support etc, it would never make the C64 a viable platform to write and sell new software for. I cannot imagine people are that willing to pay for newer C64 releases and the few that do sell have to be really very special. I still love and own my humble C64 setup (1541Mk II and 1581 drives, Action Replay MkV, SID-8580 rv2, Expert cartridge etc) and break it out from time to time to show to my children.

5) Is it correct that you collaborated with Eagleware International on some imports and also set up the Eternity disk magazine?

eternityI remember collaborating on the Eternity disk magazine for which I think I wrote the entire disk magazine interface, including the back end stuff for editors to create content. I may also have written some music. The import part though was with another company called BIB Developments.

I think I helped to import 2 games with the rights purchased from CP Verlag. The games were Super Nibbly and Super Stardust or something like that. We had 500 tapes mastered professionally by the same company as most other publishers at the time used, and sold about 10! – The games were amazing and the timing was the only thing that was wrong.

6) What did you do next?

I went through a period of writing music, although was never particularly happy with my final songs. I spent lots of time working far too hard for other people, mainly as managers. I wrote some PC software and games, some mobile apps, built lots of websites and finally started my own business.

I ran my own successful business for 7 years and in wrapped it up earlier this year to become a stay at home dad. My business made profits in all but one year, which I am pleased to say wasn’t the final one I am now a budding iOS programmer and currently working on a port of my Square Scape 2 game to the Apple iPhone and iPad.

I also still write music, although haven’t published anything in a while. I have several tunes I am very pleased with and hope to release them within the as yet untitled remake of Square Scape 2. The game will be of great interest to C64 fans as it will have that definite retro flavour mixed in the new. It will feature all of the original C64 levels, with original C64 graphics and music, in addition to a remixed version, and all new iOS levels, graphics and music. No completion date yet I am afraid

Posted in Commodore 64, Features, GTW64 news, Interviews | 1 Comment

Bloodline – Amiga proto recovered and released

bloodline5 A huge thanks to both Carleton Handley and Vinny Mainolfi for passing on this abandoned prototype for us to put on the site which was for the Amiga platform.   Vinny has been chatting with Carleton recently about his work, who then kindly passed on a copy of a title called Bloodline.

The title is (according to Carleton) not even at an alpha stage and was supposed to be a cross between Halls of Things,  Alien Breed and Paradroid.   Code was by Carleton, with graphics by Adrian Page (who was a sort of trainee artist at the time).   The title was not intended for any publisher in particular, and would have been touted to anyone who would be willing to buy it.   This was a game being produced between contracts.  Development was around 1993 time overall.

bloodline3The levels overall are randomly generated around some fixed rooms and the aim is to clear the decks.  There are lifts (of which you start on one), pressing fire allows you to use it.  Pressing “M” will bring up a real time map and enemies have a line of sight vision, so that you can be stealthy.  ESC will quite, so you can see the random level items when you start a game.

There is also a Tram, which from the looks of things was not quite finished and was half way through programming when things were scrapped.   According to Carleton, there is also a mini-game tucked away in the demo.  Adrian Simpson of aGTW found it, and it’s a sort of puzzle game where you have to rotate shapes.  To access it – go to a monitor station and press space (it doesn’t seem to work at all stations though).

Although progressing well, Walking Circles ceased to be during development.  Carleton was unfortunately out of a job, but luckily got a place at Tiertex almost immediately after.  However, it meant the end of Bloodline.  There was another title around the same time called “Fruit Game”, which was cancelled due to the game play not being quite right (sadly this hasn’t survived like Bloodline has).

Thanks to Adrian Simpson (who runs Amiga GTW) for ripping out the maps and graphics to include with this write up.  aGTW entries are shortly due to go up with more details.  Th

It is great to see the remains of this title, and thanks to Carleton and
Vinny, you can now play it for yourself.  Check it out!…

Bloodline download  (ADF)

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Posted in Amiga, News, Prototype | Leave a comment