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

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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Parallel Logic – brief history of a C64 developer

Something a little different from GTW, but I recently got speaking with Philip Boyce to find out more about Parallel Logic, which was a short lived company which he ran when still at school, which was aiming to keep the C64 going.  I only need to find out a few bits for an article i’m writing, but Phil’s excellent history was something I had to preserve.  So here it is in full!…

coming-on-strong“Ok, well a school friend and I wanted to set it up in response to Commodore Format’s ‘call to arms’ in issue 38 (I think) when they told readers that the C64 could still run for years in the underground scene. Of course today this is commonplace, with magazines like Retro Gamer covering how old machines still have buzzing communities and new software, but it was a new concept for many back at this time. We thought it’d be a fun idea to do something.

Originally I was interested in writing a paper-based fanzine and we did develop one on Colin’s Amiga but then decided to write software instead. Colin (McMaster) came up with the name as a reference to the Commodore’s parallel port and the logic tables we were studying at the time in Computing in school. Colin developed Comsoft Windows, a disk utility programme based on Windows but never got it 100% finished before he moved on to the Amiga. I finished off some SEUCK and 3DCK games I’d started on and then spent a while collecting PD software together and turning Parallel Logic into the PLPD library.

When Commodore Format folded I went back to the magazine idea and created Commodore Diskette, a diskzine which I was incredibly proud of. Before the days of social networking I contacted people through the UK via post and phone who were working on games etc and asked them to write articles. They were very happy to and sent me them on paper and I’d painstakingly code them into the magazine. It was made up of a combination of BASIC-coded pages (right shift key forward a page, left shift back a page, run/stop to return to the turbo loader menu I seem to recall) and others created using PD demo makers. The first issue (I think) even had a never-before-seen demo of a brand new game coded by a fellow named Jonathan from Portadown over here in Northern Ireland. I remember he’d appeared at my door without warning some night, introduced himself and showed me his demo, wanting to know if Parallel Logic (with the contacts I’d made) would be interested in developing it. I can’t even remember the name of it now!

parallel-logic-cutThree issues were made before my 17-year old brain and its attention-deficit ways decided to move on to other things, annoyed I wasn’t selling much. Ironically, after I stopped I started to get subscription orders, as it’d made its way into other fanzines and had gotten rave reviews and so interest only started to begin after those issues. Looking back I’d had great feedback from Commodore Format about the software (and that’s me with the duck in #42 or #44), and about the plans for the future and PLPD was in the top three PD libraries in the UK according to them! But I was always moving onto other projects and never finishing what I started.

Those “future plans” were to collaborate with PD demo makers to make intro and outro sequences for 3DCK games as there weren’t many of these appearing and I saw a gap in the market for Freescape games. Commodore Diskette was also going to go monthly (it was bi-monthly to begin with) and an annual Christmas buyer’s guide was in the works, inspired by 3DO Magazine at the time.

The_Time_CrystalAs for sales, the PD library was very, very slow and the SEUCK games never really sold so were placed straight into the PD library’s catalogue. The Time Crystal, the 3DCK game, generated a good amount of interest though. Commodore Format’s review only gave it 45% but they made it clear this was because of Freescape itself and that for fans of these slow, slow, ssllooowww adventures games there was much to enjoy and was very well designed. It sold about 20 copies, then I placed it into the PD library as a way of generating interest in 3DCK games (for those future plans) and I sold a lot more then as it was cheaper and came bundled with demos of other games. Altogether, possibly about 70 or so. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was great for me! I’d created it in my bedroom and it was the first title I released as a teenage boy still at school – I didn’t expect to sell any!

But the slow start to the diskzine put me off. I thought it was an indicator of things to come and it’d take months of hard work to create each 3DCK, and this would be on top of Commodore Diskette. I didn’t know those reviews would’ve changed my fortunes!

To this day I’m positive if I’d stayed at it I’d have had quite a lucrative diskzine and 3DCK game company for a year or so!

These days Colin is in Texas working for a big oil company The_Venus_Trailand doing exceedingly well for himself, he and his wife have just had their first child! I was working for the BBC for over 5 years in their complaints department and have recently left to concentrate on writing professionally – that bug I got with Commodore Diskette never went away! I’ve been writing a blog based on an old 80s UK comic called Oink! (http://the-oink-blog.blogspot.co.uk) for about a year and a half now and running the corresponding Facebook group. It’s proved exceedingly popular and reminds me of how I felt with Time Crystal’s “success”. The professional writers and cartoonists I’ve gotten to know have been encouraging me to follow that dream of writing based on what they’ve read in the blog, so I’m actually working on my first book now, which I can’t go into yet, sorry!

Well there you go. It was all too brief and sometimes I wish I could go back and give it another go with hindsight, to stick with the magazine and start another game. Who knows where it would’ve led. But the future is looking bright and along with the book I’m also looking at script writing work and the possibility of an indie magazine too.”

Posted in Commodore 64, Features, GTW64 news, Interviews | Leave a comment

19 Boot Camp Part 1 early build

Thanks to Gaetano for highlighting which is something I hadn’t noticed before.  In Zzap 64’s review of 19 Boot Camp Part 1, it seems they either reviewed an earlier build of the game, or they used screenshots provided/from a preview (taken some time before).

The shots are clearly different to the final game, with the assault course showing a hi-res layered main character, and a far more complex climbing frame.  The shooting gallery part is different too – with a more simplistic zoomed target viewer.

We’ll try and find out soon about this earlier edition, but it is likely to be long gone now.

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Prototype | Leave a comment

Dizzy 7 design docs + more added

A huge thanks is required for Duncan Kershaw, who was recently clearing out and found a bunch of design docs and odds and ends.  Rather than dump them, he very kindly asked us if we’d be up for scanning and preserving them for the site – which of course we dutifully obliged!

As well as an interesting design document for an unreleased Football game for Zeppelin (which you can read more about here), there is an early design document for Crystal Kingdom Dizzy.  Synergy produced the Dizzy document.

Additionally there is an early concept drawing of DJ Puff by Jonathan Temples (who used to be Jonathan Smyth), a letter from Synergy regarding development work on Stuntman Seymour and a contract for a C64 proprietary assembler written by Ashley Hogg- which was used a fair amount by Ash for doing audio drivers/music for various games, and ended up evolving into a 65816 assembler that was used at Codemasters for SNES work. See comments below directly from Ash about what it eventually turned into.

We hope you enjoy taking a look!

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | 4 Comments

GTW64 September updates

Our first for September, which includes the following updates:

3 new entries added

Football Game, Skweek, Space Action 2

Plus 13 updates added (See updates link in each for what has changed)

Arthema, Body Slam, Car Wars, Dangerous Sports, Enduro Racer V2, English Invaders, I Can Remember, Murder!, Myth 2, R-Type V1, Rocket Roger V1, SDI, Time Scanner V1

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Lost Freescape demo games and bits

Not really an unreleased game, but some bits and bobs that could be nice to save if they still exist.

Looking at the preview screens in Zzap for the 3D Construction Kit, as well as an earlier editor kit, there is a hospital ward scene using a very early edition of the editor.  Both Andrew Fisher and Robin Gravel confirmed the hospital scene was from Castle Master (which may have been a demonstration of the tool’s power)

freescape

As I cocked up with the Castle Master inclusion, I may as well add the CF office screens that were produced.  No doubt long gone and just done quickly to accompany a review.

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Unused materials | 4 Comments

Chase HQ 2 unused assets

Reading through some old Zzap’s when I spotted this intro screen from the preview of Chase HQ 2 on the C64.  This screen apparently was meant for the intro sequence (accurately ported from the arcade), but looks like it was never actually used.

chase-hq-2-intro

I have checked through the entire game and it wasn’t even used as an in-between stage screen or ending screen.  Did they run out of cart space?

Somewhere out there could be a full recreation of the intro which didn’t make the cut.

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Unused materials | Leave a comment

More GTW64 updates for August

Possibly the final update for August, here are some more updates for GTW64 which include:

8 new entries added

Breaker, Crystal Chamber, Fireblaster, Rocket Roger V1, Skweek, The Ancient Art of War, Typhoon Thompson, Unknown platform game

And 9 updates added

Airwolf 2 V1, Body Slam, Delphian, I Of The Mask, Mutant Zone, Search For Sharla, Star Force Seven, Star Maze, Zanaton

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news | Leave a comment

Stormlord early edition

Not massively different, but thanks to Luca Bertoldi, here is a screen showing a rather different looking main character for Stormlord – looking more elvish and beardless.

It’s possible that more early screens exist, so if you spot any – please let us know!   Main graphics seem to be the same as the final game, though Compounded (see comments) has spotted that there are minor parts which are not present in the final game.

stormlord-v1

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

Frankie Goes To Hollywood early screens

I recently picked up some Sinclair User magazines at a market stall, and whilst browsing through I had a look at the Frankie Goes To Hollywood advert on the back.  Nothing unusual you might say, as it was pretty much plastered around in the press back then.

What was strange was the screenshot of a scene I had never seen before in the final game.  Looking at the others, there were a number of differences.  I’m not sure how I hadn’t noticed them before!  When I got back home and did some more investigations, I found that the advert was infact an earlier advert featuring what seemed to be screens taken from the graphical editors directly – most likely whilst the game was still early in development for both the Spectrum and C64.   The give away seems to be with the white cursor squares in the corner of most of the screenshots.

Comparing against the final release, here are the screens I found which are quite different.  The most interesting of the images has to be the Frankenstein/dungeon scene, which is clearly C64 based and didn’t make the cut.   Hopefully we will learn soon what this part may have entailed.   Is anything of it still tucked away in the final game?

Recently I checked with Karen Davies and Ally Noble if they could recall what it was.  Karen couldn’t remember it at all, but Ally recognised it – but couldn’t place it.  Ally suggests that it may have even been for another game by Denton that didn’t make it – which seems very plausible considering the material doesn’t seem to “fit” in the FGTH design.

Posted in Commodore 64, GTW64 news, Prototype, Unused materials | Leave a comment