Our next game seems to be a title which just didn’t work out for Imageworks. DDT: Dynamic Debugger was a game planned for release on both C64 and Amiga, and the game was never to appear on either machine.
A news snippet from CU magazine mentioned the following about the game…
“You are an apprentice dynamic debugger on the ‘toon’ style world of Shogglewoggle and to qualify as a Licensed Debugger, you must eradicate as many insects and furry small animals as possible. There are dozens of levels in this crazed game, so it must be very difficult indeed to get your license. Imageworks’ game will be out on the Amiga and 64 this month, but the Amiga version will feature HAM colouring, which means your monitor will be resplendent in the technicolour dazzle of up to 4000 colours.”
A scan also kindly submitted by someone who’s name we have lost (please get in touch!) also reveals more details about the game thanks to a catalogue entry:
“DDT combines zany humour, the most colourful graphics ever to appear in a computer program and plenty of arcade action.
Set in a strange cartoon style world, known as ShoggleWaggle, the hero of the action is cast as an apprentice Dynamic Debugger who has just one final test to undergo before he can qualify as a practicing Licensed Dynamic Debugger. This is a much sought after and highly profitable profession as ShoggleWaggle is infested with bugs in the form of insects, small furry animals and other spiteful beings that must be disposed of.
So the apprentice sets out on his last epic debugging exercise and must cover no less than 10 worlds, which in turn are subdivided into different lands. The Dynamic Debugger sets out on his quest with some novel tools of trade these include a deadly champagne bottle which fires lethal corks, a vacuum cleaner which sucks all these nasties up, a DDT gun and a battery.
DDT is a bi-directional horizontally scrolling platform game with shoot-em-up and arcade adventure overtones. The program majors on the cartoon style humour which is prevalent throughout and manifests itself in a host of humorous, fun touches. Graphically the program is superb, the Amiga version utilises the large screen scrolling HAM (Hold and Modify) mode which means that over 4000 colours can be used on screen. Imageworks believe that this is the first time this technique has been implemented throughout a computer program and it means the range of colours used is breath-taking.
The ST version also incorporates technical innovations in that the scrolling is extremely smooth as all scrolling is performed at 50hz and at rates that correspond to the players walk and run speeds. Amazingly the C64 version will contain all the levels of the 16 bit version due to the use of a multi-load function.
DDT puts the fun back into computer games and at the same time features exciting visual developments which, at one time, were considered impossible to achieve.
DDT will be published on the Imageworks label for the Amiga, Atari ST, C64 and PC.”
But sadly all this wonderful stuff was never to be, and the game never surfaced. We never even got to see a C64 screenshot of the game, so we can’t comment how far it would have got.
It seems like the game just wasn’t working out, and perhaps got too complicated. We don’t know at this stage without input from the developer. Imageworks went on for around another 2 years before it went under, so it is not to do with that.
Richard Hewison used to work at Imageworks, and mentioned that John Knox was behind the game for around 2 years, but not much progress was ever made. The demo shown in magazines for the Amiga was a very simple HAM mode demo with a few sprites flowing around. It was nowhere near finished at that time. Eventually it was pulled before Mirrorsoft went into administration at the end of 1991.
Richard did not recall anything being started on the C64, and would be surprised if anything existed.
We have learnt that the game was a pretty painful experience for everyone involved, so the likelihood of ever seeing anything of the game is pretty slim. We believe it was only the 16-bit editions that had got anywhere. We’ll update things if we are sent anything through – but it is looking like a case closed!
Contributions: Brendan Phoenix, Richard Hewison, Ross Sillifant, Korekutaa