What are Amiga games that weren't?
Games that weren't is a phrase that is used to describe games that were never properly released. Frank Gasking, the founder of the original C64 Games That Weren't site, has said that it originates from a 1993 article in Commodore Force. Two notable Amiga magazines also covered unreleased games in articles.
Amiga Power, the magazine of champions, included a six page article called Where Are They Now? in issue 18 (October 1992):
It's worth noting that some of the mentioned games were eventually released (Apocalypse, Puggsy and Mr. Nutz, for example).
CU Amiga's article is shorter but contains a handy A-Z list of games:
Types of unreleased games
So, a game that wasn't is an unreleased game. We can break this down further in to the following categories:
- Complete or almost complete commercial titles that didn't make it to the shop shelf e.g. Liquid Kids, Son Shu Shi, Snow Bros.
- Commercial titles that were seen as a playable demo on a magazine coverdisk but weren't developed into a full game e.g. Son of Zeus, Superhero
- Games in the initial stage of development that were abandoned e.g. Dragon's Kingdom
- A collection of graphics or design documents that didn't advance very far into the development process
- Running animations e.g. Inferno
- Sequels announced (often in the end sequence of games) e.g. Mr. Nutz 2, Labyrinth of Time 2
- Games announced in adverts but that (probably) weren't developed at all e.g. Licence To Kill
- Homemade hacks intended to look like real commercial games e.g. Ultima 1/Zerg
- Common misconceptions about games that never appeared on the Amiga and weren't in development e.g. Eye of the Beholder 3
Reasons for games being unreleased
Some common reasons for unreleased games are:
- Over-ambitious projects
- Suits and money men screw the developers
- Publisher goes into administration
- Developer inter-team strife
- Commodore went under and the Amiga died
- The market wouldn't support the game
- Hard disk failures and loss of data
- The game wasn't good enough to release
- One of the developers gets another job
The aim behind Amiga Games That Weren't is to track down these games and ideally allow their release or at least to find out what happened to them.
Given the transience of the world, what's the point in saving these games?
SPS is spearheading preservation of software (especially Amiga), but aGTW's approach is that it's fun to discover more about these games and even to play them. Some of the games don't exist in runtime or source code form anymore so in any case it won't be possible to recover them all. There can also be a certain something lost when previously mysterious games are revealed but at least the option of finding out about them is there.
All the developers who have taken the time to help document their old games
The Wolf for a large number of magazine scans and efforts to track down unreleased games
Frank Gasking for his C64 Games That Weren't site
eLowar for the aGTW logo and the site design
Codetapper (Ian) for his WHDLoad patching, other information & scanning the Amiga Power article
Galaxy (Peter) for scanning the CU Amiga article
dlfrsilver (Denis) for his work on Snow Bros
Juergen Beck for his investigative work
RCK for the webspace
The SPS team preservation work with unreleased games
C-FOU (Bertrand) for WHDLoad patching
The WHDLoad team in general
Toni Wilen and other UAE coders for WinUAE
Thanks go to the original Amiga Games That Weren't team (Akira, Bobic, Codetapper, fragorn, IFW and The Wolf) for their initial work on the project. However, please note that the current site administrator only became involved in the project after the initial version was formally and publicly abandoned and that this site does not use any design work, HTML, database structure or code from it. The site content (including the interviews, synopses, reviews and screenshots) has been researched independently of the previous project. However, The Wolf kindly donated a collection of scans that he had previously gathered.