Teenager Richard Paynter wrote this top-down platform game for the C64 a year or two after winning an Elite-athon competition in Gillingham, Kent.

This charity event (for Soft Aid) was attended by Firebird’s Colin Fuidge, who presented an ‘Order of Elite’ framed picture as the main prize.

Richard had already coded a few games in his spare time by then, and embarked on writing ‘Worron’ the following year. The game featured depth cued bas-relief graphics to give the perception of going into the screen. It also featured moving platforms, with the player only being able to move when the platforms were at the same level as them, and a parallax scrolling routine that Richard (who not only coded the game, but created all the graphics, music and sound effects on his own) was very proud of.

Remembering Colin Fuidge, Richard contacted Colin and arranged to demonstrate his finished game at the New Oxford Street office. The game was signed up by Firebird at the end of October 1987, with a delivery date of just two weeks later!

With an advanced royalty cheque burning a hole in his pocket, Richard spent it on some musical equipment and then waited for the games release, which never came. The reason was unknown until recently, when Colin Fuidge admitted to being drunk when he originally agreed to sign the title, and when the final version turned up at Firebird it was (to put it bluntly) "rubbish" (sic). With a heavy workload and Colin's opinion that the game wasn't worth trying to rescue, it was put to one side and quickly forgotten about!

I certainly don't remember ever seeing it during my time at Firebird, but now we all can experience what it was like thanks to Frank Gasking's fantastic Games That Weren't 64 web site!

Thanks to Richard Paynter and Colin Fuidge for the memories (!), and to Frank Gasking for the heads up and for discovering a version!

Music Maestro

Richard Paynter continued in games for a while with Paranoid Software, before leaving for University in 1988. Today he is a successful composer, becoming involved in composing music for advertising campaigns and films.

1 thought on “Worron

  1. Pingback: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - The Bird Sanctuary

What do you think?