The Interview

We, the Puttymoon team, were succesfull in searching for the author of the original code and so we are proud to bring you the exclusive interview with Dan Phillips.

We know that you are an active member of the C64 community. Do you watch the Amiga scene as well? Or better: do you own any?

I occasionally drop in to Lemon Amiga, it wasn't my favourite machine and I always felt it was a bit lacking in terms of hardware support for doing good games (only having bitmap modes meant scrolling was always going to take up a fair amount of the available cpu and the sprites were pitifully small (max of 16 pixels wide :( )

Which platforms were Putty planned to be released for and which were realised? We know about the Amiga and Super NES version. In your interview for Lemon64 you mentioned Atari ST and C64 as well. We have seen the recent Playstation 2 port too. Any others?

C64 is the only other one I know about, there are some development disks waiting to be ported over to the pc... when I can meet up with Frank Gasking from "Games That Weren't"

In the old reviews in the games magazines we can read that the main Bots goal is to build the tower from the planet Zid to the Puttymoon. In the game outro we can see the primary directive "Build the Tower" as well. In the game manual there isn't even a word about this, so where did this information come from? Was it in a letter distributed with the previews?

There was a certain amount of info sent out with each review copy and the guy responsible for marketing was pretty effective, if there were holes in the story he was more than capable of "filling" them in...

In the game the player meets the sub-level "Bobs milk bar". We absolutely don't understand what this is good for. The Bots stay there, drink coffee and a few points are added to your score. As they finish drinking coffee, they all move to the left border where they keep jumping. Putty is also in the bar, he can move freely until the player presses fire - at this point the game jumps to the following level. During this the time counter decreases, but it adds up to 16 minutes. So what is the bar good for, why it is twice in the game?

It was meant as an interlude, at one point I used it to see how many sprites we could get moving around without slowing down too much, Phil Thornton liked the idea of giving the player somewhere to goof around :)

Could you describe to us a little what the PDS (Programmers Design System) is? Who developed it, or does it still exist? Was it launched on PC and then products tested on Amiga, or what?

It was made by Argonaut, Jez San. I haven't seen one in a few years :( Yep you wrote the code on the pc compiled it and squirted it down the parallel cable IIRC.

How long did it take to make the Putty game?

Ohh, about 9 months, the first couple of that were learning the Amiga and trying to get around a problem of corruption happening when the code was sent to the Amiga from the PC, some dodgy electronics in a monitor were interfearing :)

Do you know that there is written in the game manual: "Big yellow Goblin is a real fake, he looks like a big guy, but is actually inflated. A good punch will knock the wind out of him. Squash him before he gets his wind back." - but we discovered that it is not true - punching doesnt hurt him, he only says something. The only way is to eat him with the false teeth. Similar with Putty description "when inflated he can be used as a cushion for falling friends" - this also doesn't work. Are these mistakes, and if so, did you get any feedback about them after the game was released?

I have no idea :) Phil wrote most of the stuff that went into the manual and designed the levels+enemies, I don't think we got any feedback from end users :(

We were searching for anybody who would have the early previews of Silly Putty. The old magazine reviews contain some very interesting screenshots from work versions. Do you think you could help us?

I'm afraid any early versions were destroyed, the pc I wrote them on was the office pc and after I finished everything was wiped (I had left the company)...sorry

Were you been in System 3, when the game was released for CD32 as Super Putty? There is a screenshot on the back of the cover that comes from SNES version and this is very confusing.

No, I left System 3 immediately after putty was finished.

The SuperNES version is very different to the Amiga one, and is also much more difficult. How much have both games to do with each other in programmers view? Was each version made by a different team? And if so, did both teams collaborate, or is the NES (newer) version only inspired by Amiga original?

The Snes version was programmed towards the end of development on the Amiga by Chris Butler. There was no shared code at all...The Snes is a much easier machine to write for :)

What do you mean by the term "games industry vet" (your occupation)? If I hurt an ingame enemy, can I bring it to you and you will heal it?

You could, but I'd have to put it out of it's missery :) It relates to having been in the industry for a long time a "veteran"

We are quite confused about the putty games, which is caused by the name changes. At first it was released as the Silly Putty, later it was renamed to simple Putty. But the budget appeared with the original name Silly Putty again. What was the reason of these name changes? Was it a trade-mark conflict with the famous plastic toys manufacturer?

Yep, we couldn't get permission to use the name, but the version that was bundled with the A600 had already been manufactured so there was no going back (that version also didn't have an end sequence :( )

We weren't successful in searching for the original Silly Putty boxed package, but we have the original disks, though. We discovered that the later Putty differs a lot from the original Silly Putty game. The first stage is totally different, and there are differences in the enemies and bonuses placement. What was the reason for these changes?

To make it easier to play and because we had more time to polish it :)

There are a lot of bugs in Silly Putty. It seems that the game wasn't beta-tested enough. Was it been developed in hurry?

Yep, we had a deadline to get it in the A600 bundle, we also only had one tester...

During the work on the website we discovered some unused tiles and sprites in the graphics files. One of them is a spray can, or something. Was it really used, or have we just not found it? Do you remember it?

There were quite a few "unused" sprites, can't say I remember it though

And the last question: what do you think about our website Any comments?

Pretty darn nice...A brilliant tribute to a crazy little game :) Well done!

Thank you, Dan.