Silly Software was officially formed in 1993 with me as the programmer and Tony Gooding (Tonesoft) as the graphics artist. Tony was creating graphics for various people on the Atari ST circuit. I was an active contributor to many diskzines such as Stosser, Power and ST+ and wrote many articles on Stos Basic – which was the language used to create all the software we ever released on the ST. I had already written a few programs before teaming up with Tonesoft which included the Stos Adventure Creator, The Heavy Bunch, Mario’s Quest, Beer Monster and Mummy’s Playtime. I created the graphics myself and as you will see if you download them, I was definitely no artist.
Production started on our first game together which was “Mobster’s City”. This game was based on the same concept as an earlier game of mine “The Heavy Bunch”. Mobster’s City was based on a detective Tonesoft named “Detective Sergeant Silly” who was on a quest to kill all the gangsters and find the missing pieces of a map that would lead him to the big boss. It was to become the best game we ever created and received many reviews in the various Atari ST magazines such as ST Format, ST Review and ST User.
It was during the production of Mobster’s City that we decided to give ourselves a name. So we both put our thinking caps on and I came up with the name “Silly Software”. Tonesoft liked it and so Silly Software was born. As I have always been a fan of silly comedy such as Monty Python I decided to insert some humor into our games which consists of a few jokes here and there. We also created a “Silly Intro” for each title which would be a separate program loaded up before the main one. See Intro screenshots below.
Our software was distributed by the various PD Libraries that existed in the 1990s such as Goodman’s PDL, LAPD, Floppyshop and MT Software. Although these companies mainly distributed free PD software they also sold certain titles as Licenceware and Commercial products. All Silly Software titles were Licenceware but became PD (Public Domain) at a later date. Licenceware meant that the programmers received a small commission from every title sold by the PD Library.
One of my daft ideas got me into trouble with LAPD. In Mobster’s City there was a picture of two policemen together and I thought it would be funny if we gave them pig faces. So it was done and we received a letter back from LAPD telling us that they would not distribute the game unless we changed that picture. Apparently they were policemen in their day jobs.
Another memory of Mobster’s City is when it received a ridiculous score of 3% from ST Format. Apparently their new reviewer had previously worked for Amiga Format and didn’t seem to like ST Software. There were many programs that took a beating from him. After Tonesoft gave the editor a good ear bashing it was agreed that we should write a letter to ST Format which they will publish and apologize for the comments they made, which included the accusation that the graphics were stolen. The reviewer left shortly after and Mobster’s City was given a better review in a later issue.
After various Licenceware releases we decided to release our first Commercial product. An art tutorial program called Grafix The Easy Way. Our first distributors went bust so Grafix was released through Top Byte Software then finally through Goodman’s PDL. However, due to poor sales of Atari software at that time, Grafix didn’t do very well as a commercial product. Unfortunately this was the last Silly Software release with Tonesoft. We were working on a platform game called Percy Peanut when Tonesoft decided he was unhappy with the way things were going and decided to leave. Therefore Percy Peanut was never released because only a few graphics were designed for it.
After Tonesoft had gone I decided to port some existing titles to the Amiga. I used Amos Professional as this was the Amiga version of Stos Basic and therefore porting over was quite easy as I could transfer the entire source code over to the Amiga with only a few changes. Grafix went back on sale again with F1 Licenceware and did better than the ST version.
Two years later, after trying to find another artist I managed to persuade my friend Mick (Chillum) to start working with me and production started on Mummy’s Playtime. However Mick decided not to continue sometime during production which meant the final game was not as good as I would have liked it to be. There was another artist who agreed to help me but he also lost interest after designing a few graphics.
The last game I ever wrote on the Atari ST was a pacman clone with a name certain people would find offensive so I am not going to mention it. It was never released. I also took over the production of a game called “Thinker” which was mainly coded by Tony Greenwood who decided he didn’t want to work on it anymore and so I took it over. However I never kept it so it is not available here.
The Atari and Amiga days are long gone but they will always remain very happy times for me. I regret the day I made the decision not to keep any of my stuff when I sold my ST, deciding at that time I was not going to write any more software. However years later I got the programming bug back and decided I was going to bring Silly Software to the PC. I managed to find most of my programs on the Internet and you will find them on this website which you can download and play using ST and Amiga emulators. You will also find an online version of Grafix as well. Couldn’t get the original to work for some reason.
Our main titles were reviewed in the top ST and Amiga magazines so I created scans of them and you can download them here and read them if you wish.
DOWNLOAD SILLY SOFTWARE PROGRAMS
You can download Silly Software programs below for the Atari ST and Amiga. You will need a good ST emulator such as STEEM and a good Amiga emulator such as UAE to run them.