Melbourne based Darryl Reynolds is best known for his graphic text adventures in particular “The Search for King Solomon’s Mine” and “The Secret of Bastow Manor”. From his home the self-taught programmer ran a small but profitable cottage industry throughout the 1980s writing games and programs in Basic for a variety of microcomputers. Reynolds first taught himself to code on the TRS80 but quickly moving to the Vic 20 when it arrived and later embracing the potential of the Commodore 64.
At first Renyolds’ sold his text adventures for the Vic 20 directly to local computer shops duplicating and packaging them himself operating as Gameworx Software before a new software marketing company Computer Classics offered to take over the publishing of his games for him. Renyolds was keenly aware of the importance of distribution and when he was working on games for the Commodore 64 he was approached by DotSoft a company founded by an ex Computer Classics worker. DotSoft had distribution into big chain store like Coles and Woolworths and were selling software to Melbourne’s largest department store Myers. DotSoft encouraged Renyolds to convert his games to other platforms including the Sega SC-3000 supporting him with the hardware and manuals. He ported his games to Sega SC-3000, Amiga, MSX and Amstrad systems making small changes to the adventures with each new platform. Having established local distribution Renyolds went looking for international opportunities and forming a relationship with Severn Software in the UK who marketed the games into Europe and the UK. A modified version of “The Secret of Bastow Manor” (1983) was released by Severn as “The Mystery of Munroe Manor” (1984).
Reynolds also sold solutions to his adventure games that could be purchased by posting a dollar note though the mail with a self addressed envelope.
In addition to the name Gameworx, Reynolds traded also as SoftGold. Not just focused on games he created other kinds of microcomputing software including a drawing program for kids on the Amstrad that used the joystick as a controller. With his wife he designed typing tutors and a series of home packages for running your home with budgets and cash book features.
The one man operations of Reynolds’ Gameworx and SoftGold were a profitable enterprise for a number of years in the 1980s however the end of the decade it was more difficult for a lone developer, as the industry became more commercial and the computers more powerful.
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Other games developed:
The Search for King Solomon's Mines (1984), The Secret of Bastow Manor (1984), Skull Island (1984), Thermo Nuclear War Games (1984), The Case of the Mad Mummy (1985), Alien (1984), Ninja (1984), Murder on the Waterfront (1984) , Castle of Mydor , Dark Planet , Himalayan Odyssey , Lost City , Mystery Island , Oasis of Shalimar.