Myst Preview

Amiga Community Bitten by Fake Preview of Broderbund Hit Title

By Anthony Becker, Executive Editor,

Early this month Amiga users were treated to what looked like a miracle on the Aminet. It was in the form of 20 Megs worth of files named Mystpreview. When dearchived onto your hard drive, it looked, for all intents and purposes, like a one room demo of the Broderbund puzzle game that became one of the first hit CD-ROM games. Many Amiga owners who saw this "preview," me included, began calling the company for confirmation. Most were greeted as I was by their Tech and Customer Support personnel politely denying that there were any plans to release an Amiga port of this game. We later learned that this was done by a Polish programmer using the data files directly from the Broderbund CD. He was setting out to prove how easy it is to port games of this type to the AGA amiga. This kind of game simply uses rendered still images, small animations and sounds. The main draw of the game is the solving of numerous puzzles. The AGA Amiga can easily show these images, and accelerated Amigas can easily display the animations as well as a PC.

This certainly got the attention of Broderbund, but is it the kind of attention we want? The many calls to Broderbund could serve to show them that there is interest here for ports of the hit PC games. The calls also, however, according to Broderbund's public relations department, caused confusion since no one there knew where they were coming from. Has it gotten Broderbund to start releasing their games for the Amiga? I doubt it but only time will tell that. If they do, we can expect to see other occurrences like this. We can expect to see hoaxes like this anyway probably. I guess it is the nature of the Internet where anyone can post anything. This leaves it up to us, the consumers, to make sure that what we are looking at is in fact what it appears to be.

What did this hoax accomplish exactly? Well, it did show that this type of game can be easily ported to the Amiga. The last direct word I was able to receive, however, from Broderbund, is that they still have no plans to produce software for the Amiga. Two unconfirmed letters from sources inside Broderbund state that they are looking into the possibility due to the response. These letters were uploaded to Aminet, the same place the Myst Preview hoax was uploaded. Due to this they can not be simply accepted as real without other proof. Of course the only proof Amiga owners want is software on the shelves.

Remember the old saying while you ply the Internet: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.