Hardwar began life as an MS-DOS game, but during the development process, the target platform switched to Windows/DirectX. The game was in development from 1995 until its release in 1998.
The game was developed by The Software Refinery, in cooperation with publishers Gremlin Interactive. The two companies had previously worked together on Slipstream 5000, and Hardwar used and continued the development of the 3D Engine developed by SR for that game.
The game was released in Europe and Australia by Gremlin, and licensed to Interplay for distribution in the US. Although the game was well received, sales were poor, which many have attributed to marketing and distribution problems, but popularity of the genre in an era dominated sales-wise by sports and cars was undoubtedly also an issue.
Here are a few key Hardwar dates from my various records:
- August 1995 - first record of a Hardwar demo leaving The Software Refinery - sent to Ade at Gremlin
- October 1995 - Hardwar demo V1.07 posted to Gremlin
- January 1996 - Hardwar demo V1.16 has Simuleyes (3D glasses) support
- April 1996 - A demo of Hardwar is running at ECTS in London, on a P166 in SVGA
- September 1996 - Demo V1.40 at ECTS
- March 1997 - A1.4 - an alpha version
- April 1997 - A2.6 with Stereographics (more glasses) support at CGDC
- May 1997 - Following CGDC, target platform changed from DOS to Windows with support planned for Direct3D, 3DFX and PowerVR.
- September 1998 - Released to retail in UK
- February 2001 - Upgrade U2.04 released
- June 2002 - Upgrade U3.00b5 released
- December 2004 - Upgrade UIM01 released
- January 2005 - Upgrade UIM06 released
The Software Refinery
The Software Refinery were based in Leeds - according to my diary and/or best guesses, at the following locations.
- Sep 93 - Dec 93 : 32 The Calls (my flat!)
- Dec 93 - Oct 96 : Ground floor, Matthew Murray House, Water Lane
- Oct 96 - Feb 2000 : First floor, Matthew Murray House
- Feb 2000 - Oct 2000 : St Peter's Square
- Oct 2000 - Nov 2002 : Wharf Street
Before that, we all (meaning the three of us that founded SR) worked at Vektor Grafix, which was at The Old Brewery on The Calls (89-93), and before that Prospect House on Sovereign Street (87-89).