Paintworks Plus

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RAM Requirement: 512k RAM

Release Status: Abandonware

Year: 1986

Publisher: Activision

Developers: Henri Lamiraux & B. Gallet, L. Barthelet, R. Danais, S. Cavril

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes

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Screen Shot

You might think the influence of French IIGS developers came later in the piece with the FTA, Miami Software, Brutal Deluxe and others, but they were there before the IIGS had even been released. Version Soft, the French team behind several very early IIGS applications, Writers Choice Elite (also known as GSWrite, a word processing program), Draw Plus (an object orientated drawing program) and List Plus (a Database program), were working on Paintworks Plus (also known as GS Paint) to coincide with the release of the IIGS. Afterall, the IIGS needed its version of MacPaint, especially when it was going to outdo it using 16 colours from a palette of 4096.

So, Paintworks Plus was the first point and click paint program for the IIGS, including all of the tools still in use in today's paint/illustration programs such as the brush, the fill bucket and the hand tools. It included all the features of MacPaint, except perhaps the price tag, as MacPaint was bundled free with the Mac for its initial release. In addition to MacPaint's features, Paintworks Plus could compress a series of images into an animation: a simple, but very manual way of producing animation, as you need to change all the frames of your animation entirely yourself without the use of key-framing and tweening (a feature that future animation programs such as Fantavision and Art and Film Director would include). The resulting file size of such animations could end up being very large.

Paintworks Plus is a program that means well, but was plagued with bugs when first released. I remember losing a couple of hours work when the program crashed just as I released the mouse button on 'File'..'Save'. Ouch. As time went on, the bugs were squashed and the last version update was v1.4.

And so began the war of the paint programs. Deluxe Paint II, 8/16 Paint, and the Graphics Studio were soon to follow. Version Soft would later outdo themselves with Paintworks Gold. And Image Master: Basic Paint, Platinum Paint and Dream Graphix took the tail end of paint program releases.