Overview

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Old Games and Other Code

What this is

This repo is a collection of old games and code I wrote in junior high and high school.

This was back in the days of DOS and command line. It was a simpler time. It was a better time.

This was back before internet access was a common thing. We got QBasic for free with our MS-DOS and we were grateful because you couldn't just go out and download a compiler. If we were lucky, we found development tools on a 5 1/4" floppy in the shareware collection at bookstores. You kids probably don't even know what a bookstore is, what with the Amazons and the tablets and the smartphones these days.

What you'll need

  • None of this will run under Windows, so you'll need DOSBox.
  • BAS files are QBasic programs. You can use Basic2DOSBox to install QBasic on DOSBox.
  • ASI files are ASIC programs. ASIC is/was a Shareware BASIC compiler. I found a copy here.

What's actually here

Space Fighter / Supership (1993)

Supership is a shoot 'em up. It's probably one of my earliest attempts at a real action game. It was not a succesful attempt.

Hit detection is way off and there's zero feedback. However, you can purchase new weapons after each level with the points you score, which I find pretty impressive looking back at it.

Bouncer (1996)

Bouncer is a collection of demo apps that are variants of an ASCII smiley face bouncing around the screen like a Pong ball.

Extended ASCII characters are what we had back in the day, back before emoji were a thing. There were less than 200 of them and most of those were just normal alphabetical characters with accents and umlauts and we were thankful to even have that.

Game Pack (1996)

Game Pack is actually a collection of three games: Hovercraft A-225X (I think I liked weird acronyms as a kid), Bounce Paddles, and Slots.

Hovercraft is another shooter that is not good at being a shooter. You basically have to pick flying objects out of the sky before they pass you, and your laser is an instant-fire, so it's insanely easy.

Bounce Paddles is Pong.

Slots is barely a game, because there's not even any score. I think it's mainly an attempt to play with animation (as shown by the painfully long win/"close" animations, which can be turned off).

I think this was an attempt to emulate what I'd seen in a lot of shareware games. Mainly a serious attempt at ASCII art, but also flirting with the idea that I might be able to package and sell these games at some point. (Spoiler alert: that never happened.)

FSDraw and FSPic were utility applications that would create and display image files (which were just collections of X and Y coordinates and their associated colors).

The Great Labyrinth (1996)

The Great Labyrinth was an attempt to emulate RPGs like Dragon Warrior, The Bard's Tale, and The Legend of Zelda.

It's not a good game per se, but by the same token, I am impressed young me decided to scope down the RPG concept to something he (I?) could manage to finish.

Battles play out automatically. There's a set number of weapons, armor, and keys in the pre-defined labyrinth. Your main choices are where to go and whether to open chests (which may contain food, traps, or monsters). There was no experience or gold; you simply regained HP based on the strength of the monster.

It had a really crappy story that I've chosen to redact in this release. Basically, your kingdom gets ransacked and so you decide to go hunting for a treasure that you can sell to return it to its former prosperity. This was in the heady days before The Phantom Menace and I hadn't yet learned that economics does not make for a good fantasy plot.

In retrospect, it'd make a pretty good mobile game, stripping down the old-school RPG experience to a few meaningful choices.

FSDraw and FSPic were utility applications that would create and display image files (which were just collections of X and Y coordinates and their associated colors).

Noteman (1996)

Noteman is a crappy Pac-Man clone.

FSDraw and FSPic were utility applications that would create and display image files (which were just collections of X and Y coordinates and their associated colors).

Snag-A-Box (1996)

Snag-A-Box was an attempt to create a single-screen arcade platformer like Joust or Mario Bros.. It's also one of the few cases where I used actual graphics in ASIC rather than ASCII art. (I'd done this more in QBasic, which had better support for such things.)

The premise is, you have to navigate a series of platforms to collect treasure chests with your rope, avoiding rolling balls that will bowl you over. Screen wrapping was essential.

It's not a great game, but it works. You'll also find my art style has not greatly changed from what it was here.