Articles tagged with: history

Dreaming of a Thousand-Room House: The History and Making of Glider

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 23 November 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

Imagine a house filled with thousands of rooms, each unique in some small way. Now pretend that its occupants are mysteriously absent, yet the house is teeming with life, and there is no connection whatsoever to the world outside -- not even a single window. Goldfish jump in and out of their bowls, which are haphazardly placed; a nearby basketball bounces of its own accord. Elsewhere, an exposed pipe drips water in a darkened room and balloons magically rise through the floor.

GliderIconPaper helicopters materialise out of the ether, only to disappear just as suddenly, while two slices of bread hop up and down in a toaster that sits on a small table. And you are a paper airplane, at the mercy of air currents, whose very survival depends on the avoidance of these strange and wonderful -- yet simultaneously mundane -- household objects.

This is the world of Glider, a classic Mac game with a devoted fan base that remained strong for over a decade. It spawned from the mind of John Calhoun, whose childhood was filled with dreams such as the one described above. His dreams took on a kind of reality with the release of Glider 1.0 in 1988, although this first version was rather simpler.

The game evolved considerably over the following decade -- growing in depth and complexity, expanding its fan base, adding a level editor, and even picking up a commercial release. This is the story of the origins and evolution of Glider, from its humble beginnings as a mere experiment to the aftermath of Glider PRO -- the final version of the game.

E.V.O.: Search for Eden

Pixelcade on Monday, 01 November 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: I was playing the game while I edited the article. It strikes me as being just as interesting and fun as Pixelcade says, and I can't help but wonder why Spore was not more like this. Check out the article, then get the game -- evolving your creature is immediately addictive and satisfying. -mossy_11


At some point in my misery called high school, on a good ol' fashioned "I don't feel well" sick day (which was conveniently a Friday), I drove up to the local video store and looked for a few games. Browsing the covers it seemed to me that every game was the same -- I had either played it or had no desire to. Out of nowhere appeared this cool looking box with the letters E.V.O.: Search for Eden (although with all the cool graphics I only noticed the E.V.O. part).

The back of the box had my favorite style of pixel graphics, featuring lots of color and creative designs. I thought, "What the hey, I'll give this one a shot for the weekend." Upon getting home and powering it up I was welcomed by an impressive musical score, which played as the game's title came into view over a space shot of half our planet. I have always enjoyed science and the history of how things came to be, but I had no idea I was about to embark on a creative study of evolution and the geological time scale, as they were understood by scientists at the time.

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Civilization 1 & 2

mossy_11 on Monday, 04 October 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

For much of my existence on this earth, I have been an unashamed Civilization addict, Sid Meier's historically-themed strategy masterpiece. The series has done more to cultivate my interests today than anything else, helping to determine my majors in school (history and computer science), my fascination with interactive systems, and my goal of a career in game design.

I was only four years old when the original Civilization came out in 1991, and I knew nothing of the game until a few years later, when my brother entered private school. He came home after school one day with Civilization installed on his laptop and showed it to me. I was hooked instantly -- before I’d even played it. The developers had abstracted an entire alternate history of Western civilization into this simple game that offered so much emergent complexity.

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The Current State of Mac Gaming: How It Got This Way

mossy_11 on Monday, 25 January 2010. Posted in Opinion

The Mac isn't exactly known for its ability to play games. And given the repeated snubbing from big publishers and developers in recent years, this isn't without reason. But it hasn't always been a wasteland for games, sparsely populated by a handful of the PC's sloppy seconds. In this series of articles I will discuss the highs and lows of Mac gaming.  We start with some history, then we will look in-depth at the current situation, and finally we will take a look to the future.

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State of NES Emulation

Niemann on Wednesday, 23 December 2009. Posted in Opinion

In 1983 the world of console gaming changed with the introduction of the Family Computer from Nintendo.  The Famicom (Family Computer) didn't find its way to North America, Europe, and Australia until 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); and singlehandedly ended the video game dark ages.  Today the Nintendo Entertainment System still ranks in the top ten of best-selling video game systems, and is by far the most emulated video game system.

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Nintendo standardized the practice of producing the hardware and a small collection of software for their system, while licensing third-party developers to also produce games.  This gave the NES a huge software collection, launching the franchises of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest.  Individual classics include Duck Hunt, Golf, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Baseball, Tetris, and Excitebike.