Articles tagged with: john calhoun

Interview: John Calhoun on the Origins of Glider (Part 2)

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 07 December 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

GliderPRO-9rooms

John Calhoun's Glider games hold a special place in the history of Mac gaming, acting almost as an icon of the platform through much of the 1990s. They spawned a hugely dedicated fan base, which produced a ridiculous amount of original content both for and about Glider -- especially Glider 4 and Glider PRO, the later versions.

I caught up with Calhoun over email recently, and quizzed him on the origins and development of the series. This is the second (and final) part of that interview. Read on to discover how Glider grew from a shareware to commercial product, what inspired the new features of Glider 4 and Glider PRO, how the game's community shaped its development, what Calhoun thinks of the Mac indie scene, and more.

You can catch the first part of the interview here. And also be sure to check out Dreaming of a Thousand-Room House: The History and Making of Glider, which provides context and a narrative for this interview.

Interview: John Calhoun on the Origins of Glider (Part 1)

mossy_11 on Saturday, 27 November 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

glider3-helicopter-small

John Calhoun's Glider games hold a special place in the history of Mac gaming, acting almost as an icon of the platform through much of the 1990s. They spawned a hugely dedicated fan base, which produced a ridiculous amount of original content both for and about Glider -- especially Glider 4 and Glider PRO, the later versions.

I caught up with Calhoun over email recently, and quizzed him on the origins and development of the series. This is the first part of that interview. Read on to discover where the idea for Glider originated, how the game came to exist, and how it dramatically altered Calhoun's future.

And also be sure to check out Dreaming of a Thousand-Room House: The History and Making of Glider, which provides context and a narrative for this interview.

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.

Glider PRO

mossy_11 on Sunday, 31 January 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

The quintessential paper plane simulator, John Calhoun's shareware classic Glider first emerged in 1988 "for all Macs". Its basic premise involved the player guiding a paper plane through 15 rooms, while avoiding obstacles (including a cat) and keeping the "glider" airborne, with the help of upward air movement from vents. Subsequent versions added new rooms, features, and obstacles, but the gameplay remained essentially the same.

Glider's simple mechanics and undeniable charm spawned a dedicated fan community, consisting mostly of modders, who created new levels or "houses" for the game. There was even a fanzine for a few years in the mid-90s.

Glider PRO, the fifth major version of Glider, was released in 1994 for Macs running System 7 or better. It was repeatedly updated to run on newer hardware, and even got a commercial release on CD, before publisher Casady & Greene went out of business in 2003. John Calhoun released all versions of Glider as freeware soon after.

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