Rhino Builder 2
Back in 1979, I got my first computer: and Apple ][+. At first (like most kids, I imagine) I was all about the games - primitive though they were. I played the heck out of Gorgon, Bug Attack, Hadron and a few others. Got pretty good, too. However, before long I grew bored of the simple games, knowing this computer-thing could do more than offer only entertainment, and decided to learn how to program.
Early in 1980 there weren't a whole lot of coding manuals written for a curious 9-year-old. Along with the computer came a stack of manuals, one of which was about Applesoft Basic. That looked pretty good to me, so I dug in. Not long thereafter I learned how to list out the program code of BASIC programs (we didn't yet call them 'applications' at the time), and I began my learning in earnest.
I wasted a LOT of tractor-feed paper. Luckily my Dad bought it by the box for his office, so there was always plenty around. And (strange by today's standards) the printer cartridge for the Epson MX-80 (a ribbon cartridge) lasted for YEARS.
One night, my Dad peeked in on me some time after I'd gone to bed. He caught me with a flashlight in hand, and a long trail of tractor-feed paper all over the floor. 'What do you think you're doing?', he asked. 'Reading', was my reply. Then he looked closer at just what I was reading. 'Just what in Sam-Hell are you reading?' (He was very fond of that odd 'Sam-Hell' saying.) So I showed him: I was reading the source code to the famous 'Oregon Trail'. And I was learning a LOT.
There was no reprimand for staying up past my bed-time. (Not that my parents were, in any case, unusually harsh.) Dad instead gave me a rather odd look, said 'Okay ... you keep reading there', and quietly left.
I finished writing my first adventure game a year later. It wasn't much (something similar to the old 'Odyssey') but it was a start. Another year later I wrote my first arcade-style game 'Kill The Tank' (similar to the old 'Artillery') and the other kids at my school clamored for a copy.
I did some interesting things with PEEKs and POKEs, effectively creating copy-protection inside an Applesoft Basic program. Then 'Kill The Tank' morphed in to something of a first-person shooter with real arcade-like action. Then I started writing a player-editable dungeon game.
Some time in the 1980's I got way in to the Ultima series of games - starting with Akalabeth. (WAY in to them.) And thus began a fascination with 2-D adventure games.
Fast-forward to present day (or thereabouts).
So I started writing.
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