Computer Games

When I was about 14 I enjoyed programming in Basic and Pascal, and became increasingly interested in trying to imitate basic games to help understand code. However, my ideas slowly outweighed my available time, energy, and skill, and when I came up against some problems with graphics handling and couldn't find anyone to guide me I effectively resigned from that hobby.

Not too long ago I had to give some Saeurbraten workshops, and had to learn some aspects of Unity, much of which I've already forgotten. My ideal plan is to convert some of my boardgames into Unity.

Master of Icons

Master of Icons is a Pascal game I developed as FreeWare when I was around 15. It's a chess-type game played on one of 8 environments with 30 or so different monster types and a combat-system derived from Dungeons and Dragons. It runs fine on my PC, although without MoSlo the natural disasters happen too quickly. I've not tried it out on another PC or a Mac version of DOSBox. Since I can't get screen captures through Hypersnap DX here's some photos:

Master of Icons Winzip File [160kb]

(1) Execute the .zip file: it will create a folder with the executable file (iconmast.exe), some short documentation (iconmast.doc), several tiny data files, a source file (monmast.pas), and a few other small files (625KB in total).

(2) Run the iconmast.exe file.

(3) NumLuck will need to be set to on, as the icons in the lower right hand corner of the interface map onto the numbers.

(4) The selected window (icons, map, text info) will be highlighted by a yellow border when in use. Type in numbered/lettered responses in the text info menu. Press '5' to move from the map window to the icon menu. Press '7' and 'Q' to quit.

(5) The iconmast.doc file covers the rules, monster stats, and how to update data.

Other Programs

These are a few other Basic and Pascal programs I wrote when I was somewhere between 14 and 16:

  • MonstEd - a basic database and text editor for editing lists of monsters for computer games or RPGs;
  • SdLo & SdHi - two image-editing programs that generated small data files for games;
  • EnvEdit - a map-designing program that used the images from SdLo or SdHi as tiles;
  • Pub Darts - a simple dart-throwing game in which the darts got more erratic the more you drank;
  • Vulture - a bird-shooting game in the tradition of Duck Hunt;
  • Samson - my unfinished attempt at a 2D tank-shooting game, reworking the Vulture code;
  • The Hobgoblin's Lair - a parser-text adventure/RPG based on a pen and paper D&D module I had just written;
  • Vermin - a working top-down shooter game in which you navigate a sprite-based environment and get inside tanks, find ammunition etc, inspired some old Amiga game; it reached the stage of the player's moves, but I didn't get around to coding the opponent AI;
  • JubJub - an attempt to recreate Joust - in Basic!;
  • Siege - an ASCII game loosely based on Defender of the Crown; I finished the first section where you have to get your troops to the castle, but didn't complete the actual siege part . . .;
  • Mansion - an almost-finished RPG-adventure game in which you have to walk through a mansion, fighting monsters and trying to escape;
  • Overlord - a rough start at a 3D dungeon crawler in the mould of The Bard's Tale, primarily an experiment in creating a 3D dungeon navigation interface;
  • Master of Mushrooms - this was my teenage programming swan song, an ambitious, uncompleted meta-game largely based on the awesome Defender of the Crown, in which the goal was to take over territories in a continent linked by underground dungeons. The idea was for it to include all my other games as well as a host of new ones I sketched out as sub-games, e.g. Tavern Darts, Dungeon Raiding, Dragon Racing, and Wizard Duels. I remember a cartoon mushroom with a face in the top left hand corner, and miniature mushrooms dotting the map, but otherwise I have no idea where I was going with the theme except that it was probably around the same time I was sketching ideas for Tales from the Flowerbox.

I managed to retrieve some of these programs from a bunch of old 5 1/4 floppy disks that were crammed into a bottom drawer for fifteen or so years (cheers to Msquared for lending me his drive). Master of Icons was working straight away; if I ever compile executable versions of the others I'll include them above for the sake of personal nostalgia.