To have something to work on while I started learning how to make HTML5 games, I decided to finish a game I started over 20 years ago.
When I was about 10 or 11 years old I bought my first computer. After spending probably a good year or so playing games, I figured I wanted to make my own games. At the time I didn’t know anything about programming, so I turned to my father for help.
My father knew BASIC and some C++ programming and helped me understand the basics of programming. It was great help, but somehow I never got around to finish what I started. I guess playing games was more fun than learning programming.
I don’t remember all of the game ideas I got but one of them somehow stuck. You know how they say that when an idea sticks around for some time, it might actually be a good idea? Well this idea must have been good because I got it more than 20 years ago, and I still remember it.
All of this playing and wannabe programming happened around 1989/1990. The curious thing about that is that my game was going to be an adventure game, and I didn’t play my first adventure game until about 1992/1993. Did I think about adventure games without knowing it? That might explain why I was so fond of adventure games during the 90s.
The idea I got in 1989 was very simple. It was hardly a game. You would start the game as a purple character standing on a yellow ground in front of your red house. You could enter the house, but there was nothing there to do so you might as well leave the house. If you walked to the right you would see your space rocket. And that’s about it.
I think I was somehow influenced by Captain Comic, as that was one of my favorite games of all of the 10 years I had been living. But the only parallels I can find are that the character can walk and there’s a rocket involved. At least no one can accuse me for ripping off Captain Comic.
Writing this article has given me some ideas of how I could develop this “game” further into something than might actually be called a game. I think I might do that.
I’d like to thank my father for introducing me to the fantastic world of programming. He played a pivotal role in the development of my first game, and has thus been credited on the 2011 edition of MSX Adventure.
Oh, take a look at these sweet images of what my first computer looked like. It was super mega hightec. Pure awesomeness! Spectravision FTW! It was (in my eyes at least) way cooler than the Commodore 64 that the other kids had. I had a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive. Damn I felt so cool, in a very nerdy way. I could talk for hours about the technical specifications of this beast.
I still remember the sound of the floppy disk, the feeling of pressing the keys on the keyboard, the silky smooth surface on the keys, and the hardcore cartridge slot that I never used. Speaking of features that never got used, the handle at the back which you could use to carry your sci-fi computer around. Awesome, but useless.
I am glad I still have that computer. One day I might fire up the beast to show our future generations what I fell in love with at the age of 10.