Revisiting a Past Failure

When I was fifteen, I failed to write a game for the IIGS.  In fact, I failed repeatedly to write any number of games.  I remember the rush of excitement each time I started a new one, followed by the crash of running into the limit of my abilities.  Many hours were spent sitting at that genuine faux wood veneer computer desk (with hutch) that held the machine that was alternately thrilling and frustrating.  Eventually, I moved on to programming other computers without having finished any of those game.

The IIGS, getting ready for the new attempt

Looking back, I question if I was more interested in writing a game or in being the person who had written a game.  I daydreamed about my games being listed in the Big Red Computer Club catalog and how the shareware checks would roll in.  That time could have likely been better spent learning more about programming or the IIGS itself.  At the same time, in hindsight, I was fighting some unnecessary uphill battles.  It took a while for me to realize that I’d need to learn something beyond Applesoft BASIC and then a while longer to save up money for a Pascal compiler.  Some of it was giving up on debugging and playing a little more Neuromancer (which still holds up as one of my favorite games, so I regret nothing on that front).

The monks of Pong asked for fewer years than it has taken me

Having recently unearthed my IIGS, a lot of memories and questions about programming have been slowly resurfacing.  Can I write a game for the IIGS?  How many of the challenges would be addressed by proper tools and books?  Will I instead finish playing Neuromancer?  I’m hoping to find out.


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