Monday, May 10, 2021

People still really love the Apple II

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The Apple II computer ceased production in 1993, but that didn’t stop fans like Mark Lemmert from continuing to create new programs for it. Lemmert’s game Nox Archaist, released last month, is a role-playing game inspired by the classic latest series.

“I’ve always wondered if there could have been another iteration in a game like latest on the Apple II which pushed it further, ”said Lemmert in episode 450 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “Maybe not something at the level of Last 6– because it was obviously their first title that wasn’t on Apple – but something somewhere in between Last 5 and Last 6. I wanted to know if it was possible.

Most of the popular video games today have been influenced by Apple II games such as latest, Castle Wolfenstein, Prince of Persia, and Wasteland. Games reporter David L. Craddock explores the history of Apple II games in his 2017 book To burst, which is full of photos and screenshots.

“The cool thing about all of the images (concept art, artwork, etc.) that I included is that they were all from [developers like] Richard Garriott, Brian Fargo and Jordan Mechner, ”says Craddock. “Everyone I spoke to thought this was a really cool idea and sent me a ton of stuff.”

Many of these developers also appear as characters in Nox Archaist. Lemmert was especially happy to be able to include a cameo from Steve wozniak, inventor of the Apple II. “Steve Wozniak was kind enough to take the time, not only to agree to do it, but also when Nox Archaist launched in december, it tweeted that he is an NPC in Nox Archaist», Says Lemmert. “For a lifelong Apple II fan, it’s like receiving a blessing from the Pope.”

Apple II games may seem primitive by today’s standards, but Craddock thinks a lot of them are just as fun to play as anything on the market. “For me, a hallmark of developing a retro or retro style game is working within those limits,” he says. “It does require you to make sacrifices, but it also brings out a lot of creativity that might not be as evident today as we just have this loot of wealth in terms of resources and materials.”

Listen to the full interview with Mark Lemmert and David L. Craddock in Episode 450 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

David L. Craddock on Oregon Trail:

Oregon Trail was [originally] a text-only game programmed on a mainframe and students at the school where the teachers played it Oregon Trail using dumb terminals connected to the mainframe. Since there were no graphics and you couldn’t just press the keys to chase the bison as they crossed the screen, you had to type “bang” or “pow”. Students have therefore become faster typists. They also worked on their spelling. … I think the main lesson overall with games like Oregon Trail and Carmen sandiego is that they did not feel [educational]. I don’t think many edutainment games created on later generations of material necessarily understood this.

Mark Lemmert on feelings:

“For me, it’s an essential part of a role-playing game. I bought Last 5 As a kid, I waited five weeks for UPS for the book – you know, order it from a magazine or something. Not the way it works, of course. And the box that comes in the mail, and open it, and read the manual. I was the kind of person who read the manual before playing the game and the cloth cards. It was so immersive. It was my experience as a child, and so when I got down to doing Nox Archaist, it was always on my mind – “If I’m going to do this, I should really, really do it all the way and get the box and the feel.” And obviously it finally worked.

David L. Craddock on Game Developers:

“A lot of these developers are passing away because this all happened so long ago, and that’s actually why I was happy to be able to talk to people like Doug and Gary Carlston, the co-founders of Broderbund, when I can. … Which is cool about talking with people like John Romero, John Carmack, Richard Garriott and Burger Becky, these people love to be involved in this scene and are always active in it, and will talk to you and walk you through whatever you want. hear talking. So if someone was to play an Apple II game and have a question for one of them, you can tweet them, and nine out of 10 times they’ll respond to you within 12 hours or so, and you will simply speak into your ear. about those days.

Mark Lemmert on the quick fight:

“I thought that a great way to push the boundaries of tile RPG would be to have the fullscreen tactical combat system that everyone expects, but also to have a quick combat option. It wouldn’t be a substitute for tactical combat – you’re not as likely to win battles in quick combat as you are in tactics – but if you’re in a situation where you know you’re far more powerful than the monster that comes along. to attack you, with a quick fight you can finish this battle in seconds and move on to the next. Even hardcore RPG players have said that it really is a wonderful quality of life improvement.


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