DiscoverRetronautsRetronauts Episode 98: Mac Gaming in the 80s

Retronauts Episode 98: Mac Gaming in the 80s

Update: 2017-05-08
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Retronauts East's journey through the history of Apple-based gaming continues with an in-depth look at the unique world of monochrome Mac gaming. Ben Elgin, Benj Edwards, and Jeremy Parish discuss the miracle of the mouse and the hotness of HyperCard.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

this week in reverence it's the meaty Mack daddies the the the Everyone and welcome to episode Lois DD eight ninety nine its way up there for reference I am your host for this week German version with me it's a reference is so that means it's been George and Ben Elton keep those two straight once again the other does not and this week we're going to continue the series that week I started the first episode on eight bit micro computers and the games that go with the way the The The this episode is brought to you by audible audiobook service with more than one hundred and eighty thousand titles to choose from a free audio book and a thirty day trial at audible trial dot com slash game the president has been looking back at the Final Fantasy series lately in preparation for the series' upcoming thirtieth anniversary of my favorite Final Fantasy characters dog interceptor six you can control them but as a dog he's a bruiser in combat his companion show to hit interceptor rushes to counterattack hardcore interceptor would have a lot more chilling shadow it subscribe to park blocks share them in a little tough since our cbox is a monthly service that delivers dog treats to your door Ninja assassin also bar box offers free shipping in the US but not the world through our box would have given interceptor a fresh assortment of poison edible treats with a different theme every month sourced from a variety of local and small businesses are customizable and health needs an interceptor have liked a particular treat he wouldn't of had a counter attack Mark Fox offers free replacements for treats only to get Park Box taco could have signed up and gotten a free bonus month of service for subscribing well you are concerned about Ninja who barely survived the apocalypse though so why not subscribe for your own canine pal that suggests our clocks dot com slash game the the So back a few months ago we talked about the apple too and it's it's you know it's sort of legacy and its important role in the history of video gaming this time around or planning to do is follow up on that with the next phase of Apple's video game history the Macintosh of course the Macintosh was not designed as a gaming system I think it was not designed as a gaming system but when Steve Jobs got his hands on it he was like no games are frivolous and dumb and so the the system turned into a pretty neat gaming despite the mandate of its imperious Commander Steve Jobs to keep people from a dance song when using the hot engine if you build it they will develop games thus the rule of computing all support but we're going to talk or not the next three on goal right so anyway yeah basically I can say for myself Mac gaming is not something I have a lot of experience with that was something that I kind of saw from a distance and coveted McIntosh is we're kind of expensive and so they were really that easy for me to get ahold of we have Matthew McIntosh is in severe computer labs and it wasn't all like nineteen ninety three I got my own system it had sort of unfettered access to max this week we're going to talk about eighties gaming on Macintosh I think that'll probably fill the entire episode because there's some really interesting games some very innovative and unique games that were made for the system again sort of despite itself and I feel like that's going to fill in our house will soon happen this the the the the the the the the the the the the the the set to begin with here's what history do you guys have with the MAC All Star with SA in nineteen eighty seven I think my dad started company and he needed a way to produce data sheets for the product is making a tree like product brochures so he saw that you could buy a Mac SE printer and is all this Page Maker at the time to design publications essentially and then print them out very high quality and then you can just take that cause you know the hard copy from the laser printer to printer proper printer and they would reproduce it or maybe they took the files I guess they did that but anyway a Mac SE and we played think the only bought four was Shadow Gate was really neat to talk about that minute and we also had some sharing games and between eighty eight and like the nineteen ninety four or so when I first bought my vintage McPherson stomach cause collecting I only play that I see a few times every once in while I was at my dad's company eventually to a back room and doing them play dungeon of doom stuff some ice and then so attacks on when I was growing up on so an earlier had UTI which is a difference and we'll get to my dad was born which is really old clunky plenty of innovative filmmaker with Osborne now can say a few sentences about the US for ten sec I obviously don't work is work going forward up we had the very early on Mac Plus ominous something we upgraded to Mac s He and I've had those were shared with the family but had Max ever since then with the centrists and then on through Power Macs an hour into the nineties so yes I played a bunch of stuff on all Macs and I was into the shower scene in writing some a few times on them ever really did well and yeah I think this incident to one of the one of the catalogs that distributes share is for you you have nominal fee for desks in the last two games to me the biggest when I finish this quest for the golden orb was heard in the region to talk about her car yet and yet have a current hyper car is the best thing on so I was super into heaven actually um in high school I got a chemistry teacher to let me do an independent study writing software for his class is basically a card that is when you say Yeah that's a lot of fun so yeah early Macs were awesome just like a home for really great Pixar because they were pretty much the thing for hire as his point I really your dos boxes which are all text and back then and then you have things like you're coming to an amigos which I color graphics but was lower at three twenty two hundred yet the remember the exact resolution it was like five to twenty four E eighty five he changed a few times but three for the classic Mac that was the first one and then it quickly because I ran into this problem you know I had written a snack at home on my like it was an ass he tried to bring school and their older ones and it was a bigger resolution yet I can't because they are they up the resolution is that for eighty by the way down was pretty unusual such a high resolution and that yes it is like the only other place you really saw was on Japanese PCs with high resolution for the past because you know they have complicated tragic are the sort of a necessity but yeah Max even though they were monochrome color yeah the way that it is nice just like a really gorgeous one that high resolution graphics that existed there are no where else in a lot of people really play to that strength making things for that Porter gauntlet for the Mac the needy is crazy because it's all black or white like just these ridiculously little characters that are you know so much more detail than the arcade I was just a combination other places like you wanted to have some color options resolution but you didn't have a system with such high resolution but monochrome output just wasn't a combination that existed anywhere else and so between that and I think the Macintosh is emphasis on a visual interface just lend itself to a very unique very beautifully crafted artistic aims and that legacy carried through on into the nineties you know even after the the sort of visual abilities of game systems or computer systems were go to level out there was still this sort of unique high rez look to McIntosh games like if you look at the sprites and marathon and compare those rights and they just looked different like there's a different aesthetic because yes forty by four eighty was the baseline in those days the color Max so I mean that less and VGA three twenty nine two hundred dollars so they were making this treat when my two hundred up until late and this hiking thing yeah it's um I like the mentioned all this Page Maker because before I own a Macintosh when I went to college in school you know elementary school high school or high school we had Max in the computer labs and in high school I used a Mac like an S E I think probably to put together our student newspaper which we didn't always paid her and together vector graphics in whatever the press are tossed to know for the illustrator actually it was something kind of like illustrator but it was just protect the coffee in home I think if I remember whatever company I remember the title but yeah all this I guess now the sun but yeah like very elaborate had hers for her monthly columns in the newspaper and they would take about an hour to print out a laser printer because the only calculation that her victory in the post I would do would you like to stop publishing stuff for assignments in high school on my Mac and all the other sins be like Come on man it's not fair those look to get going and the result Page Maker is a personal one time when someone submitted a column and it was too long to fit so I just bump the size down when the teacher was like you never do that to the printed magazine you don't change the font size yes it was a learning experience but I think the emphasis I mean them act early Mac had a huge emphasis on desktop publishing designs I was that was more than these is the gallery yet that was what they were gunning for again with a high resolution and the ability to do all this couple manipulation mom and I say and I think that actually fit into the early Mac came seemed to him that you have a lot of people attracted to this platform who were more from the design side of things on who had not necessarily been game developers to come from Ashby who came out from a design perspective and see see a lot of games that are maybe not very Gagne almost you know is that there was a search of things this day would get called our games that were more about design Thomas McIntosh yet on whether something's gone like the graphical toys to like can follow the mouse around or something is just a widget widget thing yet the neck oh yeah it's probably easier to hear that probably qualify more sleek digital toys that video games but I still remember them in the midst of fun messing around with the I guess we should maybe start by talking a little bit about the history of the Macintosh itself I don't know how much you guys really want to get into that but I think it is important to sort of understand where it came from you know Apple had a bit with the awful two in the late seventies and that was a massive breakout success it really helped sort of commodity ties computers it turned out turn computers into something people only people who use and so you know immediately there were people nipping at heels trying to come up with something better something cheaper than a hat just a variety of personal computers things like that the twenty maybe didn't really stand up so well the C sixty four that gave the apple to a good run for its money course Apple was determined to make the next big thing for themselves and there were a few different ideas that they had that did not pan out so there's reason for the first was the Apple three G which seems like the logical next step what you guys know about the out well for point this out which is Apple is always gunning for the upper end of the market the home market in the market so they saw the IBM PC as an existential threat and everyone is making peace even think when they did Apple three in eighty BC came out eighty one they knew something was coming from IBM and they to make a business machine so the camel is a horse designed by committee as they say they're a bunch of engineers on to a thing had was and nothing to do it and they made a monstrosity giant circuit board didn't do much at sophisticated operating system SOS that's literally what is called bad starting point from what sources call SOS which is you're not the same ownership May Day was the first to stand for sure it's operating system this is to get to visit in the Prince's am became pro dos later that was the root off interesting so that apple to yet did my thing is most they were like the Apple three costs man like five thousand something ridiculous which is no inflation seventeen thousand the station the one I like calculator but yet so but the funny thing is they found that most people are buying apple to compatibility mode which you can put in a disk and boot into Appleton and so they became glorified Apple to is the built in this crime never built in serial port and stuff built in like unlike Apple to add that I'm kind of like buying like a five thousand dollars three DS it to previous games yet to be funny I know I'd hit the screen the size of his room yeah just a really nice really classy gold so yeah the Apple three the kind of miss the point Yasser was a total disaster that never actually seen one actually has Steve Jobs is very I have had one but I've seen too in my life like there's one at a school sitting around years later that they didn't know what to do it sounds like I had that I know it belongs to the school system hasn't been as in high school and they threw it away and he can own it has to be yet that same thing library when I was in middle school I s most amazing thing ever seen because as already collecting cute and I got my mom to go to the library to ask him if I can buy or have something in same answer obviously you know they can sell it on to school systems so this is the next round lead of the lease that was I think that's the one Steve Jobs wanted to be the next big thing and Lisa of common heritage with the Macintosh they were both inspired by all the ideas that Apple stole from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center Xerox Parc graphical user interface and so on and so forth but the Mac would be a sort of like the graphical user interface system equivalent of the apple too whereas the reason was more like the Apple three very very expensive very over designed just kind of bloated yes so then I think that the common story if you want to summarize the Lisa developments that Steve just want to do it and they got assigned to one to engineers from Xerox in other places and they threw tons of money and Yana got over engineering and they sold it for ten thousand dollars had these horrible at the nineteen eighty many of the nineteen eighty three Money is like a mouse so had to tweak the guy is a color because there and dual density final quarter I mean five and a half inch or three in Afton like yeah because they're like in a nano so you can flip them or something now you can for them just had to read head instead of one looked like a standard five an accord but anyways so the students receive ye are like whatever matter density storage but that they were horrible failure say they had high failure rates and so they ended up having to replace it with a three and a half inch Sony drives like these in the MAC later on that's why the trading action I mean it really says they're so rare and incredibly rather fail most people return spent ten thousand which is like fifty thousand or something when car like your house at the time you're going to be like Yeah I want to be fixed only use it in a rather interesting so yeah it was the first commercial gooey system under twenty five thousand dollars There's a Xerox Star which was like twenty five grand or something like that and yet not meant for home users yet was the business applications yeah it was like um business big business thing so but we still embrace these if you're rich in an earlier pioneers metaphors of of of Windows computing and graphical desktop mouse pay stuff and drank like drop down menus and things like that I've written several articles that you want to look them up we find those oh boy the searcher binge Macworld because I ripped for macro is that you watch the coming years the summer I was years late from two thousand and seven till eight twenty thirteen says it was a long time okay so yeah totally check this out Lisa did not succeed it was a huge failure because the price because the reliability and just because there was enough support for it meanwhile another part of the Apple campus bunch of plucky young led by Jeffrey asked Can I started developing a similar project but wanted to be more consumer friendly was the mess so she just kicked off the lease a team like that and then he he went and took over Jeff Rask and the Macintosh project was in the works for a while yet and it was meant to be an appliance thing yet only like it wasn't meant to be the next step of Apple computing lineup it was was it was a project that they were sort of exploring but not not with sword of the end vision of what eventually became and they think they did start doing the graphical user interface development and not the sort of thing before Steve Jobs came up but then Steve Jobs to Tommy got a fright was place to put but it was Steve Byrne came in and said Let's just make a low cost Lisa you know use the techniques we use to me and was in the garages of you know a little band of Engineers working hard as we possibly can outside is like a skunk which I just kind of what they were doing it's just that now when the co founders of the company was heading up the skunk Works yeah and that didn't necessarily make the existing team happy but it did eventually came to fruition although a lot of the original vision for the system was compromised because of jobs is like weird obsessions with things like has to be super quiet can be a fan of the camp internal disk drive and start up time was one of his big thing yet quick that he did have an internal get to it just wasn't a Mac person act as two fifty six k want one and yet does have one single three NAFTA inch floppy said an internal hard drive ok so yet to really to buy an external hard drive Eric or something ok something is missing her she had to flip discs if can buy an external disk drive enough or hard drive until a little while later external hard drive a Mac Mini is the necklace to her yang HD twenty years yet there it was a peripheral the star rating in the SE have first an eighty seven ERA up to me I was hoping it would have time to sit down and read up on this before like history but I know that's going on here as that is why right here there's a great book called Revolution in the valley that I highly recommend got it for like six or seven years ago for Christmas and it really tells sort of the origin story the Macintosh before and after Steve Jobs came on and how the project involved because I was hoping to have time to reread didn't think so so that's kind of the general jist of everything yes those enclosed box he couldn't add to it from the inside yeah like nature yet just really wanted an appliance where you just die if I can just turn on Yemeni the a lot of the things that we continue to be sort of defining traits of systems and projects that Jobs worked on a closed system in a very elegant very quiet very self contained it's the Macintosh was a very strange and unique system was the idea tall one twenty k Mac was an all in one unit it was monitor and CPU and an extra keyboard and that wasn't totally unheard of at the time but it was very tiny and the monitor was black and white very high resolution leave my nice quality monitor was monochrome like I said but because of high resolution it looks different than most Microsystems for one thing it wasn't reversed Parker usually with monochrome system should apply extremely green or Amber on it you know for the hi rez this you know it was the basic background is always a lighter color they want to simulate paper yet has the push to get to take over desktop publishing basically if you make it look like those a legacy as the racks where they did in the publishing staff on the Alto with the white background stand as both gaining weight back I knew the high resolutions him put something on screen really looks like what you're going to print out which was something that nothing else to do and we take for granted now that Saturday for the computers use before him for the second time she just didn't see that it was very strange like it made the Macintosh stand out not just because of the very cute little box that made little startup chime icons and stuff but also just the way you looked at and of course the way you interact with this and now stress and or populist computers the first computer for any one can just pick up the news without knowing anything about it clicking a year do things that are more than just tax that's why the had the Hello drawn in Syria agree entirely that met Yana the display something different set of character based yeah that's also important Umberto eco wrote an essay once a long time ago about how a dos PC was Protestant and the Macintosh is Catholic because it's built around icons and everything is sort from you you're not supposed to go proving into the system McIntosh are supposed to just accept what's given to you kind of go through the processes that are presented to you by Apple it's a it's a really clever essay it does get down to the difference in how the system work versus how computers work of the time there are exceptions to this there's a push tempo on this because you also have people like was in here and people like her guy come it's only just left my dear friend is one of them but who in to to kind of things letting people build their own stuff and head to the underlying fears the yet somehow when you look at the Mac you don't have like these crazy directories and higher the system folder inside the system folder there's things you can throw away no matter what you wanted you can't delete your system you can try my grandfather got every time we came to his house is like my sister was being weird and I look in the entire system builders in the trash the trash that was a metaphor to delete something you didn't type a command prompt you clicked on and rocketed to the trash that was very into the making everything into a metaphor that was just extensions have little icons that look like jigsaw puzzle pieces that came in suitcases yet that you know there was the doc how I don't know that was about it I was there so yeah it was just a different kind of computer system and you know that the makers of all over time and now it's its Unix based and it doesn't have the cute metaphor is in everything that used to it's a it's like her it's less personable and it's actually pretty indistinguishable from windows at this point but you know back at the back of the day there was no windows it was not something that Microsoft had entered that market yet it but it's not like anyone wanted to use Windows one anyway it isn't usable until three eventually everyone decided those were good metaphors and so everyone knew that so naturally I think you know because of this and because of the of the mouse driven interface from the point and click concept the Macintosh naturally inspired a different kind of video games and other computers that were going to talk about this essay The The The Future host the games don't have brilliant music I can't think of anything the Saints some in the early ones and not like it had a pretty good sound capabilities yeah lot of old mac games have liked
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Retronauts Episode 98: Mac Gaming in the 80s