• Shareware Heroes

    From Ben Collver to All on Sat Apr 22 10:23:54 2023
    I found this interesting tidbit on comp.misc.
    Unfortunately, the book appears to be a grab bag.
    No table of contents on the book seller web sites.

    -Ben

    Title: Shareware Heroes by Richard Moss
    Author: John Gruber
    Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2023 22:35:21 -0400
    Link: https://sharewareheroes.com/

    From Richard Moss, author of the excellent The Secret History of
    Mac Gaming [1]:

    Shareware Heroes takes readers on a journey through a critical yet long overlooked chapter in video game history: the rise and eventual fall of the shareware model.

    As commercial game distribution professionalised in the 1980s, independent creators with scant resources or contacts were squeezed out of the market. But not entirely. New technologies and distribution concepts were creating a
    hidden games publishing market--one that operated by different rules and
    that, at least for the first several years, had no powerful giants.

    It was a land of opportunity and promise, and a glimpse of the digital-first future. This is the story of the games and developers who relied on nascent networking technologies combined with word-of-mouth marketing in an era before social media.

    What a fun website Moss made for this. It's just perfect. He's got a preview from the chapter on Id Software's Doom [2] to whet your appetite. The
    book is available in hardcover, paperback, audio book, and e-book
    formats. [3]

    Links:
    [1] https://secrethistoryofmacgaming.com/
    [2] https://sharewareheroes.com/doomed.html
    [3] https://daringfireball.net/linked/2023/04/13/shareware-heroes
  • From Abbub@21:2/145 to Ben Collver on Sat Apr 22 11:07:30 2023
    I found this interesting tidbit on comp.misc. Unfortunately,
    the book appears to be a grab bag. No table of contents on the book
    seller web sites.

    I saw that on hackernews (?) I think a week or so back.

    I remember my dad would order 'serious' software from a huge shareware distributor out of Texas (I want to say it was called 'Lonestar'?) that had
    big listings of diskettes in the back of Computer Shopper magazine and he'd always let me pick 4 or 5 disks. It was always a gamble because our computer
    at the time was a 286 12 MHz with a Hercules clone monochrome graphics card.
    I remember what a 'thrill' is was whenever you'd come across software that would do something other than the standard text/ascii text modes.

    I think the book probably focuses more on the 'creators' of shareware, rather than the distributors. I may or may not have already mentioned this on here, but one of the really big takeaways I've had with this setting-up-an-old-BBS project is just how much software is pseudo-lost to the ages. I mean, it's still out there, zipped up and sitting on servers, but a lot of it is
    crippled behind registration / serial keys that have been unobtainable for decades.

    ---
    * Origin: WalledCTTY (21:2/145)
  • From Ogg@21:4/106.21 to Ben Collver on Sat Apr 22 19:12:00 2023
    Hello Ben Collver!

    ** On Saturday 22.04.23 - 10:23, Ben Collver wrote to All:

    I found this interesting tidbit on comp.misc.
    Unfortunately, the book appears to be a grab bag.
    No table of contents on the book seller web sites.

    TOC

    Special Thanks
    Introduction
    Chapter 1 An Experiment in Economics
    Chapter 2 Copy That Floppy
    Chapter 3 `Pizza and Beer' Money
    Chapter 4 Licenceware
    Chapter 5 The Apogee Model
    Chapter 6 Invasion of the Vorticons
    Chapter 7 Epic MegaGames
    Chapter 8 Experimental, Experiential Weirdness
    Chapter 9 Ideas from the Deep
    Chapter 10 Maelstrom
    Chapter 11 DOOM
    Chapter 12 Shareware Edition
    Chapter 13 Pretty Good Shareware
    Chapter 14 Fade Out
    Coda - Free to Play
    Developer Spotlights
    Glossary
    Index

    --- OpenXP 5.0.57
    * Origin: Ogg's WestCoast Point (21:4/106.21)
  • From Ogg@21:4/106.21 to Abbub on Sat Apr 22 22:45:00 2023
    Hello Abbub!

    Your post about "Shareware Heroes" reminded me of this fairly
    recent title..

    Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games | Paperback
    Sid Meier
    WW Norton
    Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs / Business / Science & Technology Published Sep 7, 2021
    9780393868296

    "The life and career of the legendary developer celebrated as the "godfather of computer gaming," and creator of Civilization.

    "Over his four-decade career, Sid Meier has produced some of the world's most popular video games, including Sid Meier's Civilization, which has sold more than 51 million units worldwide and accumulated more than one billion hours of play. Sid Meier's Memoir! is the story of an obsessive young computer enthusiast who helped launch a multibillion-dollar industry. Writing with warmth and ironic humor, Meier describes the genesis of his influential studio, MicroProse, founded in 1982 after a trip to a Las Vegas arcade, and recounts the development of landmark games, from vintage classics like Pirates! and Railroad Tycoon, to Civilization and beyond.

    "Articulating his philosophy that a video game should be "a series of interesting decisions," Meier also shares his perspective on the history of the industry, the psychology of gamers, and fascinating insights into the creative process, including his rules of good game design.

    CONTENTS

    ONE BILLION HOURS: An Introduction
    1. WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
    2. ADAPTATION
    3. CRUISING ALTITUDE
    4. D-DAY
    5. COLLECTIVE EFFORT
    6. AHOY!
    7. AND THEN BILL BOUGHT AN AIRPLANE
    8. OVERT PROTRACTION
    9. HANG ON A SECOND
    10. ALL ABOARD
    11. HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION, PART I
    12. TURNING POINTS
    13. IF IT AIN'T BAROQUE
    14. SEQUEL-ISH
    15. THE DISPERSING
    16. INTERESTING DECISIONS
    17. BACK TO THE FUTURE
    18. EXTINCTION
    19. ARTIFICIAL TURF
    20. INTO THE WIND
    21. HIGHER EDUCATION
    22. FUZZY MATH
    23. SOCIAL MOBILITY
    24. FUNNY BUSINESS
    25. BEYOND
    Special Thanks!
    Sid Meier's Complete Gameography!
    Index!

    An exerpt from the Introduction..

    "What follows is a largely chronological examination of all the games I've produced over my lifetime, from the wildly successful to the completely unheard of. It's a thorough list, including a few that were developed outside the traditional career model where you do things like "make money" and "get sued if you copy other people's ideas." Just as every sprawling empire can be traced back to a single settler, my reputation as a benevolent industry patriarch wasn't built in a day, and the truth is I was once a young kid who didn't know there were rules, making games out of not-so-original ideas for maximum fun and minimum (often nonexistent) profit. Fortunately, I've been told the statute of limitations has expired, so I'm ready to come clean. But whether they took a billion lines of code-not an impossible estimate for all of the Civ products combined-or less than a hundred, there is one thing every game in this book has in common. They are fundamentally comprised, as all games are, of a series of interesting decisions.



    --- OpenXP 5.0.57
    * Origin: Ogg's WestCoast Point (21:4/106.21)
  • From Abbub@21:2/145 to Ogg on Sat Apr 22 21:26:35 2023
    Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games | Paperback Sid Meier
    WW Norton Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs / Business
    / Science & Technology Published Sep 7, 2021 9780393868296

    Oh, man! Sid Meiers is responsible for a *lot* of 'wasted' time in my youth. Between Pirates!, F-19 Stealth Fighter, and Civilization, I shudder to think how many hours I've put in! :D

    ---
    * Origin: WalledCTTY (21:2/145)