I managed to pack in lots of dev stories, biz insights, and meta-narrative into this one. It covers the origins and early work of id Software, Epic (Mega)Games, Apogee/3D Realms, Ambrosia Software, Jeff Minter, and more, along with surprise hits such as Elasto Mania, Snood, Scorched Earth, etc, market failures like Star Quest 1, and quirky games like Grandad and the Quest for the Holey Vest, plus shareware distributors like TUCOWS and Public Brand Software, the UK licenceware and PD scene, the market shifts that happened as the big indie publishers emerged and then left the shareware scene, and more.
If you're wondering if it's worth buying, there's a thoughtful and fun article/review-ish thing over on Eurogamer: https://www.eurogamer.net/the-legacy-of-shareware-is-everywhere
And you can learn more and buy via sharewareheroes.com
@MossRC Jeff Minter's GDC speech on Space Giraffe where he gets choked up talking about how the people saved him through shareware after the industry had shut him out is one of the best moments you'll ever see in a GDC presentation.
@MossRC @colincornaby Brings back memories of my Compuserve Navigator days which included me being the “unknown author of the Obnoxious Init” mentioned on page 77 of Son of Stupid Mac Tricks by Bob Levitus (https://vintageapple.org/macbooks/pdf/Son_of_Stupid_Mac_Tricks_1991.pdf)
@mac84tv @MossRC @ultranurd hey neat to see an article about them! While it being at pax there’s not as much discussion of all their utilities but they were my publisher for iToner *right* after the original iPhone came out. Which did both them and I well until after the second release when Apple finally caught up on making ringtones better
@MossRC It's funny, as an adult 37 years old, who grew up with Shareware way back in the late 80's when we got compuserve, how much that whole entire era of software hippies had an enormous impact on my entire world view. I believe in copyleft and FOSS and all those kinds of distribution models, precisely because I was raised with shareware and gnu. I can't say enough how much the mentality Yak demonstrates in the video became my own, and I'm grateful for shareware for doing that to me.
@MossRC Case in point, I've been working on an independent game, and part of my release plan is to purposefully seed pirated copies of my game into the usual spots, because A) I truly believe those aren't lost sales, B) If my game is worth playing anyways, it'll happen eventually, and C) I can gain goodwill and actually benefit from people promoting my stuff for me, i.e. turning piracy into guerilla marketing. I think you need to believe in shareware to try something risky like that.
@MossRC I've been reading it (slowly...the only speed at which I read) and it is fabulous. I grew up at the very tip of the tail end of shareware, so it's fascinating learning about all the history, the different shareware models, and all that.
It's a good book.
@MossRC My childhood was an IBM Aptiva 2144 (think it had a 486DX2?) and a CD-ROM with a few shareware games on it. Most of my days were spent playing through the first episode of Jazz Jackrabbit over and over. That's pretty much the extent of my shareware experience!
@MossRC I've just finished reading this boom today and really enjoyed it! It took me down memory lane, running shareware on our home Amstrad PC with the CGA graphics and 5.25" floppies in the late 80s/early 90s, and being too young and broke to register anything! In my older age and gainfully employed, I like to send an author some money for a job well done 🙂 Excellent job on the book, thoroughly researched and a fascinating read for those who remember the eras described 👍🏿
Are you following the FPSDOC project I'm part of? We're including a big segment on Duke3D in there with some great material from Jon St John about voicing Duke, as well as a bunch of devs who both did and didn't work on it discussing how amazing the design and presentation was.
It's a career highlight for me that I got to freelance for Mac|Life (I was too late to get in before the name change) for five or so years before it shut down. Wonderful magazine in its MacAddict heyday.