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Richard Moss | @MossRC@social.mossrc.me

Author of *Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the Internet* and *The Secret History of Mac Gaming*, as well as an upcoming book on the creation of #AgeOfEmpires and another upcoming book that I'm not allowed to talk about yet.

Producer/co-writer on FPSDOC, a 4.5-hour documentary film celebrating the first-person shooter genre (with an emphasis on the 90s/early-2000s golden age) that's guided by the developers themselves.

Creates The Life & Times of Video Games and Ludiphilia podcasts.

He/him.

rich@mossrc.me
@MossRC on Twitter and @mossrc.bsky.social on Bluesky.

Posts mainly about #gamedev and #indiegames histories and stories, #retrogaming/#retrogames, #retrocomputing, #classicmac, #shareware, #tombraider, and #videogamehistory.

After four and a half months and almost 34,000 stitches, I’ve finished my cross-stitch 1-bit version of Hokusai’s Great Wave. It’s big, 25”x 17” (pen in the first photo for scale). Thanks to @hypertalking for letting me use his wonderful original 1-bit art.

I'm working on the bit in my Age of Empires making of book where they were in deep crunch mode. It's incredible that they all survived and the game turned out so well, given quotes like this from my interviews.
Screenshot of a portion of an interview transcript. Full text: [01:49:26] Mark Terrano I had some health damage to the point where my doctor said 'No game's worth dying over, Mark.' We were eating Boston Market and pizza and kind of not a great diet every night, working really long hours. We didn't know it at the time, but when we moved into the top suite of the building, the fans had actually been wired backwards. So the office was a lot of times 100 degrees. And I went out and bought a thermometer and said, if it goes over 101 I'm going home, I don't care.

At the beginning of Age of Empires development, long before anybody had thought to give it that name, and long before they had any functioning prototype builds, they were considering a rather...comprehensive technology tree.

It got bigger before it got smaller, too. (The turning points that would focus their attention on a leaner experience were first getting a prototype working and then discovering Warcraft II multiplayer in late 1995.)
One page (of two) listing technologies included in a very early Age of Empires design. A page from a listing of how researching different technologies would impact on gameplay.

Heads up to anyone who's a motion graphics wiz or a skilled video editor *and* who likes horror games — we're hiring for those roles on TerrorBytes: The Evolution of Horror Gaming, the five-part documentary series I'm writing and directing for CREATORVC.

More info at https://bit.ly/3TuNGZf

Pulled up this seminal piece of new games journalism for my TerrorBytes producer, as we were talking about the beauty and meaning of the human side of games and he'd never read *Bow, Nigger* before. Still holds up. https://web.archive.org/web/20140318091904/http://www.alwaysblack.com/blackbox/bownigger.html

@damianogerli Indeed! I was thinking, "If I didn't write it, I'd totally buy it." So they're actually doing pretty well at identifying my interests.

Amazon recommended my own book to me.
Screenshot of an email from Amazon that says "based on your recent activity, we thought you might be interested in this" together with a picture and link for Shareware Heroes.

I'm loving the look of this 4K remastered version (with physical collector's edition!) of Broken Sword, one of my all-time favourite games. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolution-software/broken-sword-reforged-collectors-edition

This sounds like a cool opportunity for autistic people in Australia who are interested in getting into journalism. https://mailchi.mp/a14e6bee755b/learn-about-journalism?e=0979a1edf5

Random bit of trivia: I interviewed one of the guys who was there from the Team SOHO days through to around 2005 or 2006 last year. He told me that the This Is Football series was such a reliable money maker it helped fund all their other super ambitious stuff. Their EyeToy and Singstar titles probably did the same after he left.

In light of the news Sony's shutting down London Studio, I went to their site to remind myself of its history, then immediately went, well, this is kinda tragic and poignant.
Screenshot of London Studio's games page, with a banner reading "A journey of discovery" and then body text reading "Over the years London Studio has pioneered new gaming experiences. Our story is still being told..."

Got a few more interviews confirmed for my *TerrorBytes: The Evolution of Horror Gaming* docuseries in the past week — Adam Sessler, Alien Isolation's lead AI programmer Andy Bray, and industry veteran Pete Wanat (who was
a publisher-side producer on loads of licensed horror games).

If you'd like to support the project or learn more about our plans for the series, you can do so at https://terrorbytesdoc.com
TerrorBytes cast image for Pete Wanat TerrorBytes cast image for Adam Sessler TerrorBytes cast image for Andy Bray

New book arrival - The Flame Wars, an in-depth look at the 16-bit computer platform wars (Amiga vs Atari ST) in the UK and Europe, published by Microzeit.
The Flame Wars front cover Flame Wars contents page. There are a variety of different articles/chapters, split into several themes — history, media, market, games, scene, retrospective, interviews A random page spread from inside the book. This spread seems to be from a first-hand account on marketing the Amiga in its early days.

Two year old watching a non-violent Tomb Raider fan level playthrough I found on YouTube:

"Lara should not stand on the table. We need to wash Lara's hands cuz Lara's hands are brown."

A few seconds later, "Lara is looking for the bathroom to wash her hands. There's the bathroom, Lara! Go! Dad, why is Lara not going to the bathroom to wash her hands."

With TinyLetter shutting down, I've moved my announcements list for new book and documentary projects to MailBob.

If you signed up previously, you don't need to do anything, but if anyone new would like to subscribe, here's the link: https://mailbob.io/u/mossrc/

Got one going out about TerrorBytes and a few other things shortly.

I was honoured to get interviewed by Adventure Gamers — a site I've been reading on and off for a good 20-odd years — about my upcoming TerrorBytes docuseries. https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/interview-with-richard-moss

@MisterArix @vga256 It's a great quote, but I'm not sure what the origin is. Brian pulled stuff from all over the place, though, so it could be from a book, a BBS, or something else.

@vga256 Still one of my favourite software things ever, made even better by discussing the story behind it with Brian.

for the past few years i've been working to preserve as much of the multimedia era as i can.

brian thomas's If Monks Had Macs is a weird collection of hypercard modules that brian made, and collected them together into a fascinating piece of multimedia. equal parts interactive book, point and click text adventure, journaling software, art analysis, and social commentary - i wouldn't even know how to review it!

there were two editions of the program. the first was all made in Hypercard by brian in black and white in 1988. this one has a special place in my heart because all of the artwork was done in macpaint. you can play it in-browser here: https://archive.org/details/ifmonkshadmacs_1988

the second was remade by brian and his friends in 1995, using Voyager Expanded Books' Toolkit - which was basically a massive re-implementation of hypercard. it is in full colour this time, with some rendered artwork in place of the old macpaint art. disc image here: https://archive.org/details/IfMonksHadMacs

@MossRC has a great interview with brian on the history of the program, very much worth listening to here: https://lifeandtimes.games/episodes/files/ifmonkshadmacs

does anyone know brian personally? it would be great to have him on mastodon!

The front cover of If Monks Had Macs, by Brian Thomas & friends. It shows a medieval-style monastery upon a hill overlooking the ocean. The interior of If Monks Had Macs, showing a plain black and white manual, and a CD-ROM. A screenshot from If Monks Had Macs. The left shows a black and white picture of a medieval monastery and castle, which was probably drawn from a woodcut.

The right shows the text:
This is EveryWare! If you like it enough to keep it for yourself, give it to someone else!

If all the world's information was at our fingertips, would our thoughts be any less scattered? I think not. These stacks invite you to explore the world of an idea rather than a catalogue of facts.

@cyborgurl Is he? Well, that's disappointing. A quick search suggests he said some dumb, ignorant stuff towards the tail end of the GG saga? I would hope that he's changed his views and become better informed since then.

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