Richard Moss |

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, an upcoming 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.

@MossRC on Twitter.

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

I've started this project to keep myself, and hopefully you, entertained while I discover randomly selected DOS games.

A script chooses between 12000 de-duplicated games (all legally obtained, of course) and I play it for at least 15 minutes*

I'll post screenshots of the games, plus a few words about them, here on this very timeline.

*Exceptions are when it's a text based game in a language I don't know, or I can finish the game within 15 min (that already happened a few times)

My book *Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the Internet* is now available in audiobook form in North America, narrated by me. (It was already available in paperback and ebook form in most of the world.)

To celebrate, I've published an excerpt from Chapter 10, DOOM, on my newly-minted blog.
A screenshot showing part of the linked article, titled "The DOOM Effect", which begins "It seemed there was no stopping id Software. Commander Keen had given them their freedom, and Wolfenstein 3D’s mega-success had earned them the financial cushion to do anything. But all they wanted was to beat the last game – to outdo both themselves and everyone else. And at the centre of that drive was a push for ever-better technology. By the time Wolfenstein 3D’s commercial prequel Spear of Destiny hit retail shelves, Carmack had already built a new engine."

@airadam Duke3D was so cool. I remember my friend was really excited about being able to tip the strippers, but I was more impressed by the light switches and pool table and destructible walls.

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.

@airadam Wonderful! I'm delighted you enjoyed it. What were your favourite shareware games back in the day?

@dmnelson I've seen several games that did that. Usually it was a relatively small set of locations and words, so pirates would create text files that just contain them all in a list.

A relic from the age of codewheels and other physical copy protection devices. This is a cheat-sheet of sorts for answering the copy protection questions on Premier Manager 2, which I played incessantly on my older brother's laptop as a kid. Trouble was that the laptop screen was greyscale, so I had to learn through trial and error which shade meant which colour.
A laminated printout copy of the Premier Manager 2 codewheel. There are 10 different shirt patterns and 10 different shorts, written out here as descriptions rather than drawn in pictures. You can then take the numbers and use them to read the table below to get the letter(s) you need to pass the copy protection check.

Air pollution in NSW causes 603 premature deaths and costs $4.8bn a year — "The largest source of air pollution was found to be wood heaters, which are used in about 10% of homes across the region." It's high time we ban wood heaters.

A very special thank you to @vga256 for his work archiving Klaus Breuer's () fan port of ChipWits to that would have otherwise been lost to time!

Gameplay details for "Mars After Midnight"
Try the delicious Wet Dust Pie.

Myst is "moody, magical, and filled to the brim with mysterious mechanisms..."

It's also the latest subject of our Why I Love series of developer-penned pieces, with this one contributed by Andy Cargile of Smart Technologies

It's true - this is Alto's world. We're just mousing around in it.

Two years ago I published the history of Simulmondo, the first real Italian software house.
For better or worse, researching that history made me realize what I really wanted to write about. While I still can't say my main job is history, for me the direction was clear. Here is the link if you want to read it again:

@glennf I backed it last week! Looks like it'll be a very cool book, and I knew it'd be good the moment I saw you were editing it.

The article's still online, too! Here's a link, in case anyone wants to read it:

Found a printout of one of my favourite past articles, Carriage Return, a feature on a typewriter repairman in Carlton (an inner Melbourne suburb) that I wrote for @glennf and The Magazine. I've also got the first draft, appropriately written on a typewriter my now-wife bought for me from him.

Fun fact: Tom's *still* at it, a decade later (now around 79 years old, I think), and he's become world renowned for his work — he's even traded letters with famous typewriter enthusiast Tom Hanks.
The first page of a printout of the article Carriage Return, published July 4, 2013, about a typewriter repairman in Melbourne who is nearing retirement. A closeup photo of a Craftamatic typewriter fills most of the page. A page of text from the article, beginning "Typewriter Tom lives with his two sisters in an apartment above his shop on Elgin Street, just outside Melbourne's Central Business District. He fixes typewriters for a living, or at least he used to."

I found the very first version of my Secret History of Mac Gaming book synopsis, written back in 2014 when I started the project. Here are a few selected pages. The overarching vision stayed the same, but some stuff got tweaked, merged, or cut along the way.

I'll see if I can revisit the cut ideas for the second book, which will have a broader (and I hope not too unwieldy) scope.
The first page of my original Secret History of Mac Gaming book synopsis, featuring both a short and a long description The third page of my 2014 Secret History of Mac Gaming synopsis, featuring prospective chapter summaries for the first three chapters ("A Serious Machine", "Nineteen-Eighty-Four", and "Game Development for the Rest of Us") as well as a prologue. The eighth page of my 2014 Secret History of Mac Gaming synopsis, featuring prospective chapter summaries for chapters 22 to 26 — "E-Zines and Indie Kings", "Evangelists", "Built-in Games", "MacJesus, MicroShaft Winblows, and the Many Oddities of Mac Gaming", and "The Mac Game Console" The tenth and final page of my 2014 Secret History of Mac Gaming synopsis, featuring prospective chapter summaries for chapters 32 and 33 ("Intel Inside" and "A People's History of Mac Gaming") as well as an epilogue, a bonus chapter/appendix of extra anecdotes, and a timeline

For Kotaku I did one of the most difficult features I worked on so far. I went out of my way to try and speak to people, only to receive vague threats. The history of what was supposed to be a celebration of Italy's 150th anniversary turned to a farce which echoed all around the world. The story of Gioventù Ribelle and how Meloni wanted to sponsor a video game.

For the latest issue of my newsletter, I wrote about the work of @NanoRaptor! I find her tech photoshops endlessly fascinating, thought-provoking, and hilarious.

Very cool to see classic Mac robot coding game @chipwits is getting rebooted with one of its original creators at the helm. ChipWits was a big hit for its day, and a major influence on the Mac gaming scene in the 1980s. (I covered its creation in Secret History of Mac Gaming, if you want to know more.) Here's how it looked the first time around, and a link to the website to check out the new version:
The ChipWits 1984 start screen. The window titlebar says "Greedy in Greedsville" and there's a big drawing of the main character. A screenshot of ChipWits 1984 showing how the notation works for creating robot instructions. A screenshot of ChipWits 1984 showing a program in action.

this morning i was looking for a copy of Klause Breuer's windows 95 conversion of ChipWits (a very popular programming game for the original ), and was sorrowed to hear that he passed away ten years ago of a brain tumour 😢

it took several hours, but I managed to dig out several of his programs, including ChipWits, from the waybackmachine. To my knowledge, none of these programs have been on the web for over a decade.

i spent the day creating a memorial for a programmer whom i did not know personally, but used his software over a decade ago. i guess i hope that people can still enjoy his work even though he has left us.

... a kind of in memoriam.

A screenshot of Klause Breuer's conversion of ChipWits for windows. It features black and white pixel graphics identical to the Macintosh version.