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.

@flargh Still hoping for him to suddenly show up one day with an update, but the community did a pretty extensive search — really covering everything short of cold calling every Paul Pratt in America — so it's not looking good.

although @MossRC has already written extensively on the topic of , i love this little article by one of the former employees of Ambrosia Software - makers of Escape Velocity

it chronicles the ins and outs of first selling "nagware" and then "crippleware" when times got tougher for the company

inspired by the article, one of the goofy things i decided to do for the mac-like wildfire simulation game i'm working on is selling it as....... shareware!

... which of course requires a naggy splash screen, running in its own os 😆
here's a little test i did to see what it would play/look like

@LexGear @Moosader Thank you both! I spent probably too much time tinkering with the design and page layouts of the site, but I love the result — it's almost exactly what I envisioned when I came up with the idea.

The foundations of the CSS, if you're interested, came from Bootstrap/386 ( I modified a bunch of stuff and added a few new things, but it saved me *a lot* of time getting started.

I you wanted some tasty modern recreation fonts of the olden days of Apple, here's a chart with the old name on the left and its modern counterpart on the right (they are searchable and all free)

@vga256 I made a bunch of one-level games in Torque 2D but didn't get around to doing anything bigger before the company started to struggle against Unity's great rise. I really liked using it — much more so than Unity.

diving for a dead body in police quest ii is inexplicably one of the most relaxed and calming scenes in any sierra adventure game

so much love and effort was put into making this scene reward taking your time exploring and collecting evidence

Gamebase64 is an extremely important archive for the , but is now at huge risk of losing its online presence due to the tragic loss of webmaster Steven Feurer. Please check our post for more details - but can anyone help or spread the word?

@MichaelKlamerus Also, there's Goodsol still running on exactly the same business model as 25 years ago, still updating the same solitaire game every year.

Wrote about some shareware game developers that still have websites

EDIT: I have added a list at the end of recommendations by other folks

screenshot from Hugo's House of Horrors, showing a man standing outside a haunted house screenshot from Jetpack showing a guy flying around platforms that have gold coins cover of The Adventures of Maddog Williams box showing a man with a sword riding on a dragon the title screen from Word Rescue, showing a worm and two kids facing off against blobs

@zwol Thanks! Just sent David a message to ask.

I think I've seen a few projects like that involving shareware games, and a couple of hacks of the same sort based on commercial titles too. It's amazing what talented Eastern European devs did to hone their skills.

@MossRC Приключения пионерки Ксении (The Adventures of Ksenia the Young Pioneer) was not, itself, shareware, but instead a total conversion of the shareware classic Captain Comic into an entirely new game, by a Ukrainian developer who reverse engineered the file formats and built (and published!) his own tools for editing its resources.

@SpindleyQ I'll be sure to mention that in the blog post when I write it.

@MossRC Alexis Janson, author of the ZZT-inspired MegaZeux game creation system, which was distributed as shareware for a while before being open sourced and which still has a shockingly active development scene

@SpindleyQ I was hoping/waiting for someone to mention Pickle Wars. I came very close to approaching Karen for an interview late in the project but couldn't think of how it'd integrate into the narrative if she agreed.

@MossRC Karen Chun of Redwood Games! Solo dev behind classics like Word Rescue and Pickle Wars, who was also apparently very active giving advice and helping out on the early internet and Compuserve gamedev community. Really wanted to get her for an interview her for a few years back but it didn't work out at the time.

@damianogerli I love the irony that it's a "multimedia upgrade" for KQ6.

@suprjami There certainly weren't many women in shareware (though hopefully I can find some with this callout), but thanks for the tips on a couple of ladies in PC gamedev at the time who I hadn't heard of before. I've been meaning to try Bloodnet and Bureau 13 for years; I love a bit of top-notch world building.

@MossRC related/unrelated - I just finished the book and found it a really good read. Felt like a great ride through it all, delving into detail just where it was needed to illustrate what was happening at the time. I found it a good balance between the broad brush strokes whilst telling loads of stories I never knew. Thanks! :-)