Author Topic: Was isolated from 1999-2006 with a 486. Built my own late 80  (Read 881 times)

Offline Ben

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Was isolated from 1999-2006 with a 486. Built my own late 80
« on: December 20, 2014, 17:53:59 PM »
He built his own games, too!
In the late 1990s, my parents divorced, and my mother took my brother and myself and had us go live in a very rural area of Australia with a psychopath who was wanted in 3 states. This was our new stepfather, so we were to remain in isolation so that he wouldn't be found. This being said, we were not allowed to leave the house after school hours, nor use the internet, nor own mobile phones. Before leaving, my dad left me an Osborne 486, with a whoppping 640k of extended RAM if memory serves me correctly. This 486 had only a copy of MS Dos 6.0 on it, and the standard utilities (, QBASIC etc). It had a shareware copy of Rise of the Triad 1.0, and I believe, one or two other shareware titles, Xargon and Wacky Wheels. The last game I saw before leaving New South Wales in the 1990s was a Half-Life preview in a games magazine. I was not allowed to rent books that were not strictly relevant to school work and this made the 6 hours after school incredibly slow, so I set to work making my own games and entertainment on this 486. Thankfully I was able to convince my parents that I needed a copy of "BASIC BASIC" and "ADVANCED BASIC" by James S Coan from our school library, despite being dated to the 80s. With these, I built my first DOS Clone which emulated/mimicked dos in every way I could possibly achieve. Technically, it would function identically (you can move/change/rename/delete files and directories, list time, date, directory listings etc). Fairly basic stuff. I'll post the source codes to all of these shortly, just sorting them as I type this. Next I moved onto text-based adventure games: I wrote a horror game and some generic crappy adventures which totalled to around 40 000 lines (bearing in mind, that's by labelling each line as "100, 200, 300" etc, rather than going by single digits. My next experiment was to introduce graphics. Ideally I wanted graphics to accompany the parser. You would say "Walk NorthEast", and the screen would show a little display that of a first person view walking. I began work on my own "raycaster" of sorts. Below is a screenshot of an early version before I had working skies: Soon after, I was able to create very very primitive "detailed" scenes using various ASCII combinations. I created a DOOM clone to the best of my memory, as I hadn't seen or played doom for a few years at that point. It had relatively small maps consisting of 10 x 10 unit data grids which looked a bit like this (Each number represented a different wall tile or object. 0 meant nothing - floor and sky. The screen would be divided up into 8 x 8 chunks and project pre-written ASCII art that depicted walls at different angles. I did a wall at a 45 degree angle, a 22.5 degree angle, etc until I had 4 or so of each wall setup rotated at each angle, and then was able to make the player rotate in iterations of 22.5 degrees at a time (creating a very basic "3d" engine). (map grid example) DATA 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5 DATA 3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 4, 0, 5 DATA 3, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 4, 2, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 5 DATA 3, 0, 1, 0,-1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 6, 7 DATA 3, 0,10,12,10,12, 0, 0, 0, 7 DATA 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 7 DATA 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7 By this point, I wanted to up the ante. I had vaguely recalled one of my childhood friends at the school I had been going to before leaving for the country whom was into C++. He told me about John Carmacks wolf3d engine, and how it "cast" rays out until they hit a surface, and simply calculated the distance from the camera, then painted the image in vertical strips on the screen. I made a simple (albeit crappy and slow) raycaster over the next year and ended up with this. Instead of projecting pre-made ASCII art at various angles, it correctly cast rays and projected them onto the screen in vertical strips. I then wanted to take it a step further and make my own "game engine". (Silly me, thinking I might make something that could possibly sell? It would've been about 2004 by now). I developed my first general GUI and implemented the raycaster into it (only just noticed that I had the map being read back to front. The map on the right should be mirrored the opposite way)

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: Was isolated from 1999-2006 with a 486. Built my own lat
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2014, 02:42:29 AM »
Very impressive! Good story too.

Offline zapiy

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Re: Was isolated from 1999-2006 with a 486. Built my own lat
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 10:50:08 AM »
Wow Ben that's a way to start a story. I guess it all went well in the end? 

As for your coding skills I am very impressed at what you achieved. Really wish I had spent more time coding back then. Look forward to seeing more on this so thanks for sharing.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC