21/03/2009: IIGS Programming Alumni News

I was delighted that Dr Ken Franklin, author of the brilliant One Armed BattlePlunder! and Milestones 2000 added to the comments to the blog entry regarding the upcoming coffee table book. Ken sent me the latest versions of his games (v1.51) which used better compression for the sound effects, also adding a couple of little options here and there. The 2image archives for the three games have been updated online, as has the hard drive image containing all the shareware games along with a complete install of System 6.0.1.

I had to ask Ken: was there another equally addictive game he was working on back in the early 90s? The answer is yes, but it didn't get past the preliminary stage. The game was to be called 'Monster Mash' and be a cross between Cootie and Memory Match. It sounds just as fun as the other games, but unfortunately we'll never know.

But not all is lost. Ken's hoping to develop iPhone/iPod Touch versions of his classic IIGS games in the next year or so. I can't think of a better platform for modern takes on these games!

Speaking of former IIGS developers and the iPhone, some big news in the past week is that Brian Greenstone, head of Pangea Software and mastermind behind IIGS games XenocideSenseless ViolenceCosmocade and his 24 hour shareware games, has announced that after working almost exclusively on the Mac for nearly the last 15 years, he's decided to put all his efforts into future projects for release on the iPhone only.

Inside Mac Game's Article 

The Unofficial Apple Blog Article 

It's been interesting to see the response to this move. At worst, some feel betrayed that they have supported Pangea all these years in the hope continued support would always ensure new Mac games. It's not unlike the feelings that arose when developers started abandoning ship for the Apple II by the late 80s and early 90s. But I can't blame Brian for his decision; to develop games exclusively for the Mac is certainly an exercise in swimming up stream and when most of the hard work put into Pangea's games was translatable to iPhone games, which then netted Brian more rewards in the space of 9 months than the previous 14 years...you'd have to be a fool not to move on and continue to use the successful model of Apple's App Store to distribute your programs. Good luck to him!

Last but certainly not least, the A2Unplugged podcast featured an interview with Burger Becky Heineman, programmer behind countless IIGS classics such as Tass Times in TonetownBard's Tale I and IICrystal QuestDragon Wars and Out of this World, back in their December broadcast.