Author Archives: Matt

MindTheCube Games and Mac OS X 10.15

Sadly, I have had to update the pages for my Mac OS X games to show that they no longer work after Mac OS X 10.14 “Mojave”. This is because Apple removed support for 32-bit programs from OS X 10.15 “Catalina”, released late 2019. (An event affectionately referred to as the App-ocalypse.)

I may try to rebuild the Unity games at some point. I already started improving Pawns for iOS, which gives me a head start on a new Mac version. I’m not sure how difficult A Tack! will be to update.

Amazingly, the three non-Unity games (Black Cube, Asteroid Rally, and WordBeGone) have been working since the earliest versions of OS X. I recompiled them for the Intel transition about 10 years ago, but that was all they needed. But there is no simple way to rebuild them now, and I have no plans to rewrite them.

Ironically, my oldest “Mac Classic” games (3d Brick Bash! and 3d Paddle Bash!) CAN be run on 10.15 using an emulator like SheepShaver.

Transcript of Adventure Games Conference (Compuserve, 1990)

Poking around some old disks this week I found some files I’d downloaded from Compuserve in the early 1990’s, including this gem: a moderated online discussion between some of the biggest names in classic adventure games.

  • Steve Meretzky (Hitchhiker’s Guide, Leather Goddesses of Phobos)
  • Ron Gilbert (Indiana Jones, Maniac Mansion)
  • Bob Bates (author of SHERLOCK and ARTHUR)
  • Mike Berlyn (SUSPENDED and the upcoming ALTERED DESTINY)
  • Corey and Lori Cole (HERO’S QUEST, aka QUEST FOR GLORY)
  • Dave Lebling (the ZORK trilogy)
  • Al Lowe (the LEISURE SUIT LARRY games)
  • Roberta Williams (the KING’S QUEST games)
  • Coincidentally, a heavily edited version of this was posted earlier this year on The Digital Antiquarian. It’s worth reading for Jimmy Maher’s excellent introduction and footnotes, not to mention some thoughtful comments from his readers (including Corey Cole, one of the conference participants.)

    The transcript below is the online discussion as it originally took place, unedited by me, though possibly by others before it was archived on Compuserve. It is messier but I like that it reads like a conversation. You can see participants responding to each others’ points and joking around. And at one point Al Lowe appears to be trying to send commands to his modem.

    Note: as the moderator explains early on, participants type “!” to ask for a turn, “…” to indicate they aren’t finished typing yet, and “GA” to yield the floor to someone else.
    Continue reading

    New Pawns Feature: Slow-Mo Button

    Still working on the re-release of Pawns! for iOS. A lot of it is tweaking small details, but one new feature is worth mentioning.

    Multiple captures can be difficult to follow. Now the player can touch the new “turtle” button to see the action in slow motion. It’s so handy that I realize I should have added something like it long ago! Here’s what it currently looks like (There is also a matching speed-up button which replaces the old “2x” toggle).

    New Slow-Mo button lets player understand split-second captures

    Working on a New Version of Pawns

    I’ve been working to bring Pawns for iOS back as a 64-bit app, improving the graphics, and adding support for larger screen sizes.

    There will be new puzzle elements as well. For example, this puzzle pits the usual black and white pawns against a new color- red!

    Teaser 1

    I’ll post more screenshots soon. I hope to have Pawns back up on the App Store later this year.

    Running classic Mac games on OS X

    3d Brick Bash app
    I’d long ago given up being able to run my old games 3D Brick Bash! and 3D Paddle Bash! on Intel Macs, but it turns out to be possible using a program that emulates Classic Macs on modern hardware.

    The one I tried was Sheepshaver but another option may be Basilisk. The instructions are a bit fiddly and there are legal issues to emulating old Macs so see the emulator home pages for details.

    One step I had trouble with was renaming the ROM file to something Sheepshaver would accept. It turned out that although Finder was showing the correct name “Mac OS ROM”, there was a hidden “.rom” file extension that Finder wasn’t showing.

    To see if this is the case, select the file and choose File->Get Info. If the filename in that window has an extension, remove it.

    Finder's Get Info command shows the true filename

    Finder’s Get Info command shows the true filename

    It was a real treat to play my old games again. And now that I have the emulator running I plan to hunt down other classic original Mac games.

    p.s. Speaking of original, classic Mac games: if you have fond memories of them please consider supporting Richard Moss’s book The Secret History of Mac Gaming, like I did!