The website Inside Mac Games was taken down a couple years ago, except for the forums. No big surprise– it hadn’t published new content since 2014.
Losing access to it didn’t seem to bother anyone, except the occasional researcher working on an article or book. But I was sad to see it go. In part this was because I had written a some articles for it, but also because I have fond memories of classic Mac gaming and its community.
The issue was that the database hosting the site was old and cost too much money to run. So I offered to help convert the entire site into a static website that would be cheap to host.
The results are now live. Visit www.insidemacgames.com to see all the news, features and reviews originally published from 2000 to 2014. I even managed to link to a few pre-2000 articles being kept by Internet Archive.
The conversion took longer than I expected, but it was a fun excuse to browse old pages and reminisce.
IMG meant a lot to me back in the day so it was nice to try to do it a good turn.
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.
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)
Noah Falstein (INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE)
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 →
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).