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Marn

The Colony - System Shock-like FPS from 1987

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The Colony is really cool, and an astounding achievement for 1987, especially from a lone developer! I remember finding the black-and-white version of it on a software-collection floppy disk when I was a kid. I never got very far into the game because I was too young to make much sense of where I was supposed to be going in it, but it left a strong impression.

In 2005, The Colony's developer posted an extensive memoir about its creation, which is a pretty fascinating read if you're into that sort of thing! http://www.croquet.zone/2005/02/my-colony-memoir.html

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So John Carmack stole some Mac computers, found this game on one and decided to improve on it eventually creating Wolfenstein and Doom? We're on to something here and I think it's pretty big.

Anyway this game reminds of an interactive version of the maze screensaver on win ... 95 I believe. That rat scared me a lot. Pretty cool find OP.

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It should be pointed out, IMO, that nobody ever said John Carmack invented the 3D engine. There are games from the early-to-mid 1980s - and even older than that, if memory serves - that use a similar 3D drawing system to this, some of which even have filled polygons (Atari's I, Robot, for one). Carmack didn't pioneer 3D rendering altogether. He did, however, make it fast, which is better than can be said for a lot of 80s (and some early 90s!) 3D flight-sims.

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Carmack wouldn't have been able to make fast 3D textured game in the 80's either, even with the help of optimization guru Abrash. The hardware wasn't up to the task. You had mostly 8-bit systems running in low single-digit MHz with around 64k of RAM, and maybe a single floppy drive if you're lucky (but cassettes were common on budget machines). Even the most revolutionary home computer (Amiga) had a 7 MHz clock, 512k RAM, and bitplane graphics. 286 PCs were fairly expensive compared to the other computers (except Mac) but even the fancy EGA card used bitplanes, and nobody could afford a 386 except businesses or really well-off people (the kind who wouldn't blink at buying a top-of-the-line Sun, DEC Alpha or SGI workstation in the 90's).
Without at least affordable, fast 32-bit machines, cheaper memory, VGA, and decent sound hardware, you woudn't have Doom as it was made. Some things would have needed to be scaled down or cut altogether, and it would probably run a lot slower, in smaller resolution, with less colors, and just some real basic sound fx. So yeah, just like your typical flight sim.

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