Monday, 8 August 2016
Stretch goal: bonus chapter
Thank you everybody once again for your help getting us this far. It's amazing to me that we're at 118% funded.
I hope I can call on your support now with our stretch goal. I've thought things over and discussed it with Unbound, and we've decided that if the campaign reaches 150% funded we will add an extra chapter to the book.
I have two possible candidates for this bonus chapter, and if we hit that stretch goal I'll be asking all of you to help me decide (which is to say that I'll give you a vote). The options will be:
Emulation on the Mac — from early days of getting Apple II games and software to work without "porting" the code to the Mac's place in the emulation boom of the late 90s. This would include stories about the controversial commercial PlayStation emulator Connectix Virtual Game Station, which ran PlayStation 1 games at full speed on early iMacs and was discontinued after Sony bought Connectix (having failed to win a lawsuit), and also stories about the Mac-centric emulation community that rose up around websites like emulation.net, mac.emuscene.com (which lives on today as macscene.net (disclosure: I'm editor/moderator there)), and bannister.org. And perhaps also a bit of talk about running Windows on a Mac back in the PowerPC days (if you've never tried this, I'll sum it up: slow). As I'm sure many of you know, the rise of emulation was timed perfectly with the decline of Apple. And Mac gamers embraced this murky world of playing console, arcade, and other computer platforms' games in emulators. So this could be a really interesting look into a neglected space.
GameMaker — on Al Staffieri's 1990s adventure game creation kit and amateur Mac game development (I've been told there was a large and thriving community of amateur game-makers on AOL that used this software, and this chapter would also give me more room to delve into other Mac homebrew efforts using programs like FutureBasic and HyperStudio or in competitions like uDevGames — since I don't have much space to cover anything in these realms besides HyperCard and World Builder at the moment). Also something that's not really been looked into much. But I will caution that a big chunk of the archival research may be impossible for me to complete under the time constraints — I might be able to get an interview with Al, but getting onto the amateur creators and finding enough forum posts and documentation to craft a compelling narrative could be tricky.
And one more thing: Unbound will be/is sending out email this week that will allow you to upgrade your pledge. So if you backed at the digital level and now want a hardback (it'll be worth it!) or you're keen on one of the art prints, or if you just want to pledge a bit more money to the cause, this is your best opportunity to do it.
To give you a little extra motivation, let me remind you that we have the brilliant Darren Wall of British videogame history publisher Read-Only Memory pencilled in to design this book. It will be a beautiful object, true to the spirit of the Mac.