like a lot of nerds who got access to a DOS machine some time in the 90s and started poking around looking for something, anything of interest before being on the internet all the time was really an option, i wrote some qbasic games.

qbasic trader was going to be my magnum opus. a supremely unoriginal clone of _taipan_, which i'd first played on the apple II.

it's a pretty bad game, but i'm still kind of proud of the pixel art.

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thinking about it now, aside from the orientalist veneer, taipan is the sort of game that presaged all those paperclip maximizer type things that happened later.

the basic buy-low-sell-high thing is easy enough to copy, but i never could get the balance that made it so satisfying to rack up an absurdly high score.

if i were making something like this now, i guess i'd want to subvert the whole premise somehow. maybe i'd have you play the pirates.

weird to think about the version of my life where i kept caring about making games long enough that it overlapped with actually knowing how to program.


I could tell it was DOS from the shape of the exclamation mark (!) in the font being used.

It's been 15 years I touched DOS (via Windows, at school), but I still recognise its font 😁

@krinkle i start up dosbox now and then for the nostalgia factor, and it's remarkable how familiar it all feels almost 20 years after i last routinely used the environment.

@brennen @krinkle Thank you. You make me feel young by making me realize I'm not old enough to have nostalgia for old crap tech. :)

@liw @krinkle DOS was, in many ways, pretty terrible. barely even an operating system, more of a glorified bootloader.

on the other hand, it ran on most of the computers i could get my hands on for like a decade, and i spent approximately none of those years haunted by visions of how software was murdering the world, so i guess it might have one or two things to recommend it over my recent time with better operating systems.

@liw @krinkle i'm not nostalgic for an operating system, i'm nostalgic for thinking computers were good.

@brennen @krinkle Fair enough. I now feel even older, since I started using computers in 1984, and they've always been potential tools of evil to me.

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