Gaming under DOS and Win95

This morning, I started thinking about how I first got into programming. Indeed, I think the earliest beginnings were from computer games. First, we had a computer that was amazingly fast for the time, an Intel 486DX 33MHz with 16 MB RAM and a 500 MB HDD. We had a 2x CD-ROM and a 3.5″ floppy drive, and we had DOS games from the Learning Company on disk, and later, some CD-ROM games like demos, “55 Ultimate Games” packs, and Disney’s Aladdin.

Connecting to the web was much different than it is today. I connected to Prodigy on our 14.4 Kbps dial-up modem and played online puzzle games. I was addicted. Shortly after upgrading from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, I started playing games downloaded from AOL Games, which offered lots of shareware and demos. I never actually bought the full versions of games. Since I didn’t have any money, the shareware versions were fine. I’d play them over and over again. Near Christmas, they released special “Xmas Edition” expansions to many of the games, and I was able to game even more.

At some point, I decided that I really wanted to make my own game. I researched thoroughly how to do it. Most methods required expensive development packages like Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual C++, or Visual Studio. I tried lots of free compilers, read lots and lots of tutorials, tried game creators like “Klik & Play” and the Games Factory. I tried BASIC, including Microsoft’s and other companies’, and eventually compiled a few things for QBasic and started a website I called Gengar56 Studios, which eventually became Gengar Studios, hosted on Homestead.

There’s a lot more where that came from. I never really realized how obsessed I was. I’ve never really talked about this, either. I don’t think anyone’s really interested. But at least I can get it written down here.

4 Responses to “Gaming under DOS and Win95”

  1. Michael says:

    Hey, I’m interested. Only upon reflection do we realize how we were in the “old days’ and what got us to where we are today.

  2. Henry Yuen says:

    Dude are you kidding me? This reminds me of how I started programming. I saw this fascinating 3D game wolfenstein 3D (the old,..old 1992 version) that my cousin was playing, and I was hooked. After playing through the game a bajillion times (this was my first video game) on a 122 mghz Pentium I, 24 MB ram, 900 MB HDD and 4x CDrom (windows 95), I had to learn how it all worked.

    And then I discovered you could modify the game using a weird, very weird language called “C”. It was amazing fun hacking the game by adding items, making maps, and other random things. Ahh…the good ole days of the DOS Borland turbo C++ IDE.

    I started a company as well, called Gamedia Studios. I “ran” it for about four years, but I never really finished any games except for this project I did for 7th grade.

    Game programming was enormously fun.

  3. katy says:

    I didn’t remember you playing games on the computer that much, or I would’ve stopped you! Well, I suppose it is a good thing I didn’t.

    You asked to buy the Cybiko. We let you because you said you can program it and learn stuff. I remember testing out a few games you programmed on there.

    Here I thought you were working on some complex math and it was all only games……:)

  4. […] an example of one post I came across: Gaming under DOS and Win95. I went in and made a couple minor edits for readability… I find that posts are personally […]

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