In my PAX keynote yesterday, I mentioned that although Karateka is the game that launched my career, I actually had just as high hopes for the Apple II game I made right before it, as a 17-year-old freshman in college: Deathbounce, which I submitted to Broderbund Software founder Doug Carlston but he declined to publish.
A clamor immediately arose in the audience, offering to support a Kickstarter campaign for an iOS/Android version of Deathbounce.
I tried to discourage this, pointing out that Doug’s judgment that Deathbounce was unlikely to set the gaming world on fire was well founded even in 1982. Nevertheless, ever since yesterday, people have been coming up to me at PAX and trying to give me money.
It turns out I actually have a disk image of Deathbounce on my MacBook Air.(Derek Moore, childhood friend of voice actor Yuri “Prince of Persia” Lowenthal, did me the favor of copying my 5.25″ Apple II disks a while back. A floppy disk image being only 143K, the shoebox full of disks that took me my entire childhood to amass now occupies barely 2MB on a 350GB hard drive.)
(For those following the Prince of Persia source code saga: Our failure to find the POP source code in this shoebox was what led me to give up hope of ever finding it, until two weeks ago, when my Dad unearthed a forgotten cache of 3.5″ backups in his closet.)
So, rather than do a Deathbounce Kickstarter (I don’t know what scares me more — that it might be a total bust, or that millions of dollars might pour in and then I’d HAVE to make it), I thought it would be simplest to just post the disk image here. This way, anyone who wants to play Deathbounce can.
The cost of the cup of coffee I consumed while typing this post (regular, black) has been funded by the “first Kickstarter dollar” that someone handed me onstage after the talk, plus the five bucks the Penny Arcade security guy offered me to atone for his guilt for playing a pirated disk of Karateka as a kid in England 25 years ago. (Thanks, gentlemen!)
(To any programmers out there who’d like to take on the iOS/Android version: I have the source code. You know where to find me.)
See? Way easier than Kickstarter.