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Let’s drill into a bunch of these similarities, covering the following topics: If I’m missing anything, please leave a comment! Door games are the “apps” to the BBS platform First, let me describe what a BBS actually is – you can read a more official version on Wikipedia here.
Anyone with a phone line, modem, and computer running the right software could start up a BBS.
For the games that had leaderboards and user-to-user interaction, it was easy to feel the same fun game-like motivations that make social gaming work today.
As an aside, while doing research for this blog post, I found this funny ASCII based dating site with Myers-Briggs based writing, and a Wall!
If you encounter another player’s ship, then you can interact with them with the computer taking control of the other player, so when attacking them, they will automatically defend.
Some of these games played very much like RPGs, with levels, currency, monsters, swords, quests, and the usual mechanics.
It’s obvious, in retrospect, that a lot of the door games that existed 20 years ago pioneered a lot of the same techniques that social games use today.To supply the door program with the user’s information (such as the user’s alias and the amount of time they had spent online), the BBS software creates a dropfile containing information for the program to read.This “dropfile” typically contained all the user information, so rather than the standard API where the app asks for that information, instead it was provided in one big file.The way that was done depended on the game, of course, but usually combined a mix of computer players (aka NPCs) and “slow” real-time action where each loop of action lasted a day.Then on any given day, you are given a number of turns which you can expend.
You can tell from the number of dudes on the screen above that the world of lonely nerds has not changed much over the last 20 years.