Back in the early days of home computing, developers were experimenting not only with how different game genres worked, but also with using game-like mechanics in various contexts.
One pioneer of these experiments was Douglas Crockford, who we’ve seen a couple of times on this series previously. Today we look at his Hollywood Medieval project, which combines music effectively arranged by the “player” with the game-like mechanic of navigating a maze — with your location determined by the musical phrases you’re hearing.
A peculiar experience to be sure! Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
Rana Rama is one of those games that most ST owners probably played at some point, since it was distributed as part of the “Super Pack” bundle of software with new STs in 1988. And from there, the rampant piracy of the period meant that the disks of the Super Pack tended to find their way into other people’s hands, too!
It’s an interesting game, though, and had quite an influence on a number of subsequent developers. Notably, it’s use of “fog of war” to gradually reveal rooms as you enter them inspired Simon Phipps to adopt a similar approach when developing his exploration-centric platformer Switchblade for Core Design.
There’s also some very interesting mechanics going on under the hood. Watch me try and figure things out in the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!