HyperCard(ness) is Alive and Well

March 25, 2008 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
Anyone here remember Dark Castle? Cosmic Osmo? Inigo Gets Out? These were ground-breaking, best-selling Mac games in the late eighties and early nineties, all artwork done by MacPaint virtuosos in black and white, and all created with HyperCard, Apple's intuitive "programming" language that used stacks of cards as the key concept.

Learn more about the creativity of these early artists in this free web-based book, itself purposely Hypercard-looking:

When Multimedia was Black and White
http://smackerel.net/black_white.html

When I first read it, it reminded me of when my daughter used HyperCard to create her own "Inigo-like" game for a science fair project, back when she was seven or eight years old. (She's in grad school now, so that was many years ago!) Instead of Inigo's cat, Nicole's protagonist was an alligator with googly eyes. Alas, as I upgraded computers over the years, I must've deleted all traces of her game, because I can't find it anywhere, and I've looked through piles of floppies, Syquests, and Zips. I know this is one of the topics my kid will bring up during psychotherapy at some point. ("My mother deleted my stack! That's why I can't trust anyone!")

HyperCard was dropped by Apple many years ago. The last version they released only runs in Classic, and even then, just barely. However, if you'd like your own kids to get the same thrill out of creating their very own game as Nicky did (or you want to give it a go yourself), hie thee over to Runtime Revolution to check out Revolution Studio.

Runtime Revolution
http://www.runrev.com/

Revolution Studio is a cross-platform (Mac/Windows) application builder that appears to use the same metaphor as HyperCard: Stacks of cards (screens) with a library of drag-and-drop items to make them interactive. For all I know, they purchased HyperCard from Apple, because it looks like what HyperCard would be in 2008! Watch their free video tutorials (link on the left of the page) to see what I mean.

Brian Thomas, the author of the seminal interactive project, If Monks Had Macs (first released as a Hypercard stack in 1988), updated his 24-volume opus as a Revolution Studio project not too long ago. You can purchase the runtime version for Mac/Windows here:

If Monks Had Macs
http://www.rivertext.com/monks.html

He even wrote up tips for other Revolution Studio developers here:
http://www.revjournal.com/features/rivertext-monks.html

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