After a measly 20 months or so of development, my new game for the Rainbow 100 is finally out! Countless hours have been spent waiting for the Rainbow’s 8088 to churn through C source files have paid off, and a new game designed specifically for the Rainbow is now available for purchase!
If you’ve never heard of the Rainbow 100, you might be wondering why anyone would write a new game for such a machine. Clearly this process was a labor of love. I veered far from what might be considered “normal” retrocomputing development practices in that the game was entirely programmed and created on a real Rainbow 100. There was never an emulator. There was never a cross-compiler. There was never a Windows-based level editor. Everything was done on actual hardware. And it took forever.
Who is this game for? That’s actually an easy question to answer. The game is for me. Honestly, there aren’t many retrocomputing enthusiasts that would give the Rainbow, with its wacky disk drive and MS-DOS-compatible design, a second look. The market for a Rainbow game might be, and I’m taking no more than an educated guess here, two people, and I’m including myself in that count. Regardless, I spent close to two years writing this game, more if I include experimenting with the Rainbow’s video memory. I obviously did this just for me.
Why is it for sale, not free? I thought long and hard about this decision. The simplest explanation is that it is funnier to me to try to sell a game for the Rainbow. Almost nobody did with the notable exception of Infocom, and even Infocom didn’t keep up with the times on the Rainbow. I think the price helps convey that I indeed value my work on this game.
With all that said, I did create a Windows version as well, which I’ve marked as a beta release. The Windows release is notable in that it requires a Rainbow 100 to preprocess all the game data prior to packaging. Almost none of the tooling will run on Windows, especially the map editor. The game runs on Windows by simulating the behavior of the Rainbow’s video memory using pure Windows API calls. The existence of a Windows version is mostly to provide a demonstration to all the people I know who don’t have a Rainbow 100 because they decided to go with that terrible IBM PC compatible architecture instead.
Is the game good? I’m not sure what people will think. I find it hilarious. I’ve made myself laugh after encountering puzzles that I forgot existed. It’s frustrating and difficult yet approachable and simple. I truly hope someone enjoys this game. I know I enjoyed making it.
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