I was sad when Hypercard fell out of general distribution with the Mac, but I'm happy to see it here.
Care to share (if possible) how you ended up showing your game to Bill Gates when you were 14? Hiw old was he at that time?
Thanks for sharing.
PS. Sorry for the duplicated post. I was on my phone and for some reason I thought the first post wasn't sent correctly.
Edit: Fun thing that I just remembered—the game had a picture of your space ship that showed damage to various areas during battles. The image was scanned on an ImageWriter (Thunderscan!) from a magazine photo of a Delorean, and then I used MacPaint (Fatbits!) to erase the wheels and make the undercarriage look like a space ship. Pretty awesome for those early days, if I do say so myself.
I didn't know Word BASIC or how HTA's worked at all before I got the job - had never touched it at all, and I've never needed it since, but it was simple enough that I did the planned work the first week, and spent the remaining two dragging my feet because I couldn't afford to risk telling the customer they'd severely over-estimated the effort in case they'd want to cut the contract short. I didn't feel too bad about it - I spent the extra time adding additional automation and polish, and they were pleased enough to want me back for more work the next year.
There are a few game maker tools with low barriers to entry too.
Care to share how did you end up showing your game to Bill Gates? How old was he at the time?
Later in life I made a point-and-click game similar to the one you described, on a newer version of Hypercard. This one had sound. I made this with a couple classmates in elementary or middle school. It was based on caricatures we had made of our school life, teachers, and classmates.
Commodore 64 BASIC got me started, but HyperCard kept me moving.
If never became as easy to create high quality freeform sites and apps as it was multimedia Hypercard decks and games. Hypercard changed my life in childhood, even without learning about its scripting features.
HyperStudio was pretty good too. We used that in school quite a bit.
You're writing as if it's too late. It's not!
What the Web has going for it today are ubiquity, multimedia capabilities, and the ability to deploy applications with no end-user installation step. There has never been a platform as advanced on these three axes as the Web today. This is a really big deal.
As you highlighted, the missing piece is the creation environment. If only someone could create an accessible, freeform, code-backed interaction design tool for the modern web, learning from forebears like Hypercard and Flash, and respecting/leveraging modern creatives' & engineers' tools of the trade.
Sounds crazy. But that hasn't stopped us from chasing this dream at Haiku: https://haiku.ai
Ok, so there was a fair bit of work that would have been required, but they had a big headstart. Of course almost nobody was thinking about the Internet back in the late 80s and early 90s. Bill Gates released a book in 1995 entitled "The Road Ahead" that barely mentioned the Internet at all.
It was an immersive and extensive visual world, where the main point was just to explore. It was implemented as a series of linked HyperCard stacks, each sized to fit on a floppy disk. You'd come to remember the exact points of the game that would throw up a modal dialog prompting the insertion of the next required disk.
And, it happens to have been made by the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, who later went on to create Myst (which itself is very reminiscent of The Manhole).
Unrelatedly, I wonder if anyone in this thread remembers SuperCard, a third-party knock-off of HyperCard that offered such amazing innovations as color graphics. (I also seem to recall some kind of hack where you could use ResEdit to get colour images into HyperCard stacks even though it wasn't officially supported, but the details are fuzzy).
Two other Rand and Robyn Miller titles are there too:
I never had a Mac in that era but I'm looking forward to trying these after reading the Digital Antiquarian article about the Manhole: http://www.filfre.net/2016/10/the-manhole/
The HyperCard stack I was really interested in seeing after all these years, though, was the Mackerel Stack - alas, not there (yet)...
HyperCard was totally awesome at the time.
The OS wasn't Unix based back then.
Apple's love for it's highly limited and slow AppleTalk protocol didn't do it any favors either.
It was so good! It's too bad it never became more popular and disappeared.
As an avid HyperCard user one of the problems was you couldn't extend it with new UI components. I did write an XCMD (C code to extend HyperCard) but there was no way to visualise new stuff, I understand it was because of the highly optimised code by Bill Atkinson. The extensibility is probably why Visual Basic took off.
Ah, the good old days.
WindowScript was a popular XCMD that would let you open multiple windows with native controls (which is how many stacks added color support long before HyperCard did).
And inheritance too! Every card inherits from its background. It was basically OOP.
I'd suggest reading up on Self -- or Smalltalk-72 for that matter.
My first OO programming language was the 'MOO' language used in the online LambdaMOO text-'VR' worlds.
They used to have a really perplexing pricing model, but I think you can use it for home now mostly unrestricted.
When you so dramatically reduce the friction required to create that anyone, especially non-technical folks, can do it, all kinds of amazing things happen. I watched an 11 year old build the "Not Hot Dog" app from Silicon Valley, using Google's Vision API, in ten minutes (from never having seen the Metaverse Studio to having her app deployed on device, cross-platform, and sending it to her friends; this is how creation SHOULD be for 99% of people!).
 - http://gometa.io (also check out how easy it is to create apps that integrate with IoT devices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPrBLPG3Smk -- Hypercard for the modern age!)
I helped a friend build a choose-your-own-adventure murder mystery game called Blood Hotel, and found myself obsessed with the feeling of inventive power that programming enabled.
I ended up building an animated space invaders game, and even tried my hand at writing a "virus" in HyperTalk that would infect other stacks with its code.
Ah, the good old days. Lovely to see this at the top of HN!
: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG2lSb1xrNM "Four Hours: A Space Trip"
Moving cursor with touch is kind of challenging though.
And it's amusing to see all these stacks made by young people - like myself back then! I'll need to dig up my old stacks.
The hardest thing I made at that time was a wack-a-mole style game where the cards flipped randomly with a button/graphic to wack the thing. I couldn't figure out how to make it click a button while it was in the loop, but eventually I figured out how to break it to click the button. I still remember the code : 'if the click then click the click lock'
Back then, software came with well-written paper manuals, and the translation quality (into Finnish in my case) was very good, too. I feel like Apple manuals peaked with HyperCard 2.0.
As an Amiga user, I remember a good clone named CanDo. It was really interesting.
They also didn't do a Windows port until it was way too late.
Apple also seemed to mostly stop development on it shortly after the System 7 release.
Eventually, Mosaic came along and the rest is history.
Does anyone know if XCMDs are supported?