History doesn’t always give credit where credit is due, whether by misinformation, opportunism, or just plain ol’ chance. Case in point: Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, is often recognized as the “Father of Video Games,” when, at the very least, the honor should be shared by Ralph Baer, the creator of PONG. The battle for that claim of “FRIST! (LOL)” is often fierce, and, when it comes to internet comments, always sad. Many times, when the deserving party finally receives their credit, it’s too little, too late.
Rogue is a great game, and Roguelikes will probably always be called Roguelikes, but we should at least acknowledge Don D. Worth and his little dungeon crawl, Beneath Apple Manor, which predates Rogue by two years, and has all the game mechanics that are associated with modern RL’s: turn-based movement, randomized dungeons, and perma-death (of sorts – the game lets you re-use the stats of deceased characters, but the stats decline with each use). The game also features rudimentary shops, which you encounter between dungeons, a feature that is not present in Rogue.
BAM was originally released on the Apple II, but you can download the special edition of the game (which runs on PCs) at Don’s site (or click here). And head over to Psittacine Labs for more information about the game, including some words from Don in the comments.
Thanks, Cycle, via this thread! And, in the spirit of the post, I should acknowledge that Cycle also coined the term “BAM-Likes” (unless someone else did first).