Emergent magic

I remember vividly one night, when we were kids with my brother. Trying to sleep in our beds, we suddenly heard wierd noises coming out of our parents room. We never heard them before. Something falling, something jumping? What was it?

We quietly snuck out of bed and went to peep. It was something new. My dad was sitting at his IBM and playing a game. We knew all the games on that computer (there weren’t many games in those days). But what was this?

This game keeps coming up in my memories although I haven’t played it in over 20 years. It was called “Alley Cat”. I can still hear the melody played on the PC speaker.

The next day, first thing in the morning we carefully typed in A L L E Y C A T in the DOS command box and got carried away.

Alley Cat was the hardest game we played. It was unforgiving. It challenged our little fingers like nothing before. It was simple though and the goals were clear. You played as an alley cat trying to catch mice and at the same time avoid other cats, flying shoes and brooms. The design was different and original.

A mystical aura surrounded the game. Like a hidden treasure found and retreived. We knew every game on that old PC, every directory, every file, every program. For some reason we missed this one and our dad discovered it. We thought of it as something else than the rest – it stood out.

It was mystical, it was different and it was challenging. It was perfect.

What really makes a perfect game? As you see it’s not about this or that feature. It’s also about everything else that surrounds a game.

Cartridge is my attempt to create a breeding ground for emergence to occur. It will create the unforeseen, that which we cannot think of, code or paint. Other developers often overlook this critical component of a good game. I want to focus on it. I want to recreate the magic Alley Cat had.

Cartridge is my way for that magic to happen.


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