Thursday, May 15, 2014
There was zero coverage of this particular game online, even at the usual suspect places, but (to quote a certain bunch of mean, green, caterpillar-like alien overlords) you will note that this oversight has been rectified: I added a MobyGames entry for it. This post won't cover AGS1's qualities as a game (or as a pair of games), so if you fancy some screenshots and a general description, head on over there.
What got my attention first was the time-frame. Have a look at this (and keep in mind that the IBM PC was officially introduced on August 12, 1981):
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
My previous post contains copious amounts of whinging about the keyboard controls in this game, but as it turns out, the issue isn't with the game as such - it's about the environment. Recently it was pointed out to me that Shamus uses a buffered input routine (it isn't the BIOS INT 9 handler, but a custom handler that similarly buffers keystrokes), and as such, it's sensitive to the typematic rate and delay set for the keyboard.
For the unfamiliar, these parameters control how long a key must be held down before a repeated keypress is signaled, and then the rate at which the keypress is repeated. Older PC/XT-class machines (which is what this game was targeted at) always booted up with a default delay of 500ms and repeat rate of 10 characters per second; this is what the game assumes, and under these conditions keyboard control isn't a problem.