Friday, December 31, 2004

Risking a serious Gerrk Jerk Burking here...

A readme file for Benny and Kenny, found on an old hard drive. The file is dated 1995-05-17, apparently when I first tried to release the game on the Internet.

Benny and Kenny Defense

Programming: Jeff Robertson
Idea for Game: Jeff Robertson
Story: Brandon Downey and Jeff Robertson

Note: The names of people in this game are real names. So what.

Benny and Kenny Defense is game in which you must defend your neighborhood from a gang of Scum led by the Twins of Terror, Benny and Kenny.

Instructions for running the game are found at the end of this file. This is my way of trying to make people read all about this thing before they play it.


The origins of this game go back to 1990, and illustrate my habit of running things into the ground. At that time, my neighborhood had been subject to several petty crimes committed by a pair of twin kids named Benny and Kenny. My friend and associate, Mr. Brandon Downey, conceived of a plan (written out on notebook paper) to defend the neighborhood from the armies of "scum" (Downey's word) led by Benny and Kenny (where he got the idea that they had an army I don't know...). This called for a number of posts around the neighborhood, manned by residents and friends of ours, which would serve to ward off invasion. These locations included a "guerilla fortress", a "mutant lab", and an "emergency escape space shuttle". Downey wrote a very amusing narrative detailing a possible confrontation with the Scum, which proved so entertaining to everybody in our circle of aquaintences that he later wrote a sequal which involved Heinleinian (now THAT's a word) power armor or something like that.

For some reason which I wish I knew, I decided to make a game based on Brandon's story. The first version was written in Basic on the Commodore 64, and was somewhat simpler than the present version. There was no concept of forces at your command. You simply either attacked or you didn't. The game was slightly amusing to the same people that had read the story, and basically unknown to anybody else.

In 1991 (I think) the original Commodore 64 version was ported (ie, transcribed from hard copy) to GW-Basic. Nothing much came of the GW-Basic version.

In 1992 the game was completely re-written in QBasic. The ANSI screens were created at that time, though they have since been modified. This incarnation was located on the PS/2 in the library at my high school, and was played by whatever friends I could cajole into it. I also toyed with running it as a door on my BBS, but never actually got it to work. Damn Qbasic not using DOS interrupts!

In 1993 or '94 the game was modified to make battle more complex and (slightly) challenging. Its still pretty tame, really. The ANSI screens were also fiddled with. This version was placed on the computers in the Mallet Assembly Computer Lab (which you will only know about if you attended the University of Alabama, and even then probably not unless you were really cool). Thanks to the guys for discovering that it was possible to kill one Scum per turn by risking zero of your troops (this has been fixed, I hope).

Then I broke down and re-wrote the bloody thing in C. It now works as a door under WWIV. It will look for chain.txt (or whatever file name you give it as an argument) and get the player's name from there. If your BBS is something besides WWIV or you want to run the game standalone, it will ask the player for his/her name if any of the following is true :
A) chain.txt or the file you told it to look for is missing
B) you give it "local" as its command-line argument. Thus:

benny c:\bbs\chain.txt --- gets info from c:\bbs\chain.txt

benny local --- asks user for name

benny --- looks for chain.txt in current dir, if not found asks user for his/her name.

I have sworn to myself that I will not work on this game anymore, but I'll probably be breaking that promise sooner or later.