This was too epic not to post.
inXile Entertainment is currently running a Kickstarter to fund development for The Bards Tale IV. Yesterday, it was announced that backers at the $20 or higher level would receive free digital copies of the original The Bard’s Tale, The Bard’s Tale II: Destiny Knight and The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate along with a deluxe double album soundtrack.
These games are available now via emulation, but the experience isn’t as seamless as it should be. Not to worry, because inXile Entertainment has partnered with the original The Bard’s Tale III programmer Rebecca “Burger” Heineman and her company Olde Sküül to make the games run natively on Macintosh and PC. That’s great news but the coolest bit is that the re-releases will be based on the Apple IIGS versions of the games (not the PC, or the Amiga… THE APPLE IIGS!) and will also include updated artwork.
I believe I can predict with some certainty that this Kickstarter will be a major topic of interest at this year’s KansasFest, where Rebecca Heineman happens be our very distinguished keynote speaker.
Welcome to a special extra episode of Open Apple! Fellow Apple II enthusiast Matt Ownby recently sat down for a chat with John Brooks, author of Rastan on the IIgs. It’s a fascinating conversation with tons of technical detail that you won’t want to miss. They talk copy protection, cycle counting, fast GS sprite rendering, and lots more!
A huge thanks to John for taking the time to share his knowledge. Also a huge thanks to Matt for recording this and allowing us to air it on Open Apple.
There are some audio quality issues with this piece, but we feel the conversation is well worth it. Enjoy, and send a thanks to Matt and John!
This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Jason Scott, documentary filmmaker, historian, public speaker, and archivist.
We talk about the importance of a nuanced appreciation of history, the flavors of sadness in comment threads, whom not to trust with special data and the nature of humanity, and failing at life.
Don’t miss Mike Hate Sponge Delicate Snowflake Maginnis’s sigh to end all sighs. Join us to learn how to take care of your capacitors, how to count your cycles, and how to do TCP/IP on your 8-bit Apple II.
Want to troll your cable company, accelerate your IIe, or play Bomberman on your GS? Tune in and find out how!
*Note: This episode was recorded more than a month ago so some of the news items discussed are slightly out of date.
4am is a well-known and gifted software cracker best known for releasing detailed step-by-step instructions for cracking commercial copy-protected programs for the Apple II series, and for also producing ‘clean’ cracks, which is to say the so-called ‘warez’ were free of any vanity crack screens (where the cracker usually takes credit for their exploits).
The Internet Archive (through the efforts of digital preservationist Jason Scott) are now hosting of over 300+ of 4am’s cracks online. You can download the disk image for transfer to your Apple II, or in many cases play the disk image online through your web browser. Many of these cracks are for titles that never got much love from the pirating community, primarily educational titles.
Early-bird registration for KansasFest, the 27th annual convention dedicated to the Apple II computer, ends on May 31. After that, prices rise $55. Register now, and you’ll have extra cash to upgrade your Apple II. Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, from Tuesday, July 14, through Sunday, July 19, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie.
The week kicks off with keynote speaker Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman, a prolific computer game programmer, designer, and industry veteran. Heineman will be available immediately afterward for a Q&A and autograph session.
The rest of the week will be packed with hardware and software sessions. All KansasFest sessions are presented by the attendees, who are known for unscheduled events and debuts, too. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at new software, preorder opportunities for new hardware, a live-action text adventure, a podcast recording session, Structris tournaments, or an athletic round of Bite the Bag, there are experiences to be had and memories made at KansasFest that aren’t possible except in the company of surprising, brilliant, diehard Apple II fans. We already have 900 minutes of scheduled sessions with only 400 minutes still open. Please sign up now to present a session. Check out our YouTube channel for examples of past presentations.
KansasFest invites any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends to attend the longest running annual Apple II conference. Sign up for our discussion list to meet other attendees and get the latest details as the event approaches. With only two months to go before KansasFest starts, it’s time to finish your registration, book travel, and format your floppies.
Mark your calendars! Coming this August 3rd through August 9th is APPLE II FESTIVAL FRANCE 2015, at Maska to Castera-Verduzan in Gers. Join your fellow European Apple II enthusiasts for a week of retrocomputing, gaming, hacking and fellowship. Apple II Festival France 2015 is being produced by Silicium and Groupe Apple II France (Facebook).