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ChipWits is Looking for a Publisher.

ChipWits is a classic robot-programming game that was an award-winning bestseller in the 80’s.

In 2008 MacLife magazine named ChipWits the 8th-best Apple/Mac games of all time.
More enthusiastic reviews.


ChipWits by Doug Sharp and Mike Johnston

2017-04-25 17_52_13-The Top 10 Apple Games of All Time- MacLifeIn March 2008 ChipWits was named one of the Top 10 Apple II/Mac Games of all time by Maclife.com Thank you, WayBackMachine, for preserving these dead pages.

2017-04-25 17_56_02-The Top 10 Apple Games of All Time- MacLife

More enthusiastic reviews.

Excerpts from reviews:

“ChipWits is a program that every Mac user should have.” Byte Product of the Month review

“If you have only one entertainment/educational program in the disk cabinet next to your Macintosh, ChipWits should be it.” Icon Review magazine review

“A fantastic program that is as educational as it is entertaining… Hands-on trial and error environment combined with attractive screens and animation create a world where playing and learning become (as they should be) one and the same.” 5-star INFO64 review

“We described ChipWits as a ‘revolutionary’ game package, and we think that when you see it you will agree. However, it’s more than just a game, it’s ‘edutainment’ at its best. In our opinion, the program is so innovative that it overleaps other education and game packages in the same manner that Filevision brought new concepts to the ‘data base jungle’. We predict without hesitation that ChipWits will become a cult favorite among Macintosh users and their children of whatever age.” The extensive and egoboosting MACazine review

“… so much fun you won’t even realize you’ve been educated until you leave the environment. Young or old will delight in this educational treat.” The MACazine Best of ’85 Award blurb

“IBOL is nearly perfect introduction to programming for nonprogrammers.” MacUser 5-mouse review

“ChipWits from BrainPower is the best, certainly most enjoyable, introduction to programming concepts that we’ve seen. Its icon based language is wonderfully innovative, and the program’s design is both refreshing and highly educational.” MacUser’s Editor’s Choice 1985 Award

“ChipWits is delightful and delightfully easy to use… I found ChipWits to be highly educational as well as highly entertaining… I also found ChipWits to be very challenging and even addictive on the more difficult play levels…. It’s an excellent program that teaches by osmosis…” Commodore Power/Play review

“Not too many reviews come with a guarantee, but this one guarantees that if you like programming, you’ll love ChipWits.” MacWorld review

ChipWits is being revived and updated. The current build is playable.

CW is being coded on the Unity Platform.

Contact Doug Sharp at dougsharp@channelzilch.com

Doug “Droog” Sharp Bio

1973-9 Taught Special Ed and 5th grade
Taught myself how to program by bringing school Apple II’s home on weekends.

80’s My Games ChipWits and The King of Chicago

88-92: Epilepsy disables me and ends my game career.

92-7: Worked as a coder and manager in Microsoft Research’s Virtual Worlds Group. Sexy tech, awesome coworkers–geeks, artists, musicians.

97-2003: Epilepsy Disables me and causes brain damage

Seizures damaged my thalamus, causing Central Pain Syndrome and cognitive loss.
I can no longer program or do math. Talking became painful.
Video 2: How am I?

2002: Spent 6 glorious, painful weeks at the sci-fi writing workshop Clarion West

2004-2012:To heal I moved to a remote lakeside Wisconsin cabin where Janet Brissom visited me.

2012: Moved to Vashon Island, an enchanted isle in Puget Sound.

2013-14: Finished Channel Zilch and Hel’s Bet.
Here’s An article about why it took me 21 years to write Channel Zilch.

2018: Proudly donated my game development archive to Seattle’s Living Computers Museum and Lab.

Currently working on a Middle-Grade (age 10-16) sci-fi book called Castle Rising–Medieval Kids vs. Alien Pirates. I hope to finish by the end of the year.

Also recording the audiobook of Channel Zilch,

DroogCore Monsterpieces v0.000: Boogafoo Music

Boogafoo Music is a Stomp the Genre Records product.
Boogafoo was originally published by itsu jitsu.

Mommy, what’s a Boogafoo?

In 1974 while I attended St. Olaf’s Paracollege, my best friend Larry Heyl ran the Moog Studio. He taught me how to plug patch cords and fiddle knobs to wring squawks out of the Moog Modular Synthesizer. I was earning a hand-rolled degree in Creative Studies so I added Torturing the Moog 101 to my curriculum.

Front Cover

cover

Back Cover

Veluria Ponsonby’s Epiphany

Wherein two horrible dogs perform behavioral experiments on an innocent fellow.

 

Moog Modular Synthesizer like the one in the St. Olaf Moog Studio

To me the Moog was a machine for making weird noises so I pushed it into uncharted territories of sonic strangeness. I didn’t emulate any musician but indulged in pure sonic experimentation. I taped a handful of tracks and called my album “Babie’s[sic] First Words” Twenty years later my daughter renamed it “Boogafoo Music”, which stuck.

Doug Sharp in ’74

I carried around this 2nd-gen tape for years before digitizing it, no charge for the tape hiss

We kept track of our Moog patchcord setups with this worksheet

St. Olaf Moog Studio Gear:

Moog modules:

  • 1 x 901 oscillator bank with 3 oscillators
  • 2 x 921 oscillators
  • 1 x 905 reverb
  • 1 x 903A noise generator
  • 1 x 904 filter
  • 3 x 902 voltage controlled amplifiers
  • 3 x 911 envelope generators
  • 1 x 951 keyboard

Locally made:

  • 3 x 901 oscillator banks, 1 with 3, 1 with 4, and 1 with 5 oscillators
  • 2 x 4:1 mixer
  • 4 x 2:1 mixer

3 x stereo tape machines (Revox A77, Tandberg 6021X, Ampex 601)

Game Developer’s Game Library For Sale

My Damned Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a monster. PTSD is a cage. PTSD distorts my self. It keeps me away from people I love. It keeps me from doing things that I love.

My traumas are caused by the inescapable agony of my Central Pain Syndrome.  Here are two videos I made about the horror of my CPS:
Message from Hell #1: How Are You?
Message from Hell ##: How Am I?

My PTSD is sometimes a blunt instrument to my psyche, brutally knocking me down when pain hits my limit. Usually my PTSD subtly handicaps me, chains me in ways that I can’t fathom nor address, much less battle or finesse.

Because I live in the midst of constant trauma, my trauma isn’t in the past–it’s in the past, present, and future. PTSD that develops “in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape” is called Complex PTSD (See Wikipedia article), sometimes called DESNOS or Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified.

The primary trigger my CPS agony is animated conversations with bright, creative people. The trauma is interpersonal because the pain is caused by conversing. The person I talk to doesn’t (usually) mean to traumatize me, but the reptilian complex of my brain classifies the trauma as an interpersonal attack.

 

Uncle Doug’s Bedtime Storytime Time: Channel Zilch.

Buy Channel Zilch for only 0.99!!!

2019-02-26 15_07_08-Window

Droog trying to read Channel Zilch.

Links to Chapters:

Chapter 1: The Flying Cow

Chapter 2: Rocket Jock For Hire

Chapter 3: Lutefisk Sushi

Chapter 4: A Half-Vast Plan

Chapter 5: NASA’s Zero-tolerance Policy on Cannibalism 

Chapter 6: A Few Revealing Photos

Chapter 7: I’ll Grind His Bones to Make My Bread

Chapter 8: Reset

Chapter 9: Don’t Be A Dick

Chapter 10: Space ‘n’ Vader

Chapter 11: Our Noble Enterprise

Chapter 12: Gritch

Chapter 13: One-word Motto

Chapter 14: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Chapter 15: Amscray Uttleshay

Chapter 16: World’s Second-largest Biplane

Chapter 17: Potent Bull

Chapter 18: News Flash

Chapter 19: A Jolly Rogering

Chapter 20: Channel Hel

Chapter 21: This Old Shuttle

Chapter 22: Damn Space Hippy

Chapter 23: Dire Strait

Chapter 24: Calm Seas and a Following Breeze

Chapter 25: Potent Istanbul

Chapter 26: Bull Session

Chapter 27: Refool

Chapter 28: Baikonur Beckons–Back Roads, Bluffery, Bully-boys, and Baksheesh

Chapter 29: A Romantic Cruise on the Fabled Caspian Sea

Chapter 30: Mafiya Zap

I sliced up some of the longer chapters to make smaller chapters so numbering jumps around:

Chapter 33: The Gangsternaut

Chapter 46: Undead Souls

Chapter 47: Party Crasher

Chapter 48: Showtime

Chapter 49: High Stakes Improv

Chapter 50: Pissing on a Bus Tire

Chapter 51: Product Launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

our parents told us to always remember home, the evening star

2018-06-29 19_53_52-(4) our parents told us to always remember home, the evening star.png

“That dot? It should be bigger.”

“It’s big. So far away it’s small.”

“I know that.” She squints, sighting along her arm. “Like I cover up that big volcano with my thumb.”

“Olympus Mons.”

“I know that.”

“You got it–far makes the volcano small. But Home is a zillion mountains big and a zillion clicks away.”

Giggle. “I can cover it with my eyelash.” Giggle. “It makes my eyelash sparkle. Try it.”

I squint and rotate my head minutely. An old man’s blur. “Sounds wonderful. All I see is a blur. My eyes aren’t young.”

She considers that and moves on.

“When can I go to the Party?”

“Party?”

“To The Party at the Earth place. Where our cousins are.”

To the right of the evening star a brighter dot blooms and burns… out.

“A spark! Is that for the party?”

“Bigger than a spark, sweet. It’s a rocket ship slowing down. That’s what I brought you out to see.”

“Far away?”

“About a day.”

“Is it robots?”

“It’s our long-lost cousins. When they get here we’ll have a family reunion to remember.”

“A party?”

“Best party ever.”

 

The Big Idea: Doug Sharp

I am honored that John Scalzi has published my article about Channel Zilch on his blog.

Whatever

Some books take longer to write than others.Channel Zilch took longer to write than most. But to be fair, author Doug Sharp has a very good reason for that. Here he is to explain.

DOUG SHARP:

It only took me 21 years to finish Channel Zilch.

Channel Zilch is the story of ex-astronaut Mick Oolfson and geek goddess Heloise (Hel) Chin. NASA canned Mick for stunt-flying a space shuttle; his one desire is to return to space.  Hel is a testosterone-surfing evolutionary roboticist, cortical multitasker, and aspiring midwife to the technological Singularity. The first book in the Hel’s Bet series, Channel Zilch begins with the theft of a space shuttle. And that’s the easy part.

Here’s the deal:

In 1992 I needed a new computer game project. I was droolingly bored cranking out lucrative contract code. My game career was dead. I was determined to resurrect it.

In the mid-80’s…

View original post 902 more words

Pitcher Plant in Snow

Snow is thin on the ground. I hiked to the Tamarack Bog today to see if the Pitcher Plants were poking through.

Here’s a Pitcher Plant with frozen water inside it.

Winter Dock

The canoe is resting.
In 2 weeks the ice should be thick enough to hike on. Ice opens up lots of great hikes to beaver lodges and islands.
I always wait until ice fishing shacks are up on the big lakes before walking on my little lakes.