The King of Chicago
In 1985 ChipWits was a hit so when my software agent Bob Jacobs formed Cinemaware he asked me to write a movie-themed game. He wanted his first line-up of cinematically-inspired games to include a knights in armor, a space, and a gangster game. I was a fan of old gangster movies so I dibsed that genre. My buddy Kellyn Beeck chose knights and wrote the smash hit Defender of the Crown.
In 1986 I wrote The King of Chicago – designed, did the artwork (for the Mac version), programmed, and wrote half the game script.
I came up with a new way of telling interactive stories which I called Dramaton. I hated hardbranching interactive storytelling – pick-a-path plotting – so I devised a way of telling a story probabilistically using a bunch of suitably-labeled animated scenes.
The Mac version got great reviews (“King of Chicago represents a landmark in computer gaming” MACazine Review ) and so we did an Amiga version. I coded it and Cinemaware artists (led by Rob Landeros) did some amazing gangster graphics.
The Amiga version of The King got rave reviews (“The King of Chicago is a brilliantly devised game that far outstrips others of its genre.” – Personal Computer World) and sold 50,000 copies in 1987 – my biggest hit.
I’m still immensely proud of The King of Chicago. It means a lot to me that The King is respected by some of today’s top game designers ( “I don’t think people realize what a landmark achievement in game development it was.” – Casey Muratori, creator of Sushi Bar Samurai). It’s fun to see fans’ enthusiasm on nostalgia gaming forums like Lemon Amiga.
Here’s a walkthrough of the Amiga version posted by a fan to YouTube:
I’m not finished writing hits!