Graham King

Solvitas perambulum

Micro-Zooids: A story

When I was 16, I wrote a computer game, called Micro Zooides. It was called that partly because on Windows .EXE files all start with the two characters MZ, and partly because it was about small creatures. Micro-Zooides was going to be about humanity’s progress, it was going to be Civilization, which didn’t exist yet.

The game had a splash screen of a Far Side comic, then a short video of me tromping through the woods like a Neanderthal, which my Dad filmed and which I digitized with a very early video capture card.

In Borland’s Turbo C++ 3.0 I wrote a basic graphics engine to display the tiles of the world, and an event loop so I could move the main character around the world. I drew sprites for a proto-human (the micro zooid), dirt, rocks and sticks. He could walk around the world, and pick up and put down rocks or sticks.

Then I took a break to plan. I have a proto-human, rocks, and sticks. How do I get to civilization?