Thursday, 11 November 2021

"Capture" by Mac Oglesby

This is a puzzle/board game by Mac Oglesby. I converted it from Commodore PET source to TRS-80 MC-10 Micro Color BASIC. The source can be found on the Internet Archive as a book scan of PET Games and Recreations from 1981:

The version from PET Games and Recreations that I primarily worked from was dated from 1980, but there is an older version published in the People's Computer Magazine July/Aug 1977, but dated in the source to 1976.  I also used a version from Recreational Computing magazine dated 1979, that I picked up somewhere along the line and printed out and had stuck in a binder. I decided to convert the 1980 version because it was the latest and it had a computer player option.  However, it did still allow for two human players to play.  It seems like Oglesby kept tweaking the program along the way.  The 1980 version was similar to the 1979 version (both had 2-player ability) except for a modified input routine at 10000 that didn't require users to hit Return to confirm their selections.  The 1977 version seems to have been only for 2 players and wasn't written specifically for the PET. The grid dimension were smaller and it didn't use an special graphic characters.

Mac Oglesby was a very prolific programmer, who contributed games to the early 101 BASIC Classic games collection by David Ahl and to other type-in game publications. Here's a brief list of some of of his type-in games from Moby Games:

Cross-Country Balloon Trip (1978), Capture (1976), Exagon (1976), Planets (1976), Pounce (1976), Sinners (1976), Survivor (1976), Watchman (1976), Dodgem (1975), Motie (1975), Rescue (1975) Square (1975) and Frogs (1974).

I have also converted his Frogs game. I hope to convert some more because not all of them seem to be widely available on the Net. I have found one PET software repository, which lists Sinners among its collection. But I can't seem to find any others, so I am not sure how easy it is to find working copies of Oglesby's games on the Web, which is sad because he seems like a pretty significant early contributor to the home computing revolution and the type-in game phenomenon. Perhaps this is because most of his games are of the logic puzzle variety, which can be a little annoying to most folks. Capture, however, is a game where you try to pick the letters with the most blocks around them, in order to capture the most letters and blocks by the end of the game. So it is kind of a spatial recognition/strategy game. It's rather unique, and quite entertaining.

The source of my port of CAPTURE can be found here:
The earliest numbered file version, of course, represents the rough text capture from the digital scan from the PET book.

The game can be played here:

Or here under the Educational Game category:

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