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Wriggler

Anatomically incorrect spiders!
It was 1998 and I was 17. My tool of choice was QBasic and this is a game I wrote based on a concept I stole from another game called Wriggler.

The original Wriggler is a race game through a maze of bugs and creepy crawlies - played against the computer. My game would have been a race, had I gotten around to writing the computer player.

Instead it pits you, a plucky young worm (comprised of 4 lines and a blob), against an army of anatomically incorrect spiders in your mission to see a duck and solve a single puzzle. Also there are some chocolate bars.

I fired it up once again to make a playthrough video. The game features some pretty old-school beep/boop sound effects, which really hit me right in the nostalgias!

Warning, this playthrough video contains spoilers for the puzzle... 😂



I don't suppose there's much to be learned from my code, but you can see it all on Github if that's your groove and you're welcome to have a tinker. I had some success running it with DOSBox.


One whole puzzle!
I seem to have followed a fairly traditional sprite system, using QBasic's built-in GET and PUT to grab and then render sprites. (You can read more about QBasic sprites in Ted Felix's post here.) As a result, there's a loading sequence where all the sprites are individually drawn to the screen before they are grabbed before the game begins...

I remember very little about the actual coding, but it seems like I also wrote some tools to edit the sprites in the game, and to design the rooms in the level. I stopped development roughly around the time I ran out of disk space it seems, and in the last moment of the game you see a teleporter system that I never actually finished. Early mentions of it are commented out in the code, which tells me it wasn't working the last time I showed the game to someone!

Spoilers! There is a duck.
It's always fun digging up old projects. I can't believe how far I got with this one!

I'm hoping I'll be able to find some more amongst the dusty old floppies I've dug up so far...

You can find out more about the original Wriggler at Wikipedia, and see it in action in this video.

The original!

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