4

I recently listened to a podcast of Carmack and he said that in early DOS days he mostly uses assembly. The host asked him about Pascal and he said back then only Wizardry was written in Pascal.

I also know that he started DOS programming pretty late (as both Wraith and Shadow Forge are for Apple II and published in 1989) This left me the thought that the early Softdisk games were all written in assembly. But when I checked the source code of Keen and even Catacomb (1989), I see most of the code is still in C or Pascal but there are a few core assembly routines.

I think I probably misunderstood what he said. Maybe he meant "early days", not early DOS days, which makes sense as serious Apple games were written in assembly mostly. Were DOS games in that time (late 80s up to 1990) already been developed in high level language as much as possible, and only the graphics routine in assembly?

2
  • 10
    This question is a bit "he said he said". It might be helpful if you referenced the particular podcast interview you listened to. Aug 25, 2023 at 5:29
  • 1
    Wizardry was not written for the PC but for the Apple ][. Being in Apple Pascal which is based on the machine independent UCSD Pascal it was relatively easy to port to other platforms by writing new runtimes for the same code, similar to what infocom did. Aug 26, 2023 at 7:37

1 Answer 1

2

Maybe he meant "early days", not early DOS days, which makes sense as serious Apple games were written in assembly mostly.

Most likely (*1) - even more as he only started to do (semi) professional software for Softdisk on the Apple in 1989 and switched to the PC barely a year later.


John Carmack did drop out of university and started working for Softdisk G-S in 1989 and not much later, in 1990, was assigned to the new PC-only magazine Gamer's Edge, where he started to do DOS development with the same same people he later founded ID Software with in 1991 - right after Gamer's Edge was cancelled.


*1 - Except even the Apple world did at that time use a lot of HLL.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .