Farmer Bill's Almond Farm
Farmer Bill's Almond Farm is a simple little adventure game. You take on the role of Farmer Bill, an almond farmer who must keep his farm running throughout the year. You spend your time doing chores around the farm and trying to get the best score possible at the end of the year.
This is the first game I ever wrote. In fact, it's the first program I ever wrote. I started learning programming maybe a month prior to starting this project. I barely even knew what a function was when I started writing the core graphics library based on what I was learning from Teach Yourself Game Programming in 21 Days, by Andre LaMothe. I wrote the whole thing back in 1997 over the course of several months. I did most of the artwork too, in Neopaint no less! The trees were done by modifying some clip art. The tractor & barn were pretty much the same. I drew everything everthing else from scratch.
I'm particularly proud of the fact that it actually works. I seriously had no idea what I was doing.... I'm also proud of the sound system. Sound systems were notoriously difficult to get right back in the DOS days because you had to provide support for every sound card you cared about and often had to code to the driver API yourself. This was back when there was no DirectSound to help you. I decided to bypass all that crap and use the good ol' PC speaker. I wrote a simple sound engine in Assembly Language (which is why this game won't run on a non-intel processor) and created all the sound data as tables directly in the source code as frequency/length pairs. It worked perfectly!
The other interesting thing about this game is that I actually researched it a bit. My grandfather (who also happens to be named Bill) was an almond farmer for 10 years and owned a very successful farm in the Woodland area in northern California. I talked to him at length about what he does all year on a month-by-month basis. Each level in Farmer Bill's Almond Farm represents a month and the task you have to perform is directly based on what a real almond farmer does.
I keep meaning to make a Farmer Bill's Almond Farm 2 and turn it into more of a strategy game, which I think could be a lot of fun. Maybe someday....