Inigo Gets Out

Amanda Goodenough, a self-professed ‘techno-wimp’, was able to use HyperCard to create a series of interactive children’s stories that delighted children and opened the eyes of artists and designers.

The stories featured the adventures of a cat named Inigo, beginning with ‘Inigo Gets Out’ in 1987. note

The world Inigo explores is just as minimalist, and just as delightful. note
© Amanda Goodenough

At the time, a journalist note described how Inigo taught him about simplicity: “When I first saw ‘Inigo Gets Out’, in the very early HyperCard days, I thought this was done by some kid, and it didn’t have any cool scripts or buttons... One day I saw people playing ‘Inigo Gets Out’; I watched the people. They knew intuitively where to click. Even very small children saying things like ‘click on the tree.’ Before long we were all involved in Inigo’s adventures, totally forgetting about the Mac.”

Faced with HyperCard’s blank screen, some people immediately imagined scenes. The environment’s integrated graphic tools note made it a snap to paint in broad strokes and draw in detail. Button tools, as straightforward as MacPaint, made it easy to link screens. Amanda Goodenough simply did what came naturally to her, and was suddenly creating worlds.

The Manhole, Cosmic Osmo & Spelunx

Others also discovered HyperCard’s inherent world-building potential.

Inspired to make an interactive children’s book, Rand and Robyn Miller dived into HyperCard and came out with ‘The Manhole’ in 1987. note

Go further down into the manhole: note The Manhole © 1987 Cyan Worlds

Rand Miller explained note “There wasn’t a lot of high-quality stuff for kids out there at the time and I thought HyperCard was a perfect vehicle to provide it.” Rand enlisted his multitalented younger brother, Robyn, who launched HyperCard and never looked back.

‘The Manhole’ included over 600 connected screens and required a small collection of floppy disks, so the Millers also made a teaser version called ‘The Fire Hydrant’ which fit on a single floppy. Soon they attracted a publisher, Activision, formed the company Cyan, and assembled even more talent.

Cyan created two more black and white masterpieces.‘Cosmic Osmo’ was released in 1990 and ‘Spelunx’ a year later. note

An expanded version, ‘Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel’, was released on CD-ROM. note
Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel © 1990 Cyan Worlds

Here is a page about Spelunx maintained by Richard Watson at Cyan. The pictures are from a colorized version released a few years later, but it’s not hard to imagine what the orginal looks like.

The world-building continued, of course. The Millers stuck with HyperCard to create the phenomenal ‘Myst’, however, they used plug-ins that allowed 256 colours per scene. note

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