It Happened to Me

From my CD-ROM archives I: Virtual Bubble Wrap, Standalone Edition

This is the first in a series of goodies that I found on a stash of
CD-ROM archives that’d completely forgotten about until I was cleaning
up some old junk this weekend.

One application that had received considerable buzz in the Mac world
back in 1994 was something called the Mackerel Stack. It was an
interactive multimedia piece that showcased the company’s work. Written
in the Hypercard-like Supercard, it was an amazing piece of software
and it fit on a single 1.2 MB floppy disk!

It was packed with “easter eggs”, the most popular of which was a
little zen game called Virtual Bubble Wrap. Designed by Creative
Director Dave Groff with the input of the other Creative Director Kevin
Steele and programmed with the help of all-round-idea-guy Karl Borst,
VBW was a little interactive gem. I joined Mackerel in 1995
and near the end of that year, after waking up on Mike Korditsch’s
couch with an awesome Tequila-induced hangover after celebrating my
birthday, I went home and coded what would eventually become the
Shockwave version of VBW.

It would go on to be featured in InterActivity
magazine (In the article, Macromedia engineers talked about how they
used VBW as part of their Shockwave demos) and a number of then-new
television shows that covered the then-relatively-new World Wide Web.

I found a standalone version of Virtual Bubble Wrap for Windows that
I’d put together back in the days of Windows 98. It still works under
Windows XP, and I’ve attached a ZIPped version with this entry if you
ever feel you need to zen out for a couple of minutes.

I have the source, so it’s possible for me to compile a Mac version;
the problem is that all my editions of Director (the software I used to
write it) are pre-Mac OS X; it will run only on pre-OS X machines
(which I no longer have) and will only produce programs that run on
pre-OS X machines.

Dave Groff and Kevin Steele have a fine essay about “the good ol’ days”  titled When Multimedia Was Black and White.

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