Birth of a legend…
As a youth when I used to play my Commodore 64, one of the neat little games I had for it was this strange helicopter combat game entitled Raid on Bungling Bay. It has been decades since I played it, but it is still burned into my memory as it was what I thought to be a very difficult game at the time. Well, it turns out I was right What I did not know was that the game was Wright, Will Wright to be exact. Will Wright is of course the game developing legend who is most famous for the Sim City series of games. But before there could be Sim City, there was Bungling Bay.
Linked at the bottom of the page is Will Wright’s Raid on Bungling Bay post-mortem from the most recent Games Development Conference, or GDC for short. In the talk I discovered how the game had its own economy, scaling skill level, and for its time a huge over world to explore. All these high-concepts for a developers first game back in 1984 was an amazing accomplishment. Knowing this now really makes me appreciate why Will Wright is considered a legend of the industry.
Another one of the neat asides I discovered from this talk was that while Raid on Bungling Bay was the only game to sport the evil ‘robotic’ Bungling Empire in its title, it was one of three Broderbund titles to feature them as the main antagonist in the game. The other two games were Lode Runner and Choplifter, both of witch have and will see new life this generation. Makes me wonder if RoBB will receive the same treatment.
Like Maniac Mansion before it, I still have what I believe is a playable version of this game. Knowing what I know now I would like to take another crack at this game and see its components in motion like Mr. Wright set them out. If you are a fan of retro gaming, do yourself a favour and watch this post-mortem, it is an education unto itself.