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I was heavily involved in its development, and arguably am it’s dad.
Most of my involvement though was on the technical side. On the creative side, the project grew out of my saying ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do something like our adventure games, that was medevil themed, and allowed players to swap things with each other, buy weapons, and attack monsters?’ That’s about the limit of my involvement creatively. From a one sentence description like that, the development team built a prototype, and we started talking about the technical challenges.
I remember that most of our conversations dealt with fighting. At the time, we still had to deal with slow modems, and huge network delays. We did a lot of experimenting, with trying to decide what was possible, and would look right, given the unpredictable nature of communications.
My last memory of The Realm was a visit I made to the ImagiNation Network offices, shortly after we sold INN to AT&T. They were showing a version of the Realm that had been rewritten from SCI (Sierra’s programming language) to C++ (I think).
I’m not sure if the code that exists today derives from the original SCI version, or from the C++ version. At the time I saw the C++ version, it looked good, but it also looked a long way from completion. The year probably would have been around 1992.