Dan Bunten and M.U.L.E. (2013)(filfre.net)
Absolutely loved it on the Commodore64, and still love playing the ROM+emulator version. It's truly a masterpiece of easy to learn, yet challenging to master, and of course just plain fun.
> Despite all the love lavished on M.U.L.E. by Ozark Softscape and EA and despite deservedly stellar reviews, it was a commercial disappointment. M.U.L.E. sold only about 30,000 copies over its lifetime
Wow, that's sad to hear. But I still have one of those 30,000 here in my study (if the C64 counts in those numbers!)
Yeah, nah, my cousins were known C64 pirates and I had hundreds of disks filled with games for my C64. I too loved MULE, but I didn't pay for it. It makes me sad, now.
EDIT: my standard loading screen was ISEPIC
Four player M.U.L.E. was amazing. It was such a fun game that had simple rules but pretty varied strategies.
The first game I played for 12 hours straight without noticing what happened. The only real flaw was the crystite strategy that had a "runaway win" nature.
Played this for years before I realized that you get points for making your property contiguous.
I still regularly play M.U.L.E. on my 800xl daily driver.
There still exist a ton of us that love our vintage machines and games, us Atari guys hang out on the https://atariage.com/ forums and in fact my local Atari group has our monthly meeting this Saturday and there are plenty of larger meetups like the ones that the Vintage Computer Federation puts on http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/
Floppy Days podcast has been doing a good job documenting old machines and software by talking to the people involved http://floppydays.libsyn.com/ as well as uploading anything they get to the Internet Archive.
For Atari there's also ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast by some of the same people involved with Floppy Days https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/
There's also the Facebook page "Vintage Computer Shows" that tries to list all upcoming shows/conventions that is run by one of the ANTIC guys (that also runs the local group here in Indy).
M.U.L.E. on the Atari 800 was fantastic.
So what is the consensus on Planet M.U.L.E. for those who actually remember the original game? It was my first introduction to M.U.L.E. as a game, and I thought it was a very neat little implementation back when I tried it
Loved M.U.L.E. Friend and I used to play for hours on the Commodore64. Now we still play using the emulator.
Can emulator handle four physical joysticks? I’d like to assemble a setup to play w four people.
A Commodore 64 only had 2 joystick ports, so the C64 version of M.U.L.E. uses the keyboard for players 3 and 4 on screens where all players are active, but accepts input from any joystick on screens where only one player is active -- allowing players to pass the sticks around to take their "turns".
The Atari version of the game supports four joysticks as did the underlying hardware. This is the version you want to play in emulation if you have 4 players. Great fun!
Haven’t tried. It’s usually just me and my buddy. But go to these various emulator sites and ask. It’s a big community out there with lots of people involved willing to help.
> But as any good game designer, whether she works in cardboard or silicon, will tell you, even the most genius of designs must be relentlessly tested, endlessly tweaked. Ozark Softscape and EA devoted literally months to this task, gradually refining the design.
It was nice in the '80s to buy a game and receive an actual finished game out of the box. Contrast that today where the game is barely working on release day, and underwent insufficient play testing and tuning. We're so reliant on endless patches now, and gamers inexplicably accept the idea of buying unfinished "early access" games. Does any major studio actually devote a length of time measurable in months to play testing anymore?
We're going to see a much larger problem, of actually archiving this autoupdated software.
10 years later, I could reinstall NeverWinter Nights. 20 years later, and I could still install Unreal Tournament. 25, Total Annihilation. 30 years ago; Duke nukem.
But that online game that came out 4 years ago and was abandoned; gone to time. Even if I have the client, the server world is gone. Nada. Any trace of my playing, my friends, our exploits; gone from time. But there's a CNet article about it. That's as close as anyone will ever get.
I spent hours playing that on my C64. I can still hear that music in my head...
The music is very catchy, indeed: http://deepsid.chordian.net/?file=/GAMES/M-R/M_U_L_E.sid
MP3s available here:
I always loved the look & idea of M.U.L.E., but I never understood how to play it.