[Ohrrpgce] More sleuthing into the first OHR release

Ralph Versteegen teeemcee at gmail.com
Thu May 11 22:39:13 PDT 2017

On 12 May 2017 at 16:22, James Paige <Bob at hamsterrepublic.com> wrote:

> I think the first release would have been a custom.zip uploaded to some
> location under http://www.cyberverse.com/~spam/ which was my site before
> the hamsterrepublic.com domain was ever registered. It probably happened
> in late 1996, or early 1997 and it would have been announced in an
> off-topic thread on the forums for the Verge RPG maker.

Oh, interesting. I had a look on archive.org (in the beta version they have
a keyword search you can use to find all websites on a topic, but it still
But you mean late 1997/early 1998. The 20th anniversary of the first
release is still some time away. The 20th anniversary of the start of the
OHR was most of a year ago.

> I don't think sample.rpg and npc_tag.rpg existed in the first release,
> just wander.rpg

In that case I'm inclined to guesstimate a release date of early Jan 1998
or Dec 1997.

> I know the BAM format pre-dates the ohrrpgce, and was first used for Bob
> the Hamster VGA... that was probably 1994 or 1995? I Think notate was from
> then too, so timestamps on notate-related files probably aren't helpful.

But those files were touched within a month or two of the release, and I
thought there might have been a link, althogh you've almost certainly
forgotten that now.

> I know development definitely started in 1996, in the summer after I
> graduated from high school. I know I didn't upload it for a while, and I
> think I uploaded wh_demo.zip a few months before uploading custom, but I
> really don't remember for sure.
> If I had to pick an arbitrary birth-day for the ohrrpgce, I would estimate
> that the 20th anniversary already happened at least a few months ago.

> However, but brain is well known to be fuzzy, and I think that a better
> and more satisfying birthday would probably be whatever first release we
> actually still have hard evidence of, even if it isn't the actual first.

In that case, might as well use Nov 6 1997, the Wandering Hamster demo,
which can still be downloaded and played. It wasn't the first release of
WH, though.

> On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 8:35 PM, Ralph Versteegen <teeemcee at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I haven't any new information, but am still trying to figure out when the
>> first release was. The 20th anniversary is coming up and maybe we should
>> pick a nominal point (period?) at which to celebrate. :)  There was a WH
>> demo on Nov 6 1997, so it was after that.
>> I noticed that in the earliest source backup the zz_486.bat file, which
>> packages wh_demo.zip and custom.zip, has a timestamp of Jan 26  1998. I'm
>> guessing that this timestamp corresponds to a release, unless it's after
>> the first release and James was adding some new files. It includes
>> sample.rpg and npc_tag.rpg; would the first release have included those?
>> When was the HOWTO written? Also, cleanup.bat, to move files into import/
>> if the unzip didn't preserve folders, has a Jan 14 timestamp. The oldest
>> surviving .rpg file is April 30th.
>> Other timestamps which might be relevant:
>>      1246  11-26-1997 17:06   IMPORT/DECOLD.BAM
>>     73980  11-27-1997 07:00   IMPORT/NOTATE.EXE
>>     30588  12-18-1997 20:19   IMPORT/PLAYBAM.EXE
>>     33414  01-15-1998 14:53   IMPORT/TEMPLATE.NOT
>> Also, in an old custom.zip:
>>      1543  07-07-1996 12:47   ohrrpgce.mas
>> The Timeline article says OHRRPGCE development started in 1996.
>> (Relatedly, I haven't spliced those two additional old backups of the OHR
>> source into the git log yet but will. This time I might use git-replace
>> instead of rewriting history.)
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