Running Omega in Cygwin under Windows 11--Omega is the only roguelike I recall playing as a kid! In sessions on a public monochrome computer in the computer lab at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle somewhere around 1988--Omega came out in 1987--I would bumble through the town and...maybe get about as far or a bit less perhaps than I did here today, with more or less the same result. ; )
0:00 - notes on the game & code 10:37 - "honest" character generation 15:56 - game story intro 20:17 - game options 21:47 - town & countryside 30:17 - "Bugs and Features" documentation 32:37 - Option documentation 42:20 - dishonest character generation 45:00 - standard rolls character generation 45:50 - Dungeon/City Command List 48:30 - exploring the town of Rampart 55:23 - beware of weirdness in a hovel! 58:15 - beware of weirdness in a house!! 59:45 - exploring Rampart, attempt 2 1:01:02 - guilds & Rampart-fried Lyzzard 1:05:01 - the hedge maze 1:05:41 - Inventory 1:11:21 - traps, animals, curses* & oracles 1:18:18 - the sewer; night gaunt battle 1:21:54 - wands and weird devices 1:36:40 - the goblin shaman & disease 1:38:40 - perilous doings in the hedge maze! 1:39:31 - wrap-up & what's next!
* A cursed ring that made me 1000 weight heavier : PPP
I think the official distribution site did *not* go down (not sure about their ISP, maybe that was a similar thing...), but somehow when pasting the URL into Twitter I'd got the www missing or the http changed to https--both of those break it, and Twitter doesn't print them so it's easy to miss. The working URL is http://www.alcyone.com/max/projects/omega/ .
Not sure I like the quirky deaths the game seems to enjoy heaping on you, or the obscurity in which it makes you try to avoid them. And the inventory system IS fabulously and horribly overthought and overwrought. Maybe the author felt he could heap this brand of somewhat comedic abuse on the user because his free game didn't have much competition--but there WAS Rogue, and Umoria came out the same year; if the computers in the PSC lab had had either of those--especially Moria or Umoria--and I'd known about them, I'm pretty sure I would have been trying to play THEM instead, at least after the first taste or two of Omega. Yeah, it's town is much more interesting to explore than Moria/Rogue's, and the setup makes the game feel more elaborate, but the non-exploration parts of the game are...tough (and exploring the one sorta dungeon thing I found, the sewer, wasn't all that super).
Omega is a free, roguelike adventure game you can download from http://www.alcyone.com/max/projects/omega/ .
From, that site, as well as a version of the game you can fire straight up, can also download the source code from the official code repository and compile it yourself. I compiled and ran the 0.90.4 Omega source in Cygwin on Windows 11 (Cygwin is free from https://cygwin.org) by doing this:
Makefile - I set lines 3 and 4 to
BINDIR = /home/smbhax/omega/ LIBDIR = /home/smbhax/omega/lib/ (^ you set these to where you have the game and its lib directory on your system, so use your own directory names!)
defs.h - change BLUE to LIGHT_BLUE in lines 609 (water) and 644 (river) - comment line 13 (#define STRING) - uncomment line 18 (#define NORANDOM) - set line 48 to
#define OMEGALIB "/home/smbhax/omega/lib/" (^ same as LIBDIR in Makefile, I think)
- uncomment line 58 (#define FIXED_OMEGALIB) - set line 62 to whatever (#define WIZARD "Product") (^ you're probably meant to set that to your username or save game name or something; I put in the handle of the distribution page manager (is he the official maintainer of the game now? His name IS given for mailing bugs to in the in-game Bugs documentation), which was probably incorrect; I don't plan on using Wizard mode though so it shouldn't matter)
genclr.c - add "\n\" to end of lines 287, 289, 293 (^ this appears to be due to a bug in the source code, at least as far as Cygwin's modern gcc (I think) compiler is concerned; I emailed the address given on the distribution page and reported it, no answer as of yet)
I guess it was probably more like '89 when I played it; the lib/update.txt file says
~~~~~ 0.71 (beta) Rather different version of 0.70 now about to be released to usenet via comp.sources.games. 7/11/88. ~~~~~ whereas before that was all "alpha" builds, and no public release mentions. So although you could say the game started in '87, those were alpha builds, and it isn't clear from the documentation how widely they were distributed, if at all; true public distribution isn't noted until '88, and the first non-beta, version 0.75, is '89.
(By comparison, Umoria is also usually dated to '87, but https://umoria.org/highlights/ notes that developer James E. Wilson still considered v5.1.1--March 4 1990--as "alpha-level" source code; code updates continued through 10/24/2001. Angband, which is considered the modern inheritor of the Umoria code, began at the University of Warwick in 1990, and was publicly released in '93.)