How I got into programming


While browsing around some old files on my computer, I came across some old files from 1998 (I think): An old text-game by some of my elementary school friends.

It reminded me of how I got started in programming. It was probably when I was 11 or 12 years old, when a friend told me about a text adventure game he had made and showed me how it worked…

It was all quite basic. Just a .bat file and ask.exe, which was used to present choices to the player. For example,

echo You are in Sweden
echo Do you...
echo 1. Scream
echo 2. Run

ask.exe , 1 2 3

if errorlevel 2 goto run
if errorlevel 1 goto scream

echo You screamed so much your lungs blew up. You died.
pause > nul
goto dead

echo You ran into some swedes
pause > nul

The games were very crude. No inventory, no proper game states or anything – just a mess of goto statements and echos. But it was fun to see your “game” working, even if it was really basic.

The commercial games at that time weren’t nothing they’re today either, but they still have a certain level of fun and uniqueness to this day. For example, Duke Nukem 3D is still a great shooting game if you can ignore the dated graphics.

So from very simple text “games” I moved later to some C and later after discovering the internet, HTML, PHP… the rest is all history. Those were fun times =)

I uploaded ask.exe here, in case someone is curious. As far as I know, it actually is called “Norton Ask” and it’s from 1987. However, I was unable to find any other mention of it on the net, so I doubt anyone will mind me putting the file here.