SurfBurgers -- by Bret Victor

Years ago, I promised my mom, who is a third-grade teacher, that I would write a fun n' exciting math game for the IIgs in her classroom. I started on a few ideas, but I always got sidetracked by other projects. However now, in addition to not wanting my mom to think I'm untrustworthy, I had the additional motivation of wanting my mom to think that I was actually working this summer. Plus, writing a game about a guy on a flying surfboard had always been a dream of mine. So I came up with SurfBurgers.

In SurfBurgers, you are a guy on a flying surfboard, being attacked by, well, flying hamburgers with math problems on them. Your job is to shoot them with your BurgerBlaster. This is done by typing in the answer to the math problem. There are nine levels, and each level has a different type of math problem, including one and two digit addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and mixed levels. You can select your starting level before the game starts. Each level has four waves (A, B, C, and D) in which the burgers come at you in different ways. Each wave gets succeedingly more difficult. In order to go on to the next wave, you have to shoot about 20 or 25 burgers without losing a life. You lose a life if you get hit by a burger or you hit it with the wrong answer. The game will then show you the correct answer to the problem.

The game keys are shown on the help screen in the game, but I'll summarize them here too: pressing Shift moves you up, pressing Option or Apple moves you down. (A couple testers with extended keyboards reported problems with the Option key, so that's why you can alternately use Apple to move down.) Typing numbers "charges up" your BurgerBlaster with a solution. You can use the delete, left arrow, or clear keys as expected to correct a mistake you've typed. Hitting return or enter fires the shot. Note that you can use the keypad to type your numbers if that's easier for you. Escape pauses the game, the up and down arrow keys adjust the IIgs speaker volume, hitting "M" toggles the music on and off, and Apple-"Q" quits the game.

SurfBurgers works great off a hard drive. But I know that most IIgs's in schools are rather bare minimum machines, so SurfBurgers was designed to be able to fit, with some breathing room, on a self-booting 800K disk, and to not take up too much memory. If you want to do this and are having trouble, here is how I set up a disk for my mom that will work with very little memory in the system:

Make a copy of the 6.0.1 System.Disk. (This should be an original System.Disk that you haven't installed anything on.) You should probably rename your copy of the disk "SurfBurgers" so you don't think it's a system disk anymore. From the Finder, go into the System folder on your new disk. Go into the Desk.Accs folder and delete anything there (select it, drag it to the trash, and empty the trash). Delete everything in the CDEVS folder too. Then delete the files "Start" and "Finder", if they are there in the System folder. Now, open up the SurfBurgers folder on your Softdisk G-S disk, Select All, and copy everything into the main directory of your new disk. (You shouldn't have a SurfBurgers folder on your new disk -- everything should just be in the main directory.) Find the SurfBurgers file on your new disk, and rename it "Surf.SYS16". You have now created a low memory, self-booting SurfBurgers disk. (I then used Opening Line to make a really cool SurfBurgers splash screen instead of the ugly "Welcome to the IIgs" screen... If you don't have Opening Line, then, well, maybe you should buy it!)

I'm sure you or your kids will have fun BurgerBlasting. Ah yeah!