I wrote these hilarious "notes" about the history of the Bomns tradition for the original Bomns website back in 2003, and added the footnotes in 2005 when I revamped the website. They're incredible; enjoy!

The Inception

One summer day back in '98, I came up with an idea--an idea that would forever change the course of history. And when I say change the course of history, I mean, not make the slightest dent in anyone's life but my own (and I s'pose a few close friends, eventually). However! I thought it was a pretty damn good idea, myself. I drew my inspiration for the game that would eventually become Bomns from one glimpse I got of a program, barely able to be called a game, where a text-mode smily face moved on the screen and "blew up" walls (I believe they just disappeared) by "dropping bombs" (I can't recall whether there was actually any bomb involved or not, but I believe that was the premise). I don't even remember whether there was more than one player to this "game," but at the computer camp* I was in at the time, it was hot shit. Actually, I don't think it WAS hot shit, but happening to see it for roughly five seconds put a burning ember in the back of my mind.

So, on this fateful summer day, drawing from the seed computer camp* had planted, I set out to program a game. I believe it took me roughly 8 or 9 hours to finally come out with a "finished" product, and the next day, I'd tweak it a little more (at least, that's how I recall it), but dammit, I finished what I called Bomns in one single day. No wonder it sucks so much!

Great, but what IS Bomns?

Bomns is the bomb, spelled with an N! Simply put, Bomns is a cheesy, arcade-style, deathmatch game. Two players (depicted on the screen with smily faces) face off against each other in a huge level with only the powerups the level affords (randomly generated at the start) and ability to drop "bomns," which eventually explode, killing anyone in the blast radius. How is this fun? It gives your keyboard-tapping finger quite a workout, as when the action heats up, you won't get anywhere by holding any keys down. Also, it can get pretty dramatic when bomns are going off left and right, and everyone's running around trying to avoid everything. EYE think it's fun as testicle-Z. However, not anywhere near as much fun as:

The Next Generation of Bomns Games

The year 2000 sparked a renewed interest in Bomns, in the sense that my good friend Keith Fancher (see Bomns for Linux) and I had AP Computer Science together at Asheville High School. Just at a glance that doesn't mean much, but when you think about it, and considering we had the most inept teacher I've encountered yet, we didn't do shit by ourselves; we were always programmin' together. Take the teacher out of town for a few days with vague instructions for us to do a group project while he's away, and you've got a week or so in which the class could program whatever the fuck it wanted.

Hence: Bomns2. We took Bomns to the next level, incorporating more colors (woo!) and more importantly, more powerups. Also, we completely rewrote the code base, since when I programmed Bomns originally, I didn't know C from a hole in the ground. This would be the first of the games that would prove that yes, Bomns kicks ass. Keith soon after wrote HIS Bomns opus, a version of Bomns in Win32 using DirectX, which is called DXBomns for lack of a better term. Note that Keith's DXBomns is not to be confused with the one programmed by me. You see, I had told Keith I had this idea for Bomns, but in Windows and using DirectX, to be called DXBomns, so he took the idea and ran with it. Of course, he finished his before mine would be complete, since I believe his goal was to stay true to Bomns and Bomns2, whereas my ideas were more ambitious. But that's cool--Keith gots my back, as they say**.

Also, in the time since Bomns' inception, my friend Jasón Baker has been testing out his OWN ideas of Bomns. Though I don't believe any were ever finished (save maybe a port of the original Bomns source to Pascal), he's done some good work on Bomns games***.

DXBomns into the Future

Probably sometime during the year 2000 or so, I started working on DirectX Bomns. I would start a project, maybe copy some code from previous projects, add some functionality, and get fed up with the way it was going, and start over. I believe I ended up with 7 or 8 scrapped projects before one day in 2002, I realized I wasn't getting any older, and finally did it RIGHT. I spent about three weeks programming DXBomns (from scratch again), not even very intensely (maybe around 60-80 hours total, I'd say?), after like two or three years of fuckin' around. I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out, too. It brought new elements into play, such as editable maps, customizable gameplay, and new powerups. All in all, it was a shift in the Bomns paradigm for the better. However, it's nothing compared to what I've got planned for DXBomns v2, which is currently under development. Keep checking back here for updates on DXBv2****.

* Holy shit I forgot I even WENT to computer camp. What a fucking dork!
** This sounds like I'm talkin' shit about Keith. Whatever. Keith rules. I mean no disrespect.
*** Not to mention, Jason's ass not only created this sourceforge project, but later bomns.com. His involvement goes beyond simply programming. Props, and so on.
**** Hahaha, I'm not actually working on DXBomns v2 anymore!

Bomns Games

The Bomns games in question: http://bomns.sourceforge.net/.

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Copyright © 2012 Charles Lindsay.