I’ve been messing around this week with some of the art and style concepts for the story. After figuring out the MBR code and having to use a BBS message board to get all the clues, I went to a few other current ones to check them out.
Now, I’m not old enough to have had a computer like these back in the day, our first PC was a Packard Bell and that wasn’t until I was in 5th grade so my first jump into online stuff was on self contained AOL chat rooms. I had heard of the concept of the BBS systems since then but never had a reason to connect to one or mess with them.
However, while working on some of the research for the book I came across a problem with the internet. Given it’s the future and literally anything that lights up is connected to the public internet it’s hard to communicate discrete communications. Hardware is simply your monitor and input devices like a keyboard or touch type interface. Using illegal software requires you to own some kind of hardware for it to run on, which folks in the future mostly don’t have. I don’t have a C64 in the closet, just the same as these folks won’t have a dusty old dell laptop in the garage. So I thought a private network type of situation would be in order, offline – to a point.
Also, with these old message boards, all the art is made up of text characters. Those big block squares in the first image are a character in the format used on the old computers, typing them out in the right way could turn your text into a fancy image. This ANSI artwork is really cool and I think would be a good fit for the super future culture I’ve created as opposed to the hyper clean leather suit look of modern retrofuturism.
A quick google will find you a list of BBS boards to check out. If you want them to display correctly and you don’t have a working dustbox of an amiga or commodore you should download SyncTERM for your system.
So because I haven’t sat down to remake the logo by hand in text yet, I ran the logo through some filters, this one was a game boy (DMG) filter that gave some cool results to use as a base for the ANSI model later. I even wanted to do some basic ASCII art like you see in text files but that wouldn’t show up here so that idea got scrapped as well.
It really was a fun filter. Anyway, I think next weeks newsletter will go over games or something. Because this thing has an early-mid 90’s I think yall know what kind of games will be making an appearance in a world where being online means being out in public: