In 1989, Janusz Pelc wrote the game Robbo for the 8-bit Atari, one of the first personal computers. Robbo, a small robot, collects screws and has to travel through 56 planets. The game achieved cult status, with hundreds of remixes and variations, and Robbo himself became a symbol of the beginnings of Polish gamedev (the Polish equivalent of Mario). Since the 1980s, fans (once mainly young boys, today adult men) play this game, collect screws and flee enemies (including bats, flying eyes and demons), while drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, eating chips and telling jokes.
One of the places where people play Robbo is at demoparties, which bring together computer geeks, tech freaks and fans of old computers. It’s they who are the heroes of Robbo: The Solution, the first computer-generated book to be published in Polish, based on a text generator written in Mad Pascal. The project was presented as part of wild compo during the demoparty Silly Venture 2017 in Gdańsk. The program itself runs for 56 minutes and generates solutions for particular planets. But it’s looped, so it generates an inexhaustible number of solutions. One of them contains the published book.
Genres: wild demo, text generator, computer-generated book
Keywords: demoscene, programmed works, generative art, Polish gamedev
Premiere: Silly Venture 2017