When I was a kid back in the late 90s and early 00s I spent a LOT of time on these computer games: SimCity 2000, TetraBlocks (a Tetris clone), and C-Dogs.
C-Dogs was something special – a freeware MS-DOS-based game where blocky cartoon figures ran around a 2D map shooting things up. That sounds pretty primitive, but there were some great things about it: the graphics/artwork were awesome classics of the pixel-art genre, you could customize your characters and build custom maps, and the EXPLOSIONS. The best way to combine all that was great about this game was to build a custom map with lots of barrels of explosives lying around, throw in some grenades, and watch the whole map blow up. Very satisfying.
It was even possible to have two-player games seated at the same keyboard: player 1 got the arrow keys while player 2 had to use AWSD to move around, and my sister and I were always playing the dogfighting mode together (with lots of grenades).
Anyway I eventually grew up, moved out, and found more productive things to do (last point is debatable). Once in a while I would remember and think “wasn’t that fun” but always assumed that I wouldn’t be able to get a workable version. But I was wrong!
For no apparent reason I recently searched for “C-Dogs” and was super-stoked to find that it has been revived as C-Dogs SDL. Ronny Wester, the original developer of the game, released the source code in 2002, and the project was picked up by other developers, set up as a GitHub project, and migrated to a Creative Commons license. The latest version has some new features which we didn’t have before, like network play, additional weapons and new artwork, but the look and feel is really a throwback. Additional bonus for me – I now can play with SOUND, which for some reason (sound card drivers? who knows) never worked for me back when I was playing the game for the first time.
Some more screen shots:
I always liked having my avatar with a red shirt and white sleeves, and still do:
I had some trouble getting it to work on Mac OS X. When you download the package for Mac, it is in a folder called cdogs-sdl. The executable is in the subfolder cdogs-sdl/bin. However when I clicked on the application nothing happened (even after I changed my security permissions to let it run). The developers are aware of the bug, it seems. Here’s my workaround for getting it to start:
- Right-click on the cdogs-sdl application in the cdogs-sdl/bin folder.
- Choose “Show package contents”
- Navigate to Contents/MacOS
- Double click on the cdogs-sdl executable in that folder. This should open up a terminal window and then it should work.