His­tory: Not Just a Channel

The orig­i­nal I. O. Sil­ver was cre­ated by Brad Wil­helm­sen, an Eng­lish teacher in Tokyo, Japan (now liv­ing in Cal­i­for­nia). He sub­mit­ted it to leg­endary Apple II pub­lisher Bea­gle Bros, founded by Bert & Sharon Kersey in 1980. They released a DOS 3.3 ver­sion of the game in 1984. Then Bea­gle Bros was sold to Mark Simon­sen in 1987, and the focus shifted to the Time­Out series and business-​oriented prod­ucts. Bea­gle Bros pro­gram­mer Randy Brandt (Apple­Works 35, Ultra­Macros) talked to Brad about releas­ing a Pro­DOS ver­sion through his JEM Soft­ware, and Brad quickly made the nec­es­sary changes. JEM Soft­ware sold I. O. Sil­ver from 1989 until the early 1990s, when it faded away.

Fast for­ward to 2012. Ross Lam­bert (Ariel Pub­lish­ing, 8\16 Mag­a­zine), called Randy and sug­gested that it was time to res­ur­rect I. O. Sil­ver as an iOS game. Jay Jen­nings, a mutual friend of Ross and Randy from his Apple II days as “Mohawk Man,” (Punkware, Soft­disk) was enlisted to write the code. Brad was brought aboard as a con­sul­tant – per­haps in the hopes that his adult daugh­ters would finally believe his tales of being a leg­endary game cre­ator back in the day! Steve Young, a gifted artist from the UK, agreed to update the fraz­zled Dr. Sil­ver char­ac­ter for mod­ern graph­ics dis­plays, and we all quickly real­ized that the old clas­sic was indeed wor­thy of a rebirth. To top it off, Mark Simon­sen offered that we could res­ur­rect the Bea­gle Bros name, mak­ing this the first offi­cial Bea­gle release in two decades!

We built the new ver­sion because we wanted to play I.O. Sil­ver on our iOS devices our­selves. Since we are a bunch of extremely well-​seasoned and expe­ri­enced soft­ware engi­neers, we said (as we always do), “How hard can it be?”

In a word: Harder than we thought…which is more than a word, too, now that I think about it. But we did it. We hope you enjoy it so much that you sprain your fin­ger. OK, maybe not that much. But it is addic­tive, and def­i­nitely not a game for wimps.

I. O. Sil­ver will be released for iOS in Decem­ber of 2014 and will soon be avail­able for Android devices as well. More his­tory remains to be writ­ten – a game this great should never die!