|Whoa! What just happened? Did I fire an Ion Cannon or something?|
Today's "Where are they now?" post is going to be a relatively short one, mainly because there isn't really that much information out there for the creator of one of the most addictive little shareware games of the 1990s - an artillery game called Scorched Earth. Developed in Borland C++ and Turbo Assembler by a chap named Wendell Hicken, I wasted many hours playing this game during my school years. The game was released as shareware in 1991 (although I played it much later when Worms, another artillery game, had already surfaced). Like Worms, you're able to pick from a long list of weapons but only if you have enough money to purchase them in between rounds (you earn money by defeating enemies). Despite its primitive graphics, the game was quite addictive and obviously a blast when it came to hotseat multiplayer (artillery games tend to be :)). The last version of Scorched Earth, 1.5 was released in 1995 and you can still grab the shareware version of this from Hicken's official Scorched Earth webpage, 20 years later! You can also pay what you want to get the official registered version.
So what happened to Mr. Hicken after Scorched Earth? Where is he now?
Well, Mr. Hicken's online presence is rather limited, or more to the point, out-of-date - so while he was relatively active online during the 2000s, there hasn't been much since then. He did run a personal blog between 2006 - 2011 and is apparently still running it but he hasn't posted anything since 2011. He also has a Twitter feed but hasn't really tweeted anything regularly since 2012. The most recent bit of information I can find is that he developed a mobile phone app called Dark Prevailer for a miniatures game called Dark Age and that was in 2013.
Hicken has apparently been working at what used to be known as Yellow Pages (it's now simply known as "yp" in the United States) since 2014 as Vice President for the Ad Platform so while it's great to hear he's still in the business of developing software it's too bad it doesn't happen to be a new game :). Will he ever develop another game or even another Scorched Earth? Who knows but whatever happens, I'd like to thank Mr. Hicken for developing one of the classic DOS games of the 1990s.
[ Wikipedia: Scorched Earth (video game) ]
[ MobyGames: Wendell Hicken]
[ Wendell Hicken's Official Website ]