When I discovered the character graphics for the Trash-80 it was a game changer, pun intended. Once I figured out the commands Peek and Poke, I was able to make functional games. There were two commercial games that I had played on the system. One was a shooting game about UFOs and the other was a Zork-type game. Because there were only two other folks who ever went into the computer room that contained four TRS-80 systems, I was able to spend many hours coding instead of getting into trouble. The instructor was a math teacher who didn't have much background on the little Radio Shack machines, so he didn't care as long as the machines were in use when administration folks walked through the area.
I wrote several games that I sold through the back of crappy newsprint papers on cassettes, and I actually made some decent money. Eventually I graduated up to the machines with floppy disks, so that made it even cheaper to sell the games. The ones I remember best (and that sold the best) was Return to Haunted House, Racer X, and Catchbox. Haunted House was a Zork/Nethack mix, Racer X was a racing game that taught me the value of understanding timing in games, and Catchbox was a fun little game for younger kids to teach them about letters and numbers.
Even though the graphics were horrible in terms of today's photorealistic movie epic games, they were still enjoyable with a bit of Pong or Space Invaders nostalgia.
Iron Noder 2017