After Dark is a plug-in based screen saver program developed and published by Berkeley Systems for Macintosh in 1989. A Windows 3 version was released shortly after, and several upgrades were made throughout the 1990s, expanding the collection of screen savers and removing some of the less-impressive ones.
I never had After Dark, but a friend of mine did, and I loved watching the various screen savers that it came with. I only had the first release of IdleWild, which wasn't nearly as interesting. Many years later, when DOSBox was effective at running Windows 3, and After Dark was readily available online, I finally got to see all of the interesting screensavers with the most multimedia version of Windows 3.
- All of the screen savers take advantage of variable screen resolutions.
- As the program progressed, the screen savers became more impressive and took advantage of various graphical and audio devices.
- It has several useful screen saver features like password locking and hot spot activation.
- There is a large variety of screen savers including abstract, whimsical, funny, and serene.
- Most of the screen savers have a fair amount of configuration to them which auto saves, and most of them allow a random element to their settings.
- From 2.0 and above, the system allows you to run multiple screen savers at once in various areas on the screen or overlapping each other.
- There is a programmable randomizer.
- The program is fairly resource intensive, and slows down Windows a noticeable level.
- The bulk of the early screen savers are pretty dull.
|Artist||3||Bob Covey, Jeff Kowalski, Paul Meyer, Maurice Metzger, Bob Bickford||Draws a bitmap using random strokes.||3 - Quite interesting to watch, but I wish bitmaps could be chosen from folder.|
|Bad Dog!||3||Laurence Arcadias, Paul Meyer||A cartoon dog runs around the screen making a mess.||3 - Pretty funny.|
|Bogglins||More||Paul Sasse, Dann Auld, Andy Karn||Disgusting slimes squirm around the screen making fart noises and exploding.||1 - Really annoying.|
|Boris||More||Mike Overlin, Rob Vaterlaus, Igor Gasowski||A kitten chases a butterfly and occasionally purrs.||3 - Very cute and fun to watch.|
|Bugs||3||Rob Blair, Kim Payne, Dana Muise||Bugs crawl across the screen.||2 - Well made, but rather disturbing.|
|Can of Worms||1||Tracy Elmore, Jack Eastman||Colorful "worms" spill out from a hole in the screen.||1 - Interesting, but not that great.|
|Clocks, Clocks Pro||2, 3||Bob Bickford, Kim Payne, Dana Muise||A clock face of varying types bounce around the screen. Updated in version 3.||2 - Functional.|
|ConfettiFactory||More||Paul Lamoreux, Pauol Young||A screen with various boxes and conveyors is slowly covered with "confetti" that piles up. Funny "duck crossing" refreshes the screen.||3 - I love watching this one slowly accumulate, I only wish it could be set to run longer.|
|Daredevil Dan||3||Andrew Armstrong, Dana Muise||A motorcyclist jumps buses, flames, and piranha tanks, occasionally crashing.||3 - Humorous animations, well made.|
|DOS Shell||3||Ed Hall||Drops to DOS and runs random commands.||2 - A good idea, but does too many nonsense commands.|
|Down the Drain||2||Bill Stewart, Jim Stewart, Rob Vaterlaus||The screen swirls down a drain in the center.||1 - Good idea, but the swirl is kind of blocky.|
|Draw Morph||3||E. Inada, J. Dorfman, M. Metzger||Morphs across various vector drawings.||3 - Several categories, but also a custom builder. Unfortunately, doesn't have a real-time frame delay.|
|Fade Away||2||Bill Stewart, Ian MacDonald||Clears the screen with various wipes.||1 - Effective, but dull.|
|Fish / Fish Pro / Aquatic Realm||1W, 2, 3||Jeff Thomas, Dana Muise||Simulates an aquarium, upgraded for version 3.||3 - Great graphics, nice and soothing to watch.|
|Flying Toasters, Pro||2, 3||Jack Eastman, Bill Stewart, Tomoya Ikeda, Paul Meyer, Vann Miller, Bruce Burkhalter, Brian Chen, Bob Bickford, Jarir Maani, Nick Rush||Toasters fly across the screen, upgraded for version 3||1 - Funny the first time, annoying every other time.|
|Flying Toilets||3||Scott Garcia, Robert Cuenca||Toasters fly across the screen, upgraded for version 3||1 - Juvenile.|
|Frost and Fire||3||Craig Dickson, Oliver Steele||Generates psychedelic swirling patterns.||3 - Great looking, but slow on most PCs of the day.|
|GeoBounce||2||Ed Hall, Mouse Herrell, Rob Gale||Bounces one of several basic 3D shapes around the screen.||1 - Nice shading (though it doesn't use a 256 color palette), but the bouncing isn't coded very well.|
|Globe||2||Jack Eastman, Wes Boyd, Igor Gasowski||Bounces a rotating globe of the Earth around the screen.||2 - I like that the texture can be customized, though it would be nice if they included more textures.|
|GraphStat||2||Harry Chesley, Wes Boyd||Generates nonsense graphics.||1 - It only does simple line graphs.|
|Gravity||2||Bill Stewart, Tracy Elmore, Bryce Fowler||Bouncing balls drop from the top of the screen and leave a trail.||1 - The balls all have similar paths.|
|Guts||3||Wes Cherry, Ferdinand Rios, Mike Overlin||Various objects fly around according to a physics equation leaving behind a trail.||2 - Good idea, but doesn't use a real-time frame delimiter.|
|Hall of Mirrors||2||Alex Zeltser||Creates "mirros" of areas of the screen that move about.||1 - Nice technical effect, but boring.|
|Hard Rain||2||Bill Stewart, Tracy Elmore, James Eastman||Colorful drops leave ripples that eat away at the screen.||1 - Lame.|
|Lasers||2||Bill Stewart, Ian MacDonald||Colorful lines sweep across the screen.||1 - Pretty basic.|
|Logo||3||James Eastman, Bob Bickford||A user-specified image bounces around the screen.||1 - Boring, but useful for companies.|
|Magic||2||Bill Stewart, Ian MacDonald||Colorful lines dance over the screen.||2 - Enjoyable to watch.|
|Marbles||2||Mike Overlin, Kevin McLeod, Igor Gasowski||Marbles are shot from the top of the screen and bounce off bumpers until the reach the bottom.||4 - I love the slow accumulation, and still giggle at the smiley face marble. I wish they used 256 colors.|
|Messages||3||Bruce Burkhalter, Colin Glassey, Bob Bickford||A user-specified message bounces around the screen.||1 - Boring, but customizable.|
|Mondrain||2||Bill Stewart, Wes Boyd||Inverted blocks cover the screen.||1 - Pretty dull.|
|Mountains||2||Ben Haller, Eli Meir, Mouse Herrell, T. Elmore||Renders a 3D mountain scape.||3 - Includes alternate palettes and terrain styles.|
|Mowin' Man||More||Mike Overlin, Glenn Corwin, Bruce Burkhalter, Igor Gasowski||Grass and flowers grow randomly across the screen and are mowed over by a man on a riding tractor. Night falls as well.||2 - Nicely designed, but dull after awhile.|
|Nirvana||3||Andy Karn||Line patterns are drawn with a shifted palette.||3 - Nicely zen.|
|Nocturnes||2||J. Steinmetz, R. Herrell, Rob Gale||Draws eyes in the dark.||1 - The sound effects are a good touch, but it's pretty dull.|
|Nonsense||3||Rob Blair, Bob Bickford||Generates nonsense sentences and randomly displays them.||1 - The sentences are usually too abstract to be enjoyable.|
|Om Appliances||More||Paul Sasse, Gregory Becker, Andy Karn, Igor Gasowski, Tomoya Ikeda||Refrigerators and washing machines float across the screen making noise.||1 - Kind of a ripoff of the Flying Toasters, but with more noise.|
|Penrose||2||Andy Karn, Thomas DiZoglio||Draws attractive interlocking tiles across the screen.||3 - Quite nice, although a bit slow to draw.|
|Photon||3||Brian Lowry, Vann Miller||Random colorful lines erupt from a center point.||2 - Pretty, but nothing too impressive.|
|Puzzle||3||Bill Stewart, John Rotenstein, Rob Gale||Turns the screen into a slider puzzle.||1 - Kind of dull.|
|Punch Out||2||Bill Stewart, Bob Schumaker, Chip Morningstar, José Carlos Colón, Mouse Herrell||"Holes" are punched out of the screen.||1 - Pretty dull.|
|Rain||More||Alex Zeltser, Mike Overlin, Anthony Carlisle||Colored rain drops splash and cause ripples that dissipate.||2 - Kind of zen, but not much to it.|
|Rain Storm||2||Tracy Elmore, Patrick Beard||Simulates a rain storm.||1 - Nice look, but quite primitive.|
|Rat Race||3||Andrew Armstrong, Matt Small||Three rats run around a race track.||2 - Cute animations, but boring to watch.|
|Ray||3||Dan Michaeloff||Bounces gem-like objects around the screen.||2 - Impressive feat at the time, but rather dull today.|
|Rebound||3||Rat Kemmer, Bob Bickford, Bruce Burkhalter, Dana Muise||Balls bounce around the screen and off each other.||1 - Boring, and doesn't run smoothly.|
|Rose||3||Ben Haller, Tracy Elmore||Rainbow colored dots spin around the screen like a Spirograph.||1 - Nice for a few seconds.|
|Satori||3||Ben Haller, Tracy Elmore||Draws various blocky plasma patterns and slowly smooths them out.||3 - Generates some pretty impressive results.|
|Shapes||2||Bill Stewart||Draws colorful 2-D primitives.||1 - Colorful, but boring.|
|Slide Show||3||Bob Bickford, Maurice Metzger||Displays images from a user-defined slideshow with various wipes.||2 - A nice addition to the program.|
|Sounder||2||Rob Gale||Plays random songs from a specified folder.||1 - Boring.|
|Spheres||3||Bruce Burkhalter, W. Stewart, R. Herrell||Draws colorful pseudo 3-D spheres.||1 - Kind of dull, and buggy along the left side of the screen.|
|Spiral Gyra||2||Keith Alphonso, John Casey||Colorful twisted lines are drawn across the screen.||2 - Pretty, but dull over all.|
|Spotlight||3||Bob Schumaker, Chip Morningstar||Spotlights bounce around the screen illuminating areas.||2 - Interesting, but not that impressive.|
|Stained Glass||2||J. Tantra, Wes Boyd||A colorful geometric pattern is drawn on the screen and tiled around it.||2 - Interesting, but so random it usually just looks like a mess. Should have been given better aesthetics.|
|Starry Night||1, 2, 3||Craig Dickson||Draws a nighttime cityscape using individual dots that flicker with the occasional shooting star. Some versions have lightning.||4 - This one is very serene. I enjoy staring at it.|
|String Theory||2||Bill Stewart, James Eastman||Colorful lines bounce across the screen leaving trails.||1 - Simple and primitive.|
|Swan Lake||2||B. Resner, Mike Overlin, Igor Gasowksi||Swans swim around a black pool.||3 - Another serene one. The swans are well drawn, but their animation is a bit choppy.|
|Tunnel||More||Darin Gurney, Mouse Herrell, Tracy Elmore||A shifting color palette gives the illusion of traveling down a tunnel.||2 - Colorful, but otherwise primitive.|
|Vertigo||2||Tracy Elmore, Jack Eastman||Shapes are drawn randomly on the screen and shift palette.||1 - Dull. Shapes often draw off-screen.|
|Warp!||3||Bruce Burkhalter, Tracy Elmore, Bill Stewart, Jack Eastman||Simulates a black hole swirling stars into it, or ejecting them.||2 - Nice idea, but a little buggy and doesn't have a real-time frame delimiter.|
|Wrap Around||2||Richard Lesh||Draws a curved symmetrical pattern with colorful lines.||2 - Quite attractive, even if it's simple.|
|You Bet Your Head||3||Andrew Armstrong, Jim Merkle, Matt Small, Valerie Singer||Asks random trivia questions on an animated game show.||2 - Interesting concept, but the questions are pretty unusual.|
|Zooommm!||3||Steven Harris, Robert Bickford||Various wireframe shapes speed toward the viewer.||1 - Kind of dull.|
|Zot!||2||Bill Stewart, Jim Stewart||Simulates lightning strikes.||1 - Nice lightning simulation, but a bit too simple.|
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_Dark_(software) - Wikipedia.