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 didn't have After Dark when it was popular, 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.
I own an old 5.25" floppy of After Dark, I'm not sure which version.
- 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.
- Later versions of the program removed most of the basic screen savers from the earlier versions. In general, this was good since they were dull, but if you liked the older ones, you lost them.
|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.