Screen Antics: Johnny Castaway



Johnny Castaway may not be a game, but it is more than just an ordinary screen saver. It tells the story of Johnny, a man stranded on a tiny island with a single tree. Normally, he will just sit around, read, sleep, fish, work on his raft and sometimes take a dive. However, there are many special events that will happen over time. Pirates will come to the island to terrorize Johnny, a seagull steals things and teases him, a shark waits for the oportune moment to snack on him, airplanes and boats pass by, and he may even try to do a rain dance to battle the heat. Johnny Castaway also has a charming storyline - while he is working on his raft and looking for ways to return to the civilized world, he falls in love with a mermaid.

Time blocks and scene types

Each time block lasts approximately five minutes, after which the screen saver refreshes. Each time block contains 2 or 3 different scene types. Most of the scenes are regular scenes where Johnny keeps himself occupied on the island with reading a book, building a sand castle, fishing, building his raft and other small actions which you see on a very regular basis.

The time block ends with either a special scene or a story scene. Special scenes are shown randomly and may occur during any day of Johnny's 11-day stay on the island. There are 19 different special scenes in Johnny Castaway.

The story of Johnny Castaway takes place over a time span of 11 days. Each of these days has a story scene, which sometimes occurs at the beginning or end of the timeblock, depending on the day. If it plays at the end of the timeblock, then it replaces the special scene. Notice that each story scene starts off with a bling sound, indicating it is part of the Johnny Castaway storyline. As there are 11 days, there are also 11 story scenes.

Special days

Since the events in Johnny Castaway are linked to the computer clock and calendar, the designers built in a couple of decorations on special days of the year. See more info here.

Screensaver settings and night and day cycles

Start of day tells screen antics when to start Johnny's day. Johnny lives in a strange little world where daytime lasts for 6 real-world hours and night is two real-world hours long. If you use default settings, the night will start around 3pm. Note that some special scenes and story scenes only occur during either the day or the night.

Password: use this option if you want Screen Antics to request a password before returning to the Windows desktop. To impliment a password, click on the password option in the setup window, then enter and verify your new password. To remove a password, repeat the above steps, but leave the new password blank.

Sounds: this option allows you to toggle the sounds on or off.

Load background: You can enhance the screen saving aspects of Screen Antics by choosing not to load the background, although the constant variation of background, horizon line, and island location are sufficient to prevent screen burn-in (and of course PC are a little bit better than they used to be in 1992).