Shuteye Town 1999 was conceived as a sequel to The Boomer Bible, as another massive satirical work created by the community of Punk Writers on Philly’s South Street. It contained its own laughable Bible, written for the neglected children of the Baby Boomers, the ones who might be unreachable by anything more academic looking than a video game. The objective of the game was to find — in the final few seconds of the 20th century, via your avatar J. Doe — answers to 22 mysterious questions and also to find all the books of The Zeezer Bible, which were hidden throughout the vast reaches of the underground city called Shuteye Town.
Vast? The work consisted of more than 3,500 files, of which some 85 percent were cartoon graphics and another 15 percent were text files. Shuteye Town is a place one travels through by finding hyperlinks leading to the next screen/scene. It contains 40 Subway Stations running 9 trains on 6 different lines, 30 Stores to shop in, located in two different malls, 21+ Restrooms, 20++ Television Shows, including ads (galore) and news channels, 19+ Passenger Lounges, 15+ Nightclubs & Strip Joints, 11 Hospitals/Clinics, 11 Prisons, 10 Concert Venues, 10 Television Networks, 10 Movie Theaters, 4 Professional Sports Teams, 2 Newspapers, 2 Centrally Located Police Stations, 1 University/High School Complex, 1 Library (Closed), 1 Airport, 1 Amusement Park, 1 Sports/Events Arena — PLUS 125+ Multi-Story Buildings (commercial, government, industrial) thousands(?) of Private Homes & apartments, Assorted interactive vending machines, ATMs, surveillance cameras (000s), & Shuteye Town’s own version of the Internet, called The UnderNet.
The development effort took two years and employed the Microsoft application Word 97, which included a powerful built-in drawing package the company hoped would become the standard language of freeform computer graphics. It didn’t. Despite the most important functional feature of creating graphic drawings as text files that could link and be linked by purely text files, the Word 97 experiment failed, and the next subsequent version of Word could not even be made to render its own drawings on screen.
Finished in December 1999 and released in January 2000, Shuteye Town was dead in the water by 2003. The only files Word could display were text files, and not even the ones that included some drawing elements escaped the fate of the drawings.