GAMES: Historical truths [was Re: The games are all crap...]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Jul 22 2000 - 17:30:39 MDT

On Sat, 22 Jul 2000, BillK wrote:

> A PC version of the old EMPIRE game can be freely downloaded from:-

I've investigated this and many of the links are broken.

What I have extracted from the pointers there is enough to convince
me that the PC version is not the "original" Empire game. It may
be a knock-off or an alternately evolved variant.

For the record, the original versions of Empire were circulating around
USENET from ~1976 to ~1981 and primarily ran on PDP-11 hardware (because
Peter Langston primarily distributed binary versions to my knowledge).
Versions running on different hardware, networked versions, or substantially
after that time period are likely to be knock-offs or parallel path

I would agree with documents that the original versions dated back
to circa 1972-1975 at Reed College, though I do not beleive these
were written in C, nor were they widely distributed.

Regarding making "good" games. It is an interersting question as
to what seduces people into games -- currently the paradigm would
seem to suggest good graphics is a necessity -- in contrast the
1970's games had *no* graphics -- you had to map the game entirely
in your head. I wonder if there are two types of people -- those
who can create mental images reflecting a reality and those who
require the images to be painted for them who would be enrolled
into very different game presentations.


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