view_headline
Description

On the 14th of February 1962, Martin Graetz, Steve Russell and Wayne Wiitanen wrote the code for "Spacewar!" one of the world's first multiplayer video games and the precursor to the entire industry as we now know it.

The game was written for the newly installed DEC PDP-1 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but it wasn't long before the game was installed on other machines throughout the University campus making "Spacewar!" the first known computer game to be installed and played on multiple computer installations.

The game itself was fairly simplistic. It featured two space ships "the needle" and "the wedge" battling it out in an interstellar dogfight. The fight takes place around a star which players could use to their advantage using its gravity to propel themselves forward. The game followed Newtonian physics which meant that the ships would remain moving even when the player wasnt accelerating. Each ship had to be controlled by a human player as there was no AI (artificial intelligence) written into the game. Each player had a limited amount of fuel and could shoot a finite amount of torpedos at their opponent. If you were hit by a torpedo or got too close to the star then the game was over and your ship would be destroyed. The game also featured a "hyperspace" function that would teleport a player to random place on the screen but using this would increase your likelihood of destruction while teleporting.

The game was controlled using switches on the PDP-1 but this was very difficult to use. This led to Alan Kotok and Bob Saunders building their own gamepad to make playing the game easier.

map
Location
view_module
Categories
view_module
Tags
videocam
Video
mood_bad
  • No comments yet.
  • chat
    Add a comment