Friday, February 29, 2008

Classic Computer Trek and Leap Year too...

Friday February 29, 2008

Hello and happy leap year! Once again we have an extra day on the calendar to ponder our fates and to celebrate the good stuff. The topic for tonight is computer games and the history thereof. Any regular reader of this blog will know that I'm very keen on space games of all types and the game I'd like to focus on is one of the earliest. Star Trek, an unauthorized computer game based loosely on the TV series first took flight in the early 70's. The first versions of the game were written in BASIC and were text only. The Star Trek game put the player in command of the starship Enterprise, defending a small number of star bases against a horde of Klingon enemies. The game was turn-based and required more strategy then quick wits and reflexes and favored any player who was good at doing polar to rectangular coordinate conversions. It would take later generations to add graphics and real-time action to the mix, culminating in games like Atari's Star Raiders. You can still find a number of free versions on the web including some vintage 70's and 80's programs that run on emulators. One of the demo programs included with the Euphoria programming language is Langwar; a game very much like classic text Star Trek with the names changed. For the real lowdown check out the Star Trek page on the Games of Fame site.

The picture of the week was created using Project Dogwaffle

Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are a group of deep bass synthesizer samples

The web site of the week is the Language Guide, a site with descriptions of several major and a few obscure computer programming languages.

The PC game of the week is still Dark Star One.

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.
Bye for now!