[TUHS] Unix game origins - stories similar to Crowther's Adventure

Rich Salz rich.salz at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 00:41:22 AEST 2023

"Hunt the Wumpus" came from the People's Computer Company in San
Francisco.  Wikipedia article on him is nice; we corresponded a bit.
CHM has all the old PCC newsletters, it seems, at

What about Peter Langston's empire? It was distributed as object code, but
someone (CMU?) decompiled it to C, and we built it on Pyramid's. It created
its world by having meteors smash into it to distribute the trace and heavy
metals IIRC.

On Tue, Jan 31, 2023 at 9:32 PM Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:

> All,
> I just saw this over on dragonflydigest.com:
> https://0j2zj3i75g.unbox.ifarchive.org/0j2zj3i75g/Article.html
> It's an article from 2007 about the history and genesis of the Colossal
> Cave Adventure game - replete with lots of pics. What I found fascinating
> was that the game is based on the author's actual cave explorations vis a
> vis the real Colossal Cave. Gives you a whole new appreciation for the game.
> My question is do y'all know of any interesting backstories about games
> that were developed and or gained traction on unix? I like some of the
> early stuff (wumpus, in particular), but know nothing of origins. Or, was
> it all just mindless entertainment designed to wile away the time?
> Spacewar, I know a bit about, but not the story, if there is one... Maybe,
> somebody needed to develop a new program to simulate the use of fuel in
> rockets against gravity and... so... lunar lander was born? I dunno, as
> somebody who grew up playing text games, I'd like to think there was more
> behind the fun that mindless entertainment... So, how about it, was your
> officemate at bell labs tooling away nights writing a game that had the
> whole office addicted to playing it, while little did they know the
> characters were characterizations of his annoying neighbors?
> If you don't mind, if you take the thread off into the distance and away
> from unix game origins, please rename the thread quickly :).
> Thanks,
> Will
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