Dnd (video game)

Last updated
Title page of version 8 of dnd (running on a PLATO emulator in 2006)
Developer(s) Gary Whisenhunt, Ray Wood
Platform(s) PLATO system
Genre(s) Role-playing

dnd is a role-playing video game. The name dnd is derived from the abbreviation "D&D" from the original tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons , which was released in 1974.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Tabletop role-playing game form of role-playing game

A tabletop role-playing game is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a set formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> fantasy role-playing board game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.


dnd was written in the TUTOR programming language for the PLATO system by Gary Whisenhunt and Ray Wood at Southern Illinois University in 1974 and 1975. [1] Dirk Pellett of Iowa State University and Flint Pellett of the University of Illinois made substantial enhancements to the game from 1976 to 1985. [2]

TUTOR is a programming language developed for use on the PLATO system at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign around 1965. TUTOR was initially designed by Paul Tenczar for use in computer assisted instruction (CAI) and computer managed instruction (CMI) and has many features for that purpose. For example, TUTOR has powerful answer-parsing and answer-judging commands, graphics, and features to simplify handling student records and statistics by instructors. TUTOR's flexibility, in combination with PLATO's computational power, also made it suitable for the creation of many non-educational lessons—that is, games—including flight simulators, war games, dungeon style multiplayer role-playing games, card games, word games, and medical lesson games such as Bugs and Drugs (BND).

PLATO (computer system) mainframe computer system

PLATO was the first generalized computer-assisted instruction system. Starting in 1960, it ran on the University of Illinois' ILLIAC I computer. By the late 1970s, it supported several thousand graphics terminals distributed worldwide, running on nearly a dozen different networked mainframe computers. Many modern concepts in multi-user computing were originally developed on PLATO, including forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, picture languages, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, and multiplayer video games.

Southern Illinois University State university system based in Carbondale, Illinois, United States

Southern Illinois University is a state university system based in Carbondale, Illinois, United States, in the southern region of the state, with multiple campuses. Randy Dunn was formerly president of SIU.

dnd is notable for being the first interactive game to feature what would later be referred to as bosses. [3] [4]

Boss (video gaming) significant and especially strong enemy in video games

In video gaming, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy. A fight with a boss character is commonly referred to as a boss battle or boss fight. Boss battles are generally seen at a climax of a particular section of the game, usually at the end of a level or stage, or guarding a specific objective, and the boss enemy is generally far stronger than the opponents the player has faced up to that point, and is usually faced solo. A miniboss is a boss weaker or less significant than the main boss in the same area or level.. A superboss is generally much more powerful than the bosses encountered as part of the main game's plot and often optional to encounter. A final boss is often the main antagonist of a game's story and the defeat of that character provides ultimate satisfaction to the game player.


In dnd, players create a character and venture into the multi-level Whisenwood Dungeon (a portmanteau of the authors' last names) in search of two ultimate treasures: the grail and the orb. [4] The game presents players with an overhead view of the dungeon, but also implements many basic concepts of Dungeons & Dragons . The Whisenwood dungeon consists of multiple maze-like levels, as players complete each level they are allowed to advance to the next, however players may return to previous levels and leave the dungeon altogether making dnd one of the first video games to use non-linear progression. As players complete levels they acquire new spells, weapons, and items that aid them in their quest to find the ultimate treasures.

A player of a game is a participant therein. The term 'player' is used with this same meaning both in game theory and in ordinary recreational games.

Player character fictional character in a role-playing or video game that can be played or controlled by a real-world person

A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.

A portmanteau or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.

Teleporters move characters between dungeon levels. High level monsters, including a Golden Dragon that guards the Orb, are found at the end of each dungeon. Leaving the dungeon allows one to recuperate and regain spells and return later.

Teleportation is the theoretical transfer of matter or energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. Teleportation, or the ability to transport a person or object instantly from one place to another, is a technology that could change the course of civilization and alter the destiny of nations. It is a common subject in science fiction literature, film, video games, and television. In some situations teleporting is time traveling across space.

Player about to win dnd: Character is shown in the maze, with both the Orb and Grail (as well as most other magic items and a charmed dragon). Dnd8won.png
Player about to win dnd: Character is shown in the maze, with both the Orb and Grail (as well as most other magic items and a charmed dragon).

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<i>pedit5</i> 1975 video game

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Avatar is an early graphics-based multi-user highly interactive role-playing computer game, created on the University of Illinois' Control Data Corporation PLATO system in the late 1970s. It has graphics for navigating through a dungeon and chat-style text for player status and communication with others. It can currently be played online via Cyber1 or a simulation called Javatar. What makes Avatar popular is the high level of interactivity with other players and the sense of community that develops. Development on Avatar began on the University of Illinois PLATO system around 1977; the first version was released by Bruce Maggs, Andrew Shapira, and David Sides in 1979.

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  1. Martell, Carey (26 April 2012). "Interview with creators of dnd (PLATO)". RPGFanatic.net. Archived from the original on 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  2. Dear, Brian (2017). "Chapter 16: Into the Dungeon". The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 294–297.
  3. "Gary Whisenhunt, Ray Wood, Dirk Pellett, and Flint Pellett's DND". Armory.com. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  4. 1 2 "dnd (The Game of Dungeons)". Universal Videogame List. Retrieved 2008-04-09.


<i>Computer Games Magazine</i> magazine

Computer Games Magazine was a monthly computer and console gaming print magazine, founded in October 1988 as the United Kingdom publication Games International. During its history, it was known variously as Strategy Plus and Computer Games Strategy Plus, but changed its name to Computer Games Magazine after its purchase by theGlobe.com. By April 2007, it held the record for the second-longest-running print magazine dedicated exclusively to computer games, behind Computer Gaming World. In 1998 and 2000, it was the United States' third-largest magazine in this field.