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Dungeon was one of the earliest role-playing video games, running on PDP-10 mainframe computers manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation.
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.
Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-10, later marketed as the DECsystem-10, was a mainframe computer family manufactured beginning in 1966; it was discontinued in 1983. 1970s models and beyond were marketed under the DECsystem-10 name, especially as the TOPS-10 operating system became widely used.
Mainframe computers or mainframes are computers used primarily by large organizations for critical applications; bulk data processing, such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning; and transaction processing. They are larger and have more processing power than some other classes of computers: minicomputers, servers, workstations, and personal computers.
Dungeon was written in either 1975 or 1976 by Don Daglow, then a student at Claremont University Center (since renamed Claremont Graduate University). The game was an unlicensed implementation of the new tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and described the movements of a multi-player party through a monster-inhabited dungeon. Players chose what actions to take in combat and where to move each character in the party, which made the game very slow to play by today's standards. Characters earned experience points and gained skills as their "level" grew, as in D&D, and most of the basic tenets of D&D were reflected.
Don Daglow is an American computer game and video game designer, programmer and producer. He is best known for being the creator of early games from several different genres, including pioneering simulation game Utopia for Intellivision in 1981, role-playing game Dungeon in 1975, sports games including the first interactive computer baseball game Baseball in 1971, and the first graphical MMORPG, Neverwinter Nights in 1991. He founded long-standing game developer Stormfront Studios in 1988.
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is a private, all-graduate research university located in Claremont, California, a city 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. Founded in 1925, CGU is a member of the Claremont Colleges which includes five undergraduate and two graduate institutions of higher education. Adjoining and within walking distance of one another, design was based on that of Oxford University and Cambridge University.
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.
Daglow wrote in 1988, "In the mid-seventies I had a fully functioning fantasy role-playing game on the PDP-10, with both ranged and melee combat, lines of sight, auto-mapping and NPC's with discrete AI."Although the game was nominally played entirely in text, it was also the first game to employ line of sight graphics displays. Its use of computer graphics consisted of top-down dungeon maps that showed the portions of the playfield the party had seen, allowing for light or darkness, the different "infravision" abilities of elves, dwarves, etc.
Line of sight, sometimes written line-of-sight or abbreviated to LoS, is the visibility on the playing field in wargames and some role-playing games (RPGs). Many abilities can only be used on entities within a character's line of sight.
A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.
Computer graphics are pictures and films created using computers. Usually, the term refers to computer-generated image data created with the help of specialized graphical hardware and software. It is a vast and recently developed area of computer science. The phrase was coined in 1960, by computer graphics researchers Verne Hudson and William Fetter of Boeing. It is often abbreviated as CG, though sometimes erroneously referred to as computer-generated imagery (CGI).
This advancement was possible because many university computer terminals had switched by the mid-1970s to CRT screens, which could be refreshed with text in a few seconds instead of a minute or more. Earlier games printed game status for the player on Teletype machines or a line printer, at speeds ranging from 10 to 30 characters per second with a rat-a-tat-tat sound as a metal ball or belt with characters was pressed against paper through an inked ribbon by a hammer.
A teleprinter is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations. Initially they were used in telegraphy, which developed in the late 1830s and 1840s as the first use of electrical engineering. The machines were adapted to provide a user interface to early mainframe computers and minicomputers, sending typed data to the computer and printing the response. Some models could also be used to create punched tape for data storage and to read back such tape for local printing or transmission.
A line printer prints one entire line of text before advancing to another line. Most early line printers were impact printers.
While Dungeon was widely available via DECUS, it was picked up by fewer universities and systems in the mid-1970s than Daglow's earlier Star Trek video game had been in 1971, primarily because it took a then-significant 36K of system RAM versus 32K for Star Trek. Many schools viewed games as gimmicks to interest students in computers, but wanted only small, fast-play examples to minimize games' actual use to reserve time for math and science research and student use. As a result, the early-1970s' maximum size of 32K that many schools set as a limit on games had been downgraded on some campuses to as little as 16K.
The Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society (DECUS) was an independent computer user group related to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).
Years later (ca. 1980)DECUS distributed another game named Dungeon, that was in fact a version of Zork , a text adventure game that would later become the model for early MUDs.
A MUD is a multiplayer real-time virtual world, usually text-based. MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat. Players can read or view descriptions of rooms, objects, other players, non-player characters, and actions performed in the virtual world. Players typically interact with each other and the world by typing commands that resemble a natural language.
A third game called Dungeon was released on PLATO in 1975, by John Daleske, Gary Fritz, Jan Good, Bill Gammel, and Mark Nakada.
Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.
Pool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games. The other games in the "Gold Box" series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did later D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan.
Eye of the Beholder is a role-playing video game for personal computers and video game consoles developed by Westwood Associates. It was published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in 1991 for the DOS operating system and later ported to the Amiga, the Sega CD and the SNES. The Sega CD version features a soundtrack composed by Yuzo Koshiro. A port to the Atari Lynx handheld was developed by NuFX in 1993, but was not released. In 2002 the game was an adaptation of the same name was developed by Pronto Games for the Game Boy Advance.
A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or over the internet. During its early history, video games were often single-player-only activities, putting the player against preprogrammed challenges or AI-controlled opponents, which lack the flexibility of human thought. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games. In multiplayer games, players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance.
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.
1975 has several new titles such as Western Gun, Dungeon and dnd.
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the first game in the Wizardry series of role-playing video games. It was developed by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead. In 1980, Norman Sirotek formed Sir-Tech Software, Inc. and launched a Beta version of the product at the 1980 Boston Computer Convention. The final version of the game was released in 1981.
Gateway to the Savage Frontier (1991) is a Gold BoxDungeons and Dragons computer game developed by Stormfront Studios and published by SSI for the Commodore 64, PC and Amiga personal computers.
A text game or text-based game is a video game that uses text characters instead of bitmap or vector graphics. Text-based games were a popular form of interactive fiction in the 1980s.
Neverwinter Nights was the first multiplayer online role-playing game to display graphics, and ran from 1991 to 1997 on AOL.
Champions of Krynn is role-playing video game, the first in a three-part series of Dragonlance Advanced Dungeons & Dragons "Gold Box" games. The game was released in 1990. The highest graphics setting supported in the MS-DOS version was EGA graphics. It also supported the Adlib sound card and either a mouse or joystick.
Telengard is a 1982 role-playing dungeon crawler video game developed by Daniel Lawrence and published by Avalon Hill. The player explores a dungeon, fights monsters with magic, and avoids traps in real time without any set mission other than surviving. Lawrence first wrote the game as DND, a 1976 version of Dungeons & Dragons for the DECsystem-10 mainframe computer. He continued to develop DND at Purdue University as a hobby, rewrote the game for the Commodore PET 2001 after 1978, and ported it to Apple II+, TRS-80, and Atari 800 platforms before Avalon Hill found the game at a convention and licensed it for distribution. Its Commodore 64 release was the most popular. Reviewers noted Telengard's similarity to Dungeons and Dragons. RPG historian Shannon Appelcline noted the game as one of the first professionally produced computer role-playing games, and Gamasutra's Barton considered Telengard consequential in what he deemed "The Silver Age" of computer role-playing games preceding the golden age of the late 1980s. Some of the game's dungeon features, such as altars, fountains, teleportation cubes, and thrones, were adopted by later games such as Tunnels of Doom.
The history of massively multiplayer online games spans over thirty years and hundreds of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) titles. The origin and influence on MMO games stems from MUDs, Dungeons & Dragons and earlier social games.
Online games are video games played over a computer network. The evolution of these games parallels the evolution of computers and computer networking, with new technologies improving the essential functionality needed for playing video games on a remote server. Many video games have an online component, allowing players to play against or cooperatively with players across a network around the world.
The Savage Frontier is a region in the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting the Forgotten Realms. The Savage Frontier video game series, developed by Stormfront Studios and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc., is the series that precedes the Neverwinter Nights series, with the introduction of the city of Neverwinter in its games. The first game in the series was Gateway to the Savage Frontier. It was followed by two sequels after this, Treasures of the Savage Frontier and Neverwinter Nights
Pool of Radiance is a series of role-playing video games set in the Forgotten Realms campaign settings of Dungeons & Dragons; it was the first Dungeons & Dragons video game series to be based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules.
Mainframe computers are computers used primarily by businesses and academic institutions for large-scale processes. Before personal computers, first termed microcomputers, became widely available to the general public in the 1970s, the computing industry was composed of mainframe computers and the relatively smaller and cheaper minicomputer variant. During the mid to late 1960s, many early video games were programmed on these computers. Developed prior to the rise of the commercial video game industry in the early 1970s, these early mainframe games were generally written by students or employees at large corporations in a machine or assembly language that could only be understood by the specific machine or computer type they were developed on. While many of these games were lost as older computers were discontinued, some of them were ported to high-level computer languages like BASIC, had expanded versions later released for personal computers, or were recreated for bulletin board systems years later, thus influencing future games and developers.