Tim Stryker

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Tim Stryker
Tim Stryker 1995.jpg
at TwoBBScon event in Düsseldorf, Germany
Born
Timothy J. Stryker

(1954-12-09)9 December 1954
Died6 August 1996(1996-08-06) (aged 41)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesStryker
Occupation(s) Video game designer
Computer programmer
Known for

Timothy J. Stryker, better known as Tim Stryker or Stryker (9 December 1954 – 6 August 1996) was a computer programmer who created MajorBBS, a computer bulletin board software package. With Ken Wasserman he wrote the 1980 game Flash Attack for the Commodore PET, then he created the color vector arcade video game Aztarac (1983) for Centuri.

Contents

Education

Stryker graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1972, and received his bachelor's degree in physics from Brown University in 1977.

Game development

Stryker and Ken Wasserman wrote the real-time strategy game Flash Attack (1980) for the Commodore PET personal computer. It is written in a custom Forth-derived programming language called RPL. [1] Stryker developed a cable so that two PET computers can be linked to play against each other. [2] The game was later rewritten for MS-DOS, allowing up to four players in real time, interconnected by modems dialed into MajorBBS.

Stryker authored arcade vector game Aztarac released by Centuri in 1983. [3] It was not a commercial success, and its rarity has made it sought after by collectors. During the attract mode of the game, quickly spinning the spinner control reveals a message in the starfield: "Designed by T. Stryker".

The MajorBBS

Stryker founded Galacticomm in 1985 and created The Major BBS. It supports real-time teleconference, gaming, discussion forums, user profiles (registry), and file transfer sections.

Later, Stryker hired Scott Brinker, originally of Moonshae Isles BBS, who created many of the early games available for MajorBBS, including Kyrandia .

Personal life & death

Tim Stryker was a staunch advocate of electronic democracy, and began a movement called Superdemocracy to computerize voting and help people follow politics in cyberspace. He dreamed of creating the "perfect society based on compassion and love". [4] [5]

Stryker suffered from severe depression, and was found dead of a self-inflicted shotgun wound in the mountains of Colorado on 6 August 1996 at the age of 41.

Other works

Books

Art

Unpublished

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References

  1. Wasserman, Katherine (2001). "Notes on Tim Stryker, Flash Attack, RPL etc". Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  2. Wasserman, Ken; Stryker, Tim (December 1980). "Multimachine Games". BYTE Magazine . p. 24. Archived from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  3. "Atzarac". Arcade History.
  4. Chebium, Raju (1996-08-06). "Genius succumbs to darkness - Computer whiz had it all, but it wasn't enough - Computer Genius, Entrepreneur Cuts Short Bright Future - Tim Stryker, founder of Galacticomm and maker of The MajorBBS and Worldgroup BBS Software, commits suicide in the Blue Mountains of Colorado". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2018-03-18. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  5. Chebium, Raju (1996-10-08). "Computer Genius, Entrepreneur Cuts Short Bright Future". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-12-27.