Seldon’s Game


The Eighties were the the heyday of home computers, associated magazines and wide eyed teenagers of whom I was one.

With blocky ZX Spectrum I would type in various programs written in magazinies. I had started with a subscription to Your Computer, and went to a couple of the Computer Fairs. I went onto the gaming magazines of Crash, and Computer & Video Games (C&VG).

Particularly memorable was Mike Singleton‘s Fifth Column in C&VG. Mike was famed for his strategy games Lords of Midnight, play by mail games, lesser known was Seldon’s Game serialised in C&VG’s Fifth Column. Hari Seldon is the mythical character in Isaac Asimov’s science fiction series Foundation. It was Hari who invented Psycho history, enabling the Galactic Empire to predict the future and plan ensure its rebirth. The code for the game was listed over three editions of C&VG, but it was never completed. No one seems to have remembered the game, there is not much of a mention of it on the Internet, hence this post.

The programme itself was simple enough, an ALife abstraction of warring galactic empires. When one solar system was conquered its power was accrued to the victor making it stronger in future battles, but that power was diminished over the vast distances. I haven’t come across anything else like it in ALife, it was all the more amazing too me back then as I had just read the “Foundation” trilogy.

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~ by zeristor on September 15, 2009.

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