Richard Garriott created one of the very first computer based role playing games in 1977.
The game was inspired by a bet between Richard and his father Owen.
Richard had already written many smaller programs and simple games on the teletype he had access to since 1974. His early programs included calculating radio wave propagation in the ionosphere. Variations of this early “ray tracing” code he wrote won him numerous science fair competitions up through international competition. Still games were his obvious early passion.
Richard’s father told Richard, that if he could create a whole working role playing game, that he would split the cost of an Apple ][ computer with him. The result was DND #1!
DND #1 was created on a teletype at Clear Creek High School in Houston Texas, connected via an acoustic modem to a PDP 11 type mini-computer. Richard typed the game on a separate terminal onto paper tape spools, then read the tape strips into the terminal connected to the offsite computer, and ran the resulting program. The resulting program would play a simple Dungeons and Dragons like role-playing game. The player had a character that would explore a dungeon in search of treasure while fighting monsters along the way.
The players could visualize the world as a top down scene drawn with ascii characters. Asterisks were walls, spaces were corridors and other letters had other meanings. In this way, even this 1st game closely resembles the “Tile Graphics” that Richard created and standardized through his later work.
Predicted simulated original output style
Richard wrote 28 of these “DND” games in High school. He numbered them DND #1 through DND 28. When he finally had that Apple ][, he rewrote DND #28 to become DND 28b… also known as AKALABETH the precursor of all things Ultima!
No one has seen this game run since the retirement of the teletype in 1979, which is when Richard made the final printout of the game.
DND #1 represents one of the earliest known computer role playing games. Originally created and refined between the years 1975 – 1977, this game is one of the few true founding efforts of the entire computer gaming genre. Interestingly the ascii based “tile graphics” are a clear forerunner of what followed in Ultima and many other computer role playing games, and thus remains relevant to the genre’s history.
Richard has been eager to see this simple BASIC program, resurrected in a modern usable form, but remaining true to the original in as many ways as possible.
To achieve this end, Richard is offering a bounty of Shroud of the Avatar pledge rewards for the best reincarnations of DND #1!
Starting April 15th 2014, just past one year into the development of Shroud of the Avatar, and running for 1 month through May 15th, Richard via Portalarium will be accepting submissions of DND1 Resurrections in each of two versions. Submissions may be a Unity Version, and or a no-plug-in Browser Version. Winners will be announced shortly after the submission deadline.
Best Unity Version & Best no-plug in Browser Versions will receive a Citizen Level Pledge Reward worth approximately $550.
2 runners up in both categories will receive $165 Collector level pledge each.
To be eligible, entries must:
- Be a faithful recreation of the original, not embellished (e.g. No fancy graphics, stick with a traditional font on “yellow” paper.)
- Be fully working and debugged versions as similar to the original as possible.
- Be self-running, and not require any other installations that are not automatically requested during the running of the entry.
- Add a “© 1977-2014 Richard Garriott” at the beginning.
- May include an addition of “Ported by DEVELOPER NAME”.
- Must agree that all rights to this port remain property of Richard Garriott
Unity Version Entries must: Work inside unity, rendering to a texture, such that Portalarium can map it in Shroud of the Avatar onto an object or interface element. Unity versions earn bonus points for the more versions of Unity they support (web player, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, PS3, etc.)
No plug-in Browser Version Entries earn bonus points if run on: 4 major browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari), 3 operating systems (windows, mac & linux), and 2 mobile platforms (iOs & Android).
All submissions must be received before May 15th!
Submissions and questions should be sent to: community@Portalarium.com
We look forward to reviewing your submissions, and rewarding the winners!
Discuss with the community!
We introduced a subforum here and chat channel #DND1 (use /join #DND1) for discussions and everything related to this contest!