Space Travel


Space Travel    (GE-645 computer and Multics  OS)    1969


Game is lost.


First UNIX application, game that spurred the development of the Unix operating system.


Simulated various bodies of the solar system and their movements and the player could attempt to land a spacecraft on them.


Silent, monochrome game.

Space Travel 1969 game
Screenshot of the game
GE-645 computer
GE-645 computer and workers


1) Simulates travel within our solar system to scale in 2D (everything is on a flat galactic plane). Orbits of the planets and moons are limited to being circular and are not calculated themselves. But the mass and scale of every item and the distances are simulated. Scale is synchronized to time, so if you zoom out, time runs faster. This helps pass the time for interplanetary distances. In fact you can zoom out enough to reach Pluto in a few seconds. Nothing past the edge of our solar system is simulated; so don't venture out of site. The player's ship trajectory and speed is fully calculated using the gravity of the center of the closest strongest attractor. This makes landing on some moons very interesting. Phobos' mass is so tiny compared to Mars', you actually have to go beneath the surface of Phobos in order to make it's center the closest strongest attractor. While surface contact is calculated collision damage is not. Acceleration is fixed, but like everything else, is scaled to the display. So acceleration always remains the same when measured in pixels per second per sec second. Rather than rotate the ship, the universe was rotated around it, as far as the display. Coordinates can be displayed and are based on the center the closest strongest attractor. If there is any object to this game, it would be traveling to, and landing on, every planet.

2) Unix (trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, developed in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others. From the power user's or programmer's perspective, Unix systems are characterized by a modular design that is sometimes called the "Unix philosophy", meaning that the operating system provides a set of simple tools that each perform a limited, well-defined function, with a unified filesystem as the main means of communication and a shell scripting and command language to combine the tools to perform complex workflows. 

Many clones of Unix have arisen over the years, of which Linux is the most popular, having displaced SUS-certified Unix on many server platforms since its inception in the early 1990s.

3) Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) was an influential early time-sharing operating system (sharing of a computing resource among many users by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking at the same time.) The project was started in 1964 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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