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At this point, Slug Russell had no excuse. He spent what free time he could to create this fantasy game. He began working in early December and by Christmas, he was still hacking away at his program and continued into the new year. By this time, he was able to manifest a dot on the screen that was capable of changing directions and accelerate by utilizing the toggles on the control panel.The next step was to make the shapes of the two ships, both being based on classic cartoon rockets.

To distinguish them, he made one cigar-shaped and a little on the chubby side while the other was was just a thin cylinder. Both were pointed on the end and sported a set of fins in the back.  Once the movement for the ships was set, he set to work on the “torpedo”. Each ship could shoot up to thirty one torpedo dots from the tip of its noes. If it struck the same space as the enemy ship, the program would replace the loser with a random splatter of dots to signify an explosion.

This was a big step in sophisticated “real-time” programming. Spacewar helped show how all games, maybe everything worked like a computer program. Programming was not simply just a technical pursuit but instead an approach to the problems of living. In the later stages of programming Saunders helped Slug and together they would put in several six-to-eight hour sessions. In February 1962, he unveiled his basic game and left a copy of the tape in the program drawer to allow for unsolicited improvements. The power that helped Slug Russell create this game gave hackers the ability to create their own little universes and make them available to others.

 

 

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