Casual Photos: Eric Knopp's ORBITRON (1981) from Sirius Software for the Apple II

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Today's casual photos (shown below), this time taken with my Canon camera, is of Eric Knopp's Orbitron, published by Sirius software for the Apple II in 1981. The game was written in Assembly Language (versus the less professional BASIC) and required a 48K Apple II or II+, which was somewhat hefty for the time. The game's graphics were drawn using Sirius's E-Z Draw, first published in 1980. As you can see, this came in packaging not only common to Sirius at the time, but also the industry at large, in this case a small cardboard folder in shrinkwrap (the other common variety being a small cardboard folder or insert in a plastic zipper bag). The instructions, which aren't shown, are actually on the interior of the folder. I didn't want to remove what is most likely the original shrinkwrap, even though it's damaged. I'll likely transfer this to a plastic zipper bag for even more protection (and hey, that's still fairly authentic).

Anyway, as for Orbitron itself, you can play it yourself in your browser, here. It's a noisy, challenging and fairly fun game of essentially shooting through a series of rotating shields. Use the 1 and 2 keys to rotate your ship and the spacebar to fire. Enjoy!

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orbitron

Comments

Eric Knopp (not verified)
Orbitron...

This was the 1st video game I ever wrote. I was 15 at the time. There were no real programming books back then. It was seat of your pants. I taught myself assembly language and programmed using hexadecimal op-codes. Wasn't the greatest game, but the efforts enabled me to start my video game career at a young age.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Welcome!
Eric Knopp wrote:

This was the 1st video game I ever wrote. I was 15 at the time. There were no real programming books back then. It was seat of your pants. I taught myself assembly language and programmed using hexadecimal op-codes. Wasn't the greatest game, but the efforts enabled me to start my video game career at a young age.

Thanks for checking in Eric. Definitely impressive at any age considering, let alone 15!

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
One I haven't heard of but

One I haven't heard of but I'm impressed with the packaging.. its one of those you cant date just by looking at the Images, so many of the old covers don't age well. Also very nice to see the dev letting us know some tidbits..

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