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Classic TradeWars 2002 Sold 137

A reader writes "The rights to the classic BBS game TradeWars 2002 were sold by Martech Software to Epic Interactive Strategy over the weekend. John Pritchett of EIS has been active in the development of the TradeWars Game Server prior to the sale of the actual game. John claims he will begin working on a Linux port as soon as Borland ports Delphi to Linux. Nostalgia! " I remember back when they first made it so you could have different planet types, and than multiple ships. *sniff* So much time spent.
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Classic TradeWars 2002 Sold

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    it be open source?
  • Where did that article go? I cant find it on either.

    Queue X-Files theme.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lots of folks are still running it and Telnetable as well

    Check out for Example []

    which has a telnet link on it

    They are affiliated with the crazy folks at User-Friendly the Comic Strip.

  • So does anyone know if EIS is planning to do binary-only releases, or might source be available at some point?

    I wouldn't mind lending a hand in porting the beastie to *nix ...

    A GPL'd release would be cool too, but I won't hold my breath yet.
  • I want to run my old DOS T.A.G. BBS under Linux.
    Is there a utility that will fool T.A.G. into
    thinking that incoming telnet session is an
    incoming modem?

    I wonder if WWIV has been ported to Linux yet.
    WWIV was my favorite.

    I ran a BBS for 7 years.. WWIV, T.A.G., and Telegard. I miss the good old days.
    Long live "Storm Surge"!
  • I remember Pimp Wars. I ran that on my BBS in early '92. Started off with WWIV 4.12, then upgraded to 4.20, then to 4.21. Pimp Wars was great.

    Still got that BBS on the notebook I ran it on, a 386sx/20 with 120 MB HD, and 2400 bps modem.

    Those were the days!

  • Point is that the new games have lost that character. You can't go to a q3 server and meet people. You can (or could) play a door game and actually communicate- meet, talk, gain lifelong friends. Maybe if people spent a little less time on graphics and a little more on gameplay, that would change. But hey...
  • I used to play a lot. One game I decided to see how much of a bastard gnat I could be. In three months I went through 65-70 Scout Marauders. Stole three other players planets, and nuked them, would throw random mines and toll filghters everywhere throughout the galaxy. I would hunt down players planets, and then auction the info off to the highest bidder, while also auctioning off the info to the owner for me to keep my mouth shut. I kept my experience high, but my alignment pretty close to neutral, so I could switch from good to bad in a heartbeat. Everyone hated me. I had a blast. When I decided to quite the game, I sold _All_ of my stuff (and some of a few other players' too...) and took my lowly little Scout Marauder and filled it with Corbomite devices (I think it was around 4500 or so...), and then advertised my position. Sadly, one of my friends found me, and blew me up. And I took out his Federation Starship with the resulting blast. Ah well.. those were the days...
  • BRE/SRE Were some of the most addicting games..oh my I miss them...anyone know of an online version? I use to run them on my own Iniquity /there/ was some BBS software ;)
  • I ran a Telegard BBS back in 94 with TradeWars 2002 on it. Man, those were the days!
  • Two reasons: 1) It was free and 2) it did what I wanted it to. It had the most configurable access control of any BBS software I looked at. It was easy to configure all aspects of its operation. I never looked at T.A.G. so it may have been better, I don't know.
  • Hey, IP rights are still available for those wonderful BBS games, "Brown Nosing the SysOp" and the one-and-only "Evil BobOp Robobs from Hell"

    Hey Hemos, what ever happened to the tradewars gamemaster fiasco on Bob's Golden Apple? :-)

  • I've been on-again, off-again working on clone/successor for Tradewars for sometime now. I've been planning on calling it Tradewars 2112, and it's under the LGPL. It's a client/server game, currently with a multi-threaded UNIX server, and a crappy Java client (though there will be no reason why you can't write a Win32 or GTK or Cocoa client)

    The page is here []

  • Ive got a license for this from about 10 years ago...I wonder if they'll honor it....
  • I ran a BBS for 3 years in Cleveland and then Cincinnati (1:157/230) using Maximus.

    a year and four months ago, Scott Dudley announced that he would no longer be selling Maximus commercial licenses (It was already available free for non-commercial use), and that he would GPL the code. I would take the code and try to port most of it over to parts that obviously would need a complete re-write (the serial driver)

    He still hasn't released that GPL'd version of it, and there has been no update on Lanius's web site. :-(

  • Solar Realms Elite rocked. I bought a copy of that when I was running goober bbs (Andersen AFB, guam). I think I was running Spitfire at the time.. Eventually I smarted up though, and ran Renegade!

    Makes me want to scrounge up my old disk (I had a registered copy) and start up the BBS again...:)
  • god i loved that game (in addition to trade wars 2002, and the original TW). and don't forget the pit and netrunner.

  • Hah! I remember back in the day (that was the 80's to you youngsters) when everyone in the city would be logging on to the BBSes at 12:01 in the morning to get in the first move on all the games. God help you if you missed a day, you'd log on to find all your money gone and your contries conquered!

    It seemed a lot more exciting and personal, despite the low-tech. Playing RISK and Tradewars and trying to get your ratio up!

    Of course, Tribes and other stuff is fun, but i do think we're missing the perpetual multi-player online strategy game genre. Everybody's doing "role-playing" games, which are fantastic, but door games were the crack of our day...
  • Oh wow.. The memories of the endless hours of playing tradewars games. Remember the cool stuff like the secret underground organization on the main base? Is it just me, or does anyone else think that a massive multiplayer game based on tradewars would be really awesome?
  • I ran that on a Renegade BBS in Detroit... must have been '95 or '96... that was a cool game... now we just need a few others, like GWARS and BRE/SRE/Falcon's Eye
  • I agree Outpost trader was a nice improvement over TW2002. It was made by MegaWatts Computing in Oklahoma City. It never caught on because BBS's were already cooling off when it came out. Still TW2002 had the people and that's what made it a great game. Games today have better bells and whistles but I don't see the diehard players like TW2002 had. I'm still waiting for a game that will fill the TW2002 void. A game should last about ninety days and be limited to about 200 players. That way you know everyone.

    For you BRE fans there a game called Earth2025 that's very similar. You can check it out here.
  • Didn't this game used to be called "Star Traders", or something like that (must have been around 1980 or so)? I remember playing it on the old Radio Shack TRS-80. Just pop in the cassette, type "cload" wait about 20 minutes, and then go in and hack the BASIC to give yourself more ships and weapons and stuff. It rocked!
  • Wow, it's been a while back. There wasn't just one Tradewars helper utility, but a whole boatload of them, at least 3 or 4.

    I still remember all the tactics that were used. Who would have imagined? The classic one-way tunnel traps, including setting thousands of defensive fighters on the other end of a one-way tunnel. Or creating a planet with a genesis torpedo with the same name of one you captured, and blowing it up so that it appears you blew up the planet in the log.

  • Aw hell, I loved setting up macros to steal the snot out of everything. 'course you couldn't get the best ship in the game due to your honor rating, but... =)

    My .02
  • I remember the "old" TradeWars [pre 2002] (hell, I probably have a printout of the instructions from it - meticulously ASCII captured with a battery on <ENTER> to keep the pager going }}:-), and printed out on 50-100 sheets of formfed paper).

    That was my first BBS experiment - a 2400 bps bbs (! - this was in the 14.4k - 28.8's just barely coming out), from which I moved on. Never quite liked TW - but I probably have an old version of it *somewhere* on my hard drive.

    Anyhow, I used to have a favorite door - Planets: TEOS. Never needed to call at 12:01am simply because I didn't have to -- after about 4 months, I was the top-of-the-list kinda person (maxed out all my shields, maxed out cargo, etc), and ended up crushing everyone in the meantime >G<. Great fun until the board crashed (as they always do).

    Me? When I moved back to Canada (Van, BC, nonetheless), it took me about 3 years to find an online (internet) site that had BBS' running, but none had them (plus, Terminate has a nasty habit of crashing at the worst moments).

    Now, I try to run a 'net BBS - but comport drivers are hellishly expensive (com#<->TCP/IP)...
  • telnet://

    Please only join if you're a serious player :)

    CSH, RIT

  • > Same for all those BBS doors; they were simple as hell, but they *worked*. :)

    Indeed, the best of those games had well-designed interfaces, good play action, and most of all, good multiplayer game balance. It wasn't necessary to spend days learning the basics of those games. And an experienced player who was new to a particular board could still survive a moderately mature game of TW, for example. If the current games had such good underpinings, things would be great. Instead, we get games that are all flash and no substance. No thought is given to game balance or playability. No wonder the computer/videogames market appeals to such a small proportion of the population.

    At any rate. Anyone else remember Solar Realms Elite? I loved that game. Amit Patel could program with the best of 'em.

    For the record, I was a registered WWIV sysop. I operated the board in CA and IL. In IL, I was the guy whose board called TX every night to get the WWIVNet messages for our area.

    Those BBS's were great. Heck, that's how and why I learned C - WWIV was written in that language. I loved modifying the source code to that program.

  • Did any one else set up a local copy of the game on a Novell Network and alternate turns with other people? Man, we played a lot of BBS games in local directories on our high school's Novell labs. I kind of miss those old days.

    BTW, anyone else ever get so many Good points that they overflowed and became Evil? Yeah, being evil with a Federation ship. Bwah ha ha haah.
  • Yes, I remember running CzarWars. Is the source available? Would you consider releasing it?
  • Tradewars was cool but Outpost trader was another similar game that I thought was even better.

    I haven't seen it in a long time and it's hard to find the files any more.... But it was a great game. I think it was made by someone in Oklahoma.

    I would have like to see improvements in it and made into an internet game.

    Ah...those door games were fun.....having to mess with BBS source code and door files, and fossil drivers....
  • Call TW a waste, if you will, but knowledge of the Trade Wars universe was great for understanding data structures. What's a better metaphore for a linked list than a nice deep tunnel? And after I figured out that the way to compute the shortest route between sectors was essentially the same as a garbadge collection algorithm, I was actually motivated to write my own traversal algorithm for YATWC (yet another TW clone). Of course, this payoff occured about six years after I spent hundreds of hours blocking the Stardock instead of doing homework...
  • and now all the newbies are busy getting BFG'd in Q3A and not playing text based games. It's impossible to gain a foothold in a game that's been running forever and has several elite corps. Sure, you can resort to going evil and using photons to mess around with the big guys, but any attempt at colonization will definitly be thwarted _quickly_ by any competent corps.
  • >However, the problems (this was a few years ago >though) with the multi-line (AKA MBBS) version >was balance. The balance that made the one-line
    >version work failled when they lost the >intracacies of ship speeds with multiple turns >for movement.

    The MBBS version's lack of balance, in my experience, was usually because of poor Sysoping. Many Sysops thought the game would be more fun with infinite turns or if you started out with several thousand fighters . We used to have to deal with losers who would just make a ton of aliases and kamakazi each day to rack up ten's of thousands of fighters. (Pretty difficult to contend with early in a game.) Heh, I still remember with pride the day one of them followed me into a deadend with a full ISS and I was in a merchant cruiser. I landed on the lone planet, waited a second, then used an atomic detonator after he landed too. Teehee. Who says Merchant Cruisiers aren't deadly fighters? Oh yeah, then I had one of my corp buddies block off the sector with 30 or so defensive fighters and I put that many defensive fighters in the deadend. hehehehehe. Oh, sorry. grin.
    Plus, typing speeds are irrelivant if you used macros and the online/offline problem existed in one line TW, too, you know.
  • > I had been spending some time looking for this, and the majorBBS program Crossroads...
    > sadly, crossroads still costs over 200 dollars

    Well, if you're looking to purchase, I can't help you, but if you're looking to play, both TW and LORD are available at the User Friendly BBS, telnet Brought back memories when I logged on. :)

    My personal favorite TW moment? When my corp and I managed to interdict Stardock via the application of a few strategically placed planets with level 6 citadels. Wake up at 4:30 just after system maintenance, warp the planets back into the appropriate space lanes, sit back and wait for the suckers to roll in...

    I think that part of the reason why even nostalgia isn't enough to get me /really/ involved in the game again is because when I first played back in the early 90s, it was a local BBS, and my corp and I would frequently meet for coffee and strategy. Somehow, it's not the same when you don't know the people you're playing with face to face...

    On a roughly similar note, does anyone remember Tele-Arena? the hours of forest-crawling... typing "a h" over and over again to attack that hobgoblin ... the sorceress and the dart trick ... hanging around in the arena doing hit/hit/heal with your best friend because you were both SO close to being able to buy a level up ...

    Man. If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go sit in the corner and be all nostalgic. All I'd need now is the old MajorBBS forums and some of the buddies I met there, and I'd be set. (I've tried to explain this to my roommate, who was part of the '96 or so AOL wave. She just Does Not Get It...)
  • I remember TradeWars very fondly and have long awaited a port to UNIX systems.. I had been spending some time looking for this, and the majorBBS program Crossroads... sadly, crossroads still costs over 200 dollars. In this day and age I don't see how a game like crossroads can be worth that much, it is mostly nostalgia for me (and there are all kinds of new-fangled graphical/textual interfaces that do so much more, but I never got into them as much..)
  • You EXPLOITED those bugs? Shame on you! I remember playing a GREAT game, everything a good TW2002 game should be, and bam, someone exploited a few bugs and it was "Game over, man!".

    I hope that this game goes open source. :) I'd get lost in TW again!

    I also remember BRE... what nostalgia this is!

    So, I'm fully expecting that with a port of TW2002 to Linux, someone is going to make an open source TW2002 helper? I need my steal, sell, rob automation!

    they're all just zbeba!
  • In this context, I say we oversentimentalize the BBS.

    I disagree to a certain extent (big suprise there, I'm sure)... I loved the days of that kind of community... we had a group that I just haven't found on the 'net. Since this was a local BBS (none of that LD stuff for me back in The Day), we would all get together for a 'Bash' every 3-4 months... Pig out at Ryan's Steakhouse buffet, hit miniature golf, go-cart racing, and whatever else we could manage. We would also get together for some marathon sessions of Civilization and Diplomacy.

    So maybe I've proved your point. They were just another point of contact to bring people closer together.. and in my case, it worked spendidly. So maybe the nostaligia isn't for BBSes per se, but rather the community that we had built around them. We don't want BBSes back, we want OUR BBS back.


  • You may have hit one of the nails on the head... what I miss was the continuity... the day-to-day building up of stuff (planetary resources, fighters, ships, etc etc etc). I mean I can hop on and play Starcraft until my eyes bleed, but all I have to show for it is a few wins (or losses, as the case may be) and some more experience. I absolutely love games where there is noticable progress made daily, and that progress is preserved.

    Maybe that's why I'm having so much fun doing rc5 with ... I get to check stats every day. :) I have this need for numbers and rankings and just... just... STATS!!!! that must be fulfilled.


  • Yes yes yes!!!!

    (crap, I posted a huge reply and then lost it, them's the breaks)

    Okay... Was Esterian Conquest the game where you started with one planet and you sent scouts and destroyers and cruisers out to conquer other planets, and build up planetary defenses and set 'orders' for your fleets every day? I'm thinking that it was. I originally thought it was that game where you could move in three dimensions, was pseudo-real-time, and you could buy fighters and cruisers, and your goal was to conquer these three 'power planets' and control the game. But no... that was something else... and I can't remember what.

    I remember playing in the days of TW200 and TW500... back when buying 50 fighters was a big deal... when you could only end each day with 25,000 credits maximum... LOSING 25,000 credits on the flip of a coin (not knowing that the integer would max out at 32,767)... being able to destroy a planet by landing on it (unopposed, of course, what were planetary defenses???) and typing 'd'... oh, it's the nostalgia monster working overtime (like me!).

    I actually did play a TW game in... oh... 1996 or so... via telnet. Kinda choppy, but it worked okay... so advanced though, it was a "Build up for a few weeks, get really moving, get killed, start over" game.... I'm one of the firm believers that TW should be reset every 3-4 months... and the Cabal or whomever should be used as a very prejudicial equalization force.

    My first TW game was on PCBoard... a solid BBS that I have somewhere on 5 5 1/4" floppies. I played lots on a Wildcat system too. I also used to play Barons quite a bit, which seemed pretty unpopular on the board I was playing it, so I rose thru the ranks pretty quickly. :)


  • Well, Galactic Domination looks promising but I haven't logged in for about a month and don't know how much progress has been made (I seem to have forgotten my password, doh!).

    I've never tried TNE but steady work has been done on it but it is available now for download.

    Of course, I prefer Starship Traders, but the software isn't available and it only runs right now at the one site -- it may or may not be fast from your site. The server can handle many, many users without bogging down but there is netlag that semi-randomly will slow down access for 5 minutes at a time for some. It never seems to affect me, but I have my own connection problems, which may mask it.

    The web interface preference eliminates almost all of the older stuff though -- which is the majority of the downloadable code.
  • "When I was you're age, we played ANSI Door Games on MBBS Systems and I didn't hear anyone complaining! You and you're new fangled "Client/Server" games and you're 'Internet!'. Give me an MBBS system any day!"

    But seriously. I remember countless wasted hours with that game, dialing into a BBS using a Terminal app... Made some good friends and bitter eneimes playing that. People took it so seriously. I hope development continues. One feature that I have wanted for a long time is a direct telnet feature. I believe TW2002 still has a bright future on the internet!

  • I have tried oh so many times to reclaim that nostalgia. But telnet just doesn't do it for me. Half the fun of BBSing and playing those games was the sound of the modem dialing and the anxiety of seeing if you will get on or not. My local dialling list was 200+ numbers, and many of the bbs's were run by my friends. I was even a cosysop on one of them. But I fear those days are gone. It has been months since I heard a modem connect, and years since the last BBS died and disapeered in my area. but hey, progress... now we have everquest, and others. We are connected to more people than we ever imagined, and frankly there are days I wish it would all go away!
  • I'm disapointed. Nobody mentioned Citadel.

    Citadel is freeware BBS software. It is a message-based system that was ported to countless systems (x86, Mac, Amiga, Unix).

    It's straightforward interface, mnemonic commands and open source code made reimplementation easy. It's aversion to file structure and strong message-orientation discouraged leeches. Most versions supported one node, but some supported multiple lines.

    Citadel users did not have GTs, they had runs.

    It was primarily a Twin-Cities phenomenon. I ran mine for several years with GWar, TW2002, and OOII. Mmmmmmmmm.

    Citadels exist today as single-node dialups and the unix ports support Telnet and Web client access.

    One loyal user ran the domain several years ago, but it appears to have fallen into disuse.

  • Has anyone considered the concept of rebuilding the BBS days over a protocol like freenet, no browsers are built for freenet yet and i wonder if itd be possible to piggyback anonymous bbses over it.
  • MMMMM...
    I was god of that game at one point... Darn that was fun ;-)
  • You wanna see die-hard gamers? Jump in on any Quake2 LMCTF server... The people that play that game have some SERIOUS dedication.. I was addicted for quite a few years, almost failed out of school ;-)
  • I remember back to those days of BBS's and "Doors" and what not. I used to play Tradwars religiously on numerous local boards and dominated each of them, thanks to a few "bugs" like some of the shield bugs and a couple of the planet bugs. One of the bugs allowed you to enter a negative amount of fighters which would actually allow you hold more fighters then your ship could really hold. Imagine a scout marauder with over 40,000 fighters :) I even decided to run Tradewars on my own BBS once I got it up and running. I can't wait for this to get ported to Linux!
  • <shameless plug>
    I'm running a BBS-like game called Galactic Trader over the 'net. I've made lots of enhancements, so anyone who played it on an old VAX might need a while to get used to. It plays essentially the same, plus I added Police and Navy classes. Need players!
    </shameless plug>
    The only thing I'd like to do is work out some sort of script so that you can get access automatically. Right now I have to add the accounts and fire back a canned reply manually. Yuck!
  • Man, this whole thread makes me want to burst into tears.

    I ran a ProBoard BBS starting back in '92 (at the height of the craze!).

    FidoNET Node: 1:282/4097
    I used to write ProBoard PEX files - C compiled into some kind of crazy object code.

    Unfortunately, I never had the ubiquitous USR Courier. Twelve-year-old me was very happy with a USR Sportster on Node 1, and a Zoom (yeck!) 14.4 on Node 2.

    As for TheDraw... Now that I think about it, that was amazingly complex for its age. I still remember those crazy font sets you could use (kind of drag-and-drop wise, if I remember correctly).

    QMPro? I got into the BBS scene using ProComm, then QuickLink II, and ended with Terminate. I really loved Terminate - extremely powerful.

    Man I miss the old days.
  • Yeah but Turbo-Delphi's have some very non-standard pascal-isums. Dot Namespace, Concat strings with a + etc. Does this TP4Linux have full feature list?
  • Synchronet was one of the more popular of the commercial (read $) BBS packages in the 90's and went the way of freeware/free source around 1997ish. It was originally a meaner and more powerful multiuser WWIV "look alike" but evolved into one of most configurable and customizable systems out there with an internal scripting language called Baja, a C SDK, and support for just about every door format on the planet. The author, Rob Swindell aka Digital Man, recently resurrected Synchronet to recreate it as a completely Internet enabled BBS (read no more dialup access) for Win32 and later this year for Linux. Source is available for the current released v2.3 DOS version, but not yet for the beta of the new v3. It's still going to remain free and it looks like it's going to be one of the only "real" old school popular BBS packages to really make the jump into 2000 and the Internet and probably opensource. The Win32 version of Synchronet v3.0 went into beta this past weekend and is available at and the bbs can be telnetted into via telnet:// or via the web at

    The official Synchronet web page is

    Happy BBSing!

  • Usurper was my favourite...I wast^H^H^H^Hspent so many hours playing it (you all know relatively how many). My friend and I had a board, and that was definitely the game in highest demand. I was so addicted that I got it to run stand-alone, so that my brothers and I could play.

  • I used to love those days when we could play a game of tradewars for days on end, literally!!! Now the closest you can come is something like Solar Empire (for free anyway). The problem with games now in the luser effect. Why do people find it fun/funny to disrupt the gameplay and abuse the system. They're he reason we can't play the great games we used to like we used to.
  • Oh yes, I used to play all the old versions all the time...brings me back.
    I was so obsessed I actually set up a BBS on my dad's PC just so I could install it and play around. Of course I messed around in my own pocket world for so long by myself it got boring when I owned such a huge section of space with many fighters and planets and noone to play against. I never did that well playing on-line... :)
    My dad didn't let me run the BBS because he didn't like the idea of random unknown people mucking about on his machine.
    I finally got back into it a bit when TW2002 was out. My friend in High School was running a BBS with it. Anyone from Colorado remember Loony's Bin? Anyways, I never got back into it as much as the old versions, but it did look very cool...
    I also used to play this other BBS game, but I can't remember the name. It was a fantasy game with all these stats that you played on a Cartesian plane..the center of the kingdom was at (0,0). It used ANSI but it wasn't truly a graphical game. I remember you could rescue virgins and the game would ask you if you would be honorable. If you said no you'd gain a lot of experience but also gain a point of sin!
    Does anyone know this game I'm talking about???

  • Telemate, man! Telemate! One of the only multithreaded DOS apps I ever saw. And the only DOS comm program that let you do other thing while downloading!

    Unless, of course, you were file transferring with HS/Link, in which case you could chat with the sysop... :) (aside from the obvious benefits of uploading AND downloading at the SAME TIME!)

    Of course, eventually I wound up switching over from Procomm Plus in DOS to...Procomm Plus in Windows! Then, I could play Solitaire in Win 3.1 while I downloaded :)

    Man, those were the days!

    Indeed, they were...

  • wasn't cutting edge graphics, great gameplay, or things like that... but they were multiplayer games in the truest sense of the word... Tradewars being a perfect example, it lived as a world of its own, and the player to player interaction was far more important, so far as actual communication goes.

    I mean does anyone remember forming strategic alliances and making plans that would take weeks (even months sometimes) to come to fruition in games like Tradewars and BRE? You don't see that anymore... even the really good multiplayer games these days, the communities around them are in a much larger state of flux, a lot more people come and leave, they just don't last as long. The old BBS games often had people who were there seemingly forever, and since there wasn't as much change, you could develop such long standing relationships and grudges and the like.

    I don't think its something that will be easy to recapture these days, however there is no reason why it couldn't be, if there is enough of us who still like these kind of slower strategy games.

    I'll never forget some of the great times I had in these games, especially BRE (which was my favorite), and I doubt anyone else who was truly into it will either, modern games just aren't the same...

    (damn I feel old)
  • TW2002 should stay a text-only multi-user game over a slow link. With GHz processors and 56k+ connections, the game might actually be bearable. Would it be more fun if there was no waiting, or was that part of the experience? I don't know, but it should be left alone.

    How many games (and ideas in general) have been reinvented with disastrous results? I guess it depends on which Batman, Zorro, Pac Man, Inspector Gadget, or Chevy Nova you're talking about...

  • Yep, I remember when my brothers and I would each take a turn in our tradewars2002 game, set the date to the following day, and play another turn. Kinda pointless now that I think of it, but back then it seemed really fun. =)
  • Unfortunately, EIS won't release the source, and hasn't made any efforts to port it as far as I know.

  • A bit offtopic, but similar... does anyone know whats up with BRE? I used to love that game, but then I became a weiner and ran out of steam for it. I want it back!

    Mike Roberto ( [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • thanks for that informative response

    Mike Roberto ( [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • Actually, I was surprised about a year ago to learn that many have actually made the jump to 'cyberspace' if you will, and now use telnet instead of a direct dialup. Yay, no more murderous long distance to play the best boards. A really good board I've played in recently was []. Be careful, nearly everyone there was as old of a player as I am, and quite a bit better.

    I'd like to say that TW2002 is probably the most enjoyable game I've ever played. Close seconds would go to BRE and Legend of the Red Dragon. Of course WinBolo [] is probably the best graphical internet game, but thats different.


  • My first BBS was a 286 running RemoteAccess 1.1 on a 1200bps modem (you know it's slow when ANSI draws line by line). I had TradeWars (the one before 2002), BRE, and later LORD. Man that was fun. I think I might have to put one back up. I think I still have the key to TradeWars lying arround somewhere (I am a serious pack rat). ::sigh::
  • Damn i loved Pimpwars. I REALLY wish they would port that to *nix. That would own. TradeWars and Pimpwars were my absolute favorites. But The Pit, Interstellar Anihilation (ISA), Global Warfare, and LORD were also badass. We really need to get these games on *nix. That would be so damn cool.
  • Let me put it this way: Object Pascal *is* the standard Pascal by virtue of market power.

    Your "TP4Linux" explicitly wants to be TP compatible - it is FreePascal at

    Personally, I will use Delphi for Linux, originating from the Kylix project.
  • So, I'm not able to access much information on this right now (if there is any). So I'm just wondering if it's still going to be the text based game I played all those years ago, or if a new version of "Debbie Does Rigel" in the Trade Wars movie theater will increase the age rating of this game.
  • I remember the early trade wars games. I distinctly remember the first version I played - I changed my name to include ANSI codes so that when the score board was shown, the cursor would move up and put my "Izz be jammin" nick in the #1 spot, then move back down. Soon after that it filtered out ANSI codes. :(

    Yes the Cabal were bastards!
  • Well kids, this isn't that exciting of a piece of news. TW 2002 was essentially stolen from the original BASIC (TW200) version written by Chris Sherrick back in like '85. This was based on an earlier game, for like the TRS-80 model III or something. Cool thing about the Chris Sherrick version was that it was OPEN SOURCE. In BASIC (i think it would only compile on IBM's BASIC compiler), perhaps, but it was open source.

    Martech was nice enough to rewrite the game in Turbo Pascal, and close the source up nice and good for us. Then they were sooo nice that they charged us for the pleasure of running a server.

    To a broke teenaged BBS sysop this meant I couldn't run a TW server anyone would play. Anyways, I'm not sure the new owner's intentions, but I am hoping that his distribution policies are better than Martech's.
  • There's a web-based game that I play called starshiptraders which is similar to Trade Wars. It doesn't have the same complexities, but it does have some pretty cool ideas. It's a lot of fun and you can play with a lot of other guys online. The url is [].

    Check it out!

  • [insert ObNostalgia] I cut my eyeteeth on C64s and BBS- I even had the dubious privlidge of connecting at 50 baud on night. Imagine my joy at finding a great old Door game ported to the Palm. If you don't remember Dopewars (sometimes called Drugwars), it was a great little buy-low-sell-high commodities game. Check out [] and snag a copy.
  • Boggle. I just posted about it,...
  • TW 2002 was a GREAT game, I totally agree.

    I was wondering if anyone remembers the game Ultimate Universe? It was one of the few doors I registered as a sysop because I found it so incredibly well-done.

    The core of the game was similar to Tradewars, but it had MANY more "sectors" (or whatever they were called), plus the ability for multiple dimensions. There seemed to be limitless ways in which you could customize your ship, as well. All kinds of fantastic devices.

    Now I do a search on the web and can find nothing on this game. If anyone else was a big fan of it I'd love to hear from you. I still have my registration code somewhere. Now THAT's a game I'd like to see ported to Linux.

  • Was that game you are talking about called Ultimate Universe? I just posted some stuff on that to see if anyone else remembers it. What you said vaguely sounds like what I remember. I am sure it had multiple dimensions. Carl
  • OK I'm replying to myself. I hadn't searched the web in quite a while actually for info on Ultimate Universe and it seems from a quick scan that it is being re-released! Go here for details. [] This looks really cool.
  • Hey all! On DALNet IRC network, I have created a channel, #BBS-Files Come and chat about the good times of BBSing! I'm not always there, but it might be an interesting congregating point. I do have a few other @'s that may be there from time to time. Thnx Fuller ps, I will be having a file server online from time to time. pps. I know this isn't exactly on-topic, just on a similiar topic.
  • I dream of playing Barren Realms Elite
    If I die before I wake
    It's a trip to the forest I must take

    ok so that was waaay cheesy.. but seriously..
    with all the power of Open source.. would it be possible to make a web/telnet version of

    1. BRE
    2. LORD
    3. TRADE WARS 2002 ?

    if so.. I can guarantee my productivity will plummet, and my networth skyrocket.. man.. i remember using the school computer to dial into bbs's so I could get my turns ino before anyone else got back from school..

    If someone has the know how to make these games again.. I have the processor/space speed to host it and all the tools u need to develop it.
  • Anyone remember a cool little utility that would download some info out of tradewars and map out the Tradewars universe? It would help you discover tunnels for putting your bases in, etc.
    I can't remember the name of it though.. arg.

  • Check out the Midnight Machine [], which is running Wildcat! 5. The doors area features 2 TW2002 games, LORD, SRE, BRE, and many more.

    Best of all, people still use it, so the games are still active :)
  • Pimp Wars was the best, but Piss Wars, Leech, and Dominion were pretty good. I also remember some funny-but-not-so-good ripoffs like Dick Wars and Sex Wars.
  • And don't forget the other games -- Studs, BRE and Lord

    And LOD! Don't forget Land Of Devistation! Only door game I know of that supported inter-BBS compos and included an optional client-side GUI that could also play MOD (tracked music) files while you played! I've still got the LOD theme music in my MOD collection.

    Can you remember your Fidonet node?

    My point, or the BBS I fed off of? I was 1:177/132.4, a point off of Computer Castle BBS, the largest Fido BBS in the state of NH before we shutdown. 20 incoming phone lines, and a call-forwarding network extending accross three states!

    NYNEX kept trying to raise our rates, but we kept fighting them off. They finally decided to go ahead and do it illegally. What can you do? They're The Phone Company(TM). The system shutdown when the SysOp got a $3000 phone bill that month.

    Do you wish you could still code with PCBoard Programming Language?

    Give me RemoteAccess and a copy of Turbo Pascal V7 anyday! ;-)

    Ever miss playing with the volume slide on your USR Courier during connects?


    Miss using TheDRAW or DuhDRAW?

    Still got TheDRAW zipped up in case I need it. Though it prolly doesn't run under Linux natively, I bet DOSemu would do pretty well.

    Wish you could still dial out with QMPro?

    Telemate, man! Telemate! One of the only multithreaded DOS apps I ever saw. And the only DOS comm program that let you do other thing while downloading!

    Man, those were the days!
  • I used to sysop a WWIV bbs. We had TW2002, Food Fight, and we subscribed to All that on a 386-16 with (gasp) 8 megs of ram. I remember getting phone calls from my friends because I shut the server down at 2am to play Wing Commander. I used to get up extra early in the AM to get my TW turns in before anyone else. Today's games are neat and all, but when's the last time you got up at 5am to play q3a?
  • Yeah!!!! Which BBS? I ran Corpsman Corner BBS (Fidonet node 1:120/429 for a while) in Mt. Clemens, Mi. I was stationed at Selfridge. I ran several doors, tradwares 2002 for sure being one of them. BRE/SRE were great. Did you ever run LORD? Or Planets? Not VGA Planets, but Planets, by the makers of LORD? Man, those WERE the days! And who can forget Pimp Wars? Hahaha!

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • Wish you could still dial out with QMPro?
    Telemate, man! Telemate!

    I've always had a special place in my heart for TELIX

    Shameless BBS plug: [] +1.514.364.2937 Fido 1:167/133

  • [] (this one supports telnet and http, supports lots of players and games, and is available to play -- I wrote this one), Tradewars, The New Era [] (you can download this one and run it yourself), and "Galactic Domination", which I've logged in to but don't have permission to make public -- it's under development.
  • I played Tradwars 2, Yankee Trader, Galactic Warzone (those last two were kinda buggy and you could exploit all sorts of fun stuff :) and even wrote one, Czarwars. I ran Czarwars for about 6 years on my AutoBBS system on one phone line... :P

    I never played TW1000 or the original TW though.

    A friend of mine has a copy of the book, The People's Book of Computer Games, which included a little BASIC program, "Star Trader", that started it all. I tried to buy the book from him but, of course, he wouldn't sell.
  • Does ANYONE remember this precursor to TradeWars 2002? Everyone talks like it's the only trade wars game that's been in existence... I spent many days playing this one, going on long planet-buying sprees when they'd go on sale for 99%, and months later find one of those planets still tucked away in some corner producing away...

    Though that doesn't quite match the fun of dumping all your fighters, sneaking in under those 25,000 fighter fleets, and doing some planet-smashing of one of the big players.

    And staying up late and hitting the auto-dialer at midnight hoping to be the first one in after maintenance to invade the Cabal...

    I'd love to get a hold of this one, any version... heck, I'd even take Trade Wars 500 if that could be found.

    I don't know what it was, but TradeWars 2002 just never had the same charm...

    (We'll ignore that bug-riddled Galactic Warzone, though they tried so hard...)
  • I ran a Telegard BBS back in 94 with TradeWars 2002 on it. Man, those were the days!

    I don't get why everyone used and remembers Telegard, when it was little more than a blatant rip-off of the T.A.G. BBS software, and rather inferior at that... I remember the first time I logged on to a Telegard BBS, right after it's "initial release", and it seemed they had done little more than changed the software name...
  • Note: I was a BBSer from 1991-1995, and one of the top two BRE players in my city, as judged by tournaments and inter-league play. At one time I frequented no less than 15 boards a week, often 8 a day to play BRE, Global War (a risk clone) and Land of Devestation (I even made half a mod for that one) I was known on no less than 10 FidoNet echoes, and even was a SysOp for 6 months (and a CoSysOp on a few boards too... wasn't everyone? :)

    In this context, I say we oversentimentalize the BBS.

    Sure, we met plenty of people. Sure, we had lots of fun. But I'd suggest that more than a few of you have telnetted into a board, checked the message boards, and played a door game or two, and said, "This is what I spent hours a day doing?"

    If we really think back, I'm sure we can remember more than the silver lining on the cloud. If it was a multi-line board, chances are we were paying money to access it, perhaps more than the internet charges we pay now. And what were we paying for? The privledge to talk to maybe 4 or 5 more people at a time, or download the newest file.

    Or, you were on about 80 of the single line boards, where you would toggle 8 or 9, and redial for a half hour until you got on, hoping to make the midnight deadline for some game.

    Let's face it: times have gotten better technologically, not worse.

    I think what we're really remembering is the people we've met. I mean, we can always find people somewhere on this vast Internet, but chances are they're half way across the world, or at least the country. I miss finding people who were in the same city that I am. In a world of unbounded contact, is it the physical colocation with others that we miss?

    Of my current best friends, three of them I met online. I see two of them often enough now that I no longar talk to them online. As for the third, I'm more likely to talk with him over the phone long distance than to chat with him online.

    And perhaps this is the moral of the story. As much as we talk about these new forms of communication taking over the world, all they are, ultimately, are ways to contact people, and hopefully to stimulate face-to-face interaction.

    So go play TW2002 again. Chances are you'll play for a week and then drop it, citing that you just don't have as much time as you used to. Or find a BRE league or play Earth 2025, its successor. But it was the people, not the process.
  • Switching it to run on Linux would open up several things. It would allow the game to be easily made available over the Internet, and it would allow it to run on a solid multi-user system.

    However, the problems (this was a few years ago though) with the multi-line (AKA MBBS) version was balance. The balance that made the one-line version work failled when they lost the intracacies of ship speeds with multiple turns for movement. Also, the combat system was never updated, so it became a matter of typing speed if the user was online, or if they were offline, you could do whatever you wanted.

    I missed the old version, but the MBBS version that I had worked with was missing something. However, I look foward to seeing the new version.

  • The Internet reminds me of pre-MBBS BBSing. You could trade files with ease, and there were discussion forums where you would read others posts, but there was no real community developed.

    When MBBSes were taking over my area, S. Florida, a few ended replacing the dozens of BBSes in the area. I remember sitting in teleconference for hours talking about everything, and then we would complain about the newbies. The older users were computer geeks, the newbies were whoever's family had just bought a computer and their friend's introduced them to our board.

    My first girlfriend was met indirectly through BBSing. Although she happened to be on the board, I really met her through a mutual friend.

    While I have a couple of good friends from my high school, the majority of my close friends from my teenage years were the people I met online. GTs went from big deals every 3-4 months to an almost weekly thing as the usage base began having more users of driving age.

    It might have been unique, but Dragon World was very special to me. The system devolved into political infighting when the system went through a messy divorce and the board transferred hands a few times.

    I do remember my attempt to salvage the board... it was on the Internet for a few months while it sat in my bedroom at school. Unfortunately, the owner sold the board, but the new owner never even put it up... There is a mailling list of users... but it is so infrequently trafficed that it is sad...

  • (read: only moderate this if you know what a BBS is)

    Ah, finally an old school story ..

    The BBS scene is not totally dead. and host many 2-node telnet BBSes running PCBoard, WWIV, SearchLight, etc. And don't forget the other games -- Studs, BRE and Lord -- people are still playing them; and the more popular MajorMUD for WorldGroup/MBBS. FidoNET and other private messy nets are still alive and rolling.

    Can you remember your Fidonet node?
    Do you wish you could still code with PCBoard Programming Language?
    Ever miss playing with the volume slide on your USR Courier during connects?
    Miss using TheDRAW or DuhDRAW?
    Wish you could still dial out with QMPro?

    If any of your answers were "yes" then you might be a washed-up old school BBSer. Related links:

  • I had an astoundingly crappy Proboard BBS with TW, BRE, and the rest of the gang on it. I wonder how many actual dialup BBSes are still around anymore.. there used to be a few hundred in town here, lots of really old Citadel BBSes (one guy, after closing down his board, faced such howls of outrage from the community that he started up a pub in its place ;) ), all that stuff.

    I miss TW and its ilk. There's a half-decent one I goofed with a bit (Space Merchant), but it Just Ain't the Same. It's kinda weird how games that no game marketer nowadays would take a second look at ("It's not even 3D accellerated!") was, and I assume still is, quite popular. Same for all those BBS doors; they were simple as hell, but they *worked*. :)

    I should hope there are plenty of people out there who actually don't believe the graphics make the game. ;)


  • I still run that game..
    Telnet even.. port 2002
    ANSI BBS emulation.
    Play, we need players..
    Have fun....
  • It's funny hearing all these nostalgic former players talk about how it used to be... I've somehow managed to never leave the game!

    I invite all the old timers to check out the newest version of TW, even newer than the beloved games. Quite a few improvements... []

    telnet:// []

    Games are free to all!
  • I heard about the announcement here so I thought I'd stop by to post some info about the current TW development.

    For those of you interested in checking out the latest version of Trade Wars, you can download the beta TWGSv1.01 (Win32 TW server) at Keep in mind that this is a 4 meg distribution, and since I don't have mirror download sites it might be slow during peak hours. We had a wave of hits coming as a result of this post :( If you're not getting a few K per second, come back later.

    Here are a few answers to common questions:

    Who are you?

    EIS is just one person, John Pritchett (me). Because of my circumstances, it is impossible for me to relocate and seek employment at a computer game company. Therefore, I am trying to build my own company around my vision of online gaming. I am not a fan of "massively multiplayer" games, and am trying to promote an online game style based on the strengths of the BBS door model. My TW server project barely scratches the surface, but it'll be slow going as long as I'm the only developer on the team :(

    What's new in TW these days?

    In my current project (TWGS), I have worked hard to retain the classic gameplay while adding some new twists through the Gold features. If you played TW back in the early nineties, you'll be able to jump right into a modern game. Games today are multiplayer, can have up to 20,000 sectors, can have customized aliens, ships and planets, can be played in classic, MBBS emulation, or Gold customized modes, and can be hosted from a computer without a BBS.

    What is TWGS?

    My goal with this project is to provide a more modern parallel to the BBS. It's not supposed to provide all of the features that a BBS provided, since the web already does a better job of that. All it is meant to do is provide a cheap, accessible multiplayer online game platform where small, amateur developers can target their games. I've started with Trade Wars, and TWGS is a devoted server for that game. I intend to generalize the server in coming months, and plans are in the works to bring LORD to the server as the second game. At that point, I intend to open the market to any interested developers (royalty free).

    Anyone with a Windows-based PC can run a server, and a cable-modem connection or better can host a decent sized game. The game is built from the original code, so it isn't as optimized as a game of this type could be. But on the other hand, it's much more efficient than any other implementation of Trade Wars 2002.

    Why Delphi?

    Trade Wars was originally written by Gary Martin in Borland Pascal. When I decided to do a port, it was either a rewrite or a recompile. I wanted to keep the game as close to the classic as possible, so I simply recompiled it under Delphi, then added sockets code. I've added a considerable amount to the game, but the classic mode is nearly identical to the game you played as a BBS door.

    Can I please write a Linux port?

    I get this question quite frequently. I want to wait on the Inprise (Borland) port of Delphi first, because that would save a great deal of effort. If that fails, I will consider letting another programmer do the port. Please don't swamp me with requests at least until Borland's port is out and I've tried that approach ;)

    What is the future of Trade Wars?

    I am very interested in bringing some ideas for a more mainstream game to some of the computer game publishers. I believe the name still has a solid recognition factor, and a modernized game that retains the essence of the original could do very well.

    Finally, I'd like to comment about the history of Trade Wars. Clearly, Gary Martin was not the first person to develop a game of this kind. The first, as mentioned in other posts, was outlined in a book on BASIC, and is nearly as old as the modern computer. Early BBS versions were developed by Sherrick and Morris CONCURRENT to Gary's efforts. Mr. Martin explains that there was a friendly race between these two early versions, until Sherrick started to make negative comments about Martin's version. He was able to put a stop to the claims made by Sherrick simply because they were not true.

    There is little dispute that Gary's final version, Trade Wars 2002, was the most popular, and it continues to have a solid following. It is my hope to continue the Trade Wars tradition, both with the classic running under TWGS, and a future, mainstream version of the game.

    Thanks for your interest in TW2002. To keep up with the developments, go to [] and follow the forum or add yourself to the mailing list. And I'm always available for comments at [mailto].

    John Pritchett [mailto]
    Epic Interactive Strategy []

  • Didn't these games pre-date Delphi? i.e. weren't they written in Turbo Pascal or something?

    In which case, a port to Linux can begin right away - there's already a TP-compatible pascal compiler on Linux...

  • by marcux ( 170964 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @09:20PM (#1154545)
    if you want to play tradewars telnet to (telnet:// or point your web browser to ( or just log intot he site... ( Support for 100 online users -marcux
  • by QuMa ( 19440 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @11:57AM (#1154546)
    in case anyone wants to go nostalgic and play again, IIRC the ufies bbs ( still runs tradewars.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"