Empire Classic

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There have been a number of computer games named Empire; please see Empire (disambiguation) for links to information on the games not relevant to this article.
Developer(s) Peter Langston, Ben Norton
Designer(s) Peter Langston, Ben Norton
Platform(s) PDP 11/45 (1971), HP2000 (1973), HP3000 (1984), DOS, Commodore Amiga, Windows, Linux (2003)
Release date(s) 1971, 1973, 1984, 2003
Genre(s) 4X, wargame

Empire is a 4X wargame created in 1971 by Peter Langston, taking its name from the Reed College board game of the same name.[1] In 1973, Empire resurfaced under the name Civilization on an HP2000 minicomputer at Evergreen State College.[2] The game was written in interpreted BASIC and utilized extensions to the operating system. When the host computer was retired, the source code to Civilization was lost. Subsequently, two other authors each independently wrote a new version of the game, both named Empire.

The game is turn-based, with players giving orders at their convenience, and in some versions then executed simultaneously by the game server at set intervals ranging from a few hours to once per day. The game world consists of "sectors", which may be designated as agricultural, industrial, etc. There are dozens of unit types requiring a variety of raw and manufactured materials for their creation. "Blitz" games may last a few hours, typical games a few months, and some larger games up to a year.

Peter S. Langston version[edit]

Peter Langston's 1971 version was developed while he was on staff at Harvard University using Bell Labs UNIX and the C programming language on a PDP 11/45.

Derivatives of this program include:

Ben Norton version[edit]

This version of Empire was written in 1984 in Pascal on an HP3000 and released to the HP3000 Contributed Library. It is also known as Empire Classic, or alternatively as HP Classic Empire and HP Empire Classic.

In 2003, the game was ported to the C++ programming language for the Linux operating system, and a subsequent Java client/server version was produced.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Langston on Empire vs Empire, Peter Langston, 2011-1-15
  2. ^ http://empireclassic.com/
  3. ^ Gray, Chris (2005-04-24). "Compilers and Programming Languages". www.GraySage.COM. 
  4. ^ http://empire.floogle.net/

External links[edit]