Little Computer People
|Little Computer People|
|Genre(s)||Life simulation game|
Little Computer People, also called House-on-a-Disk, is a life simulation game released in 1985 by Activision for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and Apple II. An Amiga version was released in 1987. A Family Computer Disk System version, published in Japan by DOG (a subsidiary of Square) was also released.
The game has no winning conditions, and only one setting: a sideways view of the inside of a three-story house. After a short time, an animated character (always male, except on the Disk System version) will move in and occupy the house. He then goes about a daily routine, doing everyday things like cooking, watching television or reading the newspaper. Players are able to interact with this person in various ways, including entering simple commands for the character to perform, playing a game of poker with him and offering presents. On occasion, the character initiates contact on his own, inviting the player to a game or writing a letter explaining his feelings and needs.
Each copy of the game generates its own unique character, so no two copies play exactly the same. The documentation that accompanied the game fully kept up the pretense of the "little people" being real, and living inside one's computer (the software merely "bringing them out"), with the player as their caretaker.
Two versions of the game existed for the Commodore 64: the disk version, which played as described above, and the cassette version, which omitted several features (and was considered a poor relation). On tape versions, the Little Computer Person was generated from scratch every time the game was started up (not only on the first boot, as with other versions), and thus did not go through the "moving in" sequence seen on other versions. Also, on cassette versions the Computer Person had no memory, and did not communicate meaningfully with the user; and the card games, such as Poker, could not be played.
Little Computer People was well received, earning a Zzap! Gold Medal Award. Compute! favorably reviewed the Atari ST version in 1987, stating that it had "enormous and subtle educational appeal" to children and others. The magazine concluded that Little Computer People "is a delightful program".
Apple Town Story
|Apple Town Story|
|Developer(s)||Square Co. & Activision|
|Distribution||3" disk card|
Apple Town Story (アップルタウン物語) is a port of Little Computer People to the Family Computer Disk System. The port was released by Square of Final Fantasy fame in 1987 and consists of watching an animated little girl wander around her house and play with her cat. The game offers little interactivity, and there is little plot or actual gameplay. The game is seen as a precursor to Tamagotchi and Princess Maker.
According to "High Score!", add-ons were planned, such as diskettes filled with new furniture and an "LCP Apartment" in an apartment building, with the LCPs all interacting. These add-ons, also described in terms of a sequel expanding on the LCP concept, never materialized.
- "Zzap! Test: The Activision Little Computer People Discovery Kit". Zzap!64 (Newsfield) (7): 8–10. November 1985. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- Randall, Neil (1987-03). "Little Computer People". Compute!. p. 70. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Uematsu's Music". Square-Enix-USA.com. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "Apple Town Story". AtariHQ.com. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Kidd, Graham (August 1996). "Get A-Life". Computer Shopper.
- "Will Wright : A chat about the "The Sims" and "SimCity"". CNN. Retrieved 2006-09-03.
- Little Computer People guide at StrategyWiki
- Apple Town Monogatari guide at StrategyWiki
- Little Computer People at MobyGames
- Little Computer People Information Preservation Article filed under Pac-Man's Notes at Pac-Attack.com
- Little Computer People Research Project (extensive information on C64 version) at The-Commodore-Zone
- Legends of the C64 article on David Crane (includes Little Computer People info)
- Technical information on how the random characters were generated at Software Preservation Society
- Little Computer People at World of Spectrum