Silas S. Warner (August 18, 1949 – February 26, 2004) was a game programmer, author and musician. As a programmer, he was the first employee of Muse Software. Among other games, he created Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein.
Warner was a major contributor to the early PLATO system in not just the area of gaming but also as an educational content developer. RobotWar and its editor program RobotWrite originated on the PLATO system in the 1970s. This game allowed players to program their own robots in a simple language and then pit them against each other in an arena. Due to the nature of the PLATO system as an interactive educational tool, and the availability of RobotWar at many PLATO sites, this game became an item listed in the on-line computer science curriculum of many universities and colleges. Other PLATO games authored principally by Warner include Conquest, Orbit War and Airace (precursor to Airfight hence subLOGIC's Flight Simulator). He was also a contributor to Empire.
Warner also created one of the first digital sound systems for the Apple II called "the Voice" which enabled one to record voice and play it back through the Apple II's severely limited sound system. The technology was used to create the voices in Castle Wolfenstein. He also adapted RobotWar for the Apple II. This version of the game was so popular Byte magazine used to run competitions for best robot.
After Muse, Warner went to work for MicroProse at their Hunt Valley, Maryland studio where he worked on Silent Service and Red Storm Rising (from MobyGames and MPS CEO, JWStealey). He left about 1990 and subsequently worked at Virgin Games in Southern California.
Silas Warner was a talented musician and composer in the classical European style. Amongst his notable works are Fugue for DRH and Variations on Sonata in A by Mozart (the second of which can be downloaded for personal use).
Warner died in February 2004 after a long battle with kidney disease. His ashes were scattered at a private ranch in Magalia, California.
Warner was educated at Deep Springs College and Indiana University. He was a talented programmer, but lacked some social skills. He was a very large man, 6'9" and over 700 lbs when he worked for MicroProse Software. He later went on a diet and got down to less than 500 lbs.
- Spasim (1974) The First First-Person-Shooter 3D Multiplayer Networked Game
- PLATO Empire 1 - History of Development of the first Networked Multiplayer Game from Daleske.com
- Noteworthy Composer Scriptorium with download of one of Warner's compositions
- Two Silas Warner pieces in MP3 format
- Warner's profile from MobyGames
- Anecdotes from an ex-coworker
- Variations on Sonata in A by Mozart by Silas Warner at the NWC Scriptorium
- Old Timers: Muse Software, Silas Warner's KansasFest 1992 presentation