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|Developer(s)||Stan Shebs, Greg Fisher, Robert Forsman, Alain Brossard, Michael Peters, etc.|
|Release date(s)||1987 (Version 1.0)|
|Genre(s)||4X, Turn-based strategy|
Xconq is an open source computer strategy game and game engine. First posted to comp.sources.games in 1987, it is notable as one of the first multi-player games to be released for the X Window System. It was for several years the only turn-based graphical war game available on Unix/X systems.
Originally a straightforward clone of Empire, later versions included the ability to define rulesets for different kinds of games, first using a Forth-like syntax, then a more powerful version based on Lisp syntax. It was also ported to other computer systems, including Macintosh, Amiga, and Windows.
Xconq is designed to be portable and re-definable. The default rule set is similar to Empire, but the rule set, graphics and maps can be altered to represent different time periods and strategic scales.
It can be played by multiple human or AI-controlled players over a network or via hot seat play.
Stan Shebs started working on a simple Empire clone in 1986, initially using Curses for its interface, then adding an X10 interface. He posted this version to comp.sources.games in July 1987. It used a map based on squares rather than hexes, and supported multiple players by exploiting X's capability for a single program to open windows on multiple displays, although it accepted input from only the player whose turn it was; other players could not even scroll their map display. Even this first version included support for three rulesets (the "standard" Empire-like game, a Napoleonic-era game, and ancient Greeks), but they were defined by C structures and had to be compiled in.
Shebs switched the game to use hex-based maps, added a postfix language to define the ruleset to be used when a game started, and changed the X interface to allow all players to interact simultaneously; these versions were numbered 2, 3, and 4, but were not released widely. After the addition of an X11 interface written by Chris Peterson, version 5.0 was posted to comp.sources.games (as "xconq5") in June 1988.
1989 saw the first attempt at a client/server version, uconq.
The Macintosh port was developed in 1993.
Although work had started on version 7.5, there has been little development since 2004, with the last CVS commit made in 2007 
- Rosen, Kenneth H.; Douglas A. Host; Rachel Klee; Richard R. Rosinski (2007). UNIX: The Complete Reference. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 780. ISBN 978-0-07-226336-7.
- Re: Family tree of xconq, by Stan Shebs, on the xconq7 mailing list, Mon, 02 Oct 2006 09:38:57 -0700
- "xconq - multiplayer strategy game for X-windows, Part02/07". Newsgroup: comp.sources.games. Usenet: 1384@tekred.TEK.COM. v01i082: xconq - multiplayer strategy game for X-windows[sic], Part02/07, in comp.sources.games]