TradeWars 2001

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Trade Wars 2001
A title screen from TradeWars 2001

Developer(s) Gary Martin

TradeWars 2001, also known as Trade Wars 2001 or TW2001, is a space trading and empire-building strategy game developed by Gary Martin of Martech Software for play as a door game for WWIV bulletin board systems.

History

Chris Sherrick wrote the original Trade Wars in BASIC in 1984, followed by Trade Wars 2 in 1985. In 1986, the sysop of Apokolips BBS, "Lord Darkseid", ported TW2 to Pascal so that it could be run as a chain program under WWIV. Because the game was distributed as source code, a succession of sysops continued making changes to the game, such as adding flourishes that reflected a Star Trek theme, and developing a map editor that allowed for larger maps and randomly generating new maps.

One WWIV sysop, Gary Martin, embarked on a project to stabilize the WWIV TradeWars port, which he said was prone to crashes. Martin released his first version, called "TradeWars 2001", in Dec. 1986 as shareware. Though TW2001 was popular among WWIV sysops and users, Martin says only 14 sysops paid to register it during the years he supported it.

In 1988, WWIV was rewritten, changing from Turbo Pascal to C. This change meant that most old "chain" programs, including TradeWars 2001, would also need to be rewritten to remain compatible.

Around March 1989, Martin began rewriting TradeWars 2001. He decided to broaden his focus from stabilizing a port of an existing game, to transforming it into a completely new game by adding features and his own ideas. That new game became TradeWars 2002.

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