Our next entry is for a very bizarre and ambitious title that was due for release back in the late 1980s by Activision. Written by Jennifer Diane Reitz and Stephen P. Lepisto.
The game was to be released for C64 (and eventually Amiga), and was to be a procedural exploration game that essentially offered an infinite number of worlds, universes etc – which a player could explore, trade, fight, mine and go on adventures.
Players started on the hub-world of Krawlni, where the Kralni was a super-advanced multicultural civilization that had apparently mastered multi-versal travel. You could enter various buildings, and there were two planes of movement – one for landscapes and one for interiors.
Aliens and buildings were generated according to rules that were defined, and communications would happen using a scrolling strip at the bottom of the screen. There would be different languages from the aliens that would be translated into readable English. Your main character would have talents available, such as levitation, healing or spells within the game.
The game stated it would have countless universes, and everything would be generated by indexing a 10K block of random numbers, which told the game where to paste and print every image. There were 8 very different universe types overall, with every universe also having its own unique periodic table of elements.
It’s reported that the game was signed up by Activision, but when Activision collapsed (around 1989/90?) – the game was lost in the mess, but Jennifer got the rights back to the game. Activision would surface about a year later. It isn’t clear just how far the game had got and how far away it was from completion. More details can be found on Jennifer’s web page at: http://jenniverse.com/MultiverseGame.html
A huge amount of effort has clearly gone into the game and the graphics – so we are of course very curious about trying to see something of this game saved.
Unfortunately, the disk found with a demo of the development no longer runs – though we are seeing about having a go to preserve it. We’re not sure if any disks with source code or assets have survived, which could be used to re-build the demos. We have asked at least to see if we could obtain scans of the documentation that explains how the game works overall.
Hope to learn more soon about this title!
Contributions: jenniverse.com, Davide Barbieri, Nick Dibble