Computer Space is a space combat arcade game developed in 1971. It was the first arcade video game as well as the first commercially available video game. It features a rocket controlled by the player engaged in a missile battle with a pair of hardware-controlled flying saucers set against a starfield background. The game is enclosed in a custom fiberglass cabinet, which Bushnell designed to look futuristic.
About Computer Space in brief
Computer Space is a space combat arcade game developed in 1971. It was the first arcade video game as well as the first commercially available video game. It features a rocket controlled by the player engaged in a missile battle with a pair of hardware-controlled flying saucers set against a starfield background. The goal is to score more hits than the enemy spaceships within a set time period, which awards a free round of gameplay. The game is enclosed in a custom fiberglass cabinet, which Bushnell designed to look futuristic. It spawned one clone game, Star Trek, and Nutting produced a two-player version of Computer Space in 1973 without involvement from Bushnell and Dabney. The pair left Nutting in June 1972 and incorporated Syzygy as Atari, launching the successful Pong as their next arcade game. Computer Space’s release marked the end of the early history of video games and the start of the commercial video game industry. It is a derivative of the 1962 computer game Spacewar!, possibly the first video game to spread to multiple computer installations. In Computer Space, the player controls a rocket as it attempts to shoot a couple of flying saucer ships while avoiding their fire. The player’s rocket remains in motion even when the player is not accelerating and does not change the direction of its motion, though it does not rotate at a constant rate. It has the players engage in a dogfight between two spaceships while maneuvering on aTwo-dimensional plane in the gravity well of a star, set against the backdrop of aStarfield.
The players have to stay in a zig-zag pattern around the screen in tandem with one another to stay on top of the starfield, with one rocket launching at a time, and there is a time period between launches between launches and a cooldown. In 1971, the game was not released until 1971, and saw the high price of the computer on which it ran, which would be the first time a video game based on SpacewAr! was released until Pong was released in 1972. The original game was extremely popular in the small programming community in the 1960s and was widely recreated on other minicomputer and mainframe computers of the time, later migrating to early microcomputer systems. Although it was widespread for the era, it was still very limited in its direct reach: the PDP-1 was priced at US$120,000 and only 53 were ever sold, most without a monitor, which prohibited it from reaching beyond a narrow, academic audience. The game was copied to several of theEarly computer installations in American academic institutions after its initial release, making it probably the first game to be available outside a single research institute. It was first shown to industry press and distributors at the annual Music Operators of America Expo in October 1971. With encouraging initial interest, though mixed responses from distributors, Nutting ordered an initial production run of 1,500 units, anticipating a hit game.