Star Trader was one of the the original computer games of interstellar trading. Star Trader presents a map of the galaxy in which the players move about and make money from trading and establishing trading routes. The players seeked to gain control of a limited of resources, usually fuel, ore, food, and technology, and travel through sectors of the galaxy trading them for money or undervalued resources. Detailed and involving, this could keep you occupied for hours.
|Atari BASIC Version - Instructions Part 1||Atari BASIC Version - Instructions Part 2|
Star Trader was written by Dave Kaufman in the BASIC programming language.1 It was published by the People's Computer Company in Volume 2, Number 3 of it's newsletter in January 1974.2
|Atari BASIC Version - Instructions Part 3|
A few years later, the game also appeared in What to Do After You Hit Return subtitled PCC's first book of computer games8. It contained a reprint of the BASIC code listing for Star Traders. This game outlined the general details of a sector-based game with ports and a player moving between sectors trading three basic products (Fuel, Organics, Equipment) to earn credits. This book can still be found at rare book stores, web sites and on-line auctions.
|Cover of What To Do After You Hit Return9|
In the early 1970's, Bob Albrecht and Dennis Allison founded the People's Computer Company5, a California not-for-profit corporation that promoted the personal use of computers. PCC published journals (PCC Newspaper, People's Computers, iRecreational Computing, Dr. Dobb's Journal, The Computer Music Journal) and books What To Do After You Hit Return, ran a store-front computer center, and did outreach programs into the community.
From the time when computer games where played on dot-matrix printers, here are the HP Standard BASIC versions of the Star Trader Setup Module and the Star Trader Main Module. This version supports dot-martix printers and punch tapes.
Here is the beginning of a port from HP Standard BASIC to Microsoft GW BASIC. Code needs to be cleaned up to fix the smaller real estate size of a computer screen compared to the dot-matrix pritner.