M.B. Murdock & Associates was another of the early third-party developers of The Major BBS. The company was headed up by Mike Murdock, and was based in Pinellas Park, Florida. Murdock developed one of the definitive must-have games for the system -- Galactic Empire. The game was a combination of the popular multi-user space shooter Galactic Raiders and the PolEcon games like Galactiwars (Logicom) and War of Worlds (Moonshae).

In 1996, as sales of Worldgroup software were starting to taper off, Mike closed the company's doors and began writing Internet related software. In 2002, Mike released the game Galactic Empire for Major BBS 6.25, Worldgroup 1, and Worldgroup 2 as sourceware under the GPL license.

Modules for The Major BBS by M. B. Murdock & Associates 1988-1996

Galactic Raiders

Galactic Raiders is an action game in the tradition of the Galactic Empire module. It has many of the features of the larger Galactic Empire game, including, real-time user versus user space warfare, ships which navigate in real time, and the dreaded Cybertron robot ships.

Galactic Raiders differs from Galactic Empire in that it has none of the economic simulation, or planets to explore or conquer. Additionally it has new types of ships and several new weapons systems, including jammers, and mines.
And just when you thought it was safe to explore the universe, you meet the even more deadly Cyberquad.

From Mike's site: Galactic Raiders was inspired by a game [author Mike Murdock] played while at college on a mainframe Univac-1100 system. This system had old TTY-33 teletype terminals (pre crt) and obviously a text only interface. The game consumed many hours [he] should have better spent studying and had quite a following in the underground hacker world.

Original Price (1989): $295.00
Galactic Raiders was sold for Major BBS v5.x. It was discontinued after that.

Galactic Empire

Galactic Empire was M. B. Murdock and Associates' premier module for The Major BBS. It provides all the action of a user versus user space battle game and the challenge of an economic adventure. Players explore and settle the far reaches of the universe and set up empires of their own. This provides a game that has plenty of interest when a few players are on the system and during off hours, increasing system utilization and a dynamic user vs. user realtime space battle game.

Since the game has no "fixed solution" you can reset the databases and start a new campaign as often as you like. This gives those players who came into the game late a chance to start over and win the next game. You determine what prizes the winners of each campaign receive. This increases the attraction of the module and its worth to your system.

Galactic Empire was one of the very most important modules for The Major BBS.

Some History From Mike's Site:

Galactic Empire was inspired by the desire to make the simulation in Galactic Raiders much more real. I wanted to have more than a simple field of battle, I wanted to incorporate a strategy simulation part also. I also wanted the game to keep its "real-time" appeal. That meant that the code needed to do quite a few things behind the scenes in order to present the "illusion" that things where happening in real-time.

GE first came out with a limited square universe, 20x20 or 50x50 etc. This universe was pre-generated using a utility provided to the Sysop and each sector consumed a record in the database. When a sysop would run the game over an extended period of time the newer players never had a chance, all the sectors where populated, owned, and well defended.

In order to make the simulation more real I needed a universe that could be huge, or at least 32767x32767 sectors. Given that each sector took about a K byte of data in the database this meant that the database would be larger than the hard drives of the time... and most of that data was empty. To solve this dilema I developed the concept of a virtual "unlimited" universe using the old philosophy question... "If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there...does it make a sound?". In other words... If you fly though a sector and never look (scan it)..is the sector really there? The answer -- Nope!

In 1992 GE 3.0 was released which contained a teraforming universe... The game whould create data for a sector on the fly as players scanned a sector. This meant that the game could now have over 4 Billion sectors to explore and brought up some interesting problems and possibilities. How do you get to all those other distant sectors without having to sit at your terminal for 200+hours straight... enter wormholes.

Yes, Einstein did me a big favor in providing the ideal solution to my game. Randomly create wormholes to link distant parts of the universe together.

I later decided I wanted a visual depiction of the entire universe so I created a graphical mapping utility which sysop's could run on a daily basis to generate a TIF map file for there users to download. The images generated by this utility was facinating to view. You could see the wormholes, and how the colonized sectors had expanded out from them. It even let you run it in an interactive mode and zoom in and out.

Plot: It is 3250 in the standard year, 975 years since man has developed inter-planetary space navigation, and 412 years since neutron flux warp technology was perfected by the ship builders of Zygor. They currently lead the industry with the state of the art ships and weapons systems.

These are good times where a commander with a good ship and some business sense can make himself very very rich. Many of the planets in the known universe are ideal for basing industries to supply the demands of the interstellar fleet. These are also times when the less scrupulous commanders can overrun a distant settlement and claim the planet for his own. It is not a good idea to leave a distant settlement unprotected and the Galactic Command (an ad hoc legal body) recommends that commanders check up on their colonists regularly.

Once you have secured your ship, it is yours to command and keep maintained. The Zygorians will outfit you with enough supplies to get you started but you will surely run out if you encounter any rouge ships. The Galactic Command recommends you find and settle some planets immediately to secure a supply source for your ship. Or you can purchase supplies from other commanders with whom you have established trade agreements.

The object of the game is to build and maintain as large an empire as you can sustain, using any means you find appropriate. You can do this by yourself or with a team of other players. Your System Operator will inform you of the prizes and awards for becoming the top player(s) in the game.

Good luck and beware the dreaded Cybertrons at all cost.

Original Price (1989): $395.00
Galactic Empire was maintained through 1996. It disappeared briefly, but the v6.25-WG2.0 version has been released as freeware with source.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is an innovative module for Galacticomm Major BBS that provides a maze puzzle for your users to solve. Mazes can range from very simple to very complex and can be changed, improved, or updated as you wish. The maze data is stored in a simple text file that you can edit anytime or create new ones from scratch. This permits a maze with 100 rooms to be created in as little as a couple hours.

Mazes can also have text associated with each room, which permits you to create any setting or story line you desire. You may run a haunted house maze one month, and a science fiction one next month. There are separate message displayed to the user when he enters the room and another when he looks around permitting you to create "action".

Original Price (1989): $195.00
The Labyrinth was priced at $75.00 shortly after release; it was not to my knowledge ported to v6.

The Legend of Elyth-Gor

The Legend of Elyth-Gor is a cross between the classic text adventure and an action packed user versus user battle game. The players are challenged to solve the mystery of the legend and collect for themselves treasures and rewards while avoiding the many devious pitfalls and some of the other less scrupulous players.

Elyth Gor was created with the Adventure Writers Toolkit and provides an environment where most anything is possible. Players can arm themselves with a variety of weapons and go hunting for other players or simply defend themselves and their winnings. All the time working to solve the riddles which make this game interesting and a challenge.

Elyth Gor is an exciting addition to your system and will keep your users spell bound for many many hours. This is a module you simply have to see to appreciate.

Original Price (1991): $395.00
The Legend of Elyth Gor was produced for Version 5.2+ and was available until 1996.

The Adventure Writer's Toolkit

Have you ever wanted to write an adventure for the Major BBS but simply couldn't bring yourself to face all the complicated code and state engines required to even begin? Do you have a novel idea for a game that you are sure you could sell if only you could get it programmed? Have you tried to read the intricate code involved in even a simple adventure game? Have you ever said "if only someone else could write the tedious and time consuming part?" The Adventure Writers Toolkit is exactly what you need.

The Adventure Writers Toolkit provides all the base code to interface to the Major BBS and create a shell adventure module which you can customize to suit your need. You simple define the maps, the weapons, the special items, and the players attributes. Add the story line, the special and exotic room code, and your adventure game is born. The Toolkit takes care of managing the databases, the players, the multitasking, and the background events. It handles over 200 action commands, and the interaction between the players. It handles the item management, the hints and tips, the timed events, and most every other base function.

The Adventure Writers Toolkit is over 100k of source code that you won't have to re-invent. We spent the many months developing it so you could concentrate on your ideas and not worry about the complexities of The Major BBS.

With The Adventure Writers Toolkit and a little of your creativity the adventure you've been dreaming of can be yours.

Original Price (1991): $595.00
The Adventure Writers Toolkit was produced for Version 5.2+ and was available until 1996. It is not known what games, other than Elyth Gor, were produced with it.

The Announcer

The announcer is a low cost module which permits you to easily announce new features and functions coming to your system. By simply changing the text file you can add a main menu function to announce such things as new games coming to your system, upcoming social events, special prizes or price changes, or any other important bulletin you like. It can even serve as a community calendar of events on your system.

Original Price (1989): $30.00
The Announcer was written for v5.x, but became somewhat obsolete when Galacticomm included the Menu system with version 6.

Dynamic Freebies

This feature permits you to automatically adjust the number of non-paying users that can gain access to your system. The best way to describe this low cost feature is by way of example:

If your system had 8 lines you would only have 7 available for non-paying users and 1 line reserved for a paying user only. When a paying user logged on, the number of lines reserved for non-paying users is reduced to 6 and another port is reserved for a paying user. This continues until there are 7 paying users on the system and no non-paying users can log in; the last port is available only to a paying user.

Original Price (1989): $20.00
Dynamic Freebies was written for Major BBS v5.x. I'm not sure when it was cancelled.

Global Magic

This module is easily added to your Major BBS system and provides you with these nice functions you have seen in other products globally. When the users presses #, $, or *, they are displayed users on the system, credits remaining, and time used, FROM ANYWHERE IN THE SYSTEM!!!

Original Price (1989): $30.00
Global Magic was written for v5.x, and was one of the very first globals packages sold for The Major BBS.

M. B. Murdock SysOp Catalogs

Summer 1989 Catalog [ .PDF 4.3Mb ]

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