Empire is more than 30 years old. No particular date has been established as the "birthday" of Empire, but it is commonly held that it originated about the early 1970's. Some of the original history of Empire is still shrouded in the mists of time. Through the efforts of the Wolfpack team, much of it has been recovered. We are always looking for information about the past. If you know something we don't, or have any information that might be of use to us in this endeavour, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Some files of interest:
Empire Timeline of Significant Events
Detailed Historical Timeline
- 1971-1973: Probable beginning of Empire. Peter S. Langston, Ben Norton and several others write the original "PSL Empire" at Evergreen State College. (source - look for "HP Empire", local copy). Peter never released source code to this version.
- Known to have existed in 1978, when a version of the PSL Empire server existed for the 11/70 machine. (source - look for "Old Empire", local copy)
- Ken Dowers (University of Oklahoma) ported the code to run on a Vax 11/780 under VMS. Weather existed in this version. (source, local copy)
- 1983: Tom Tedrick, who has made massive contributions to Empire, begins playing Empire, after being introduced to it by Dave Muir Sharnoff. (source, local copy)
- 1985: Jim Reuter (and his PDP/11 decompiler) provided Dave Pare with a large
quantity of amazingly readable decompiled code. This became the original UCSD (University of California at San Diego) Empire.
- 1986: Dave Pare takes over administration of the code, and releases BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution) Empire v1.1., adds planes and many other features to the code.
- 1987: Walter Bright, author of an early version of Empire, posts a threatening message to rec.games.empire insisting that the name "Empire" not be used. (source, local copy). Walter had sold his rights to the game to Interstel, which is no longer in business. A record exists at the U.S. Copyright Office under document number TX-2-225-307 and under TXu-291-724. The latter document shows this version of Empire to have existed as of 1978. This version developed completely independent of the version of Empire discussed here.
- 198?: Jeff Bailey introduces the "Kent State University" (KSU) distribution of the Empire Server. Anti-satellite weapons, and anti-ballistic missiles are introduced. 'bmap', one of the most useful commands ever, is added to the server.
- January 31, 1991: Original version of the Empire Hall of Fame is released (source, local copy). Some sources, including Doug Pitters (author of the Empire Hall of Fame) claim it was first released September 12th, 1992. Our source indicates a far earlier date. Doug first asked for nominations for the hall on October 25th, 1990 (source, local copy, entire thread on rec.games.empire).
- June 22, 1991: First known Empire FAQ is published to rec.games.empire.
- 1991?: Merc Empire server is introduced and is used for a portion of a series of "Mercenary Empire" games.
- BBN Empire, a short lived version, exists as an descendent of the KSU code, "Merc" code, and the BSD code.
- 1992-1993: Thomas Ruschak adds land units and missions and releases the "Chainsaw" server, based on the BBN code.
- January 11, 1994: Empire materials appear on the world wide web for the first time. (source, local copy)
- May 9, 1994: First edition of the Empire News is published to rec.games.empire.
- 1995: Ken Stevens rewrites much of the server code and introduces the Empire2 server engine.
- August 21, 1996: The founding of the Wolfpack Empire project is officially announced. Empire 4.0 is introduced. (source, local copy). The first few years of the Wolfpack project concentrate on clearing up a huge number of bugs and other code deficiencies.
- April 20, 1998: WinACE v1.0.0 is released (first ever release) (source, local copy). This GUI client becomes the dominant GUI client for Empire.
- 2000: Steve McClure steps down as head of the Wolfpack Empire project. Steve intends to more actively pursue racing cars in his spare time. Jim Simons of Escher fame takes over as Wolfpack head.
- 2000: Sometime in the latter half of this year, Hans Petter Jansson embarks on a project to build a new Empire game based on old Amiga based Empire code. There are references to this work, but it has apparently stalled. The game is titled "Evil Empire".
- March 29, 2001: Mark Ballinger sets up support for the Empire server engine development on sourceforge.net.
- August 15, 2002: Jim Simons (a.k.a. 1/2 of Escher) steps down as head of the Wolfpack Empire project. Geoff Cashman (a.k.a. Mithrilien) takes over as Wolfpack head.