Maze War is the Ur-Example of the First-Person Shooter, written by Steve Colley and Howard Palmer on Imlac PDS-1 minicomputers at NASA's Ames Research Center in 1973. It is a Faux First-Person 3D, network-based Player Versus Player, realtime FPS. Each player controls a Faceless Eye, wandering around the maze shooting the other players or computer-controlled robots. They also have an overhead view of the maze, showing their location, but not the other players. Players and robots alike could Take Cover! and peek around corners without getting shot. Players scored points for kills. If they were shot, they were deducted some points and transported to a random location in the maze.Responsible for a lot of wasted time at Ames, where engineers were supposed to be designing the Space Shuttle. Ames alumnus Greg Thompson took it to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, where the robots and a maze editor were added. Later ported to the Xerox Alto workstation, Apple Macintosh, NeXT, and Palm Pilot.
Maze War provides examples of:
- Faceless Eye: The player avatars.
- Faux First-Person 3D: The Ur-Example.
- First-Person Shooter: The Ur-Example.
- Instant 180-Degree Turn: Players can turn either 90 or 180 degrees at a time.
- Kill Screen: Caused many headaches at Ames and MIT, where gamers would leave crashed computers behind for the folks working on Serious Business to deal with.
- Level Editor: Added at MIT. May be the Ur-Example.
- No Plot? No Problem!
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Everybody.
- Player Versus Player: Originally just this. The robots added a Player vs. environment element.
- Roaming Enemy: The robots.
- Scoring Points
- Take Cover!: Probably the Ur-Example.
- Vector Game