Eastern Front (1941)

Eastern FrontEast FrontEastern Front 1941Eastern Front'' (video game)
Eastern Front (1941) is a computer wargame for the Atari 8-bit family created by Chris Crawford and published through the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981.wikipedia
72 Related Articles

Chris Crawford (game designer)

Chris Crawfordpeople game
Eastern Front (1941) is a computer wargame for the Atari 8-bit family created by Chris Crawford and published through the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981.
He designed and programmed several important computer games in the 1980s, including Eastern Front (1941) and Balance of Power. Among developers he became known for his passionate advocacy of game design as an art form, founding both The Journal of Computer Game Design and the Computer Game Developers Conference (now called the Game Developers Conference).

Atari Program Exchange

Eastern Front (1941) is a computer wargame for the Atari 8-bit family created by Chris Crawford and published through the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981.
Two of the biggest APX hits were Eastern Front (1941) and Caverns of Mars.

Wargame (video games)

wargamecomputer wargamewargames
Eastern Front (1941) is a computer wargame for the Atari 8-bit family created by Chris Crawford and published through the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981.
Eastern Front (1941) - (Atari Program Exchange, 1981) - Called "the first war game that competed with pencil-and-paper games" and one of the best selling programs on the Atari 8-bit family. Introduced scrolling maps, pondering AI, morale, supply considerations and many other advanced features that were common in later games. Chris Crawford's first major success.

Chris Crawford on Game Design

According to Crawford in Chris Crawford on Game Design, the system starts with a basic "plan" and then applies any available cycles to trying variations on that plan, selecting higher-valued outcomes.
It includes Crawford's response to recent game developments, such as The Sims, and dedicates a chapter to each of his first 14 published games: Tanktics, Legionnaire, Wizard, Energy Czar, Scram, Eastern Front (1941), Gossip, Excalibur, Balance of Power, Patton Versus Rommel, Siboot, The Global Dilemma: Guns & Butter, Balance of the Planet and Patton Strikes Back.

Legionnaire (video game)

LegionnaireLegionaire
Crawford used many of the ideas pioneered in Eastern Front in Legionnaire for Avalon Hill in 1982.
Similar to the earlier groundbreaking Eastern Front (1941) in terms of display and general gameplay, Legionnaire added a real-time computer opponent, and is one of the earliest examples of a real-time tactics (RTT) game.

Balance of Power (video game)

Balance of PowerBalance of Power'' (video game)Balance of Power: 1990 Edition
In 1987 Crawford stated that it was one of the three games he was proud of, with Legionnaire and Balance of Power.
Crawford was already fairly well known for earlier games, especially Eastern Front (1941).

De Re Atari

By June 1982 it was APX's best seller; APX's manager later said that Eastern Front and De Re Atari "paid the bills, i.e. were our biggest sellers".
Crawford, the lead author of the book, used many of these features in the seminal wargame Eastern Front (1941) released the previous year.

Atari 8-bit family

Atari 8-bitAtari 800Atari 8-bit computers
Eastern Front (1941) is a computer wargame for the Atari 8-bit family created by Chris Crawford and published through the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1981.

Eastern Front (World War II)

Eastern FrontGreat Patriotic WarWorld War II
Recreating the Eastern Front during World War II, Eastern Front covers the historical area of operations during the 1941–1942 period.

Corps

army corpsarmyadministrative corps
The player commands German units at the corps level as they invade the Soviet Union in 1941 and fight the computer-controlled Russians.

Operation Barbarossa

German invasion of the Soviet Unioninvasion of the Soviet UnionGerman invasion
The player commands German units at the corps level as they invade the Soviet Union in 1941 and fight the computer-controlled Russians.

Creative Computing (magazine)

Creative ComputingCreative Computing SoftwareCreative Computing Video & Arcade Games
It was widely lauded in the press, won Creative Computings Game of the Year award in 1981, and was licensed by Atari for distribution on game cartridge.

Joystick

control stickjoysticksarcade stick
Using 18 colors, the screen shows only 1⁄9 of the entire map at one time, smooth-scrolling around it when the joystick-controlled cursor reaches the edges of the screen.

Saint Petersburg

LeningradSt. PetersburgPetrograd
The map covers the area from just north of Leningrad at the top to Sevastopol at the bottom, and from Warsaw on the left to just east of Stalingrad on the right.

Sevastopol

SebastopolCity of SevastopolSevastopol City
The map covers the area from just north of Leningrad at the top to Sevastopol at the bottom, and from Warsaw on the left to just east of Stalingrad on the right.

Warsaw

WarszawaWarsaw, Polandcapital of Poland
The map covers the area from just north of Leningrad at the top to Sevastopol at the bottom, and from Warsaw on the left to just east of Stalingrad on the right.

Volgograd

StalingradTsaritsynVolgograd City
The map covers the area from just north of Leningrad at the top to Sevastopol at the bottom, and from Warsaw on the left to just east of Stalingrad on the right.

Zone of control

zones of control
The game engine includes a number of features that increases the depth of the simulation compared to contemporary wargames, such as zones of control, which allows front lines to be constructed without requiring contiguous lines of units.

Permanent brain

pondering
In an example of pondering, the computer AI calculates its moves during the period between vertical blank interrupts (VBI).

Artificial intelligence

AIartificially intelligentA.I.
In an example of pondering, the computer AI calculates its moves during the period between vertical blank interrupts (VBI).

Vertical blank interrupt

vertical
In an example of pondering, the computer AI calculates its moves during the period between vertical blank interrupts (VBI).

Undocumented feature

undocumentedfeatureintentionally did not fix a bug
Although the AI is not strong—believing that the computer needed help against a human, Crawford intentionally did not fix a bug that benefits the Russian side —the computer has greater numbers, much more territory, and winter weather.

Blitzkrieg

schwerpunktblitzarmored forces concentrated and used in a fast-moving offensive
The manual advises using blitzkrieg; use the mobile armored units to break through and encircle Russian units, and infantry units to eliminate enemy pockets.

Learning curve

difficulty curvelearning curvessteep learning curve
According to Crawford, Eastern Front is an example of a game with a sharp jump in the learning curve; "apparently there is just one trick in the game, mastery of which guarantees mastery of the game".

Tanktics: Computer Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front

Tanktics
After writing Tanktics, which simulated German and Soviet tank battles during World War II, Crawford wrote the first version of what he called Ourrah Pobieda (Russian for "Horray, Victory!") in May and June 1979 on a Commodore PET using Commodore BASIC.