Carriers of War (1984), was the first of SSG’s game systems. Roger Keating created a development system to enable designer Ian Trout to craft the historical battle scenarios. Trout was not a programmer and did not possess a deep knowledge of computing. Keating designed a system whose interface allowed Trout to input his precise military knowledge as data into the system. This data sat separately from the routines that Keating created to run the game modules. This design made it easy to reconfigure the game for other scenarios, allowing users to build their own scenarios without the need for programming skills. “Carriers of War ” came packaged with six distinct scenarios to play and instructions on how to design your own. More than just a game, with “Carriers of War” , players were purchasing a customisable game system.

“Carriers at War 1941-1945: Fleet Carrier Operations in the Pacific” is a war simulation (wargame). In the game, you take on the role of the task force commander in the Pacific theatre, during World War II. In the six simulated conflicts, you can play as both the U.S. and the Japanese Empire. Included scenarios are Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz and Philippine Sea.

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Carriers at War” won the 1984 Charles Roberts Award for Best Adventure Game for the Home Computer.

Roger Keating, on expressing his concerns regarding designing the combat between the planes and ships for “Carriers”  to Ian Trout, explains how Ian “just sat down … and on an A4 piece of paper wrote almost pseudo code of how to actually create a combat environment for planes and ships and just gave it to me. And he was, in the final analysis, about 90% correct.”

Interview: Roger Keating 10 August 2013

Carriers at War
SSG later released “Carriers at War” for the IBM and Macintosh. These versions feature significant changes from the original Apple II/C-64 version. Although SSG did not elect to change the name, they can be considered a different game. The articles and notes on strategy, graphics, and game mechanics for the latter versions have virtually no applicability to the original version.

SSG later released an editor entitled the “Construction Kit” for these versions allowing players access to the code to build their own scenarios that was very popular.

Platform/s: PC

Carriers at War

Platform/s: Macintosh

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