Omega

This is a game written aeons ago by Stuart B. Marks, and published by Origin Systems (of Ultima fame) about a decade ago. In my eyes, it's a classic, and needs to be "kept alive" in some way. I don't really have the time necessary to keep a decent page updated and on the net, but this should be good enough for now.

The story goes: You are an employee of The Organization of Strategic Intelligence, OSI, who has contracted you to design cybernetic tanks for military applications. This involves choosing the actual hardware of the tanks (armour, tracks, weapons, etc) and - the interesting bit - programming the controlling software for it's operation. There is a BASIC-like language that is used for this, built into the game.

After you've coded your tank you get to test it, against one of the pre-written tanks, and if you beat that you can progress to the next level, giving you more money to spend on hardware and tougher opponents in the test. Of course, you can also try your luck against hand-coded tanks written by yourself or others, on a variety of maps, and that's where the action really kicks off.

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I've got most of the files that are known to exist to do with Omega here. If you can find any more then please let me know. I'm aware that there's a version of it for the Apple II in an archive somewhere in Finland, but I can't be bothered to look up the link (just ask if you really need it). You'll find the MS-DOS and Amiga versions of Omega here, still under copyright by Origin Systems. Yes, this is highly dubious. Yes, Origin are planning to resell the game on a "Classic Compilation" sort of thing. Yes, I'm facing 10-20 of hard labour at Her Majesties Pleasure. Whatever. If the compilation comes with a manual, either printed (very doubtful!) or digital, then you'd be much better off getting that. It's very difficult to play the game without the manual, and I don't have a copy of that to distribute. Yet.

Naturally, if I get a formal complaint/warning/visit from InterPol then I'll remove the offending software. For now, however, fill your boots.

[Full Omega archive] All files on this page (except for the Amiga version - get that separately). (288KB)

[MS-DOS Omega] The MS-DOS version of the game. (212KB)

[Amiga Omega :-)] The Amiga version of the game, in .ADF format. (241KB)

[Tank Disassembler] A tool to disassemble a tank from it's binary form. ie., to get it back to source code. Find out just "how the hell it does that"! (11KB)

[Collection of tanks] This is a complete collection of tanks from the Origin-run Omega BBS, downloaded soon before it's demise. (226KB)

[Collection of maps] A small collection of maps to test your tanks on. (8KB)

[Manual in Word format] A very incomplete version of the manual in Word format. (28KB)

[Manual in HTML format] Another incomplete version of the manual, this time in HTML. (15KB)

[Reference manual] The reference card from the game. Tells you how to play the game, although it says nothing about actually programming the tanks. (45KB)

[Command list] A list of the programming keywords and processor cycles. (6KB)

[Scan of the game box] A colour scan of the Omega box, in all it's glory! (56KB)

[CHECK THIS OUT!] Almost 400 tanks, some maps, loads of tools, and an incomplete simulator. Oh, loads of other stuff too. No proper links yet, so just grab it all!

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I hope that someone finds any of this interesting. I'm always happy to receive emails from people interested in this, or game AI in general, or whatever. I'll try to reply as quickly as I can, but Real Life is taking up huge amounts of my time these days.

(Oh, and don't bother keeping on looking at this page for updates. If they occur once a quarter then it's a miracle! If I revamp it a bit then I may announce it in comp.ai.games, but since I've got copyrighted material here I may just keep it quiet.)

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Another site of interest (assuming that this was one) is:

[OSI Southeastern Division]

This is Forest L. Burns' Omega page. As well as things that I've nicked from him, he's got some hand-coded tanks. His site also looks like it's had some thought put into it, unlike mine. Seriously, I only know about three HTML commands. If you have any problems with it then please let me know. Anyway, this is a great Omega link. He chooses not to distribute the program itself, so that's why my page exists.

Also, you could have a butcher's at:

[Lincoln Yeoh's Page]

Small and to the point. Again, it has some of his own tanks on it.

And those are the only two links I know that are still running. If you find any others, or even create one yourself, then drop me a line and I'll link to it.

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Good luck with the game. You'll need it. ;-)

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