Tim Hartnell

Programmer, Deceased Person

1951 – 1991


Who was Tim Hartnell?

Tim Hartnell was an Australian journalist, self-taught programmer and extremely prolific, bestselling author of books and magazines on computer games. His company, Interface Publications, produced titles for all of the machines in the home computer market, including Sinclair machines. Hartnell wrote several compendiums of computer games, which typically had several categories of games, with several games in each category. Each category had tips for writing enjoyable games in that genre. Each game had a description of the program and an explanation of its implementation, sometimes with ideas for modifications; this was followed by the raw code, which the reader had to enter into the computer. Some long games, such as Bannochburn Legacy, had more than 500 lines of code.

To illustrate the style of these compendiums, here is the Table of Contents from Hartnell's Giant Book of Computer Games:

BOARD GAMES - Chess, Gomoku, Awari, Knightsbridge, Shogun and others

ADVENTURE GAMES - Stronghold of the Dwarven Lords, The Duke of Dragonfear, The Bannochburn Legacy

SIMULATIONS - including Mistress of Xenophobia

DICE GAMES - Chemin de Computer, No Sweat, Under'n'Over and three more

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on July 23, 2013


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