How a 35 year-old game can help you improve as a developer

Matt Rudge
Dec 14, 2019 · 4 min read

About 30 years ago, back in early 1990, I read an old Scientific American article from 1984 by A.K. Dewdney. In it, he laid out the specifications for a game he called Core War. The basic premise was that two players would each write a “battle program” (known as a “warrior”) in a kind of pseudo-assembly language that he called Redcode. Each program would be loaded to a random location in a memory array (or core) with the express intention of finding and eliminating the other. Tournaments would run for a set number of instruction cycles or until one program…