Little Computer People

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Little Computer People
Start screen from Little Computer People
Game No. 205
Developer David Crane
Company Activision
Publisher Activision, Mastertronic, System 3
Musician Russell Lieblich
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/L/Lieblich_Russell/Little_Computer_People.sid
Release 1985
Platform Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, C64, Schneider CPC, ZX Spectrum
Genre Miscellaneous, Weird!, Simulation
Gamemode Single player
Operation C64-icon.png
Media Icon disk525.png Tape-icon.png
Language Language:english
Information


Voting[edit]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
8.43 points at 44 votes (rank 40).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 6 May 2008 - "Highlight" 9281 downs
Lemon64 8,3 4 January 2011 - 122 votes
Kultboy.com 8,33 19 July 2009 - 19 votes
ASM 10/10 Issue 3/86
ZZap64 82% Issue 98/05


Description[edit]

This program is actually not a game. According to the description of the publisher Activision the program delivers the code which is necessary to represent a fully furnished house on a computer. This "House on a Disk" is based on the theory that every computer has an "occupant" (i.e. Little Computer People - LCP), which can be made visible by providing accommodation. Every computer should have a different LCP, who is usually accompanied by a dog as a pet.

It is in fact of course merely a simulation of the above. At the start of the life of each LCP his name and appearance will be randomly picked and saved to "UR-floppy" (Note from H.T.W.: In the first series each disk contained a different character, see Miscellaneous / Game History). Each time you restart the game, a session count is incremented. The game doesn't have to be running permanently to simulate time. However, you are responsible for the survival of the LCP. You need to provide food and drinks, give him gifts like new records (CDs didn't exist back then :)) and books, or caress him from time to time. Moreover, your LCP likes to use the phone very much. If you ask him to write you a letter, he'll type on his typewriter about his feelings and what he misses. His facial expression also tells you about his mood. When his mouth hangs, he is sad and you should play with him. It's easy to do that by typing "play with me", after which you can play cards. You can choose from Poker and Hearts. To keep him happy, you should also let him win sometimes. In order to improve his mood you can also try to give him presents or stroke his head until he looks happy again. Sometimes he likes it when you bring lots of food and drinks into the house. Caution is advised when the LCP's face is green. He doesn't have enough food then.

You can also communicate with your LCP, by just asking him what you want him to do. "Please play with me", or "Please play piano," or "Please write a letter to me", or "Please talk to me," make him do things. He also can dance if you ask him.

Design[edit]

The house is shown on a single screen in 2D. Many details are clearly visible. The LCP and his dog are cute animated sprites.

In addition to the very realistic sound effects, a variety of musical pieces are integrated - HVSC contains 17 different pieces. Some of the pieces already were published in the game Master of the Lamps, but there were added some seasonal songs too. At Christmas you'll hear "Jingle Bells" for example. In the program, the music is used when the LCP is playing the piano or when he puts on a record - on which he sometimes dances or he does some aerobics.

... an animation from the game

Hints[edit]

Operation[edit]

The keyboard commands don't work at the beginning of a new game in the first 5 - 10 minutes. In this phase the "new" LCP walks through and examines his house. The following commands are entered at C64 in combination with the CTRL key. In the VICE emulator the CTRL key is the TAB key.

CTRL  F  (Food) Food will be delivered at the door.
CTRL  W  (Water) The watertank will be filled up a little.
CTRL  A  (Alarm) Rings the alarm clock.
CTRL  D  (Dogfood) Dog food will be delivered at the door. LCP does the rest.
CTRL  C  (Call) The telephone rings. LCP loves to make telephone calls.
CTRL  P  (Patting) All Little Computer People love this.
CTRL  R  (Record) Give LCP a record.
CTRL  B  (Book) Give LCP a book.

Emotions[edit]

:-)              LCP is happy
                 You take good care of your LCP
:-|              LCP is balanced
                 He is in a good mood, but it could be better
:-(              LCP is sad
                 He needs more attention and some interaction
:-( [Green]      LCP is sick
                 This happens when LCP didn't eat for some time

Communication[edit]

Using the keyboard, you can try to communicate with your LCP. Whether he responds depends on his particular "mood". It's essential to use the word "Please" in the conversations. Often successful attempts are for example:

* Please type a letter to me.
* Please build a fire.
* Please play piano.
* Please play another song.
* Please dance.
Please write me a letter...
Dear friend...


Change the name of the researcher:

To change the name of the observing scientist (you), you can enter "logon please" after which the LCP runs the "Name Changer" program on his computer. After entering "1" on the keyboard, the program starts. Just follow the on-screen instructions from then.

Article from Harry Hoggett: The following link points to an article by Harry Hoggett, which includes comprehensive instructions for the game "Little Computer People". The article is published in Go64! - Issue 8/2003. Little Computer People/LCP-Artikel

(Copyright © 2003 by Harry Hoggett, webmaster@longplayer.de , Homepage: www.longplayer.de)

LCP-Tools[edit]

You can download the following tools from C64Games.de:

1. LCP Evictor: Deletes the research data and creates an empty house.
2. LCP Creator: Creates a new LCP on the LCP disk.
3. LCP Hotel: Save the current data to another disk.

Solution[edit]

  • Some of the terms that LCP understands. Whether the LCP follows instructions depends on recent research, the mood of the LCP as well as his character.
    add, allergy, anagrams, apathetic, appear, awful, bedroom, boogie, bored, bowl, brush, burn, cabinet, can, card, chilly, chair, clean, closet, cold, commodore, computer, confide, cooler, dance, dish, divide, do, dog, dresser, drink, dust, enjoy, excuse, feed, fever, filing (cabinet), fill, fire, floss, fluid, fluids, freezer, fridge, fugue, get, game, glass, hangman, hanky, hate, hear, hello, hey, home, homework, house, hygiene, if, ignite, imbibe, in, inside, is, ivories, jazz, keep, kitchen, letter, light, like, liquid, listen, log, logon, look, looks, make, math, matter, messy, moon, multiply, mutt, music, nightstand, note, on, open, ored, ought, pardon, perform, pet, piano, pick, platter, play, please, poker, pollen, pooch, problem, program, put, quit, record, refrigerator, relax, seem, seems, serenade, should, show, sloppy, sonata, song, spin, start, stereo, subtract, teeth, tell, tickle, tidy, tired, troubles, try, tune, turntable, tv, type, untidy, upstairs, utilities, use, water, war, what, whats

Cheats[edit]

Critics[edit]

Sledgie: "After I found out how to run the game on the VICE-emulator, it gets better every day. I like the animations and the game idea was unique at that

TheKills: "Actually my undisputed favourite. It's impressive to see what they were able to program. It's the predecessor of Sims and co. 10 out of 10 for that!"

Triton: "Way ahead of it's time: developer David Crane proved his genius in 1985 with this daring game. One of the few social-interactive games, which even today are hard to find. You just have to enclose the sympathetic little man and his funny feeble-minded dog into your heart. 10 out of 10."

if/TRSi: "One of the most lovingly built games which I ran for days on a computer in the living room - and when I had visitors, they always came into contact with this very first Tamagotchi... I still have the original game with the research map"

Quapil: "Sigh... the good old days. LCP was my first original game, my parents gave it to me for Christmas, together with my C64. At first I was a little bit skeptical due to the lack of action, but soon I liked having the little guy and his dog really much. All those times we've played cards :) One of the most original games ever and a great way to spend your time. 10 out of 10 points for my Roscoe."

Miscellaneous[edit]

Game History - David Crane, Programmer:[edit]

"The idea for Little Computer People was bought from a developer outside the company. I was interested in the potential of the product, and recommended the purchase. The original name was "pet person" which was based on the name "Pet Rock" (a craze from the 60s; to purchase a stone as a pet including training manual).

The first plan was to design the program as a kind of aquarium, without user input. After I rewrote almost half of the program code and integrated additional interactivity, the product was finished.

An interesting thing about the program, and what most of the buyers didn't notice, is that it has been duplicated within the company. Since we had control over each disc, we gave every copy of the game its own unique serial number. This number was then used to generate the personality, appearance and behavior of the Little Computer person on this disc. Based on the serial number, the following was determined: name, shirt color, personality characteristics, etc. These were determined independently, probably a lot of serial numbers generated a computer person named "Tom", but the chance that two of these also had the same color of shirt was almost zero. Each disc was effectively unique."

The Y2K Problem[edit]

The program is not "2000" compatible. The session dates are always associated with the 20th Century, which means that the LCP lives in 1906 for example. The Little Computer People are a victim of the "Y2K bug". Based on the theory that it is merely a programmed house, it can be assumed that a computer error does not affect the LCP.
Or they didn't think that the game would still be played in the 21st Century ;)


The "House on a Disk" Version[edit]

Title

This version has another login screen and the following applies:

  • The disk version has a higher serial number (Seed number for the behaviour and appearance of the LCP on Track 18, Sector 17 "95962498NVTCA")
  • The Copyright from Activision is dated 1985/1986.
  • The file "AB" was reprogrammed. This file from the original version with blue/black login screen also contains copy protection on FatTrack 35/36.
  • The USR-File "ED" starts on Track 18, Sector 17 exactly, where also the "Seed" for the LCP is located (this seed was generated automatically in the first series of the original by the sequential production number of the company's internal floppy copy machine)

Cover[edit]

Cover of Little Computer People


[edit]


Original advertisement...



Highscore[edit]

Highscore not available

Links[edit]

WP-W11.png Computer People Wikipedia: Little Computer People


Videos