In the early nineties I decided to learn about unix, and this was the first game I played after setting my first BSD box up. This is when I fell in love with unix.
Thanks for the game, to the original programmer(s) to all the people who have kept it alive. This program is special to me.
If the Klingons beat you, you'd get this disheartening message, which I remember to this day: "The Enterprise has been destroyed. The Federation will be conquered. You are dead."
I also remember playing a car racing game on the same machine, and also a game about landing a spaceship on the moon (which, a few years later, I created a real-time version of on a 6800 microprocessor in machine language). But the Star Trek game was definitely the best one.
Between that and reams of green bar to use at home for "artwork" I found my fascination with computers. Didn't hurt we had first generation IBM PCs and before then my father had about everything heath kit put out.
I would skip school and hang out in the Terminal Room at the local college, playing games and writing programs. I never did finish High School, but I learned what I wanted to do when I grew up. Man I loved that machine.
The author mentions the lack of ability to renumber the lines in a BASIC program, but I'm quite sure there was a RENUM command that would do that.
In 1976 we got ADS (CRT) terminals in the computer lab, and once I figured out ESC-sequences, I had a shoot-em-up space ship game going. God I wish I still had the source code for that. :(
Star Trek was great because you could really lose yourself in it for a while. It was the start of my horrible game addiction!
When I was 16, in 1981, our school got it's first computer, a Commodore Pet. 4K of RAM! Basic! Hi-tech graphics on the keys!
We only had one, it was in the library, and you had to 1) sign up for it, and 2) get a pass to leave study hall to come to the library.
My math teacher was an easy touch, so I scored a pass every day to go to the library. Unfortunately, other students also wanted to use the computer, and there was quite a bit of hijinks involved with actually making it happen (Hint: never sign up in pencil).
I learned how to code going through the Star Trek game and figuring out how it worked.
As a side note, my nemesis at the time was Roland. So I spent the formative years of my programming life creating a game called "Kill Roland" in Pet Basic. It was mostly Space Invaders, with a little bit of Star Trek thrown in. Little Rolands ("R"s) would come down from the top of the screen, you would use the arrow keys to move your guy around at the bottom, and the space bar launched missiles. There were smart missiles, that you could control after firing, heat seekers, and so on. Of course, the Rolands just kept coming, more and more of them (at times splitting in 2)
All the other kids at the library loved that game. Roland, not so much.
Fun times. I'd love to play Star Trek in BASIC again. (Zork would be a close second)
I like this kind of thing and I have both books. A family friend CP/M system was by first gaming experience and I played all of them. The Star Trek here exists in a sort of copyright limbo, CBS obviously didn't license it but it was too popular to squash. I remember seeing ports of this to Amiga, Palm Pilot and Windows CE over the years.
Colossal Cave is a contemporary - it wasn't distributed as source (to my recollection... compiled OBASIC.COM IIRC?) so it isn't in the books but it was my favourite.
As far as colloidal caves, you should check out The "get lamp" documentary.
And I know the guy who wrote it, in fact I still work with him. Tom Nelson, who can craft code like a work of art.
If you like playing these games, I definitely suggest giving Begin a try.
(Why 'Begin'? Because in the progenitor to this game, in BASIC, on an HP2000 there was a maximum code size. Large programs had to be written in pieces and 'chained' together in modules. The modules were numbered but the first was called 'Begin'.)
Pity I lost track of the disk.
User inputted seeds were in a lot of classic text based, randomly generated games - by sharing the seed with friends, you could play through exactly the same game and see who did it better. Multiplayer!