A tractor
Windows PC / DirectX 8, 2000 - 2002

A tractor was the definitive tractor-related online social gaming experience at the start of the 21st century.

Beginning with a cheap landscape renderer, a particle system, a model from a work colleague and (eventually) a reasonably robust client-server networking setup, much time was spent sitting in a tractor having a smoke on top of a hill.

Later the game expanded with bits of economic stuff (players could build a house, produce and trade items etc), a range of landscaping and map editing tools (everything was largely server configurable) and a bunch of variously silly weapons that occasionally provided the people pottering about in tractors some genuine fun. And if it didnt we'd launch their house into space.

In its heyday, lots of other people worked on the game too - in particular, Guy Poizat wrote loads of really good code and taught me a lot about web systems - and we formed a small but tight little community of players, mods and world builders. Then we launched their houses into space.

A tractor wouldn't have happened at all if I hadn't been able to quit work for a while and occupy the spare room in Steve's house, while he went off to his job and paid all the bills. Which was all rather nice of him I think.

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