Space Ship of Death

Space Ship of Death was originally written by Sean D. Wagle on the Commodore, under the name “Murder Motel”, and was ported to the PC by David Barker. It is a door game for online bulletin board systems (BBS); my version is for the Warp Six BBS software on the Apple II. In SSOD, players move through a text-based arena comprised of hundreds of rooms and several floors, acquiring items and assembling them into weapons and defenses to use against other players. Only one player may play at a time (sensible for a single phoneline BBS); the first person to reach a set number of kills wins. Interchangeable modules allow the sysop to choose whether players will roam a space ship, hotel, summer camp, or a custom scenario.

SSOD is a freeware Applesoft BASIC program and requires Warp Six BBS v2.0 or later.


  • v1.0
    • Initial release a year after programming started, six months after beta testing. (apparently it wasn’t enough!)
  • v1.01
    • If a user hangs up in the middle of a game, his stats are now saved. No more becoming invisible!
    • Fixed a bug which was preventing the game from being reset when the game was won.
    • Stun Traps are only activated when the player enters from the main menu; they are not tripped if the player enters directly from the ship’s squeals menu.
    • Cleaned up some Pick a Target source. Once the player chooses this option, there’s no way out of it short of disconnecting; a target *must* be chosen.
    • If player A attacked player B and player B defended and fought back, it didn’t matter if player A had the right defense; the attack would pass through it. Fixed. (this was already corrected in most releases of v1.0)
    • If only three players were alive – A hunting B, B hunting C, C hunting A – and A killed B, A wouldn’t be able to choose C as a new target without first quitting then relaunching the game. Fixed.
    • Little problem in NIGHTLY dealing with a change in the month. Fixed. (the NIGHTLY program is obsolete beginning with v1.1)
    • HOSTILE HOTEL scenario released (via patch files).
  • v1.1
    • If a player quits in a room which already has five players in it, he will be moved to a random room which will accommodate him.
    • News is now listed day by day, as opposed to v1.0’s continuous scroll. This new method is quicker & cleaner to handle, outputs better, and eliminates the need for a daily routine to be run. On any day when a scenario is not launched, no news will be written; however, if someone plays but nothing happens, there will still be a news file, but it will list no activity.
    • Found a bug which prevented a player from squealing on himself after being revived. Fixed.
    • A bug which prevented a player from retaliating with Pistol #6 and any bullets was fixed. (never seen it happen, but the code didn’t look right :)
    • Found a bug stopping the first defense in each group of six from working. Fixed.
    • Found a GOTO statement leading to the wrong line, which could’ve caused potential problems if the 20-user limit was filled. Since I’ve never had that many people play, it wasn’t caught sooner. Fixed.
    • Fixed a bug which would nullify a player’s actions for the day if he played without actually entering the ship. This could result in infinite credits.
    • Fixed a typo which added a north exit to room #68 of Hostile Hotel.
    • Monty Python’s Holy Grail script quotes removed from program.
    • If the player makes a mistake in squeals (not enough credits, invalid room/player number, etc) it now goes back to the squeals menu, not the main menu.
    • If the idle timeout was activated, it would fatally crash the board. This has been fixed by setting the timer to 255 minutes while in SSOD, and restoring it to whatever it was before upon quit.
    • Several scenarios can be run at once.
    • Stopped hardcoding scenario & items names into the program, moving them to SCENARIO.DAT.
    • Added customization and gave more control to the sysop via PREFS.D.
    • Added the bank, and redid the PLAYERS format to hold new variables.
    • Added the “Who’s Hunting You?” feature to the Squeals.
    • Each scenario now has its own name for the “Ship’s Computer.” It began to seem unrealistic that a summer camp, medieval dungeon, etc. all have computers! Consequently, I had to change the command to access the squeals; throughout it is now [A]ccess, instead of [C]omputer from the game and [S]hip from the main menu.
    • Players can now be [R]eminded of possible weapon combinations while hunting.
    • Movement can now be done via the keypad. (idea by Paul “Racky” Andrews)
    • The text map is readable from the program, at the sysop’s discretion.
    • When a stun trap (or similar) device is set off, the name of the person who positioned it is given. Makes for good rivalry.
    • Rooms can now have “invisible” exits, in that they do not appear on the list of available exits but are there and can be used, nonetheless. (there can even be rooms with no apparent exits) Hostile Hotel’s exit from room #19 to #20 is now invisible.
    • A whole lot of general renumbering to make areas easier to read/locate/follow, and a few simple changes in some areas to run more efficiently. (why reinforce a rotting wood bridge, when it can be torn down & rebuilt with steel? :)
    • Rewrote the score-sorting routine (executed everytime a player quits) to be twice as efficient when reading & sorting; also uses less memory.
    • Added the sysop reset command, eliminating need for separate ITEMS.SETUP and PLAYERS.SETUP programs.
    • Cleaned up the Hostile Hotel docs by removing references to “the Ship,” and gave it its own background story. Also fixed both versions of docs to the best of my ability to reflect the new sysop preferences and new features (Bank, Remind, etc).
    • CAMP WANNA-KILL-YA scenario, by Scott Smith and David Hartenstein, released.

Also available on the Internet Archive.


  • txt ssod.bsc
    File size: 90 KB Downloads: 389
  • ssod.bxy
    ShrinkIt NuFX
    File size: 66 KB Downloads: 469
  • ssod.2mg
    2MG disk image
    File size: 800 KB Downloads: 184
  • ssod.dmg
    DMG disk image
    File size: 800 KB Downloads: 186
  • ssod.dsk
    DSK disk image
    File size: 140 KB Downloads: 185
  • ssod.po
    PO disk image
    File size: 140 KB Downloads: 182
  • txt ssod.txt
    Main program file source code in Applesoft BASIC
    File size: 33 KB Downloads: 171