By now Xconq has accumulated some history, and confusions have arisen about it.
I started Xconq in the summer of 1986, partly motivated by the lack
of sources to the simple two-player Empire that came with VAX/VMS, and
partly to experiment with fractal terrain generation. I got this
version working under curses, then added a simple graphical interface
using X10 on HP workstations. Since X allowed a single program to open
windows on several displays, I made it multiplayer that way. This
version appeared in
comp.sources.games in July 1987. It used
squares rather than hexes, allowed only one-at-a-time play, and had only
three games (
of which was a set of compiled-in structure definitions. Even in this
simple form, Xconq met with an enthusiastic response from the
then-tiny number of people who used X.
After much hacking to use hexes, to add a postfix language for defining games, and to allow simultaneous play (each of these changes were to be versions 2, 3, and 4, but none were released to more than a few people), I released 5.0 in July 1988. This version also had an X11 interface written by Chris Peterson at MIT. 5.1 was a bugfix release in August of the same year.
August 1988 was also when I graduated from Utah and went to work as a research scientist at Apple, and Xconq work languished. I did spend some time on a true client/server version of Xconq, and got it to work after a fashion, but it was very slow, buggy, and complex, so I abandoned it. About this time a version 5.3 appeared on the net (author unknown), then Greg Fisher at Rutgers took it up and did more work, releasing as 5.4 around May 1991.
At about the same time as 5.4, I had started my own major development, which was originally just to port to the Mac, and to make the design language Lisp-like rather than Forth-like. When it became clear that this was going to be a big project, and that accumulated smaller changes and fixes ought to be released first, I put out 5.5 in May 1992, mostly by incorporating bits from others, notably Robert Forsman.
While I was off in a corner hacking, others released their own versions; Alain Brossard released a 6.0 with some interesting features, if not major changes (thus my new version had to be 7.0 instead of 6.0), there were minor releases 5.5.1 and 5.5.1a, and a 5.6 by Mike Peters in April 1995 that included a Motif interface.
Version 7.0, with both Mac and X11 versions, appeared in August 1995, with a 7.0.1 shortly afterwards. 7.1 came out in April 1996. In between these, there were a number of development snapshots with numbers like 7.0.91; these were not real releases, but intended for developers. Some of these are still wandering the Net though.
Version 7.2 came out in April 1998, with followon point releases 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 in May and June, respectively.
Versions 7.3.0 through 7.3.3 came out in June 2000.
Version 7.4.0 came out in December 2000.