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Made in the USSR (alternative history)

In December 1991, the Soviet Union disappeared. Over 70 years of existence, the Soviet system (as a combination of culture, economics, politics, civil behavior) acquired a number of unique features that sharply distinguished it from the societies of Western Europe, Asia, and the countries of the Western Hemisphere. These features of the USSR penetrated all spheres of life of the Soviet people ...
But, let's say, Perestroika would not have ended in a geopolitical catastrophe. The first serious Soviet crisis would have been successfully overcome and the countries of the West, as well as after the Second World War, would have had to look for ways of peaceful coexistence with the USSR. What would be then? How would the life of the Soviet people? We will try to show it on the example of development ...
... the Soviet computer and video game industry. So ended the year 2006. The N-th regional weekly “Igrobayt” (published since 2000 with the assistance of the Komsomol Regional Committee of the N-th Region) summarizes its results ...

Communism = Socialism + Global Network
The origins of the Soviet gaming industry are multiple. Already in the mid-80s of the 20th century, the youth magazines “Young Technician” and “Technique of Youth” began to publish schematic diagrams of home computers of the “BK” and “Mikrosh” series. In the same place listings of BASIC programs for these platforms began to appear. The “senior comrades” of the aforementioned publications - the journals “Science and Life” and “Chemistry and Life” on a regular basis (in the form of a regular column) began to talk about programming and new information technologies.
Somewhat later, at the end of the 80s, the mass production of the Vektor-06ts consumer computer was set up in the USSR, which in many ways outperformed similar Western designs of those days.
Another stone in the foundation of the Soviet gaming industry can be considered to be the release in the late 80s of the 20th century of pocket games of the “Electronics” series (“Secrets of the Ocean”, “Well, wait!”, “Merry Cook” ...), the idea of ​​which was received Soviet Union from Japan.
The turning point for the Soviet gaming industry can be considered the year of 1991, when the successful development of the ideas of Perestroika allowed the Soviet leadership to conclude with the Western countries a new agreement on mutual non-interference in the internal affairs of the state, supported by an extensive trade agreement. The repeal of the Jackson-Vennik amendment and other legislation that restricted the exchange of technology played an extremely important role in the life of the Soviet people. In the course of the next 2-3 years, the Varyag computer with the 80286 processor (later - Varyag-M with the 80386/7 processor) created by a license from IBM company becomes the predominant working and home computer platform in the USSR.
However, the former developments of the Soviet engineers do not disappear: on the basis of the same “Vector” in 1993, the first in the USSR game television set-top box “Vityaz” with games once recorded on cartridges was made.

Worthy answer
The first Soviet games, like the Western games, did not carry any raid of "industrialism" - these were independent creative steps of certain people who were into programming. Ideas for their games were taken from everywhere: from literature, from some life situations, they were peeped from Western fellow programmers.
Gradually, the park of home computers in the families of Soviet people was growing and they were no longer satisfied with the possibility of accidentally receiving one or another game from someone you know. In addition, the individual development of games led to the fact that the range of games was small, and the quality - compared to the best Western models - low. The increasing daily demand for computer and video games was initially meant to “ride” the so-called “tsehoviki” - the owners of underground “firms” consisting of 3-10 people involved in the creation of games on a commercial basis. However, the joint actions of the police and the Department of Social Security (the Organization for Combating the Plundering of Socialist Property) did not give economic bandits the opportunity to strengthen their “production facilities” to the extent that they could have prevented the first state-owned game studios from the core research institutes.
In 1995, the All-Union registration of such game studios was held, after which they were merged into the All-Union Electronic Entertainment and Games Office (ERI), which was coordinated at the level of the State Planning Board by IgroGIZ (Game State Publishing House). In 1997, Yury Miroshnikov, a young and promising engineer from Kiev, was appointed chairman of the USSR IgroGIZ, with which the rapid flowering of the entire Soviet gaming industry is associated.

To each - according to work!
Unlike the western gaming industry, the Soviet gaming industry has never been focused on extracting profits from the production of computer and video games. This, however, does not mean that games published in the USSR are not protected from copying and illegal distribution. Actually, the entire structure of home PC support is shaped in such a way that a fair in all respects system of low-cost games and stable earnings of IgroRII practically does not fail.
As you know, the spread in the West of the commercial Internet community has led Soviet society to somehow develop this area of ​​information and public life. In the shortest possible time, two data exchange systems were developed throughout the USSR: the “SovietNetwork”, intended for state organizations (the Internet is its counterpart in the West) and the “Romashka” network (which is somewhat similar to developed in the US amateur network FIDO). Considering that all modern homes at the planning stage are provided with the Romashka network, and the cost of operating network resources costs the citizens of the USSR 15 kopecks per month for one access point, constant network access is the norm for home PC users.
Constant access allows the public to control the legality of using software and games installed on a citizen’s computer. This, of course, is about projects purchased and pumped out of the network itself.
Games on disks on the territory of the USSR are protected by the Cobra copy protection system (developed by the Power of Stars studio of the Moscow Research Institute of Programming) and the law “On Mandatory Registration with the Authorities of the Interior of Apparatus and Mechanisms for Copying Digital Computer Information”.
Quality mark
As befits the Soviet state structure, the socialist principle of patriotic and moral education of the Soviet youth lies at the heart of the work of IgroGIZ. Since other state and public institutions are guided by the same principle, we can safely say that the genre requests of Soviet youth in the field of computer and video games are very different from those of their Western peers.
So, the most popular genre of video games was and still is a strategy genre. Then comes the genre of plot-based graphical puzzles (especially literary, based on the plots of Russian and Soviet classic writers), economic simulators (which, however, are very different from economic simulators of the West, imitating the laws of the capitalist economy), multiplayer educational role-playing games, arcades, sports simulators, races.
War games or, as they are called in the West, "shooters" in the USSR are of little interest to anyone. Which, of course, is reflected in the annual plan for the development of entertainment software, which is formed by the State Planning Committee for IgroGIZ.
For 2006, funds were allocated for:
28 strategies (7 - RSFSR, 6 - Ukrainian SSR, 15 - for other republics of the USSR);
17 plot graphic puzzles (8 - Uzbek SSR, 4 - RSFSR, 5 - for other republics of the USSR);
12 economic simulators (6 - transferred by special orders to the Research Institute of the USSR Ministry of Defense, 6 - for other republics of the USSR);
8 multiplayer educational role-playing games (free distribution on the Union IgroRIv);
15 arcade games (of which at least 3 with a development budget of 300 thousand rubles);
4 sports simulators (free distribution in the IgroRII of the Union);
4 racing arcades (free distribution on IgroRIi Union)
2 war games (both orders were taken over by the USSR Ministry of Culture).
As it became known, following the results of 2006, the exit plan for the games was fulfilled by 113%. We will now tell you about the best 3 games of the past year ...

"Crime and Punishment"
Genre: plot graphic puzzle
Production: IgroRII "Jupiter Plus"
Circulation: 12 million copies.
Price: 87 cop.
Quite a modern interactive reading of the classics by the authorship of F.M. Dostoevsky. The “Jupiter-Plus” e-Research Institute has previously released quite a few remarkable literary puzzles and arcades for younger schoolchildren (“Kashtanka”, “Kolobok”, “Vitalik's Birthday” ...), but for the first time they did such a serious job. The puzzle is simply brilliant: well-known characters, unusual interpretations of familiar scenes, arcade elements (for example, Raskolnikov's skirmish with bribed townsfolk). Excellent modern game, recommended for use in literature classes.

Genre: multiplayer role-playing game
Production: IgroRII "Kaliningrad"
Circulation: network game
Price: 2 rub. 45 kopecks
Always distinguished by a certain designer eccentricity of IgroRII. “Kaliningrad” this year decided to pamper its fans with a multiplayer game. The theme of the project was the Civil War, and the main actor was the shock division of the legendary division commander V.I. Chapaeva. True, since almost all Soviet boys between the ages of 9 to 16 years connected to the game, it would be more logical to talk about an entire army led by Chapa. The game is distinguished by a remarkable design of missions and unusual tasks, such as "fight off a hundred White Guards", "bring Chapai Kolchak's head" and "destroy an enemy armored train." The game is recommended for middle school students and is approved by the All-Union Pioneer Organization.

Genre: role-playing strategy
Production: IgrIII "East"
Circulation: 3 million
Price: 3 rub. 22 kopecks
As you know, a young and talented design engineer Denis Gusarov is a controversial figure for the industry. Taking ideas from the West as a basis for his games, he so dexterously and unusually remakes and transfers them for perception by Soviet youth, that the Ministry of Culture still does not have a common opinion about his “masterpieces”.
The new game of IgroNII “Vostochny” (where Denis works), “Konarmiya”, does not hide its roots: we have a substantially redefined descendant of the western game hit King's Bounty. Only instead of the nameless knight serving as king, the main character of the game is S.M. Budyonny, the first red commander. The essence of the game remained almost unchanged: Budyonny wanders around the ravaged Civil War (this year the topic of the Civil War is extremely popular - as many as 8 projects!) Ukraine and gathers its Con-Army to destroy the White Guard resistance in Crimea. The game is quite contrary to the historical fact, but its quality, its graphics and general interest is at the highest level. Approved by the USSR Ministry of Defense.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/10573/

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