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Tau graph software developer dies

Published: 10th Feb 2008, 22:14:34 | Permalink | Printable

Dad-of-two Peter Killworth loses battle with long-term illness

Peter KillworthTributes were paid this week to RISC OS software developer and interactive fiction writer Peter Killworth, who lost his fight with motor neurone disease late last month.

Peter, who worked as an ocean modeller for the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton, died on January 28, leaving a wife and two sons. He worked on top RISC OS graph plotting program Tau after taking over the software from original author Tim Birks. In the 1970s and 1980s Peter was best known for penning a number of sci-fi interactive fiction games. He wrote, among others, Philosopher's Quest, Countdown to Doom, and Castle of Riddles, pictured right.

In a statement, friends at the University of Southampton said: "Peter will be remembered for his unbridled enthusiasm for science, his dedication to work, and his selfless and generous nature that fostered and encouraged the scientific development of the numerous colleagues he worked with.

"Peter will be sorely missed by the many people who knew him and worked with him. His outstanding contribution to oceanography will live on through his published papers, and in the hearts and minds of those who knew him."

castle of Riddles packagingPeter was also a frequent contributor to the mailing list for users of the EasiWriter and TechWriter packages, published by Icon Technology. Mike Glover of Icon said the news was "very sad."

TechWriter user Stewart Brookes added: "This is very sad news indeed. My very first experience of a BBC Model B was playing [Peter's interactive game] Philosopher's Quest. I was immediately hooked, and in later years I was delighted to be in contact with Peter through the EasiWriter mailing list. He'll be missed. My condolences to his family."


Peter's website (link to software at the very bottom) University's statement

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I had and greatly enjoyed Countdown to Doom as a rom cartridge for my Electron, so when I discovered that Peter worked at the same university as me (albeit a different campus) I hoped our paths may cross at some point, but sadly they never did.

 is a RISC OS UserMattLB on 11/2/08 12:47PM
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Weren't you working on a game at one point Matt?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 11/2/08 9:04PM
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A minor point, but Tim Birks was the author of Tau. Peter took on the maintenance of Tau and made some significant contributions to it. Hopefully someone will take on the continued maintenance of Tau as it is a very useful application.

 is a RISC OS Usertduell on 11/2/08 11:34PM
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In reply to AW: >Weren't you working on a game at one point Matt?

Not me. I don't have the programming know-how unfortunately.

When there was talk of a Repton Infinity-alike for RISC OS (probably ten years ago now) I got involved to some extent because I did do a couple of games on the Electron version, and fancied having a go on a fancier RISC OS version, but it never saw the light of day AFAIK.

 is a RISC OS UserMattLB on 12/2/08 11:57AM
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