Kavik Kang

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About Kavik Kang

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  1. One Last Try

    Ironically that is very much how my design documents begin, Space Hockey is in about that same state right now just with a whole lot of detail about the ships. I call that a "proposal". I call the next stage "full notes", and then comes "first draft" which is "finished" in terms of being a good starting point for the discussion in a development process. If I deleted all the details about the ships, Space Hockey is a lot like the link you posted right at this moment. While I don't work out every tiny little detail of everything, I take it a lot farther than a "proposal" in order to work out things that need to be worked out to know that they can be made to work in a good/fun way. That is a very good starting point to start writing a design doc, I agree with that. Mine all start out looking a lot like that, before deciding to throw it away and think of something else or that the idea appears to actually be working and take it to "full notes" stage.
  2. One Last Try

    Pirate Dawn was made when MMOs were just coming into being. MMO games have trouble succeedding financially which is why I tend to downplay Pirate Dawn. I don't see anyone wanting to make an MMO game in 2017 for financial reasons. It's not as massive as it appears too be, and it is actually a massive strategy game that one side will eventually win. I lived in Subspace for nearly a decade, so I know what the audience that likes this type of game likes in that type of game. I would love Pirate Dawn. You usually don't like playing your own games, Pirate Dawn would be an exception for me. I would play Pirate Dawn if it got made, probably a lot. There is a lot of good stuff in Pirate Dawn. It also a lot less game to produce than you are making out too be. It is a very simple arcade game, just a really big one. Armageddon Chess was just made as a "simple playable prototype" after people here suggested that I do something like that. Exactly the opposite of your take on it, a variant of Armageddon Chess that I made alongside of it might be published as a board game. It only works as a computer game, in my mind, as a prequel to an established PDU. It would work for the PDU audience if it were released between Manifest Destiny and The Trade Wars and might make for a good small, inexpensive Steam game if it could be produced within those constraints. As I have mentioned many times before, my truly "special" games are Territories and Mission (Clash of the Titans and Armaggedon are pretty special, too, but not like the first two). Most designers manage to make one truly special game in their lives, I have two. I think that's pretty good. You gave me a great idea, Joe. I am already 26 pages into Space Hockey. It's just Pirate Dawn's Space Hockey Zone, a thing I have been contemplating for 20 years now, so it is flowing out into a design document very quickly. This is a perfect project for an indie game, Space Hockey is irresistibly addictive and fun, and very very simple. All nine ships for Space Hockey are already finished and I am just building a good hockey game around those ships now. I should be finished with Space Hockey in less than a month. Then I'm going to see if I can put together an indie group to actually make Space Hockey. You've definitely set me on a whole new course, thank you for that!
  3. One Last Try

    I think a lot of younger people like the progressive rock of the 1970's, bands like Rush, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. But yes, you are exactly correct, I've always known that I can remove all of the songs without changing the story and without getting sued. The only exception is Cygnus X1 and Hemispheres which I probably would get sued with the current story and not licensing the music. So not having the music is not a huge deal, most of the story could remain as it is even without the music. I wouldn't want to use cover music, and completely agree that Queen cannot be covered because of both Freddy's voice and Brian May's guitar... neither can be imitated well. I'm really thinking more along the lines of either making just a few games of the PDU or making the SFU games now since I wouldn't live long enough to make the entire PDU anymore anyway. But the music thing really does work, as you can see in Struggle of the Star Queens it works even without the images associating things and would obviously work even better once there were images on the screen to associate things even better. Armageddon Chess is here... Back when I tried to do "indie games" they didn't exist yet, just like when I did a mod they didn't exist yet. So finding people to do a thing like that was nearly impossible. Back then it was easy to find an artist who would accept that idea, but the programmers would balk and doing any work without being paid. Today "indie games" are a thing, so I would imagine that it would be a much easier thing to do these days. It also means that this post isn't my last hope, and there is still one more thing left to try! Pirate Dawn is everything you are describing in terms of simplicity. The full MMO game is obviously too much for an indie project like this, but the Alternate Zones are perfect for this. It would be partially up to the other people I find, assuming I can manage to do that, I'd do any of the Alternate Zones the rest of the group wanted to do. But I think Space Hockey would be best as a stand alone indie game, so I already have a perfect thing to do as an indie game whether it is Space Hockey, King of the Hill, or Capture The Flag. Any of these would be very easy to do and, as you say, I would imagine there are a wide range of existing engines that could make a Pirate Dawn Alternate Zone. I hadn't really considered trying this again, but you have made me realize that attempting an indie game would a lot easier today now that it is a thing people do than it was 10-20 years ago. I'll start writing a design doc for Space Hockey while I give the blogs a few months to see if anything comes of the blogs, but then I guess I'll be back here again looking for people who might be interested in doing Space Hockey (or one of the other Alternate Zones if they prefer) as a stand alone indie game. It won't be the same as it was 15 years ago when that idea was completely foreign to everyone. Thank you for all of this great advice!
  4. One Last Try

    Joe, I had realized many might not be willing to read the whole thing which is one of the reasons I included the Struggle of the Star Queens chess set with Armageddon Chess. That is a self-contained 15 page short story that stands on its own that was intended to show how I write the story around the song lyrics. As for licensing the songs, I wouldn't live long enough make the entire PDU now anyway so it doesn't really matter anymore. I always knew there might be problems with that since I don't know how songs are licensed. In later years I just forgot about that and went wild using as wide a variety as bands as I wanted to use because I never expected it to be made anyway. The earlier games that were done with an expectation of making them are almost entirely Rush and Queen. I have considered many ways of doing it without the music, or with very little of it, over the years so I was always prepared to not have the music. Rush's Hemispheres is the only song that the entire story would need to be re-written if you didn't have it, Cygnus X1 and Hemispheres are the basis of the story so without them then I would be in trouble. But today I wouldn't live long enough to do the entire PDU anymore anyway, it would just be 3 or 4 of the games at best today. As for making an indie game I have tried that several times before, but those efforts fell apart long before any kind of game ever got made. Being the business guy that makes things happen is not something I do well. My father did that well, but I didn't get that from him. I'd love to do that, and it is probably an easier thing to do these days than way back when I was trying to do it. We could just do one of the "Alternate Zones" from Pirate Dawn, probably "Space Hockey". I might look into trying to do something like that if nothing comes of my blogs, since it is probably a much easier thing to find the people to do it than it was 10-20 years ago.
  5. One Last Try

    *** *** *** It's a Kind of Resume... (Kind of....) *** *** *** I spent 20 years sending resumes, letters, you name it, to game companies. Nobody ever even responds. In the 20 years I spent doing that only one company ever even responded... and they hired me. I have 20 years of actual experience that tell me that sending things to individual game companies is a waste of time. That is why now, in what is certainly my last attempt to do what I was born to do, I did this publicly on the only major game industry discussion forum there is. So this isn't a traditional “resume” because over 20 years of experience tells me that is pointless. It is just ignored. You don't know your own history, and don't seem to have any concept of how sophisticated some of the games from the serious side of the hobbyist game industry were. Avalon Hill and their many imitators were continuing the Ruler & String games that military men had been playing for centuries and the most complex of these were far more detailed than people today imagine a “board game” too be. I didn't go to the Devry School of Game Design... I went to the Harvard, Yale, and Oxford of game design all rolled up into one. We literally invented the process by which games are made today, long before you even existed, and produced the largest and most complex game ever made. But you don't know any of that, so it means nothing too you. I've tried everything else already. All of your suggestions... I did all of that already 20 years ago. It didn't work. There is no point in trying that same thing all over again when it is already proven beyond any doubt that method does not work for me and my unique situation. Gamasutra Blog: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MarcMichalik/787769/ So this time around I attempted to explain where I came from with this blog and my blog on Gamasutra which is mostly about the history of the hobbyist game industry and specifically Star Fleet Battles. I can't just tell you I was SFB Staff because you have no idea what that means, it just flies right over your heads and you pay no attention too it. 20 years of doing that tells me that is meaningless too you. I have to explain who we were first, which I did on my Gamasutra blog, or you just compare me to some 20-year-old kid who knows almost nothing at all about designing games. That's how bad the situation is, you would actually compare us to little kids who want to make games when we've been doing this since before your industry even existed. It really is just about the most insulting thing I have ever heard in my life. It really is. We really were doing this before your industry even existed, long before, and our games were far more serious than the children's games that you make. They are too complex for modern gamers to even consider attempting to play. What we do is based on over two centuries of accumulated knowledge of real military men simulating warfare, and I've been doing it for about 40 years now. And you honestly insist that any 20 year old who takes a few classes at your nonsense “school” is qualified to be designing games and that we aren't. You are actually comparing your own founding fathers to little kids who don't even need to understand how the games that they play even work! *** Payday/Attached Board Game AI *** My game design “career” began in the mid-1970's when I was just 7 years old. My grandfather taught me how to play Cribbage and Pinochle while I was visting him for the summer. He was with military intelligence and tried to teach all of his grandchildren games at a very young age, but only I took too it. I was immediately obsessed with both games and made him play them with me as much as he would for the whole month that I was there. He must of told my parents how obsessed with games I was because they got me a children's game called Payday that Christmas. My brother was only 2, so I didn't have anyone to play it with. But that didn't matter, because as soon as I looked at Payday I realized that it played itself. There is no decision making in children's games like Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, or Payday so this is no great revelation to adults, but I saw this immediately when I was just 7. Even at just 7 years old I naturally “saw AI” in games. It wasn't any fun playing in the game myself, so I would mentally “attach” the “AI players” to myself. I wasn't actually one of the players, I was an “invisible player” and all of the “AI players” were “attached” too me. At least, that is how I saw it. This has evolved, over my lifetime, into one of the core concepts of how “Rube” functions. One way that Rube can be used is to “maintain a constant illusion of activity around the player” and my Attached AI is at the core of how that usage of Rube functions. After Payday I would constantly ask my parents to get me games and when they did I would immediately work out how to make them “play themselves”. “Invisible me” would advance through the turns/phases which would “turn the cranks” of all of the “AI players” or, as I have said in other places on this blog... “Rube is powered by moving through time”. I wouldn't be one of the players, I would make up “automated rules” to make games run on auto-pilot and play themselves without my being directly involved. I was practically obsessed with doing this until I was 11. Then I discovered Avalon Hill games. *** Avalon Hill *** The first Avalon Hill game that I got was Victory in the Pacific. First I made it play itself like I had been doing with simpler games for almost five years already, then I actually started playing it with other kids. Victory in the Pacific was the first game I actually played with other people, up until then I had always just created my “board game AI” and watched games play themselves. Soon I also had Blitzkrieg and Panzerblitz, and I made both of these games play themselves as well. This was far more challenging than any other games I had ever worked with before. Especially Panzerblitz, which was one of Avalon Hill's most complex games at the time. It was while working on a “board game AI” for Panzerblitz that I realized that I was not quite normal. Other people didn't even do this with simple games, and what I was doing with Panzerblitz was far beyond the understanding that any normal 12 year old should have. In fact later, in my late teens, I came to realize that even the best game designers in the world at the time (after having met most of them at conventions) did not “see AI” in board games like I did. They were confused when I would start talking about making complex games like Victory in the Pacific, Blitzkrieg, and Panzerblitz “play themselves” without me even being involved in the game. They didn't see how what I was describing could be possible. It was during this time that I gradually realized that I was not normal, I was a natural born “savant simulation designer” who just naturally “sees AI” in everything. Games, nature... everywhere. And other people, even the best game designers in the world at the time, didn't see this like I did and would just become confused when I would try to explain it too them. One of my favorite movies of all time is Wargames, because I was that kid. I never broke into NORAD, of course, but around this time (1981) my family got a Franklin 1100 (Apple II+ clone) with a 1200 baud modem. I immediately discovered BBS door games and spent many hours searching for BBS systems to play the door games and download commercial games. Eventually Trade Wars and Barren Realms Elite came along and those were my favorite door games. My brother and I were the best BRE players in the world. The sysop of the BBS we played BRE on directed us to the network where the designer ran his own international BRE “galaxy” because he wanted to see us conquer the designer's network in under a week like we would do locally. We did that, then convinced the designer and the players in his “galaxy” to reset the game so that we could defeat them all by ourselves from a fresh start. Me, my brother, and the two other people that played our way with us took on the entire galaxy in a fresh start game. The entire world, about 100 players, against us four players on “Planet Colorado”. The rest of the world conceded on the third day after the reset, some after the first day and the rest over the next two days as they realized that we could not be defeated. Barren Realms Elite was a very broken game. Unlike everyone else, we played it for what it was and not what it was meant to be. We could beat an unlimited number of people arrayed against us, it didn't matter how many people were allied against us. The designer then banned the entire state of Colorado from his network because “you aren't cheating, but I don't like how you play my game”. This is where Pirate Dawn comes from. The original concept of Pirate Dawn was a blending of Trade Wars & Barren Realms Elite as the strategy layer combined with a blending Star Control, Subspace, and Star Fleet Battles as the tactical layer. *** Star Fleet Battles *** When I was 13 I discovered Star Fleet Battles. There have been very few people who learned to play SFB at such a young age and I had to have been one of a very few a very few self-taught 13-year-old SFB players. I have only heard of one other person who was playing SFB at 13 and he was the son of a staff member who made a big effort to teach him at such a young age. Naturally I immediately tried to make SFB play itself but, for the first time, I couldn't do it. SFB was far too complex to make that happen, which absolutely fascinated me. Eventually I did find a way to “cheat” and make SFB play itself against a player in a reasonably challenging way (in just 4 paragraphs!), which today is among the most popular solitaire scenarios in SFB called “The Orb” (which many also consider to be the “most Star Trek-like” scenario in SFB). The fact that I couldn't make SFB play itself in any real kind of way was what drew me too it like a magnet. So, instead, I made Panzerblitz run on SFB's Impulse Chart instead of Avalon Hill's phased turns. This was the beginning of my applying how SFB worked to other games that were totally unrelated to SFB. Panzerblitz running on the Impulse Chart was far too long, unwieldy, and confusing to be a commercial game but it worked very well even if it did take days to resolve a single scenario that only took hours in the original version. I had dozens of counters on the map running in “simultaneous real-time”, as if it were an RTS computer game, several years before RTS computer games even existed. My Panzerblitz “playing itself” on the Impulse Chart was, in reality, the world's very first “real-time strategy game” (1982). I had essentially created what was almost certainly the first RTS at 14-years-old, about 5 years before the earliest computer game RTS games existed. This was also the first marriage of my “Attached Board Game AI” and SVC's Impulse Chart, the true beginning of what today I call “Rube”. *** Axis & Allies *** I still remember waiting in front of the game store in the morning before it opened to buy Axis & Allies the first day it came out, I was there before they opened the doors. I took it home and immediately began working out how to make it play itself. It seemed like it should be simple compared to making Panzerblitz play itself, but I was surprised to find that it actually wasn't easy to work out... especially Japan and America. It took a long time to finally make Japan play itself well. It was easier than Panzerblitz, but at least twice as difficult as I had been expecting it too be going into it. But, in the end, just like a children's game like Candyland or Payday, I had all five nations in Axis & Allies playing themselves without my involvement other than following my own “automated rules” for each nation. This was the last board game that I did this with, because this was also the time that I had become a full-blown SFB junkie. For the next ten years or so after this I essentially lived SFB, and making “poker chip prototypes” of strategy war games after one of the original founders of Avalon Hill told me about “poker chip prototypes”. This was also the earliest days of commercial computer games, and if I wasn't playing SFB with someone or re-arranging poker chip prototypes into what would eventually become Territories, then I was playing the earliest computer games. Computer games were also a big part of my changing from making board games play themselves to actually playing the games myself. Up until I discovered SFB, and computer games came along, I hadn't actually played games very much. I made the games play themselves with what I had come to call “Attached Board Game AI” which later, when combined with Steve Cole's Impulse Chart, would eventually lead to “Rube”. *** SFB Staff/Task Force Games/Territories *** After about five years of playing SFB and computer games constantly I decided to review the entire Commander's Edition of SFB. I reviewed every word of the entire Commander's Edition and sent Steve Cole about 100 pages reports. I had no idea that TFG/ADB were just beginning the process of creating the final Captain's Edition at the time. SVC sent me back an invitation to join the SFB Staff. I was one of only a few people who did a review of the entire game during the design of the Captain's Edition. Many of my suggestions and corrections were used and to this day SFB is still laced with things that came from me. I was among the group of the first 7 people to ever be given a medal when SVC first began doing that, in the Z section of Advanced Missions for the design phase of the Captain's Edition, and remain one of the very few people in the history of the SFB Staff to ever be awarded a Silver Star. I represented the Romulans during my time on the staff, but actually had a bigger impact on the Andromedans who had no staff representative at the time and were being completely re-designed for the Captain's Edition. There is a lot of me in the “new” Andromedan rules of the Captain's Edition. This was, arguably, the most important of four critical periods of actually designing SFB (Pocket Edition, Designer's Edition, Commander's Edition, Captain's Edition). Shortly after joining the staff I became, at the time, only the third staff member ever actually hired by the company. Another came after me and today there have been four of us. I worked at Task Force Games, the publisher and not the developer ADB, but remained on ADB's SFB Staff while I worked at TFG. At TFG I was going to be their in-house game designer and this is where the very first version of what I today call Territories came into existence, after nearly a decade of playing with poker chip prototypes which had led to Territories. But then the hobbyist game industry collapsed about a year into my time there and TFG had to let everyone go except for the owner and his brother just to stay in business once all the retail outlets became novelty stores that didn't carry hobbyist games any more. This was only the beginning of my lifetime of bad luck in attempting to make games. From my perspective I had started at the top at just 22 years old, it was like wanting to make movies and being hired by Steven Spielberg... but of course the entire industry then collapsed around me to prevent that from happening. *** IKNFL *** I had wanted to make board games at TFG so that I could then make computer games. My goal had always been making computer games, not board games. After returning home after the collapse of the board game industry I immediately began trying to just go straight to computer games. Right away, it was obvious that the people in that industry didn't believe that board game designers knew anything that would be useful too them. They were absolutely convinced that they were doing a completely different thing that had no relation to table top games at all. They were wrong about that, but there was no convincing them of that. So I decided to transform one of their games into something much better than what they had done to show them what I was talking about. It took nearly 3 years to perfect the “IKNFL Unofficial Stat Patch” for Sierra's Front Page Sports Football. We received e-mails from people throughout the NFL praising IKNFL. Players, coaches, and scouts all sent us e-mails about how great they thought it was. One of the best linebackers in the league at the time completely agreed with our ratings of the linebackers and wanted to let us know that he thought we were right... he also believed that he was the 4th best linebacker in the league and he felt the ratings we had given all of the LB were dead on. A scout wanted us to know that he thought my brother knew the players as well as any NFL scout did and he couldn't understand how that was possible. FPS:FB on the Imagination Network was probably the very first organized online gaming community ever (for a commercial game), which was formed and led by “Longshot” who had created the first “Ultimate Football League” on INN. My brother and I were among the first people to join Longshot's original league, and he restarted the league to use the original INNFL95 version of IKNFL as soon as we showed up and he saw our league file. IKNFL was also almost certainly the very first “mod” of a commercial game ever, which just naturally went along with the FPS:FB leagues on Imagination Network being the first organized online gaming community for a commercial game. So I was also one of the leaders of the first online gaming community for a commercial game and that entire community revolved around my INKNFL, which was the very first “mod” of a commercial game. IKNFL98e, the last and best version of the stat patch that we ever made, was eventually even included on the disk with the 1998 version of the game. So IKNFL was also the first mod to ever be included with a shipped game. To this day FPS:FB running IKNFL is still by far the most accurate sports game ever made in player ratings, individual player statistics produced by both simulations and played games, team standings at the end of the season, and post-season results. It is the original, and the basis for the player ratings in all sports games, which has still never been equaled. What you see in sports games today is simply their current version of my IKNFL. Of course, I never got any of the credit for this... everyone thinks Madden did this. Madden didn't do that, I did. They got it from me. IKNFL was a game that people loved to lose because of the way that they lost... simply being outplayed. It wasn't just popular online, experienced players liked IKNFL because it was very hard in a good way. As “Avarice”, one of the top 4 players in Longshot's UFL league, put it after his first game against the AI of our “ultimate” version of the stat patch (IKNFL98e)... “I actually lost to the computer 24-10 and loved every minute of it!” This is the version that is on the disk for Sierra's FPS:FB '98, so if you can find this and make it run on a modern computer then you can play IKNFL98e for yourself. IKNFL98e is a zip file in a directory called “Extras”, the zip file includes a text file with instructions for how to manually install it “DOS style”. It really is still the best thinking man's football game ever made even today, 19 years later... “games that stand the test of time”. Nobody ever played FPS:FB with a gamepad, that's what Madden was for. Just call the plays. I suggest using the Denver Broncos for your first game. They beat the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl in the previous season and what we called the “Triangle of Death” (John Elway, Terrell Davis, & Shannon Sharpe) will at least give you a fighting chance in your first game. And if you know where to find a version of it that will run on a modern computer, or how to make it run from the original disk, please send me an e-mail or PM on this site telling me how to do it. I still have the disk, but I can't make it run in Windows 7. I'd love to be able to play it again because, like I said, it's still a great game now, especially playing/simming multiple seasons in franchise mode... due too Sierra as much as “Indra & Kavik Kang”, of course. *** GGN/Heat Net *** While doing IKNFL, in the mid-1990's, I came very close to founding my own game development company and online game service. The online game service side was called the Global Gaming Network (GGN) and the game development side was called Lost Art Studios (LAS). I actually came close to doing this, I had three very wealthy investors behind it. The investors decided to go to MCI to discuss partnering with them for the online game service side of this company. I tried to convince them not too but they insisted on revealing my whole plan for GGN too MCI. When MCI pretended to not be interested, and another company we were wanting to partner with for the LAS side was not in a position to do what we wanted them to do at that time due to an internal struggle taking place within their own company, the investors decided to drop the whole thing. They had spent about $100,000 towards doing this over about 6 months. About a year later MCI started HEAT.NET which was very obviously based on a horrible misunderstanding of my online game service. HEAT.NET was terrible, they just didn't understand what the point had been, but HEAT.NET came from me... even though it was a horribly misguided vision of what I had been talking about. I've never fretted too much over this incident because it would have ultimately failed. Steam came along around this same time and would have buried me right along with all of the other online game services, so I didn't actually miss out on anything this time around. Had it made it far enough to make its first game Lost Art Studios would have survived, but Steam rose to power long before the Lost Art Studios side would have released its first game (which would have been Territories). *** GameFX *** IKNFL actually worked! In 1998 Sierra offered both me and my brother jobs as the designers of FPS Football '99 out of the blue, I hadn't even sent them anything, and GameFX offered me a job at the same time. I had sent them something. It was easy to see that their attempt to go 3D with FPS Football '99 was going to be a disaster that I would not be able to save, and GameFX was obviosly a top flight group of people who were on the cutting edge of their time. It was an easy decision to make. Of course, again, almost the same thing happened at GameFX that happened at TFG. Only this time the entire industry didn't collapse, just GameFX. I had went there thinking that we would be making what I called “Homefront” after they finished the game that they had been making at the time. Most of my time at GameFX was spent working on “Homefront”, which today is called “Pirate Dawn”. In the end, during the last 3 month extension they could get on what had become “Sinistar: Unleashed”, they pulled me off of Homefront and had me make all of the levels for Sinistar. I spent 2 ½ months sitting at a desk by myself making all 30 levels across 4 levels of difficulty as fast as I could and then they shipped that quick first pass almost as soon as I had finished it. I had very little to do with Sinistar: Unleashed and was not involved with it at all until the last few months when they finally realized that I was the only person in the office who had any idea of how to make some kind of game out of it. GameFX was shut down about a month or two after the release of Sinistar, which anyone who worked there would tell you had nothing to do with me. In fact, I'm sure anyone who worked there would agree that had I not been there they never would have shipped a game at all. All I did was make the levels, they spent 4 years making the engine. I did very little in comparison to pretty much everyone else who had worked on it for so long. But, at the same time, had I not been there they never would have shipped any game at all. Or, as one of the programmers put it after I was finished with my 2.5 month long, 10-14 hour per day, 7 day per week marathon... “We handed him a shoe box full of unrelated parts and he gave us a game in under three months”. *** Manifest Destiny/Mission *** I then spent the next 10 years sending resumes, letters... I tried everything under the sun... to computer game companies. Not a single one ever responded in any way, because board game experience doesn't count in your world and I think you blame Sinistar's failure on me when I had almost nothing to do with Sinistar. While doing this I turned Pirate Dawn into a trilogy, adding Manifest Destiny and Mission. Then I realized that lots of sci-fi stories begin with a nuclear war. I already had “my Civilization”, Territories, which was a nuclear war game, so I stuck Territories in front of Pirate Dawn as a prequel and wrote a whole new story around “the four game trilogy” of Territories, Pirate Dawn, Manifest Destiny, and Mission. This decade of being ignored ultimately ended with me “retiring” from game design right here on GameDev.Net about 10 years ago. After 20 years of being both ignored and plagiarized at the same time (what a combination!), when I had decades more experience and knowledge than just about anyone in the computer game industry, I wasn't about to just silently go away. Twenty years of doing it the right way had never got me anywhere, I figured I would try the exact opposite and truly speak my mind after 20 years of be ignored... other than when you steal from me, of course. You'd think someone worth plagiarizing would be someone worth hiring... but no. But, of course, that didn't work either. Nothing works. I know, I've tried literally everything. That was what “Pirate Lord” and my first appearance on GameDev.Net had been about, trying the only thing that was left to try and just speaking my mind after 20 years of being both ignored and plagiarized at the same time. I actually have two equally “signature games”, Territories and Mission. Mission is “my other Civilization”. Mission is the starship simulator that places you in the captain's chair that has long been the “dream game” of every Star Trek fan who plays games. My knowledge of how tactical space combat functions allows me to create this, where the closest anyone else can come too it is Bridge Commander... which was just terrible! Bridge Commander was a laughable endless back-and-forth jousting match (essentially no combat environment because nobody in your industry knows how to create that in space) with an interface that doesn't work for the situation and essentially nothing at all as a ship design. Mission really does put you in that captain's chair, and because it is so “realistic” and unlike any game anyone has ever played before one of the biggest challenges of Mission is teaching the player how to command a starship. The only major drawback to Mission is that it is not for casual gamers who want to just install the game and immediately jump into it. Mission is fundamentally an adventure game, but anyone who tries to just jump into the adventure game would be completely lost in doing almost anything at all and would stand no chance at all if they actually got into a fight with anything. The biggest challenge in designing Mission is how to teach the player not just how to control the ship, but how to fight with it because the SFB inspired Rube-enhanced enemy AI will absolutely humiliate you if you don't know what you are doing. This is why the trailer/advertising song/movie for Mission is Pink Floyd's “Learning To Fly”. “There's no sensation to compare with this.” Players would need to spend 6-10 hours in the Academy Simulators “learning to fly” a starship before attempting to actually play the game... so the “simulators” need to be a whole seperate game that you play before the adventure game so that it doesn't seem like work and learning. They'll need to “pass all of the classes” before unlocking the ability to even try to play the full game, to prevent them from skipping ahead and becoming frustrated by the game being “too hard”. You might call it a “tutorial”, but it is much more than that. It needs to be, modern gamers don't take games anywhere near as seriously as hobbyist gamers did and won't stand for 10 hours of learning before they can even begin to play the game. So I had to find a way to turn that learning process into “a game before the game”. So I guess you could say that Mission is two games in one, the first being essentially a massive tutorial that is disguised as the beginning of the adventure game... your time at the “Academy” before being assigned to GSC Rocinante on humanity's first ever mission of long-range galactic exploration. I really can put you into that captain's chair, and 40 years of knowledge and experience of the SFB community SHOULD make this not surprising at all... and yet I am certain anyone reading this is thinking too themselves “I can't do it, and if I can't do it then you cant do it even though you have 40 years of experience and accumulated knowledge of the subject and I don't” because that is just how arrogant you people are. *** Pirate Dawn Universe *** After just a few months of being “retired” from game design, after my first appearance on GameDev.Net about 10 years ago, I realized that I was not able to stop designing games. I have been doing it literally my whole life, since I was 7 years old, and it is not voluntary. I am not capable of not making games. I have to make games, even if they will never be published. It's the only thing I do, and just about the only thing I ever think about. I am not normal, I was born a savant simulation designer and it is really a truly uncontrollable obsession for me. I can't not think about simulations and “artificial intelligence” (my own brand of it, anyway). So I began expanding the “four game trilogy” into what today I call the Pirate Dawn Universe. There are actually 19 games of the Pirate Dawn Universe, but at my age I would never live to make the 12 games of the 6 primary eras of the timeline so I haven't thought much about my own 7 “side games” for a few years now since realizing that. The PDU is meant to be endlessly expanded and you can put a new game, or a new era of 2 or more games, anywhere in the timeline. Theoretically, there could be 100 games in the PDU although that would obviously never happen. Not expecting the games to ever be made, the focus since my “retirement” has been on the story that encompass the 12 primary games of the PDU. There is no reason to write detailed design documents for games that I won't live long enough to make anyway. So there are game design documents for the first six games, the early ones, but the second half of the PDU is mostly story with “design docs” that are generally 20-60 pages of notes to myself (about the equivalent of the several computer game industry design docs that I have seen, actually, “20-60 pages of vague notes”). I've worked like this a long time and know that I can transform those notes into what I consider to be first draft design docs in 3-4 months, so I only do notes on the later games and focus more on the songs/story. Today there are well over 1000 pages of PDU material in my files, focused mostly on the first 6 games of the PDU. Until I was recently inspired to try this one more time I had never thought I would even try to actually make the games again, and these last ten years have been spent just completing the “Broken Time Loop” of the PDU for myself as a hobby. Territories is over 25 years old, Pirate Dawn is exactly 20 years old to the month at the time of this posting, Mission is almost 15 years old... “Games that stand the test of time.” The songs that I have used on this blog are coming from my files on the PDU. I write the story of the entire PDU around the song lyrics. While everyone else looks for music that vaguely matches the story they have already told, I assemble songs that tell a story on their own simply by the order they are in and then expand greatly on the story told by that group of songs. Each era is written entirely around the lyrics of the songs that are the backbone of the story of that era. After evolving for 20 years it is now a very intricately woven story across all 12 games and a player would continue to figure out and notice new things no matter how many times they experienced the story. It really is more of a mythology than it is a story. There are certain words that are used a LOT in many songs and because of this they keep recurring in every era of the story. As a result these words have become extremely important, meaningful, and prominent within the PDU story. The most important of these words are “Dream”, “Vision”, “Mission”, “Spirit”, and “Rain”. Most of these words have more than one meaning within the PDU depending on the context they are being used within. For example Zeus & Hades call reality within the mortal world the “The Dream”. But then they also confusingly call Cindy McAllen “The Dream”... and there is actually a lot too this, far too much to go into here. All 12 games of the PDU have all of their songs worked out already, 90-120 minutes of “movies” for each game, many of which are completely outlined by time stamps (in my own files, not on this blog) as to the movie that goes along with them. The songs come first, and the rest of the story is written around them. Armageddon Chess, available for download on this blog, is a complete first draft example of this that you can see for yourself right now. If you don't want to read all 200 pages or so of Armageddon Chess, I intentionally included a self-contained “short story” example of how the story is written around the song lyrics with the “Struggle of the Star Queens” chess set in Armageddon Chess. That chess set is only 15 pages written around over a dozen songs and was created specifically to provide a quick-to-read example of what I am talking about here. A particular favorite of mine in Armageddon Chess is how Belinda Carlisle's “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and Van Halen's “Best of Both Worlds” work together... but you will only really get that by reading the blog post for Armageddon Chess and then all 200 pages or so of Armageddon Chess. It won't make a lot of sense without knowing the whole story that leads up to those two songs/movies. On the blog I put Heaven on Earth in the blog post because Belinda's Heaven didn't fit into this version of Armageddon Chess (that song would be in the Fallen Angel Rising DLC chess set which was not included with the prototype version of the game on this blog). For example, if you read all of Armageddon Chess and its blog post you'd realize that Best of Both Worlds is Kavik Kang speaking to/thinking about Cindy “Fallen Angel” McAllen and you'd understand the meaning of lyrics like... “There's a picture in a gallery, Fallen Angel looked a lot like you. We forget where we come from sometimes, but I had a dream it was really you.” “You don't have to die and go to heaven, or hang around to be born again. Just tune in to what this Place has got to offer, 'cause we may never be here again.” “It's not work that makes it work, no, just let the magic do the work for you.” “If we could have the best of both worlds, we'd have a little bit of heaven right here on Earth.” *** Rube *** Finally, about two years ago I recognized what I call now call “Rube” in Territories. It had been there for about 25 years staring me in the face but I had never noticed it until recently. Rube is the E=MC2 of simulation design and is the fundamental basis of something that looks a lot like “The Matrix”, a holodeck, cyberspace, and a self programming computer with omniscient communication. They are all they same thing, really, slight variations on the same theme. Rube is also important to science, it is the “uniform simulation of everything” that science has long said that it has wanted. Rube really is a true “cybergod”, but in reality is a general simulation of time combined with reality which just winds up being indistinguishable from what we perceive as “God”. Rube is the end result of 300 years of simulation design evolution which began with the Ruler & String games played by real world military men since the 17th century. If I ever get to make one of my games then the world will get to meet Rube, if not then Rube will die with me and this knowledge will be lost to history. It isn't coming back any time soon. Nobody does this anymore, nobody makes games or simulations this way anymore, nobody is thinking along these lines anymore. My guess is that Rube will either be lost forever or not re-emerge for hundreds of years. Rube is the end result of 300 years of work of an entire field that no longer exists and there are very few people left in the world with the pre-requisite knowledge required to “discover” Rube. If Rube dies with me, it probably isn't ever coming back. “Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” - Arthur Schopenhauer *** Out Of Time, What Now? *** At this point it is not possible for me to make the entire PDU anymore, I will not live long enough to make 12 computer games. If someone was wanting to do the PDU, I'd be thrilled to start it off and hope that I lived long enough to make it to Mission (but would probably only make it to Manifest Destiny or The Trade Wars). The people I was making it with could then use the games that I had made up to that point, and my files on the remaining PDU games, as the basis of finishing it after I am gone. More likely, nobody is going to be interested in a 12 game universe. If I got started sometime soon I think I'd live long enough to make at least 4 games. So you could just forget about most of the PDU and only make the very best games from it (Territories, Mission, Clash of the Titans, and Armageddon) with a new story written around them based on the original PDU story (and timeline), but greatly shortened where the games are missing and the timeline would just briefly tell the story of what had been entire games. I used the best music in the best games, so Mission would still use Cygnus X1/Hemispheres. Clash of the Titans/2112 could combine with the awesome music of Astral Wake Apollo, that works with 2112 so well, and tell the entire story of that era in just Clash of the Titans alone. So all the best of Rush's sci-fi music would still be there using just those four games, which the entire story was ultimately written around. And so would the Star Queens like Blondie, Belinda Carlisle, Pat Benatar, and Janet Jackson. I love the Clash/AWA era! Territories/Rube creates its own new genre of strategy war games. Just like you've all been imitating Civilization to the point that there is a “Civilization genre”, Territories would be the same thing as that. Now you'd have two kinds of strategy war games to make instead of just one. And Territories is an actual grand strategy war game, where Civilization is actually an empire building game. Territories is all about the war. You don't actually make grand strategy war games, and when you try it is always a big misguided disastrous mess like Hearts of Iron or something too simple and basic to make for a good board game let alone a computer game. You make good empire building games, and terrible grand strategy war games. If you don't have technological research then you don't know what to do. Tech trees are great for empire building games, and bad for war games. Tech trees discourage both fighting and building military units because “the next big thing is always right around the corner”. Territories would give you something else to imitate and create a whole new genre out of, that doesn't rely on the crutch of a tech tree but replaces that aspect with something just as interesting. Territories has evolved as a computer game for 25 years in its own private independent evolution, it is nothing like any strategy game that has ever existed before. Territories really is the beginning a whole new genre of “grand strategy war game” for the computer. When it comes to space combat, we are literally 40 years ahead of you in this and the SFB community actually understands how it works at a fundamental level. Any space combat game that I make would revolutionize all space ship games in your industry that came after it. Most of your space ship games have been heavily influenced by SFB, but nobody who actually understands SFB has ever made a computer game. That's what the big difference would be, it's not me blowing my own horn. It is a body of knowledge that I possess in an “I've followed it my entire life” kind of way. While there have been many SFB experts over the years, I'm pretty sure that I am the only one that has spent 30 years contemplating how to translate these concepts to computer games and actually working out nearly a dozen different versions of doing that. It's my best, by far, so stripping Mission of its story and making it a stand alone game that has nothing to do with the PDU would be a pretty good idea. But it doesn't necessarily have to be one of my games. I could very quickly turn BSG: Deadlock into something that you would not believe, for example. I would create a new genre of strategy war game with Territories/Rube, or totally and completely revolutionize space combat games in your industry with almost any space ship game. To a competent person, this should come as no surprise at all considering my background and history with space ship games. It should be expected. This isn't any big claim coming from a life-long SFB expert. But, in the end... Since I can't make the entire PDU anymore, and could probably only make it 4 or 5 games into it, I've realized that it isn't even the thing that I'd most like to do anymore. Of course I'd still love to make the abbreviated four game version of the PDU that I mentioned earlier, but after thinking this through over the last few months... at this point the thing I'd most like to do is return to my original dream, making the SFU computer games. The PDU only came into being because I assumed that I would never find a way to make SFU computer games. There are three truly amazing games to be made here... Star Fleet Battles, Federation & Empire, and Mission made as a sort of alternate type of “first person from the bridge” SFB game (which is what it already is). Just as in the PDU, you need to set the stage and establish the “universe/canon” before “flying a starship simulator/adventure game through it”. So the player knows a background, lore, and strategic situation of the universe that they are exploring in the adventure game. The same would be true for the Star Fleet Battles game, SFB would be better with a pre-established universe to exist within. So I think they would be best done in the order Federation & Empire, Star Fleet Battles, Mission. F&E sets up the universe, SFB teaches the player about the ships in great detail, and then F&E+SFB provide a massively huge established universe to “fly a starship through” in every Star Trek fan's “dream game” Mission. Unless I get hit by a bus or something, I would almost certainly live long enough to actually finish this! I have nothing to do with them, I was on their staff for a few years about 25 years ago, but ADB can authorize SFU computer games through Paramount. They have in the past with Star Fleet Command, so I know that this is a possibility. And then if I lived long enough to make a fourth game, which I probably will, it could be Territories. There is a great asset that goes along with this as I am sure that the SFB Staff/community would be eager to offer their advice through forums in the making of these games. They still exist, and I'm sure most of them would be thrilled to help make these the best games that they could be. These games would have a couple dozen or so “assistant designers” who have made these games a part of their lives. One of the most well-known sayings within the SFB community is “SFB is not a game, it is a lifestyle choice”. These are some of the people who wound up truly living up to that old saying. I've said many times before that I would make truly revolutionary space combat games. If I used my lifetime of contemplating how to translate the SFU into computer games, which in a way is what the PDU is, in guiding the remaining SFB community who cares to help through translating these games too the computer then you could multiply what I've said about that in the past by at least 10. Most of these people have been doing this for 30 years or more, they really know what they are talking about. These really would wind up being some very special games. And we'd get to leave behind the legacy to the next generation of what so many of us thought was so special that we devoted a part of our lives too it. This doesn't lose Rube, either. Mission is a very different Rube than Territories, but Mission is still Rube. SFB already has Rube's cardio-vascular system running through it, its Impulse Chart, and would also be a “Rube game” (the way I would make it, anyway). As an example of what a computer game version of SFB would be like, and one of the things that would be so revolutionary about it, there is no better example than the AI. When I apply Rube to SVC's original Impulse Chart in SFB... Rube “knows the future” through a “trick” similar to a radio station delay. Think of that “time bar” in BSG: Deadlock. A “moment of time containing reality” or, in SFB terms, “plotted movement”. The AI “knows the future”. The SFB community has the tactics of this down to a science in this particular game, and in general... really. We know the movement plot for all of the ships for ¼ turn in advance throughout the turn, and we have 40 years of accumulated knowledge to now “choreograph” what will happen through “automated rules” (AKA “AI”). There are about a dozen major “empires” on the Federation & Empire map. Each empire's ships would use their best tactics, because we already know what those tactics are. We aren't guessing, “blindly blundering forward through trial and error praying that it works out in the end”, we already know how it works. The SFB-inspired Rube-powered AI of both Pirate Dawn and Mission, which is partly based on the concept of the “Oblique Option Point” (there are many “Option Points” in this system), is the foundation of how this will all be made to work in single player. The SFB community, and Rube, would astonish you with how “intelligent” the enemy “AI” in this game would appear too be. Rube knows the future before it happens, “Rube plans the future”, and we know how to use that information. On “Hard” mode (the best “AI” that we can make) it will be a long time before a new player gets to the point of consistently winning but, just like my IKNFL mod of FPS: Football, it would be a game that you love to lose because of how you lose. You'll just get out-played by our automated rules that already know what you've decided to do ¼ turn in advance. The SFB Staff and a bunch of Rated Aces will be kicking your *** by remote control;-) And then online, if you want to fight against other people online with space ships in a “thinking man's space ship game” then you'll never play a better game than my SFB computer game would be. It's probably not going to draw an FPS-sized audience, but it would be a great game online with a huge variety of well-established scenarios for up to six players. There are hundreds of scenarios to choose the best and most popular from to use in the computer game, including many great “beer & pretzel” scenarios that are designed purely for fun without regard to realism. For example there is the original “Space Hockey” scenario, “That's My Freighter!” where three players/ships fight to tow a freighter off of their own map edge zone, or the very popular 6-player conundrum known as the “Circle of Death”. SFB has way too many good scenarios to even use in a first release computer game, we'd be picking from just the very best of them. SFB is, of course, also based on original series Star Trek, so now you would not be relying on my PDU story and would instead be making games based on a story you already know is very popular. I was never able to make SFB play itself in any kind of good way, other than cheating with “The Orb”, but as a computer game that becomes an easy thing to do. The AI of this game, which is really the AI of Pirate Dawn and Mission, would amaze the gaming world. It really would. But then, that's Rube for you... *** One Last Try *** Space ship games should be a major genre in computer games, right up alongside FPS, RTS, and RPG games. But they never have been. This is because nobody in the computer game industry that has ever made one understood how space combat actually works, the “science of 2D ACM without gravity”. If you don't know that, then you can't make a space ship game that actually works. You can't even design sensible ships. It's not your fault that you make such primitive and terrible space ship games (“No offense...” - Rodney Dangerfield). It's Hollywood's fault. You try to imitate what you see in Star Trek and other sci-fi movies and TV shows, and bring that to life in a game. You stick with their “canon”, which is just a writer's imaginings that is not based on reality. This is the root cause of why you have never been able to make space ship games. They are always a disaster because those Hollywood writers don't have the slightest idea of how space combat actually works. They don't care how it works, and they don't need to know. What you see on TV and in the movies is nonsense, and you wind up trying to re-create that nonsense imagined by story tellers who don't need to care about how it actually works. You can't make it work that way because it doesn't work that way, so in the end you wind up with a complete disaster because it is based on nonsense. I make space ship games based on how the combat actually works. This has nothing at all to do with what you see in sci-fi TV shows and movies, which has nothing to do with the reality of “2D ACM without gravity” which are like laws of physics. You don't get to decide how space combat is going to work and then make it work that way. It works the way that it works and there is nothing at all that you can ever do to change that. And when you don't know how it works, you wind up with a disastrous mess every time. This is why you don't make very many space ship games even though it should be one of the most popular genres, and it would be if it were ever actually done right. It's because every time that you try, you run into the brick wall of the “laws of physics” of “2D ACM without gravity” which you know nothing about. And then, as a direct result of this, the game you try to make winds up being a complete disaster almost every single time. Faster Than Light is one of the very few exceptions... because it is the classic Star Fleet Battles Ship System Display and Energy Allocation Form, and because there is no movement. If there was movement FTL would have been every bit as big of a disaster as all of your other space combat games have been. You can see this where they get the higher levels of “Evasion” in FTL backwards with diminishing returns. Higher levels of “Evasion” (speed) should provide even higher bonuses than lower levels, diminishing returns is backwards from how it should actually work. Even in simplifying all of maneuver into a simple “Evasion Rating”... you still managed to get even just that exactly backwards. The computer game industry generally doesn't make space ship games because you've learned over time that you can't. They turn out terrible every time because you don't know how space combat works, and if you don't know how it works then you can't make a good game out of it. All you can do well with space ships is put them into a Civilization-like game. You often ask me “why should anyone hire you and risk millions of dollars making a game” and the answer to that question is “why would you hire anyone else and risk millions of dollars on them making a space ship game when they don't actually know anything at all about the subject”. There is only one group of people in the world who has this all worked out, and there is only one person among that group who has spent his entire life working out how to translate it all to computer games. I would truly revolutionize this genre, I really would, and that should not come as any surprise. That should be expected from the SFB Staff, you should expect that one of us would make a very special computer game in this genre. You would want me making space ship games for you because then you would completely dominate that genre, which should be among the most popular genres but isn't because your space ship games are always so bad. That's why you should be interested in me making space ship games, because then you would be the dominant maker of space ship games. If you were going to do it well, you would have done so long ago at some point during the last 30 years. Whether it is with my own Pirate Dawn Universe, the “second generation” of the Star Fleet Universe, or with the original Star Fleet Universe, I would make some very special space ship games. And, of course, the original Star Fleet Universe is Star Trek... and I'm sure that the current SFB Staff would be eager to “do their adviser thing” with me for SFU computer games. So in that case it would be a group of experts with decades of experience in making these kinds of games. Either way, PDU or SFU, GSC Rocinante would go on its “Mission” in the starship simulator dream game of every Star Trek fan who has ever played a computer game. “My other Civilization”. It's only a matter of whether it would be a Galactic Survey Cruiser of my own Advanced Ghost Fleet or of Gene Roddenberry, Franz Joseph Schnaubelt & Steve Cole's Federation Star Fleet, which is really the original Federation Star Fleet. The games that you have made within this genre over the last three decades prove that you simply aren't in the same league with us when it comes to space ship games. I don't say this to be insulting, but to after 30 years try and finally get the point across... it's like comparing a professional athlete to little league players. There is no competition out there when it comes to space ship games, just as if John Elway were going up against 12-year-olds. Again, I don't say this to insult you but to try to make the point that I have been trying to make for 30 years now. We are on a completely different level than you are when it comes to space combat games, and this is provably true. If you had everything for SFB you'd have 2 four-inch binders containing about 1,000 pages of rules, and 4 four-inch binders containing well over 2,000 ships across nearly 40 different “empires”. You'd also have another 500 pages of things like the Tactics Manual, and about 5,000 pages worth of Captain's Log. If you like that, a splinter group of SFB Staff also made Babylon 5 Wars which is essentially a slightly different take on SFB set within the Babylon 5 universe. There's another 1,000 or so pages of material for Babylon 5 Wars, too. We really do have this whole space ship thing down to a science. Why would you want me making space ship games for you? Why would you take that chance on anyone other than me? You've been imitating the Star Fleet Universe, most often without even realizing it, for over 30 years now. Why not let one of the people who has lived it show you how to do it right for a change? And who better than the only one of us who has devoted their lives to translating it all into computer games. Whether it is done as the PDU or SFU... Why would you not want to completely dominate an entire genre? I really can do that for you, easily. That would be a very easy thing to do, there is no competition out there for us in this genre and there never has been. So I am here, waiting to hear from anyone out there who wants to to make some very special space ship games. Whether they are PDU or SFU, or anything else for that matter. The SFU is Star Trek and already firmly established, and the remaining SFB community who has lived it as their hobby for decades would most likely be thrilled to offer their advice in making the SFU games. The PDU has “next generation” designs of the ships, weapons, and systems that work better as a computer game than the ships, weapons and systems of the SFU would because they were designed too from the ground up. The PDU also has the MTV video-Rush-classic rock thing going for it, and the uniquely original mythology written around the music that has been weaving itself into existence across all 12 games over a period of 20 years now. Either way we could make some very special strategy war games in space that are nothing at all like Civilization and focus on the war, tactical space combat games, starship simulators, or simple arcade-like action games (like Pirate Dawn or The Trade Wars, where the combat is like Star Control and other early “top down” arcade games). It's really not your fault that you can't make space ship games, it's Hollywood's fault. Mission could show you the way... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlUhIXZnFYw “Dreams don't need to have motion to keep their spark alive.” - Neil Peart
  6. Really?

    I never said Armageddon Chess would be “revolutionary”. In fact, I said the exact opposite, that it was made under the production restrictions of “make a game you can send someone in an e-mail”. When I was here last time you guys told me I should make a simple prototype game, that's what Armageddon Chess is. It's exactly what I was told I should do, so I did it. It was the suggestion of people in these forums. My blog is a preview of a 14 game universe, focused on the over all story of the 4000 year long timeline that ties all of the games together. It includes a both playable game and a design document for a computer game. That story is written around, and often redefines the lyrics of the songs. That is the only true storytelling/writing ability I would attempt to lay claim too, I am pretty good at writing around and re-defining the song lyrics. I am confident that anyone who has actually read the story, including paying attention to then lyrics along the way, would support me in that. It really does work, maybe you should try reading the story. “...And the stars look down.” Pirate Dawn is not badly organized. It might not be the way that you organize your design documents, but it is not badly organized. It's just not what you are accustomed too. Everything about each individual subject is together on one place. Corporations, ships, weapons, devices, etc. The alpha-numeric reference system will direct you to other sections whenever information in another section is relevant to what you are reading. Certainly, you wouldn't want to blend sections together, mixing corporations with weapons for example. Reorganizing it would simply mean reorganizing sections. Switching sections G and L for example. This also allows for whole new sections to be added to the document without needing to re-write or re-organize any other sections, all you need to do to add a whole new aspect to the game/section is add any needed references. This isn't meant for the players, they won't ever see this. It is for a development team to use. If you think it should be re-organized I could quickly re-arrange the sections in whatever order you think they should be in, but mixing information from sections would be a bad idea for a design document. You might do that in the game manual for the players that the document eventually gets edited into but for purposes of designing the game, the structure of the Pirate Dawn document is better than that. All the information of each individual aspect of the game is all in one place with referencing to things from other aspects of the game that are relevant. You often need to bounce around the document to read everything about a single subject, just like in the SFB rulebook, but that inconvenience is worth it to keep each aspect of the game together in a single section without mixing any other subjects into that section. It is not badly organized, it is just an organizational structure that you are not accustomed to using. I'm sure I haven't done this anywhere near as well as SVC does, he has a lifetime of experience doing it this way. He certainly does it a lot better than I do, but it is a very useful way of organizing a “working document” to make a game. The Kaufman Retrograde concept I described in the previous post is a good example of the types of things that you can't see in the Pirate Dawn, and so you aren't fully appreciating what is actually there. If you look at the design of the ships in Pirate Dawn you will notice that the ships have forward firing weapons, aft firing weapons, and swivel mount weapons that can fire either forward or aft. This isn't just something I thought was cool, this is a part of making the combat of Pirate Dawn balanced on an “open map”. This is not an easy thing to do, it takes a great deal of knowledge of the tactics of space combat to achieve balance on an open map. The ships cannot fly fast backwards, they are restricted to about 1/3 speed when thrusting in reverse. The forward, aft, and swivel mounts then allow me to tailor each ship to function in a balanced way on an open map. To blunt the effect of the Kaufman Retrograde. This is only one example of many things in the Pirate Dawn design document that are “invisible” too you because you don't really understand how this type of combat functions and what the issues are. This is not an insult, or bragging, we really do have this down to a science. Not me, the SFB community, I am simply an expert in this body of knowledge. There is a lot more to the Pirate Dawn design document than what it appears to be on the surface, it is a carefully crafted combat environment that works within the “laws” of “2D ACM without gravity”. I'm not guessing, I already know how it works, and what you are seeing in the Pirate Dawn design document is something that not only works, but works in a very good way. I've resolved a lot of issues that many SFB experts would think are not solvable issues in that design document. It is much more than it appears to be on the surface. If you are willing to allow this new thread to continue I will expand on the discussion of the Kaufman Retrograde. If not, I guess I will just sit in a corner somewhere and wait to die. I can't believe you won't even allow me to speak, won't even allow me to try.
  7. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    Nacro: I am just trying to find a way to make at least one of my games, I would assume Territories, before I die. I've spent my entire life on this since I was 7 years old, I'd just like to publish at least just one game before I die. I tried it the normal way for 20 years, in all that time only one game company ever even responded too me. Someone early gave me advice about interviews... I've been hired at every game company interview I have ever been too. I don't have 20 years to manage to get a single response again. There is also the issue that just sending a resume to someone that lists the Task Force Games and the Star Fleet Universe as your primary experience does no good when nobody has heard of it before, or understands the significance of who we (and our fearless leader) even were. I always forget to mention this, but because of IKNFL Sierra offered both me and my brother jobs designing Front Page Sports Football 99 out of the blue. I hadn't even sent them anything. Of course, my luck, that came at the same time as GameFX so I had to choose between them. To put some of the things I say into perspective, I really only make two kinds of games. Like pretty much all game designers I have one or two things I do well. I would never dream of competing with an FPS guy making an FPS, or an RPG guy making an RPG. With the sole exception of Armageddon Chess which is a board game where all I have really done is add a simple combat system to chess, all of the games of the PDU are either strategy war games or tactical space ship games. That's my thing, that's what I do. I can only make a truly good sports game with my sports-guru brother to put the final paint job on it, I can't do that alone. There are no RPGs in the PDU, because people who like RPGs wouldn't like mine. Same goes for everything else. If you are a talented “FPS guy”, you are the reason I can't make an FPS. Mine would suck compared to yours. If I tried to make an RPG I'm sure anyone who likes RPGs would say “this isn't an RPG, this is X-Com with a few RPG elements”... and they'd be right. That's why I wouldn't try to make an RPG. The RPG guys would destroy me. I don't think I can do everything, I make strategy war games and tactical space ship games. That's it. I can't compete with anyone who is talented at working in any other genre because that's their thing, and it's not my thing. I thought that I should take the time to give you an example of this knowledge of “2D ACM without gravity” (most of it also applies in 3D) that I had mentioned in the previous post. This is not my knowledge, this is the accumulated knowledge of hundreds, if not thousands, of people over a period of 40 years. I possess this knowledge at a level that maybe only three or four dozen other people in the world do. I was never an great “ace”, I was a great “rules lawyer”. One of the most complex subjects within this body of knowledge is what we call “The Kaufman Retrograde”. This is one of those types of subjects that has no final answer and another SFB expert and I could endlessly debate several points I will make, so this is partly my take on what is an endlessly debatable subject. This is a very brief and incomplete synopsis of this concept, any true SFB expert could easily write 10 pages about this subject before needing to stop to think of something to write next. The Kaufman Retrograde has a deep effect across almost all aspects of the tactics of “2D ACM without gravity”. The basic concept is simple. A ship moving away from a pursuer is at a great advantage. Any mines dropped by the running ship are weapons moving quickly towards a pursuer, any mines laid by the pursuer are simply left behind and irrelevant to the enemy. Any missiles launched by the pursuer have a long, slow, uphill climb to the enemy. Any missiles launched by the running ship have a significantly increased rate of closure. The design of the ships would change this, but as the ships of the SFU are designed the Kaufman Retrograde can be almost a 3:1 advantage. Three equal ships would be a fair fight against a retrograding opponent. It can make that big of a difference depending on the design of the ships involved. This is probably the most serious balance issue within this type of combat environment, it affects most aspects of tactics and maneuver. Although it is always a viable tactic, sometimes even only very briefly without any extended pursuit taking place, the retrograde is normally only a serious balance issue when the sole objective is attrition (the destruction of ships). You can't attack an objective by running away from it, you can't defend an objective by running away from it. The retrograde is not usually a balance issue whenever there is an objective other than attrition. So adding an objective to a scenario/map can be used to eliminate or at least mitigate this as a balance problem. The best general “solution” when the objective is attrition that the SFB community knows of is to limit the size of the map, what we call “the boxing ring”. Because of the Kaufman Retrograde map size is a critical factor in balancing a tactical space ship game. An “open map”, one that is not restricted in size, will provide a large advantage to any ships that excel at the retrograde, which are usually ships with seeking weapons such as missiles and plasma torpedoes. It can also make for very long, drawn out, and boring fights. Space might be infinite, and it might seem “right” that the map should be endless, but you will encounter very serious balance issues on an “open map”. This is a core subject, a part of the very beginning of truly understanding the “2D ACM without gravity” that governs this type of combat. You don't have to tell me, I already know that you are aware of this concept by whatever term you use for it. You can't miss it, it jumps off the map/screen at you. But, based on your games, you don't understand many of the implications of it. I've played most of your space ship games and they are riddled with easily solved problems caused by the Kaufman Retrograde. If you had this knowledge, those obvious and simple to resolve issues wouldn't be there. Going back to the Deadlock example I've been using, and applying this to that issue, the retrograde is not really a factor in Deadlock. The ships move so slowly, the combat is at such close range, and the missiles are moving so fast compared to the ships that the Kaufman Retrograde effect is essentially not present in Deadlock. Deadlock is one thing, an approach into an endless knife fight. I don't doubt that Deadlock will be a game that a lot of people like, it looks like I will like it because I love this stuff so much. But, in reality, there is almost nothing too the combat in Deadlock... “gamers don't miss what they have never had.”
  8. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    Oh... And I have shown you 14 inter-woven games on my blog... How many more will it take? One is playable, another is a first draft "starting point for discussion".
  9. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    I don't want to attempt to reply to everything that was said here, obviously that reply would be too long. I did not just help with the SFB tactics manual, I as a member of the Staff who represented the Romulans during my time on the staff. And I was on the staff during one of the three critical periods of the design of the game, the design phase of the final "Captain's Edition" of the game. That is why I am one of the more well known people in the history of the SFB Staff, I was there at a critical period. I was also one of only four people to ever be hired by the company, I actually worked at Task Force Games. I have been hired by every game company that has ever interviewed me. Both of them, Task Force Games and GameFX. You generally ignore pure game designers. Only one computer game industry ever so much as responded too me... and they hired me. In 20 years of doing this your way, only a single company ever so much as responded too me and they hired me. I've been hired by every game company who ever responded too me. I was not comparing Master of Orion to SFB, I was pointing out that Master of Orion plagiarized SFB. And it really is like kids playing with SFB in a sandbox. It's really primitive, even childish. Master of Orion is like Candyland. You really have no concept of how far behind us you are when it comes to space ship games. The biggest thing that prevents you from making a good space ship game is that you don't know the tactics of space combat, what I call the science of "2D ACM without gravity". If you don't know the nature of the fight, you can't make a game about space ships fighting each other. It is a very complex subject that has taken a lot of very smart people decades to begin to put together. As an example, their is a big problem with Deadlock that will prevent it from ever being able to truly shine. The ships move so slow compared to the rate of fire of the weapons, due to BSG canon, that it can never be made to be an interesting fight. It will inevitably be a slugfest with almost no tactics too it other than "get in range and shoot until a ship blows up". I know some ways of making what our tactical knowledge calls a "knife fight" more interesting than what you are seeing in Deadlock, but that is still lacking all the dynamics of how this actually works. Without the primary phases of the fight present (approach, battle pass, separation) all you are left with is a knife fight slugfest that is pretty boring compared to what you have when you understand the tactics of the situation and design the game to work with those tactics. This is just a tiny little example of an endlessly complex subject. But this has always been the root cause of why you can't really make space ship games. If you don't know how the fight plays out, you have no idea how to make the game work or even how to design the ships. It's far too much to write here, but the tactical knowledge accumulated by the SFB Staff over the last 40 years is akin to the laws of physics of how this all works. They apply to any situation where objects are fighting in an environment with no gravity, even a game like Diablo for example. You simply don't possess the knowledge to make a good space ship game, because you don't know the tactics of the fight. You are "flying blind" when you attempt to make a game that focuses on combat between ships. We really do know what we are doing, we really do have this down to a science. I really would make space ship games at a whole new level that you have never seen before, and many other current and former SFB experts could as well. It's not just me. You really have no idea how far ahead of you we are when it comes to this specific subject, or how blown away you would be by one of us making a space ship game. We may as well be from a different planet compared to what you do with space ships. That's not exaggerating, in fact it is understating the situation. I thought I'd add a bonus to this thread for anyone who has actually read the PDU story, and paid close attention to the song lyrics along the way since they are always the spine and backbone of the story. I shouldn't be revealing this one, but at this point I will almost certainly never get to make the 10th game of the PDU... so why not. If you got into the story and know it, every word of this song will have great meaning too you. This is a part of the very end of the story of Fallen Angel Rising, one of the first songs of the end sequence story of the entire chronological timeline. If you've read it, it is probably obvious too you that the sun had to have exploded at some point during Astral Invasion. In Fallen Angel Rising, about 300 years after that, humanity is going extinct. There are very few humans left in the galaxy, the last generation of what little is left of humanity will soon die off and there will be no more humans left in the galaxy. Cindy/Ashling is about to “do her thing” and give humanity a second chance. This song is the beginning of the end of Cindy's story, and of humanity's story. Every word of it is profoundly relevant if you have taken in the story on my blog, if not it's just a song that won't have much meaning too you. I shouldn't be giving this one away, this is a present and thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my story and likes it.
  10. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    Master of Orion was pure plagiarism of the Star Fleet Universe, I am one of a very few people in this world who knows most of the details of exactly how that happened. But you don't need to know that story to know that Master of Orion was simply plagiarizing Steve Cole. It's blatantly obvious, and only barely concealed. All of the technologies, for example, are straight out of the Star Fleet Universe. There is no question about this, anyone who knows the SFU can tell you this. And it is not “way better”, MOO is like Candyland compared to the original and it is VERY BADLY done. A joke, really, compare to what it was stealing from. It's terrible compared to the original... and yet still a great game. That's how good SVC's games are, even a complete disaster like MOO turns out to be a classic. That's how much you can take away from one of his games and still leave your generation awestruck. He is then most influential game designer of all time and literally your founding father of game design. As I said, these days you make very few games that don't included at least a little bit of Steve Cole. I don't “hate” Devry graduates, I point out the fact that you consider a 20-year old qualified but not someone who has been designing games since before your industry even existed. You people are so indescribably arrogant that you actually defend that ridiculous notion. That speaks for itself, to sane and rational people. And I have not spent 10 years posting here. I posted here for about a week 10 years ago, nothing in between, and a few times over the last year. I have, however, spent over 20 years working on the Pirate Dawn Universe. The PDU is a “Big Three” like game universe the likes of which the computer game industry has never seen. It was all valid game design work, not programming. When I say “you don't hire pure game designers” I am immediately told that you do, and I am wrong. But then, as you can see in this thread, as soon as I say “OK, then, here I am. And here's a 500 page preview of the life's work of pure game designer” you say you immediately start telling me that is useless, I've been wasting my time, and I must become a programmer. Just like you just did here. Make up your minds, do you hire pure game designers or not. If you do, then my life's work is valid and there is a 500 page glimpse of it here. Make up your minds. I say you don't allow pure game designers into your industry, several posts here seem to agree with that. If what I posted on my blog is nothing, and until I become a programmer I am worthless, you don't hire pure game designers. Why are you telling me that I must become a programmer now? In the past you've always insisted that wasn't necessary, and that you do hire pure game designers. Make up your minds!!! The closest thing the modern game industry has to a group of “founding fathers” is Steve Cole and the SFB Staff. We literally invented the process by which you make games today. I'm not just a game designer who has been designing games longer than your industry existed, I am also from the group of people that really can be considered to be your founding fathers. That 500 page preview of the PDU is an example of the work of one of your own founding fathers. But you know so little of your own history that you don't know this. This is how you treat one of your own founding fathers. And then you completely discount 20 years of work and tell me until I am a programmer I don't count, and at the same time insist that you do hire pure game designers. I don't have to be a programmer. Make up your minds, which is it?
  11. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    JB. Please do, I would love to hear what people who played it think of Armageddon Chess. Part of the marker problem, because there are probably too many of them even if they had icons, could be alleviated by using laminated cards with record tracks (boxes to mark) on the card. Then the game could come with a grease pencil to mark the cards, which erases with a cloth or paper towel. Then a few categories of markers could be eliminated, with things like hit points recorded on the cards. As for combat being tedious, I am thinking maybe you were only using two dice? I looked and I didn't mention using more than two dice. What was intended is that you would have 4 pairs of dice so that you can roll up to four attacks at once. Rolling the attacks one at a time would be tedious. But let me know what you didn't like about it, the opinions of the earliest playtesters are always among the most valuable because anything the first people to play a game think is likely what most people will think. Oberon. As I had said, I don't know some of the methods you use to make games just as you don't know some of our ways. From your description you do have a similar method of quickly messing with ideas, I had always assumed you would need to make little prototypes with programmer art to do that. It sounds like you do exactly the same thing, don't waste time writing (or coding) until you know that you have something. When I say you are decades behind where we are I am referring to the fact that we have been doing this since the late 1940's and you have been doing it since the early 1980's. It is also a response, maybe a little over-the-top, to 30 years of being talked down too as if I am some kid who wants to make games but has no experience doing it. In the earliest days of the computer game industry it was always "board games are not relevant too what we do, we are doing a completely different thing." In the early days it was all a completely new thing, but they still had no interest in anyone from the board game industry even at the time we were the established game industry and you were just getting started. There has always been a reason why we don't matter, the reason keeps changing but it is always there. Our games were far more sophisticated than people today realize, especially Avalon Hill and ADB games. It's not just me. Almost nobody in your industry has ever even heard of Steve Cole. He's the Jimi Hendrix of game designers, he should be a legend too you. He invented the process by which you make games. He introduced so many things that are staples in your games. Energy Allocation, Mass-Based Proportional Movement, the Impulse Chart that is the next generation beyond the phased-turns that you know. You make very few games that don't include at least a little bit of Steve Cole, and some of your most legendary games were just outright plagiarizing him. Master of Orion is a Steve Cole game. These days, he has been so influential that you regularly make games either based on his work, or re-creating his work, without even knowing it. Faster Than Light is Steve Cole, Deadlock is Steve Cole. He is almost certainly the most important game designer in your own history, and most of you have never even heard of him before. It's not a situation that is limited too me. And if you want to see this knowledge from us, not me, but us... we can talk about space ships for a while. My specific little Star Fleet Universe branch of the old hobbyist game industry really has that subject down to a science. You guy's know a lot of things we never knew, but we also know a lot of things you still don't know. Especially when it comes to the SFB Staff and space ship games. I am not nearly as big of a jerk as I appear too be, I am just fighting against an ingrained prejudice computer game industry people have always had against us. Also, a misunderstanding of what our games were like. For example SFB is, by far, the largest and most complex game ever made. No computer game comes close, and none likely ever will. Nobody even tries to make games as massive as our "Big Three" era did. But the perception is "board games are simple and small compared to computer games" when, in reality, the opposite was true. No RTS has come close to rivaling Advanced Squad Leader, either. Not because we were better or smarter than you, but because it was a different era. Our games were bigger, and lived on to be developed for decades. SFB isn't a thing of the past, for example. Still today, 40 years later, ADB still releases a new product for SFB about once every other month. They are still going, it still isn't finished yet. 40 years and still counting! Why would you expect to be able to compete with that? Do you plan on spending 40 years making a computer game any time soon? The most complex table-top games were much, much more than today's generation imagines they were. As a result, we have this whole space ship thing down pretty well. Maybe I should be talking about space ships instead of Rube...
  12. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    The Comet: I explained this in a previous thread before, but I thought I should say it again here. Just as I don't know about some of the methods you use to make games, you don't understand a lot of our methods. I have made more games in my lifetime than I could even begin to count. Easily over 100, probably over 300. How, you ask? As I mentioned once before, our generation had a means of prototyping games very quickly and easily. Actually making a prototype and playing with it is a lot easier, faster, and a lot less work that sitting in front of a computer writing game design documents. You don't bother spending all that time writing until you have arrived at something worth writing. Hobbyist industry game designers used a “tool box” to quickly make any game they were imagining to actually play with it before wasting any other time on it. A “tool box” was generally poker chips, flash cards, and maps and pieces from other games. I usually used the map from Supremacy for Earth, because it has very generalized borders. The Axis & Allies map was better if you wanted more regions to work with. With this “tool box” we could throw whole games together in a few hours, and then actually play with them to see how it was working... or not working. For example Territories is, in reality, all the best things to emerge from dozens of different “poker chip prototypes. After having tried at least 100 different “poker chip prototype” strategy games for years, I finally arrived at the original Territories. This was 25 years ago I am talking about here. This was a big advantage that we had on you. We could go through what you call “iterations” at lightning speed compared to you, just playing with poker chips and cards on an Axis & Allies map. After you do this for just a few years, you become very fast at throwing up any game idea to play with and actually use before you ever decide that it is worth writing. You can actually play a turn or two of 5 different versions of something in one day. I think that is a part of what is being missed here. We have ways of making these things exist, literally, before we ever decide to start working on them. I almost certainly have more experience designing games than you do, Comet, it's a lot harder for you to take a game as far as we can in a few hours. Really, all this insisting that I know nothing at all, have no talent at this at all, nothing at all to offer, is just further demonstrating the complete lack of respect you have always had for the hobbyist game industry. That's been true since the earliest days of your industry, I know because I was there experiencing it right from the beginning, and still hasn't changed today. As for my methods since I retired 10 years ago, I had tried it the “normal ways” you are all suggesting for 20 years and never got anywhere. I already know that doesn't work. It's not me, it's you. If you think I have no relevant talent pr experience to offer people who are making games, then you are just making my point for me again. You don't know what you are talking about. I've been doing this since before your industry even existed. I assume you think the people making Deadlock are qualified, I really could advance that game 20 years in 20 months. And of us could, not just me. It's so empty, primitive, and broken in a million ways even though there is almost nothing there. I like it, I'm not knocking it, they are heading in a very good direction. But they are just starting on a decades long journey they will never complete because in the modern gaming world games don't last 30 years. I only use it as an example because you someone said I have no relevant skills, talent, or knowledge at this... and yet I am literally 40 years ahead of Deadlock. JBAdams. I am happy to hear that you tried Armageddon Chess and I would love to hear more about what you think of it. As far as I know, you are the only people who have played it. I wrote that very quickly, when you guys suggested I make some kind of prototype, and never set it up or played with it. It is a “poker chip prototype” so, as I said in it's rulebook, tracking things will be a little confusing. That is always the case in all poker chip prototypes when you have no icons printed on the markers to distinguish them. In a published version that gets resolved with custom markers that make it all easy to deal with. So I get what you mean by “tediuous bookkeeping”, but that gets largely resolved by icons on the markers that make it less confusing. Was it more than that, or just the confusion of unmarked chips? What did you think was “tedious” about the combat? I'd love to hear any opinions you have on it, especially what you thought about the number of actions available in a fight. I left it intentionally high because I thought it was better to err on the side of more action, but I really think in the end it will be a set 3 actions in a fight regardless of what pieces were involved in the initial battle. I'm sure Armageddon Chess needs a lot of work to become truly fun, and it really is what I was able to cobble together that could be used this way under the restrictions of “make a game you can just e-mail to somebody”. I don't think the Pirate Dawn document is disorganized, it's organized like many board game manuals... the first part of it. People in your industry wanted me to add a lot of stuff too it at one point, and the last 1/3rd of it is a pretty confused mess because of that. My fault, but parts of it like all of section U, are pretty messy. Where the game actually is should be in pretty good shape, I think you are talking about the end of it that does get a little confusing. It is definitely readable, and would have been ahead of its time in 1997 when I was originally wanting to make it. I'll also mention that if anyone is interested in seeing my version of a fleet of space ships, look at the 1X MSC and 1X Fleet files that come with the Pirate Dawn download. The SFB Staff are essentially assistant designers, you have no equivalent too them in your industry. It has generally consisted of doctors, engineers from places like NASA's JPL, lawyers, military officers, even a real-life Colonel from US Space Command. It is nothing like any group of gamers that you would imagine. It was a very unique thing, and a very serious group of people. I did help to design the game when I was on the staff, JB, that's what we do. There are many rules still in the game today that came with me, including the fact that leak damage on Andromedan ships first hit's hull before going to the DAC, which had resolved a very big issue back when we were re-designing the Andromedans. I represented the Romulans during my time on the staff. It really is not anything like any modern group of gamers. The SFB Staff are truly assistant designers, and they are a very serious group of people. It really is a singularly unique thing. I didn't design Sinistar: Unleashed, I made the levels for it during the last 3 months. I was more of the “rescue designer” than the designer. I made all 30 levels, across 4 levels of difficulty, through editing the text data files and testing on local builds, in about 2.5 months. That first draft was what they shipped. On my Gamasutra blog there is a post about IKNFL. It's not like I have no reason to not want to reveal all of the details of Rube that would allow anyone to make games my way. Not getting credit for what I do has been a running theme in my life, it's not like you haven't done that too me before. Every sports game your industry has ever made is partly based on my work. I never got any credit for that. Still, today, all player ratings in all sports games are how I made them in the 1995. They've just been making “next year's league file” from my IKNFL files for Front Page Sports Football since the dawn of time. Someone mentioned me wanting to leave my mark on your industry, but I did that almost from day 1. Player ratings in your sports games work the way they do because that's how I made it work, instead of the random numbers that had existed up until then. IKNFL was also the very first ever player created mod that was incorporated into the game. In the 1998 version they just included it on the disk so people didn't have to go find it themselves, since the game really wasn't worth playing without it, and I'm pretty sure that was the first time in your history that ever happened. But I can't even use that as part of a resume, because as always I never got any credit for it so it is perceived as a “lie”. Madden immediately copied it, and everyone else copies Madden... but it was actually me. So it's not like that hasn't already happened before. Player ratings in sports games was one thing, but I'm not going to watch the same thing happen again with my whole way of making games. That will get introduced in one of my games, or it will die with me and the world will lose it. People seem to be taking Rube as being my point here. I assumed Rube would make a difference, so I have been focusing on Rube, but I am really just trying to find a way to make games. It's all I know, and I know it very well. I've been doing it for 40 years. I wrote the blog to show an example of my games, and my story, that is an example of what I do. I normally avoid going into this, but I was born with a very serious medical condition. I have had to spend my life inside, and hiding from the sun. The sun is lethal too me. Because of this, and my obsession with games, I have literally spent my entire life playing games. Beginning from about the time I was 12-years-old I started playing games pretty much all day long, every day, and have never stopped since then. I don't have anything else to do. It is unlikely that there is anyone else on the planet who has spent as much time playing games as I have, because I don't have anything else to do. If you have a normal life, it's not possible that you have spent as much time playing games as I have. I am literally trapped into a life of playing games. It has literally been my entire life, it really has, and unless someone else out there is in a similar situation there probably isn't anyone who has spent as much time playing games as I have. I am not normal. I am both obsessed with games and simulation design, and then forced into a situation where I have nothing to do except play or make games. I'm not bragging, I'd much rather have a normal life, but this really is who I am.
  13. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    Hodgman. I do know what you've been doing. I've been playing and studying your games since the day your industry began. I've been here all along. Deadlock is a perfect example, it's at least 30 years behind us. It's primitive, a first baby step in the direction of where we already are. Everything you've said applies perfectly the other way around, though. You don't know our work. You don't know the things that we know, that are based on a much longer history of making much more detailed and accurate games than your industry ever has. I am keeping very little “secret”. I've explained most of it already, you just don't have a frame of reference to understand it. You are stuck thinking in terms of “phases”, so you can't see the significance of what is sitting right in front of you. Exactly as you said too me, you aren't qualified to tell us what we do and don't know. You couldn't have it more backwards. Which group has been doing this for 70 years, and which has been doing it for 30? You really do have everything you said exactly backwards, everything you said applies perfectly if you just turn it around. And, I posted over 500 pages specifically because you people have always said “show us something. I did. Over 500 pages worth. Nobody has even bothered to read it, and now you act as though it doesn't exist. I just spent a year putting together a 500 page presentation to show you, what more do you want? I'm not giving away my unique style and then spending the rest of my life watching you people make games my way while still insisting that I am a talentless fool. I'm just not going to end my life watching everyone else do things my way while I am still ignored. I have shown more than enough on my blog that any competent person should be able too see that I know what I am doing. People in your industry just don't know a game designer when they see one, not even when that game designer has been doing this for longer than your industry has even existed. I don't see how you can describe me spending a year, non-stop, to create a 500 page presentation as being “lazy and not willing to show you anything”. Armageddon Chess is even a PLAYABLE GAME made under the production restrictions of “make a game you can send someone as an e-mail”. What more do you want? Kylo: I am not a programmer. If I could make a game with the Unreal engine myself I would have done that a long time ago. As for everything else you said, you are just proving my point. You aren't capable of recognizing a game designer when you see one. And confirming that you actually consider some 22-year-old as qualified, but not a member of the SFB Staff (literal one of your “founding fathers”), is simply admitting to your incompetence. All of this criticism that I won't show you anything is nothing new, and is the reason I created my blog here. That's why I did the blog, to do exactly this. Nobody will read it. I did this, it's there right now including a complete playable game. What you are asking for is there right now. You wanted to see something, I gave you 500 pages... you won't read it and yet still demand I show you something? I don't even know what to say. I guess I'll just sit in a corner and wait to die. I don't have anything else to do. I was born to do one thing, obsessively. I wasted my entire life on it not realizing just how clueless and incompetent the one industry I would need to be hired by is. I won't be alive for more than another 10 years or so, and would just like for my entire life to not have been a complete waste. To just make one of my games. But that isn't going to happen, because your industry is too incompetent to recognize a natural born savant simulation designer when you see one. You think a 20-year-old is qualified and someone who has been designing games since before your industry even existed is not. What more needs to be said? That really says it all by itself. It's just incompetence, and you are even willing to defend that ridiculous notion, which is mind-blowing. I can't believe you will even look for ways to try and defend it. You truly are a hopeless group of the most arrogant people that the world has ever known. I'll just go sit in a corner and wait to die. There is nothing else in this world for me to do. I only do one thing, and the people who control that one thing are too arrogant for me to ever get to do it. You should probably stop trying to make games with space ships in them, you severely embarrass yourselves every time you do. I can't believe you actually defend the notion of a 20-year-old being qualified while someone with 40 years of experience, and former member of the SFB Staff is not. That is just admitting your incompetence, and yes, I know you don't realize that. But it is.
  14. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    No, you didn't “fix it”, Hodgeman. I do actually have a 20-page thing on Rube that are notes too myself I didn't bother mentioning, because Territories is where Rube will actually come from. I know exactly what Rube is, I've been using it my whole life. It is second nature too me at this point. This is not stuff you already know, what you know is Avalon Hill's phased-turns. SVCs impulses are quite a bit more sophisticated than that. And Rube is yet even another step beyond that. What you already know is similar, but primitive by comparison. You still don't seem to get that your way of doing this is the elementary school level version of just the cardio-vascular system of Rube. It's not just the key piece I am leaving out that is making Rube so “invisible” too you, is it equally that you don't really have a frame of reference to understand the “third generation” of this. You are thinking in terms of the “phased-turns”, when the “cybergod” runs on “impulses”. You want some reading to do? The SFB impulse chart and sequence of play would take you into the second generation to at least have better, and more modern, frame of reference to understand some of this. An SFB expert would understand a lot of things in this thread, and on my blog, that you don't. It's not that I am “worried someone will steal my idea”, or care about money. Rube is how I make games. It's my style, the thing that makes my games so uniquely different than everyone elses. Since it is very unlikely I will ever actually get to make one of my computer games, I'm certainly not going to reveal exactly what my style of making games is and then watch people start making games in what really is my unique style of doing it. That's what Rube is, in a way, just my unique way of making games that results in unique games. No different than Will Wright is seen as having a unique style. It's bad enough for me that I never get to make any of my games, I wouldn't be able to take watching other people making games in my style while I still don't get to make mine. I would think anyone could understand that. It isn't about anyone “stealing my idea”, or money, it's about my own sanity in the future. Mikeman, table-top games were a lot more sophisticated than you are imagining. You don't roll dice to determine how many moves you have in SFB. Those would be like “Candyland” rules. Steve Cole also introduced the concept of “energy allocation” to gaming. Faster Than Light is simply two fundamental components of SFB, the Energy Allocation Form and Ship System Display. SFB's impulse chart, used in a very different way, is just one of six components of what I call Rube. Like on the first post of my blog... Top Spinning Wheel of Time (Heaven) Rube Goldberg Card Sorting Machine (God) “Living Entities” within the A/P Map (Souls) Active/Passive Map (Mortal World, AKA “The Matrix”) Bottom Spinning Wheel of Time (Hell) That's what I call the “Rube II” of Territories. Something like SVC's impulse chart runs through all five of those components. This is a general of framework of time combined with reality. A uniform simulation of any part of reality, or all of reality, that you want it too be. That, in turn, has long been known (at least in my day it was) as the “Holy Grail” of simulations that would be useful to science. That's the reason I pointed out that it even works at a sub-atomic level. That's not useful to me and making games, but could be to scientific simulations. You can define Rube's “moments of time containing reality” as any length you want and it all still works. The shorter they are the more detailed the simulation is, but the more computing power it takes... exponentially more than you are imagining because of that part I always leave out. It really does function exactly like what we perceive as God. Kylo: I had thought my point would be obvious when I said that. My point was that I am a lot closer to that than any 20-something recent graduate of the Devry School of Game Design. Rube doesn't qualify me as a game designer in your eyes, 40 years of experience doesn't either, but you'll hire a 22-year-old in a heartbeat. It's just plain insulting. Do you hear me saying I that expect Rube to make me wealthy? Or trying to start my own company? I just want to make games. I would think that 40 years of experience would be enough all by itself, but no. I was certain Rube would be enough... but no. If I was 22 and went to the Devry School of Game Design, then it wouldn't be a problem? What do I have to do to finally be seen as at least the equal of someone with almost no experience, and even less knowledge? Your industry is like the twilight zone from my perspective. It really is. Forgetting Rube, you have no idea what I could do to Deadlock. I could advanced that game 20 years in 20 months. Not just me, I know a dozen other people who could do the same thing. Because we are all from 40 years in its future. But none of them know computer games half as well as I do.
  15. Nobody Wants A Cybergod?

    I've given the Deadlock example I came here to give, hopefully it makes a difference. I'm happy to discuss this if anyone wants too, like some of the questions I just answered. But I'm not going to argue for the sake of arguing and prolong this thread with off-topic issues. I am not trying to make an annoyance of myself. So other than any serious questions anyone has, I gave it one more try. There is nothing that I can do about your industry being absolutely insistent that a 20-something recent graduate of the Devry School of Game Design is an “expert professional worthy of consideration” and a person who has been designing games for over 40 years, longer than your industry has even existed, is a “know nothing fool who we won't even consider” who can't possibly compare to a 22-year-old who says “I like games”. This dogmatic insistence of yours is just plain incompetence, and I can't overcome that. In reality, Rube makes a good argument that today, in 2017, I am the top person in this field. I did it! Towards the end of my life I completed the work of the primary branch of the hobbyist game industry. A general simulation of time combined with reality that results in the framework of a uniform artificial universe, the literal “Holy Grail” of game design. That's not arrogance or delusions of grandeur, I would think that it's pretty obvious that at this moment in time I am a serious candidate for being called “the top person in the field today”. And yet, in your minds, not even worthy of consideration compared to a child with almost no experience or knowledge of the subject. That's just incompetence on your part, and there is nothing that I can do about that. I will not have internet access between August 20th and the last week of September. So, in the unlikely event that anyone tries to contact me, I won't see any e-mails during that month. Maybe, if I am lucky, someone in this industry might finally decide that maybe, just maybe, someone with 40 years of experience might actually be a better choice, and know just a little bit more, and make better games, than a 22-year-old who says “I like games a lot”. It's a radical concept in your minds, I know, but maybe somebody out there might actually consider it. Finally, if there is anyone out there who actually got into the story of the Pirate Dawn Universe presented on my blog and, taken all together it probably all amounts to a 200+ page book, I would very much like to hear what you think about it. The story itself. I'm no great writer, and I fully realize that this story will never shine for other people as it does for me until a professional editor fixes my elementary-level grammar, prose, and composition. That's not my talent, that's their talent, and just like simulation design, or playing football like John Elway, you have to be born with that talent. You can't learn it, not to be truly good at it. But I really have spent over 20 years coming up with this mythology, pseudo-science, and intricately inter-woven story of the history of all of humanity from the formation of the Earth to the explosion of the sun... and a few hundred years beyond that, actually. When I spent a year putting the blog together from my files on the 19 games of the Pirate Dawn Universe (I don't mention the “side-games” I would never live long enough to make at this point on the blog), I thought I couldn't lose this time around because by focusing on the story this time I would at least finally find out what people thought about the story. Still now, if nothing else comes of this I really would like to at least hear what people think of the story. At least just one person, but the more the better. You can send me a private message. I'm really shocked I haven't heard from at least one Rush fan... I would have thought at least one Rush fan would have said at least something about it! You won't pick up on much of what is there by skimming through it, I'd really like to hear from someone who has actually gotten into it, and there is kind of a built in test for that. So I'd really like to hear from anyone who has come to realize who Cindy McAllen actually is. I intentionally made that more obvious on the blog than it is in my files, anyone who has actually gotten into the story will eventually realize who she is. So if you know who Cindy is, I'd love to hear what you think of the story. Even if you hate it... especially if you hate it! But if you like it, too, that would of course also be nice to hear. My biggest concern is the “weird, off-the-wall, oddness” I have tried to add too it in some places. I love it, but I've always worried about how it all comes across to other people. So if anyone out there has actually got into the story, I'd really like to hear what people think about it. Just for myself, and to maybe tone down the “strangeness” if that just isn't working. I want to complete the “spine and ribs” of the story just for myself even if I never wind up making any of the games. “...and the stars look down.” - Pirate Dawn Universe ;-)