Quake Deathmatch

on June 22, 1996, 12:00 am

My first programming job and the first time I had access to a lan of decent computers, introduced me to Quake deathmatch. A friend and collegue of mine, Nick Maher implemented Quake world local a LAN version of ID Software's quake world server software. It logged frags and deaths and ranked the players in the office in the same way the Internet quake world server did. We were very serious about our Quake for a long time, Nick often kicked our butts but eventually we improved and had some awesome competion going. We would have beers and watch demos of Thresh in the Red Annihlation finals and comment on his playing style like we would any other sport. That is what deathmatch first person games are for me, a sport, fast reflexes, accuracy, skill, tactics and strategy all make or break a deathmatch player. It proves, for me, that a simple concept for a game can create complex behaviour in players.

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VGA Planets

on June 1, 1996, 12:00 am

VGA Planets is a turn based, play by email, space empire building game. Up to 11 races (which seem strangly familiar to factions in various popular science fiction films and TV shows) battle for galactic supremcy over months and possibly years of real time playing. Each week, my friends and I would process our respective turns, give orders to ships, manage resources and send abusive subspace messages to each other. The turns would be submitted by all players and processed by the host. This simple system worked very well and created the kind of political and military machinations that I have not seen in any other game. Alliances were made and broken, fleets changed sides mid conflict and many galactic warlords were stabbed in the back by their trusted allies.

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System Shock

on March 26, 1996, 12:00 am

I played System Shock about 2 years after it came out, you would think that the game would have dated a little, it hadn't. This is the first computer game I played that had such an incredible atmostphere that it gave me nightmares. This game totally avoided the problems of stilted NPC characters by killing everyone before the player arrives. Despite the untimely death of all the Citadel station employees, character development is created with the logs of the dead npc's scattered around the station.

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Batmud

on June 2, 1995, 12:00 am

The first massively (well up to 500 players) multiplayer game I played. I was due for a knee operation the next day and I wanted to stay up all night, I logged on my old 2400 modem on my 386 and played batmud all night. My 386 lasted a lot longer than it would have normally, thanks to this game. This mud is based origionally on the LP mud but has been drastically modified and enhanced. Complex guild, skill and combat systems, with a VERY large game world. The web site claims that it is the oldest LP mud, and I think this is very likely considering the complexity and volume of modifications. With a loyal following of players, a social and economic community prosered in my first virtual online experience. The text model for a mud allows a huge amount of creativity for the host of wizards developing new game enviroments. Having programmed a little in the lp mud programming language lpc, I can understand how such a rich world can be developed by a few commited mud wizards. Batmud is supported by player donnations and runs on it's own server at www.bat.org.

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X-Wing

on January 28, 1995, 12:00 am

The first true 3D game that I played, immersive, consistant storyline and set in the Starwars universe. Simple flight model, no real space simulation here, but a lot of fun and not trivial to master. A good mission system created the need for some tactical planning to complete goals. Personally I think this is the best of the X-Wing/Tie Fighter/X-Wing vs Tie Fighter lot, I liked being the good guys. Seems like lucasarts have got back on track with X-Wing alliance, another fun game.

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