VGA Planets

Written by 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

Written by 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

Written by 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

Written by 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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Elite

Written by on January 28, 1995, 12:00 am

I basically missed the boat with this game, when it was breaking ground in the fledgling computer game industry in 1985, I was playing Sierra adventure games. I got into this incredible 3d space trading sim in 94 when the souped up Frontier Elite version was released for PC. This game used seeded randomly generated star system configurations to create the illusion of an infinitely large universe. The basic premise of trading to create wealth and gain starship improvements was extremely addictive. This game managed to avoid the tedium created by repetitive tasks to gain wealth and levels, by hosting the game in a essentially limitless universe. The vastness of the playing environment provided a diverse range of trading and combat opportunities that truly immersed the player.

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