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Pubmeet 2013

Pubmeet 2013

As has been increasingly the case, players are arriving earlier in the week for the pubmeet. For those arriving on Wednesday, it has been a leisurely few days of plotting, consumption of fast food and beer (in all its wonderful forms) and board gaming. For some, gone are the days of furious bartering before people get so drunk they dont know their own names let alone remember what they agreed to. For those unable to escape the suspicions of the wife, especially considering Blackpools often seedy reputation, Adam (of GTT fame) has a proof-positive tip invite her along first time round and you will get a free pass ever afterwards.

This years pubmeet though hard work was very enjoyable from our point of view. We had an unprecedented amount of positive feedback both on the recent updates and how the last years updates despite some opposition and inertia to their uptake have shaped the game for the better.

It is somewhat gratifying that our long term view of improving the game had paid off especially when companies with much bigger employee bases and vastly larger turnovers are failing so spectacularly. That said, possibly it is their size and eye on the balance sheet rather than staying true to the ethos that its worth taking flak in order to maintain the integrity of the game is the cause of their downfalls.


What I picked up on was the amount of activity across the game, both in terms of affiliations with their hands full and within all of the Peripheries, from the Inner Empire out to Corewards. Personally speaking I haven't seen this many things running concurrently in some years. It looks like the rise of the alien factions combined with the opening of Corewards has given factions both old and new areas of the game universe to get their teeth into.

Overall, this weekend has proved that we are for the most part heading in the right direction and it is being reflected in the small through steady increase in the player base, something we hope to improve on as we press onwards.

As usual the weekend was broken into three parts, Friday night beers and grand toot talking and Saturday split between a presentation followed by slots for factions to get their private chat with the game developers. By the end of Saturday night I had brain cramp and Darak was virtually scraped of the floor and poured into the waiting taxi.

The Presentation
For the most part the presentation was explaining the reasons and justifications for the developments as outlined in the rules. I will present a quick breakdown of them here.

Development Plan
This covered all the areas we intend work on in no particular order. The primary point of interest here was Contagions. A question raised by one of the players, Isnt this just going to be a pain in the arse, one which I would be happy to do without. This was received with much head nodding by other players. I explained that over the years we regularly get requests by players looking to research plague bombs and means of inflicting misery on other factions through viral warfare. When asked, who amongst the audience wants them in the game to develop such things there was a unanimous show of hands, including the chap raising the question.
Need I go on?

Not mentioned at the meet is that the contagion development has other benefits outside nasties as they utilise a vector mechanic that will be used to propagate information (rumours) and even transporting operatives through probability instances (a modest application of quantum mechanics).

Infrastructure
So, those big boys in their shielded fortresses can impose their will on you across space and you cant touch them bah. Wouldnt it be good to kick the smug bastards in their coffers? Dropping a few bombs on civilian populations would quickly bring them to the negotiating table or force them to extend their defences to cover all those women, children and eggs with great wealth comes great outlays.
Then there are the dark corners of the universe with their primeval gardens, ripe for colonisation. Wouldnt it be nice to replace the current method of using special actions to build up the civilian population and establish planetary infrastructure with a few standard orders?

The presentation effectively gave a bullet point explanation of development stages and what was needed to achieve them. This document though newly typed up is actually a refined version of the various ad hoc methods employed over the years as players have attempted to increase their merchandising and trade on various under developed worlds.

It was confirmed as it was not specifically stated in the document that once added to the game these civilian populations would also be susceptible to contagions.

Infrastructure being back on the table was to some peoples amusement. We explained that last time around, besides the description being somewhat fluffy, the primary obstacle was access to the data this sort of project would generate. The idea of generating world reports for email did not seem sensible. This required us to develop Nexus and all the ensuing features that were essential simply to make the game playable online. It was pointed out that now everybody uses Nexus to some degree and it has become an indispensable part of the game.

The main difference between this presentation and the previous incarnation is that this is very much both player driven but more importantly, easily implemented. In fact the values were used in the development of the established populations of Corewards.

Government
If infrastructure is considered the bare bones of a developing civilian colony, government is what gives it an identity. These can be considered the game-maintained counterpart to player controlled affiliations. As profiles defined by affiliations list what they will and wont do in various circumstances (such as use slaves or nuke civilian worlds) along with attitudes to other affiliations via the relations mechanics, so too governments have profiles and relations.

The government of a world may enhance or restrict affiliation assets on the world, lending them troops or denying them merchandising amongst other things and if you dont like the government, there will be means of changing them through persuasion or by more confrontational approaches.

The main points beyond the types of government was that certain styles of government took longer to establish than others and the list presented was neither exhaustive, nor covered variations appropriate to the counterparts of specific affiliations.


We gave an example whereby the Flagritz Empire may be closer to a feudal society despite its name. It may however invade a world and establish a temporary dictatorship style of government termed Martial Law and then over time move towards the Flagritz Empire by moving in its slaver overlords.

Old Stuff
Following the presentation and fielding various questions beyond the scope of the presentation, we returned to the development plan and rather than dictating the order in which we were going to go through the list, we opened it up to some degree (there are things that have to go in before others). The consensus (to my personal surprise) was to code characters sooner rather than later. It was pointed out that armed with the data in the infrastructure presentation, players now had an idea of what they were aiming for and as such they could easily continue using special actions as developing worlds was not overly widespread at the moment. Characters however opened up a lot for the vast majority of players, presuming that there was no need to run vast numbers of them.

Conclusion
It has been a busy time since, working on the extensive list raised during the private chat section of the pubmeet though we now have a clearer picture of what will be coded in which order and intend to release some of the features early in the New Year. Top of the list is incentives for introducing new players to the game, closely followed by contagions.



 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Acropolis Now ***

The IMP and GTT have brought peace and stability to Acropolis.

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Goodbye Falconians ***

The galaxy bid farewell to the Falconian Republic as the Human Empire subsumed them into their expanding territories. This marks the second death of an alien civilisation at the hands of the IMP / GTT in recent years. Like the extinguishing of the nearby Ulians, no voices of opposition could be heard from other quarters. This marks a long-period of appeasement by the Detinus Republic and Dewiek Elder Nation.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DOMination * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****



 
***** Inter Galactic News THE MUSICAL *****

*** Norozov, No More ***

Kantner: No more do I see the starlight caress your cyclops eye
No more feel the tender kisses we used to share
I close my fists and clearly my heart remembers
A thousand goodbyes could never put out the embers

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Chulainn: Oh all the Stellars mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Kantner: No more do I feel the touch of your hand on mine
No more see the love-light making your dark eyes shine
Oh, how I wish I never had caused you sorrow
But don't ever say for us there is no tomorrow

Chulainn: Oh all the ladies mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before.

Lanner: So, old cyclops has finally met his comeuppance
Maybe its time for a comeback

Chorus: No, no one wants you back!

Lanner: I always did like that chair of his…

Chorus: The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!

Continued in this special edition of the SSS...

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** ALIEN CRIMINALS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ***

FILTHY AND DISHONOURABLE Dewiek mercenaries have dared to attack HONEST AND HARDWORKING GTT warships in the Coptuv system.

THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

The Dewiek commander’s lengthy response was appreciated by xenophile and philanthropist HQ Manager Tom Krieger but this does not change the facts.

FURTHER JUSTICE IS EXPECTED AT THE EMPEROR’S PLEASURE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

Inside this issue of the SSS: * SEDITIOUS FET CHARGED * LIES OF THE FAILED REBELLION * TERRORIST PLOTS FOILED * ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE CRITICISED * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Voice of the Naplian Liberation Front ***

We are the Naplian Liberation Front. We have commandeered this station to bring you important and vital deprogramming. You are a slave of the Galactic Trouser and Tussles Imperium of Unspecified Services! We have witnessed the press ganged upon by Imperial thugs. Rounding up reporters by the thousands and throwing them in weasel dens. Mocking the Great Uncle of the Flagritz. Manufacturing consent out of a lust for imports of wheat cereals! We poor Naplians(*) are given no training and substandard equipment when preparing your nutritious breakfasts. We are sent forward by the Imperial snack commissioners with threats of triple-filing tax returns on unreasonable deadlines! Death would be preferable. We are allegedly paid a wage but have you ever tried to buy anything with just $1? Strangely none of those politicals earning $10,000 or more a week seem to care about our plight. Not to mention that the Imperials throw perfectly good meat into the grinder instead of slow cooking it in black bean sauce. They have no respect for a classic burrito! We are left grieving for young families who have never tasted quality ranch sauce. You don’t need to be a dead Naplian to know the value of a good guacamole.

* No actual Naplians included.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * GTT vs USN * GTT vs NLF * GTT vs IND * GTT vs KAS * GTT vs FET * GTT vs SSS * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic