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The state of the forum community

Supreme Cmdr

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Everyone please read this.

Effective Monday morning, I will be closing all forums (except the Beta forum) for posting.

I may re-open them at a later day, but until then, thats that. I've had enough and this just isn't fun anymore.

Be advised.

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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I cant believe what Im seeing. It's bad enough that you feel you have to do this, because it's far from neccesary, but to publically make me a scapegoat for your descision is beyond belief. Sure, you may not see it that way, but from everybody elses perspective, thats how it looks.

I dont have any personal, or professional misgivings with you boss, but after recent events (In reference to both Hamblins and Epsilon 5's expulsion) I have become dissalusioned with the whole affair. Banning the both of them was both prudent and neccesary after the way their either attacked you, or recklessly spoke about taboo topics so freely on your board. They deserved to go, and go they did.

And what of the others that were banned in the weeks prior to theirs? Did they deserve to go? The vast majority Im sure did, but there were those that got the boot because they were spotted on an off day, or when you we're being harrased by bogus bug reports from people who didnt RTFM. We all have bad days. We all get grouchy and toche. I am no exception to this, as was indicated in my previous post.

But the point still remains as is. Things have degenerated around here. People are in fear of posting the wrong thing, or accidently rubbing you up the wrong way. A lot of them dont know you as well as us vets have - so are more likely to take offence at a curt word or a harsh tongue lashing. I doubt there is anybody here who hasnt been at the end of one of your backlashes in the past.

Remember back in bygone times I was banned for spreading maliscious garbage about ACM scripts? You recieved several emails from someone about this fact, and somehow I was blamed for the incident. Well, as we learnt a few hours after that banning, the culprit was someone else and not me. I was reinstated, and all was forgiven and forgotten.

Point is, you were under a lot of stress then and you reacted more on instinct that evidence. After stepping back and looking at things objectively, you realised that It wasnt me who was responsible. Bad guy was found and banned, case closed, everything back to normal.

This is the same sort of thing. You're under a lot of stress since BCM went Gold. You've been in development with this title for two long years, and you're already straight in with enhancements, expansion packs and several other franchise titles. You work long hours, tend to a very busy board and answer most of the support everyone here. You're burning yourself out, and all the people who have been here for the duration have noticed this. We dont want you to burn out. We love this game. We love this frnachise. We love this friggin community. We dont want any of it to end, but we dont want the guy who has made this all possible to get dissalusioned with his audience to the point where he says "To hell with it all" and shuts up shop.

Sure, the game will go on, but this community is what fuels those games. Close it down, even tempoarily, and it will do more damage than any of us would dare think about.

The word Draconian was, perhaps, a bit harsh on my part. Put it down to the frustration of watching somthing I built up over these years fall apart around me. That would do it to a guy, you know? Perhaps I should have described things around here as being "Too strict" instead? Either way, Im tired of having to tell my people to hold their tongues, or watch what they say for fear of a backlash. We always known you have to take the forum's conduct seriously, and a lot of us here have done our best to help you with that, but things have gotten to a point where people approach me and ask whether or not they can risk saying somthing without fear of being banned.

I dont want to have to do that, nor do I want to see a community I care about suffer because I have voiced these concerns.

So I ask you, keep the community alive, let those people begging for an updated patch sit on their hands for a while and go and take a break.

Anyway, I've said what I had to say, and done what I had to do. Whatever happens with the community, I'd like to thank Derek, the CAT crew, the forum community and most of all my comrades in the Orion Fleet for making the last three years both memorable and challenging. Never before have I known such good people with such a passion for the holy grail of hobbies - The Game.

May you continue into the new year with my best wishes and fondest memories. It's been a helluva ride guys .... Greg, she's all yours. Take good care of her.

This if former Fleet Commander Karl "Blades" Savage, signing off ...

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This is supposed to be fun. And I for one am NOT having fun and I'm tired of babysitting this forum and getting responses such as the above because some don't either (a) don't want to abide by the rules or (
think they are too Draconian.

And I've said before, I have no problems banning any and everyone who steps out of line - no exceptions. So, rather than having to go through that periodically, I'll just disable postings and be done with it.

C'mon SC, please don't close the forums, that's only a minority opinion. Look on the Fun Stuff forums or the Tricks and Techniques forums, almost everyone enjoys the forums and greatly appreciates that your giving BC players a place to discuss and learn from each other. A large number of people, the ones that really enjoy these forums, want the rules and abide by them as well as possible (myself included). Some people consider the rules, like any rules, "draconian". Many consider them establishing order. These forums shouldn't become constant "flame wars" or have lots of postings that annoy the devloper (aka, you), since after all, you ARE the one providing the forum, the game, important input/interaction, so after reading the thread that you provided the link to and thinking about it, you should ban whoever you want. If your having a bad day, do random bans! Ban everyone with a name you don't like. Your the one giving us the game/forums, so feel free, but please don't close the forums. Most people agree with your rationale behind banning people, and at least 99% of those that don't would rather have the bans with the forums open, than have them closed altogether.

You have no problems with banning anyone who steps out of line, so please be consistent. Everyone on the forums hasn't stepped out of line (I hope), and I hope that you may reconsider closing the forums. On a personal note, these forums are one of two things I almost always do online. I check Terminuspoint multiplayer forums for about 5 minutes(hey, there's no BCM multiplayer yet, gotta have someone to shoot), and I read these forums for up to and sometimes over and hour. Please don't get rid of the excitement in my otherwise boring life.

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5 days after I got promoted to moderator.

Hours after the celebration for the release of The Game.

I lose one of my favorite peers, and the one person I truly looked up to, and the whole of the community gets thrown into chaos.

I'm shocked... Beyond that, I don't have much else to say.

I didn't think it'd end this way. Hm... But at least the fleet's still standing.

Good luck to each and every one of you. The need for a Newbie Welcome Wagon is no more, and I'm off to find myself once again in real life. But I've got good memories of this place, and I'm sure to return. We had the most civilized site in all of the internet. And I enjoyed that. Too bad I wasn't around for much of the community's heyday.

Good luck Blades. *salute*

So, I'm still here..... Standing in the middle of the desert of this place..... I'm nowhere and everywhere. I'm tired but somehow I manage..... Now what to do....

Nova, over and out.

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Cmdr Nova ]

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Very interesting Derek. I've been both a critic and a supporter since the start. I've opted in and out. Your "it's just not fun anymore" line is simply absurd. Was it "fun" in the good old days when BC was a joke..and not a funny one? You overcame that and made it serious.I suggested BCM to a friend yesterday..I never thought I'd do that.

Bad day at the office? We all have them. Have a whiskey , curse the bastards, and press on. I thought you'd never let them win. I thought you were made of sterner stuff. Toughen up again....afterall most would have quit long ago. Then again how does that go..."The man that follows the crowd usually.."?

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I have just joined this forum recently and I have to say I like it. Closing it down so soon? Yes I have said things I would love to see in the game but there just extras that would require more work and would probably slow gameplay down. I speak only mediforicly not literally. I love to see how active you are in this forum and am very proud of you and how you work with your fellow gamers. I am sorry if I said anything that made you think I expect more from BCM. I think BCM is great. All I am expecting is the up comming relese of the multiplayer. I know you dont like misspellings as well and I am very sorry for mine for I am very poor at it and I have no spell checker. If it does make you happy though I shall copy my texts from microsoft word and try to spell check them. I really would like to help this community I want us to all to take the time to get to know one another. So as a last minute plea of faith I ask that this forum not be closed and that those who have very minor problems be forgiven for there wrongs. It will take time but I shall try to make my postings fit your standards. Hell if i say somthing You don't like or if for some reason I conduct somthing wrong or whatever go ahead and yell at me. Just please whatever it takes to keep this forum from falling.

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Masterfeff761 ]

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Alright, enough of this.

Derek, that's just wrong, man, and you know it. I have to back Blades on this, because he's right. This community is a huge part of the reason the game is so fun. While this may be just part of a point to make (which is what I'm hoping), I would think that it should be made in private or at least in the relevent thread. Those are the same rules we are all supposed to follow.

You own this board and have total control of it. But this is MY community as much as it is yours. It's Jaguar's community as much as it is yours. It's Gallion's community as much as it is yours.

$ilk, Rattler, Parias, ShoHashi, EVERYONE. This community would be nothing without it's members.

As a friend you know I've always told you that you were wrong when I thought so. But normally I do it in private, not wishing to make a scene about it. You're the leader of the community, and a friend. So I afford you that respect.

But there's a funny thing about leadership. It doesn't work unless done by example. If you do something that you don't want others to do, that's hypocrisy. And people don't follow a leader who is a hypocrite.

You would have banned ANYONE who said ANYTHING as negatively drastic as you did in this thread. You would ALSO have banned ANYONE who would have called you out the way you did Blades. You've banned people for far less. Hell, *I* have banned people for far less.

Blades is stressed and made a few comments that weren't too highly favorable. But instead of leading him from that, you went off and did the SAME THING! We've all been under our own stresses lately, including myself and you know the extent of my stresses. We all know the extent of yours, although we're not experiencing it.

If you want to simply destroy our community, one that is BETTER than ANY other gaming community on the Web, one that you should be totally proud of, fine. I won't say another word about it. If you want me gone because of my comments, just say so. I'll leave. If that's what being a friend is, OK. I've stood behind you on EVERYTHING you've done since I've been around, as has Blades, but if that hasn't earned either of us a certain respect, nothing will. We all don't have the luxary of doing this for a job while setting aside our lives.

But, in all of that, even though we have often disagreed, we have ALL given you total respect at all times. And not because you demand it, either -- because we SUPPORT your endeavors. We LIKE you. We think you're a good guy. We appreciate your work.

What you're doing here is the polar opposite of the respect that Blades has always shown you. Not to mention the rest of the community.

Stress makes us all fallible, including you.

And what you're doing is not right. I suspect that you know that.


[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: aramike ]

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I gotta go with Aramike on this, This community is one of MANY reasons that this game is so great, it is the community of the gamers that play your game. It's where we get together and discuss it, talk about things, shoot the BS, everything.

This is a VERY stressful time of year as it is, and now that BCM is gold, you immediately began working on patches for what we betatesters missed, you have answered questions from Noobies, and put up with a lot of crap at the same time.

I think though that this is a little drastic, maybe it's not fun for you anymore, that tells me that it's time for a break for you. Vacation time, lord knows you deserve it, and lord Knows that you keep saying that you are going to take one.

We will take care of the board, answer questions, ban smart aleck newbies. We know the rules, we know how it needs to be run, you go take a break, take your fiance and daughter out to the gulf, go to Orlando and disney world, or better yet, jump in the car and drive to wherever the road takes you.

The board will be here, in as good a condition as you left it. Leave the computer for a while, take a vacation through the new year, ENJOY yourself!! You deserve it!! We all know that..

You done good Boss, time to enjoy your success.

We can handle the board for you while you are gone, we know what you want, we have been here for quite a while. We like it the way it is and wouldn't change it for the world.

On a more personal note, I respect you immensley, and like you as well, I appreciate your work, and I love this community.

Please, don't let this get you down, do not take drastic measures like this. This community is far more important then a bad day or week.

Take a break, get away, we'll take care of it, just as we always do.

Then, when you come back, take a second look, and if you still feel the same, then do the deed, but I feel that you need to give it a chance before you just shut it down.

It's very unfair to your loyal gamers here, and I think you know that.

Bottom line: you deserve a vacation, leave the board up, go out and enjoy your success. We will take VERY good care of it for you. Come back next year, take another look, and if you STILL feel this way, then Shut it down.

If you decide that you are not going to do what I have said, and shut it down tomorrow night, then here's is what I have to say.

Thanks for the last 3 years, it has been a ball, thanks for trusting me as a CAT member, and thanks for the killer game. I will still be here to betatest for you, but it will sadden me to have the board gone. The people on this board are intelligent, articulate, and full of knowledge, and I have enjoyed it immensley.

Thank you sir for all that you have done and all that you are still going to do.

thanks to all you commanders out there, for your humor, your support, your debates, and your love of this game.

Best regards to all of you, from a Battlecruiser fanatic, and a fan of Derek Smart. You all have a good life and I look forward to seeing you in Multiplayer.

Richard Pasquier

AKA Jaguar

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Jaguar ]

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Personally I don't want to see the board shut down either.

We have all been rubbing elbows together for a good while and I think they are starting to chafe. Time to lean back and apply some ointment.

Shut it down for a "couple" days. Give everyone a breather maybe.

Derek is being the developer (boss) and our friend. Too friendly and people take advantage. Too bossy and people get mad. Catch 22. Ya can't win.

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I was going to wait until tommorow, but SC, respectfully... take a break man

I know that you get really upset over the mistakes that newbs and vets alike make after the rules have been handed down, but many people either don't know all of the rules, and are making an honest mistake, or know the rules, and just don't know they are breaking one.

In the end it has to be stressful for you, but how much of that stress could be alleviated by letting the admins and those moderators you have entrusted with responsibility, use that responsibility? Seriously you work hard enough in the Tech support and Game Development side of it. You shouldn't make yourself worried about the community side of it to, other than to allow it to thrive.

There are always going to be questions to which the reply is to RTFM, and there will always be duplicate threads popping up, and threads that previously had been closed.

The admins and mods you gave jobs here will be able to handle those. Micromanaging every detail of your game and community is self-induced stress in my humble opinion, and taking the advice of most here, and relaxing and letting the mods and admins tighten the reigns themselves would be the best choice.

If a newbie question irks you, don't even bother posting a reply to it, because you know that one of us will always come along with the proper response for the newbie. If one of us vets causes a problem, the mods will slap our wrists for us.

You have made this a clean board that's true, but the mods and admins can maintain the same order that you yourself expect if you'd just give them the chance to lead on their own. (I'm not insinuating that you haven't trusted them enough or anything, just saying that they could handle your expectations should you just let them know what you want done and set down some ground rules, step back and watch them.)

Your stress causes some harsher replies to come in your posts than would from most of your other board members replying to the same query. These are YOUR boards, and you have expectations for them. But worrying about those expectations being met so hard that you lose the focus of making it a fun place to be as well, defeats your purpose of developing a strong community.

Frankly, we are a strong community despite the harsh rules and replies, not because of them. Your vision in this game brought many of us together, and those of us who remain here DO like you. But at the same time, how many newbies, or maybe old vets have been scared or intimidated off the board worrying about saying the wrong thing?

When I first started posting here I was scared at first, but then got to know the community around here. I've gotten some pretty respectable replies from you, while at the same time getting some harsh replies. I haven't complained because of the community that is here.

Look over our forum names, and our posts, and realize that there are people behind those names who love your game nearly as much as you do. These people have found a common factor between each other through your game, and lasting friendships have developed here. And I maintain that it is DESPITE and not because of the replies your stress causes.

Like we say, we love your game, and we understand your stress, and we forgive your outbursts. But at the same time, it's driving some people away.

We aren't asking you to change who you are, we aren't asking anything from you except to step back and realize the community that your ideas have started. Your vision is the reason so many of us are here. We aren't here because we have some getting yelled at fetish

We are here because of your game, and the community. The community has even taken place OVER the game in some of our eyes, because these are people that envision the games that could be, and look to you to develop them.

I know "wishlists" and "SC could you fix this" get tiresome, but on the other hand, people are looking at you because you have made yourself available. No other developer does this. And people KNOW that if ANYONE can do it YOU can. While it's frustrating for you, you can't tell me that if you think about it, it isn't flattering as well

I believe that shutting down this board, even temporarily as Blades said, would cause tremendous damage to our community, as well as prevent new members from learning what it's all about. My suggestion would be, leave any question that is silly, ludicrous, etc. to someone else to answer for you. You've got to have better things to do than jump into Newbie25's first post and scream at him to RTFM!

I know you make yourself available to your fanbase, but that is a little TOO available for some people

In all actuality, just take a break, focus on tech issues, let the mods handle the board for a few days, whatever.

Give a certain procedure for posting tech support issues, i.e. in addition to system profile info, require a save game, complete description, whatever, and let orderly postings fill the tech support area. Or design a feedback cgi script form to report tech issues.

Including User name, email address, short description of problem and why you think it's a problem. If you feel like tackling it then email the person and request a save game. Knock out issues one at a time and get rid of bugs more efficiently.

I would mainly suggest leave ALL newbies to Nova because... well you know how that is

And for us vets who step out of line, allow the mods to scold us.

If we create a "Derek Smart is dumb" thread - then go ahead and ban us. But as the Supreme Commander of Galcom, you can't be everywhere at once and still be an effective leader. Part of being a leader is learning to delegate authority to those you can trust to get the job done. Delegate to your admins and mods the banning powers. You shouldn't have to worry yourself with it. Leave the vets and community members to dealing with newbies.

All you should have to worry about is responding to specific queries to you, and joking around in threads. You shouldn't have to get bent out of shape about anything.

So instead of avoiding stress by making it IMPOSSIBLE for you to interact with these problems, simply make a choice NOT to interact with these problems.

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Derek has a clear conflict of interest in this situation.

On one hand, he has to make appropriate decisions to support his further development of the Battlecruiser franchise.

On the other hand, by so actively supporting the fans and Battlecruiser community and sponsoring the fleets in terms of creating RP forums, Fleet forums, etc., he is making a committment to the fans.

These two actions can't always go hand in hand, as we are seeing here.

Perhaps it is time we, as fans, took repsonsiblity for our own work, instead of letting the SC hand it to us on a plate.

Surely a sensible compromise would be to leave the tech support forums, etc., open - those forums to do with the "official" part of the community - and letting us fans take our boisterous, off topic, wishlist, and other insane posts elsewhere.

I'm suggesting the formation of a BC fan hub site - a la Planet Starcraft, Starcraft.org, PlanetQuake, or similar sites. Come on - we've got a lot of talent here, and I'd be the first to step up to the line to form a team to create a website - and community - that 1) places responsiblity for the fan community in the hands of ther fans, and 2) releases Derek from the responbility of moderating this fan-driven monster that the game has inspired, as well as 3) preserving the fine community we've created.

Who will join me? We'll need HTML coders (I can do that), CGI/Perl/scripters for forums and databases, and server space. Our dedication will do the rest.

Email me at [email protected], or post at the Orion or ISS forums if interested.


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I understand what what you are going through and I respect your decision. But think about it man, everybody in this forum looks up to you. Sure we me say stupid things at times but we're only human and some are more naive than others.

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I'm not going to read ANY of this.

There is a reason why most game companies either (a) don't host forums (B) when they do host it - its generally chaotic, disorderly and a haven for misfits - when then ends up having it closed down.

I've had it.

Anybody want to start a planetbattlecruiser.com be my guest. Just ask my permission first before using any of my materials.

As I said, the site will remain. The forum will remain but I'm going to delete all registrations (except for Beta testers), disable the ability to register and leave the existing wealth of content as read-only material.

My responsiblity is in fixing game bugs etc. I've been doing that and will continue doing that.

What I don't want to be a part of is a community which contains a plethora of backstabbers or folks who have NO clue what loyalty is (yes, I do get to see all those ICQ messages, emails etc. As I've said before - people underestimate the power of friendship).

Blades had two people in his fleet who were out of line. Their actions had NOTHING to do with him - but in less than two paragraphs of his post, it boiled down to rhetoric about the site, rather than the problems that caused those bannings.

Like I said, this [what the forum and its participants have become] is NOT fun any more and I no longer want to be a part of it. I'm a game developer not a babysitter.

And anyone who doesn't buy my next game because of this - well, I really don't care about that either. I do games for fun, not money. I have money and enough of it to keep doing what I love doing, forever - and without having to sell a single game unit.

I really don't think you guys understand this - probably those who have been around since the good and bad old days, understand me when I say that I'm NOT HAVING FUN ANYMORE.

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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I can't believe what I am seeing this morning.

The last 2 years in this community have been a blast for me. I have found my way to this community because I loved the game, and the people here have always been great, even made a few friends.

Derek, I have always respected the fact that this is your world. If you indeed close the place down, I just wanted to say Thanks for the memories, as this is truely a unique place.

Cmdr Miller signing off.

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Originally posted by DeSylva:

I have sent email to your Derek - respectfully requesting you read it.


Gareth DeSylva

OK. I've read it. I'm going to read this thread and post what I believe to be a solution, later today.

And for the record: I have NO problems with Blades whatsoever. If I had, I'd have banned him. I do NOT want ANYONE polishing up their thoughts to suit my acceptance of same. When Aramike tells me on ICQ I've gone too far or I need to re-think something, we end up chatting on the phone etc. So, if HE can speak freely, so can anyone. Even my own beta guys who've been around for like forever, don't hold back.

I'm a leader. I LEAD. Thats one of the things I do best. I have a very long track record of doing just that. Even to this day, I get emails, phone calls etc from industry vets (devs, publishers etc) who still CANNOT believe that any indie company could have held out for so long (after the 1996 BC disaster) and put out a product like this. And I have the emails to prove it too. That takes leadership. I get emails every single day (atm, I have 63 unread emails in my inbox. Thats just from last night) from people I've never heard of and who just happen upon the game, read about us (the dev, the site etc) and wondered where the hell they've been all these years and missed this action*.

Game development, while not an exact science, takes an insane degree of dedication, ambition and a twist of insanity to succeed. Being a leader is not always the place to be because it comes with a vasy array of responsibilities and decision making. Sometimes those decisions don't seat well with the people you lead - but that comes with the territory. And you do what you have to do and deal with the consequences. If there is anything that I'm proud off, its that I have yet to lose a friend over a decision I've made, something I've done (or haven't) or something I've said. Regardless, and above all else, I am an extremely loyal person and my industry history itself is testament to that.

I have people all over the world, who know NOTHING about me, making it their favorite hobby to attack, libel and slander me for no apparent reason. Yet, it never occured to ANYONE that never in my history has any member of my team (those that are around or have moved** on to greener pastures), family, friends etc have ever said a single bad thing about me. I'm not perfect, and I don't WANT to be. I do things MY way and it works for ME. While my methods and actions don't work for everyone, there is a reason for that. They're not me.

My decision to exit this community and find something else worthy of my attention and loyalty, didn't have anything primarily to do with Blade's excerpt, but rather the message that was sub-consciously communicated therein. He, like others, perhaps feel that my grip on the forum is too harsh. However, without order there is chaos. And where there is chaos, there is anarchy.

First one person calls me names in open forum and tells me that I'm looking to ban anyone (as if I had to LOOK for a reason. pah!). Then another openly - on MY forum - admits to supporting Warez etc. Then, in my mind, Blades' post seem to alude to the fact that the method in which the forum was run, was somewhat responsible. At least thats how I understood it.

As stated above by someone else, I think I've become too friendly with some and in doing that, most have lost their place and started taken me for granted. I've always treated everyone here as an equal - and equally lashing out as necessary and not showing any form of favoritism therein. Heck, if you folks knew just how much Gallion got on my nerves, you'd never think that he'd still be here - let alone render his FREE assistance with BCM. But he's still here. Why? because to me, he is an equal and I would think, a friend. I'm just the guy who created this but everyone who comes close to this in some fashion or another, shapes it in one way or another.

Look, I started doing this for FUN. I went through hell and back in the early years. I have not made a SINGLE dime on the BC franchise. Each and every cent that comes in, goes right back into something related to the franchise. My primary concerns have been to get my games done, pay my guys (who are happily enjoying their much deserved BCM completion bonuses) and continue on from there with future projects. I just do NOT have time to get involved in this nonsense anymore.

There was a time when the BC fanbase was a highly respected and regimented group. Somewhere along the line, something happened and I don't know what. Hell, we've been called every name in the book!

My daughter's birthday is coming up. Until yesterday, I forgot what day it was. Where was I? Right here. I forgot that - but did I forget to check the forum for problems or issues that needed my attention? Nope.

Did I check with EB (as I always do every other day) on the sales figures for the game? Nope.

Yesterday I walked into my garage and noticed that one of my cars was, well, missing. I went back inside and ask my other half where the car was. Well, the car (my 500SL) has been in the garage for its regular maintenance for almost a week. It was completed a day later (8 days ago). And I clean forgot about it. Yet, in those days, I've walked into the same garage, got into my other car, gone out, came back and thought nothing of it.

And to top it all, my grandmother for whom I have the fondest memories, died about a week ago at an old age. The funeral was Friday. Where was I? Right here. Did I get on an international flight? No. I stayed right here and prayed about it. Much to the chagrin of everyone in the family. I stayed right here. Day in and day out - doing this. Why? Because I needed to do this. I had a game with known problems and which needed my attention and the final 1.0.02 patch was still MIA.

I have not one, but two book deals I've been sitting on. I have an inbox full of emails inquiring about my decision. I have yet to respond to either.

I have international (EB, Virgin, Mindscape etc) publishing deals that I've negotiating and nitpicking for almost a month. In fact, Titus (the parent company for Interplay) wanted to release BCM via the Virgin brand, Internationally. And in the end, the deal died because apparently they didn't want to pay the asking price because of, *gasp*, the graphics. Naturally, the next step would be for me to re-negotiate the deal (publishers do that. A lot). My response? OK, fair enough.. End of discussion. I went right back to doing what I was doing. Working on the final 1.0.02 patch. And without so much as a cursory thought about the deal.

I can't remember that last time I talked to my best friend, Jim. Normally, we'd talk each and every day. Like a routine. Just last week he called wondering where the hell I was etc.

Until yesterday, I didn't even realize that Christmas was merely a week away and that I had planned to take off. wtf was I doing? Working on BC mp.

And to top all that, I have to fork out an estimated $350K to develop BCTC for 2003. Not to mention all the expenses associated with the two BCM add-ons and BCO. ALL of which are already in some stage of pre-production.

So, yes, I've pretty much put this community and indeed the very BC franchise itself, above all else. All for what?!?

As I said. I'm just NOT having fun anymore. Its like everything has become automated, formulaic and, well, absurd. Maybe I'm burned out. Maybe I've reached my potential and just cannot imagine that I could possibly excel beyond what I have achieved with BC (and I'm not talking about technology either). I dunno. Maybe now that I've proven to myself, the world and everyone else on Mars, that I could do this and that I couldn't be beat, the challenge is gone. Or maybe I just need a stiff drink.

At the end of the day. I'm worn. I'm torn. And I feel burned.



Oddly enough, I had flirted with the idea of purchasing your game many times, but with the huge number of games out during this shopping season, the droves at the shopping malls and so forth, I couldn't dedicate much time to reading the back of the box. For some insane reason I had incorrectly believed that BCM was yet another game with a linear storyline, good for exactly one playthrough, after which you toss it or sell it and move on to the next one.

Tonight, flirting with it yet again, a word on the back of the box caught my eye: "roam" mode.

My all time favorite game is Sid Meier's Pirates! Gold. First because I love pirates. Second because you could do what you wanted, go where you wanted, move your career in any direction. Replayability was infinite because there were an infinite number of possibilities.

So I came back home and have been reading the reviews of BCM for over two hours. Sure, I love good graphics in a game, but when reviewers mention how good or poor a particular game's garphics happen to be I just scan over that part and look for teh good stuff: what, if anything, will this game offer to keep me playing it past a month, a week or a day???

My current favorite is a title called Operation Flashpoint made by a Czech outfit (I think). I'm sure you've heard of it or even played it. The graphics are so so by FPS standards, but I look at the utter enormity of the gameworld, the remarkable editor and I am in heaven. I have been happily making my own scenarios for over a month now, learning more editor tricks form the massive OFP comminuty, and if I died playing this game I can safely say I would die happy.

So now I read about so so graphics in BCM. I read about so so sound. Reviewers have a knack of taking an element which most gamers probably wouldn't even give a second thought to and making it seem disproportionately bad to overall gameplay. Had some fans of "Ghost Recon" not compared that game to OFP in terms of AI tactics, I would have thought the AI in OPF was just perfect. Now I find myself occasionally questioning the actions of my AI squadmates (unfairly so, as they have saved my ass on multiple occasions).

Will I cease purchasing your game because some reviewers have criticized the graphics? Hell no. Immediately after work on Monday I am going to our local Electronics Botique, praying that the last copy is still there, and it's all mine.

Now on to open-endedness....

I post regularly to a small informal game critic's forum. I posted some of the BCM reviews and asked what they thought (too early for the replies to start coming in). In response to one of the frequent criticisms I read by many of the reviewers, that being their attack of what they deemed a lackluster campaign element, I wrote to my forum:

>>>What is WRONG with these f-ing reviewers? We sit here and cry and cry on this forum about no open-endedness in games today, how new games (even something like Gothic) provide only one play through, how games like Pirates! are so epic because there is unlimited replayability, and BOOM someone comes out with a game that is BEST played open-ended and all they can whine about is "No! No! We want a STORYLINE which will force this game to be obsolete in two months!"

A-Holes! They are pure A-holes!!! They are BEGGING the industry to make fewer open-ended titles and more linear tripe!!!

I would like to thank you personally for making a true open-ended game. No, I am not opposed to some story elements which I imagine BCM may have. But as long as a game's ultimate conclusion is not dependent on the success or failure of those quests or storylines then it's a great game. As stated, I am buying BCM Monday and there is no need for me to e-mail you a follow-up detailing my opinion. I am absolutely positive I will love it. This industry needs more game designers creating products that will keep you involved for months, years or indefinately, rather than products that do nothing but keep you waiting for the sequal because the original is already played out ad-nauseum.

Thank you!

M Quinn


GAMEPLAY! GAMEPLAY! GAMEPLAY! Finally, a game designer with the right attitude! I was so sure Bill Gates and Big Business had ruined PC games forever. SOOOO happy to be wrong! I haven't been buying many games for quite a while. When I do buy one I usually have to convince myself with, "Well, this seems COMPARATIVELY fun" or "At least it LOOKS cool." And 9 times out of 9, those games end up on the shelf with me a little more apathetic. I was beginning to think I didn't know what was good about a game anymore. I don't have much money to spend on games, so I want to get the most crunch for the coin. I only found out about BC3K two days ago (searching for good games on Theunderdogs.org (I'm always broke)). I've only played about 20 minutes of BC3K ( I remember when one always had to read the manual, but I haven't had to read one in a while). And I only heard about BCM today ( and had to read EVERYTHING on the site AND e-mail it to a friend). But I know I'll be buying it. And, I'm sure, not regretting it. Even IF it was as buggy as swamps, I'd be happily doing whatever worked and waiting for patches. Chuckling. This is a faith I thought I'd lost; but you, YOU know what you're doing. I love everything I've seen! The scope! The scale! The SCREENSHOTS!!! My pulse raced when I saw the guy with the jetpack in space! I gasped out obscenities at the planetary missile launcher shooting its load! I nearly shot mine when I saw the gal swimming around the downed spaceship! Oh, and the spaceships/stations, planets, stars, cities, explosions, and all looked great too. You have been working VERY hard, and I for one am IMPRESSED (could you guess?). Some part of my mind keeps rebelling against my general euphoria. Fly a capital ship AND interceptors? Land on a planet and GET OUT in 1st person view?! STEAL a ship and fly back into space?!!! Marine CAMPAIGN?!!! ECONOMICS/TRADE!!! A whole GALAXY that doesn't give a crap about me?! OH MY GOD! heeheeheeheee! This game OOZES awesome. Smart might not be good enough; you might have to change your name to Derek GENIUS. Super-genius? BUT WHY? Why, oh why? The rebel part of my mind cries. Why has no one done this before? Even ATTEMPTED it? Only one thing makes sense: the shit-machine Big Business computer gaming industry has totally lost sight of what goes into a good game. Its become Hollywood. Put in some Big Money special effects, steal a script, get actors that do well with audiences, come up with a snappy catch-phrase, and throw a twist at the end. VOILA! More money to put into the sequel. Repeat as necessary. Its to the point where audiences (film or game) don't have anything good to judge new entrants by. Computer games are probably worse off than movies. But the turds of video gaming have been impacted long enough, and you my man are the enema! You have given us a UNIVERSE to PLAY in! I hope you make a mint off of BCM. You deserve it for your STELLAR effort (pun and compliment intended). If some yahoos don't understand what you've done, they probably don't know any better. I mean, if you had eaten Cheerios all your life, wouldn't Fruit Loops intimidate you?

Whew.... sorry for all that ranting. I feel better now.

A (very) New Fan.

**Juan over at OMF got BCM as his first gig. Right out college. After finishing up on his BCM work, he got a full time gig at OMF and moved up there. Just recently I got email from him thanking for the opportunity to break in etc.

[ 12-16-2001: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Great. Good way to end my weekend. I spend my weekend dealing with the real father of my step-son who shows up at my door with police wanting to be a part of his son's life after not having seen him (or paid child support) for 14 years...

Now this. Does everyone truly have such thin skin? I'm sad to see this forum go, and any chance of decent support for noobs with it.

I understand that my opinion is not wanted and that I could easily be banned from even reading this forum again, but I had to say it.

-Whomever angers me, conquers me...

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Derek, I know your mind is made up, but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't at least try to get you to reconsider. Please don't shut the board down.

Through the years, you've put together a lot of good moderators...Aramike, Gallion, Rattler, Jaguar, etc. As was said earlier in the thread, why don't you just leave the moderating of the forum to the moderators? They've done an outstand job of keeping the forums consistent with your vision.

That would allow you to concentrate on what you like to do....the game.

But if we can't change your mind, then I want to thank you for keeping the game going. I'll continue to support BCM and will also continue to betatest for you as long as you need me to do so.

Just my two cents into the pot....

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Originally posted by Remo:


If you knew the history you wouldn't be so harsh on SC. He's been through enough in his career and personal life. I'm sorry to hear about your situation but if you want support especially on gameplay you don't have to bug SC. That's what the vets are here for. Hell I may not be a fully fledged vet but I can safely say that I'm one of the best space sim gamer (see track record) around. I'm egoistical I know.

And SC take that long vacation that you've been wanting to do for ages or you'll burn out well before your time especially now since you've produced one of the best games ever to date on the market (believe me I know whats a good game after spending thousands $$ on games). I burnt out in my younger days being a prodigy of sort which most definately contributed to my dropping out of Uni the first time. I took a sabatical and now I'm back on track. I may not be the best I can be but I do give my peers a run for their money now.

Bottom line is I support and respect your decission on this matter SC. Good luck.

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I probably do not have much of a voice here but that is fine also, SC, I have been playing BC for only a short time, and it is a game that I never imagined could be possible, I have played video games since the old C-64 days (Elite) Remember that one? Well I have always looked for a game like BC but never quite hit the nail head just right until I started playing this one, Its like a dream come true, And honestly I want to see it advance alot more, but as so many have said, You do need a break. I played UO(Ultima Online) for about 2 years and got sick of it because of the people, not so much as the game, it changed over time as most things do, as will BC, but I do hold a high regard for what you say here and respect your decisions, you seem to be very strong, and very self confident, and that is a most admirable trait to have in such trying times, I cannot offer much advice and I am sure you probably have heard what I would offer as advice, but take this to mind. You and BC are a light in a dark room for me with space games, and regardless of what happens here or anywhere I will continue to play BC because its just the type of game I want, I hope current events do not take place, but they seem ineveitable(Sp?) take a vacation, turn off the monitor and enjoy life as it is, for its much to short to be unhappy.....

Always Faithful

Always Thankful

And most important,

Most respectfully

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