I was 13 years old, sitting in a Grade 8 classroom. I have no idea what was being taught that day. I do remember I was inspired to create a game. I had just discovered an amazing game, called netrek.
The game was legit. The gameplay was meaningful. The teamwork was real.
Other games just didn’t cut it. Subspace was a popular competitor in that era, and I’m sure it had nuances that I never grasped, but people just zoomed up to max speed, launching a volley of bullets from their spaceships, hoping they would hit something. Blind luck, with a bit of skill.
It was a martial art. Zoom across the screen and you were a sitting duck. You had no real chance to harm any opponent, and it was virtually assured that you were handing your opponent an easy kill.
The game had Star Trek nerd appeal. Phasers, torpedoes, shields, plasma torpedoes, cloaking. Fun stuff for kids (and grown ups) who think it would be fun to be in command of the USS Enterprise.
I was intrigued. I wanted more. I began dreaming of more. More types of weapons, upgrades, different styles of team gameplay. The possibilities are endless!
There are so many weak games out there. Games that are a total waste of time. Yet people play them. Game designers don’t make meaningful games. Why not change that?
Some people seem like they don’t know how to make really good and fun games. Others seem to sell out somewhere along the way and just copy some trend. Others seem to be heavily controlled by bureaucracies that are just trying to find the safest (and often not fun for the consumer) path to profit. Yet there are some games that are simply brilliant, with a ton of thought put into them. Some consumer products are more expensive, but they are crafted with care, and people appreciate them. That gives me some hope that craftsmanship can win.
Netrek is a finely tuned, and some would say perfected game. It has been likened to chess.
People often propose clever suggestions which turn out to be bad ideas. I can see why they were bad ideas. I’m sure some of my ideas won’t work, or will need a lot of tweaking from their original concept.