What Fledgeling is Not

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Fledgeling is not what you expect, nor what you are familiar with. Fledgeling is not like some other game you’ve played before. It is not generic. (Just a note, I’ll be talking about what “Fledgeling is” in the definitive existential sense, despite the fact that it has certainly not been implemented yet (except to the extent that it is a mimicry of the real world and the mind, both of which seem to have been implemented quite handily (but not by us)). This is mostly for clarity and simplicity. If it bothers you, simply replace each occurrence of “Fledgeling is” with “we haven’t quite figured out what we’re doing yet, but by the time we’re finished it’s quite possible that Fledgeling is going to be”. My intention is to communicate, rather than offer prophecy or misleading present tense declarations.)

Fledgeling is not Minecraft, or COD, or MOO2, or Starflight, or Dungeon Siege, or Missile Command, or Spacechem, or Trine. It draws from these (and many others) as a source of inspiration. It is not really like these at all. Continue reading

Games and Open Source Development

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I’m an avid open source software user and would-be contributor and a Linux user. Software patents seem completely backwards to me, and I’m a strong proponent of open source licensing.

That said, I think open source is generally wrong for games.

First, let’s do a simple exercise: make a list of the open source games that you really think are great games. I suspect most of you will have trouble putting one game on that list. Now, cross out any games that are really just clones of commercial titles. How long is your list? Continue reading

Master of Orion II

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This is one of those older games. We played it quite a bit (my brothers, friends, and myself) when we were younger. It’s a “classic 4X” turn based game with a good bit of depth and variation. I haven’t played it in years (and years) now, but here’s what I recall.

Nostalgia Warning! My memories of the game may depart vastly from the game itself. This game may actually be much less interesting and enjoyable than I recall.

Things Master of Orion 2 does right:

  • Interesting tightly woven systems. The race choice (along with a powerful race customization tool) and research options play tightly together. Both directly and strongly influence space combat and planetary colonization choices. There are very few “dud” options, but the choices you make early on can come back later in the game. The no-back-tracking science research acts like a modern skill tree, requiring your entire race to make decisions about trade-offs between different abilities. Continue reading