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FunkyFingers
11-09-2002, 13:54:42
Furthering my Banksian oddesy, I've just read The Player of Games. Enjoyed getting more insights in to the wider Culture, and it seems to me that Gurgeh was set up by the Minds to eliminate the Empire?

Liked the descriptions of the Empire with it's 3 sex system though, very ingenious!

Guy
11-09-2002, 14:09:09
Gurgeh was absolutely set up. I think that was one of the points of the novel: that this kind of thing is the type of games that Minds play.

I liked the idea of the 3 sex race, but it didn't seem very thoroughly realized to me. It mostly came across as a race that just had two male components instead of one.

Great book, though, it was a nice insight into the everyday life of Culture citizens as well as another society. Maybe someone else can tell me, am I right that Banks was inspired to write this book after playing Civilization? I seem to remember reading that somewhere.

Funkodrom
11-09-2002, 14:11:39
Possibly, he's a big computer games fan I think. The journalist guy in one of his books is a computer game addict I think, as well as various other drugs.

Qweeg
11-09-2002, 14:50:53
Complicity. It'd be cool if somebody actually created the game of Azad.... I'd play it, sounds even better then Civ3 (maybe as good as SMACX) ;)

Funkodrom
11-09-2002, 15:09:07
That's the one. :beer:

moomin
11-09-2002, 15:37:45
He was set up alright.

As for the game I always thought of it as 3d chess, more or less.

jsorense
11-09-2002, 15:45:47
This is the next Iain M. Banks book I intend to read.

Scud Wallaby
11-09-2002, 17:48:39
It's my favourite Banks book (my first culture novel) - I also thought of Azad as a 3d chess but that's probably down to the cover of the book depicting this.

Not sure about a real version of Azad though - I think it was written as being so complex and intricate that a real version could never hope to match it and would take away any of the mystique. Or something....

A bit like when your favourite book is made into a lame film.

Anyway, then again if it could be made then it would be great! Either way i'm buggered if I know.

-Scud-

Funkodrom
11-09-2002, 19:11:14
That's how I saw it.

moomin
11-09-2002, 19:46:32
Then again, it could simply be Civ3.

FunkyFingers
12-09-2002, 08:59:50
I liked the additional insights in to Culture - certainly fleshed out the society more than Consider Phlebas did, and interesting to see it from yet another perspective. However I really wish I'd not read Excession as my first Culture novel now...

Qweeg
16-09-2002, 13:52:19
Originally posted by moomin
He was set up alright.

As for the game I always thought of it as 3d chess, more or less.

I kind of saw it as a cross between hanger-chess (that is- a game of chess played on a board about the size of a hangers floor) and a kind of Civ type game where the 'pawns' are capable of spawning, (or perhaps that would be the 'qweens') and certain 'knights' modify the game rules of certain other pieces when in proximity, and certain 'terrain' also modifies, or is modified- etc. Considering the pieces themselves changed between modes or states, and were differently vulnerablized or strengthened accordingly, the game of Azad is alot less deteminist then chess, and not being a model of human history like Civ123, Azad simply has no 'real-world' analogue. Apart from Iagno maybe.

Guy
16-09-2002, 17:24:01
I pictured it as sort of a huge tabletop version of SMAC, with a few rounds of poker thrown in to make things interesting, but that's mainly because I've never played Civ and the idea of the rights of succession of an entire empire being decided by a Firaxis product really appealled to my sense of humor.

Sid Meier's American Presidency!

Would explain why the Florida election bug hasn't been worked out yet: we haven't bought the patch, er, expansion pack! :)

Qweeg
23-09-2002, 13:53:52
Originally posted by Guy
I pictured it as sort of a huge tabletop version of SMAC, with a few rounds of poker thrown in to make things interesting, but that's mainly because I've never played Civ and the idea of the rights of succession of an entire empire being decided by a Firaxis product really appealled to my sense of humor.

Sid Meier's American Presidency!

Would explain why the Florida election bug hasn't been worked out yet: we haven't bought the patch, er, expansion pack! :)

I'd forgot Azad had a card-game element to it too, it'd be a cool spin off if somebody actually (in conjunction with the hairy faced Scot himself) were to actually create the computer game Azad. *shuts mouth and assumes innocent expression on face- like that time I happened to mention in a loud voice that there was no chinese take-away shops on my highstreet in front of some chinese resturantuers- now I eat chinese food whenever I want*

Guy, I'm shocked at you man- I mean you think you know somebody an then they tell you they've never seen snow, or played Civ, or are a virgin... there's no other closet-skeletons you'd like to tell us about is there? :hmm:

Guy
23-09-2002, 14:10:08
None that I'd like to tell you about, no. :cute:

FunkyFingers
23-09-2002, 14:41:55
What about the ones you wouldn't like to tell us about, eh?

Guy
23-09-2002, 16:10:16
All I have to say is that it wasn't me, I was never there, no one saw me, and you can't prove anything!

moomin
23-09-2002, 16:56:15
Smile! You're on candid camera!

Darkstar
24-09-2002, 02:36:22
Qweeg, that sounds like a game I made in High School. Actually, 2, but only one was developed to the point of ready for submitting to publishers.

FunkyFingers
24-09-2002, 08:23:24
Did it get published?

Darkstar
24-09-2002, 10:05:45
Only as a tester... I've been thinking of trying again, actually.

Qweeg
25-09-2002, 14:44:11
So did you 'write' a scratch version or what? or maybe it was a bored-game? (my brother in law makes bored games).

If it was on computer, what did you write it in, or did you get as far as pseudo-code or data-structures, but not any runnable implementation?

Basically, if I could I'd like some sort of demo.

Darkstar
26-09-2002, 06:05:30
It was a card/board game. (Cards created the playing board as you played along.) Some were made for test marketing, very successful, but I never got it fully published.

It would be a simple port from its original layout to the computer. The biggest deal would be making the playing field... I've just haven't been highly motivated to do it. I preferred knocking off simplistic games that were highly strategic, in the style of Tom Wham. Probably my biggest influence for making RL games... But as I am very board with what's published, I am thinking it might be worth the trouble. Problem is finding enough art, if I go for a computer port.

It doesn't need tons of speed... so I don't have to worry about ASM. VC++ would be fine, producing the game for the Win 9x and NT families, as well as for the Windows CE... I've had a couple professional computer artists willing to do some work for me for free, but I didn't take them up on their offer because they really don't understand how much art would be involved. Most people volunteer a day or weekend, and that wouldn't do squat for the amount needed...

Darkstar
26-09-2002, 06:13:15
It really is very easy to make a great game, whether board, minature, dice, whatever. But it's tons and tons and tons of work to get one in the proper shape for submitting to publishers. And then it's 100,000 rejections to an acceptance... and then it's still only one game out of ~50,000 that is actually published. Publishers buy a lot of games they never produce... And unless you are Tom Wham (He's a Game God in Non-Computer Games), you don't get squat for it. Paid less then making a novel, generally... and they buy you outright, so it's a one time check.

Can't tell I've looked into this since I was a small child, can ya?

It's actually easier to get modules for RPGs accepted and printed then an actual GAME. It would be easier for me to get a game sold to a computer distributor... There's plenty of those, especially in the Handhelds right now (they are desperate for games, so any garbage is taken, and will be for the next 5 years). Just haven't stayed bored enough to code things up at home... and I find it tons more fun making table top games... Faster too.

Qweeg
26-09-2002, 13:47:32
I used to be pretty keen on games design too (your insights are helpfull). I got this package called Xcom (for Linux) and it sent me whilling away spare minutes thinking up data-structures, (Xcom would take care of the rest, graphics and art, all that mucky codey type stuff,all I'd have to do is variable declarations) Unfortunately Xcom wasn't quite what I'd need to implement what I had in mind. It probably could be done as a bored-game though.

Always good to have something you tell yourself you're gonna actually DO one day.

Guy
26-09-2002, 15:10:41
There are a lot of good game creation packages out there right now for amateurs. I've been playing a lot with DarkBASIC lately, which is mainly for 3D stuff, but there's a bunch geared straight for tile based things like Civ. They're all a lot of fun to play around with even if playing is all the further it ever goes.

Qweeg
26-09-2002, 17:12:36
Now might be a good time to drop a fu names to do with tile-games Guy:)

Guy
26-09-2002, 20:12:29
Oh, I'm actually supposed to be helpful? I'm sorry, I hadn't realized. :)

I've posted this link before, but it's still one of the best indexes I've found for finding what's out there:

http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html

And another:

http://dmoz.org/Games/Game_Design/Development_Tools_and_Software/

You'll have to putz around some to find one that will fit your taste, but there's a lot of options there, many of which will do what you want.

The only one I've gotten into extensively myself is DarkBASIC, which is pretty impressive. You can do tile games with it, and lots of people have. It is a programming language, so you've got some work ahead of you with it, but it's pretty easy to learn. Hell, if I can do it... ;)

http://www.darkbasic.com/

Darkstar
26-09-2002, 22:46:16
Well, I've coded for the majority of my life. I've found straight Visual Basic pretty easy to knock stuff out in... on an amateur level. You can do seriously complex stuff in it, but that's where VB tends to work against you. Haven't tried the latest VB in that vein yet though... it's supposed to have addressed a good bit of that.

If you want, you can find free C/C++ compilers running around. I can even dig up a link for one or maybe even two, if needed.

Maxis made a thing called Klik and Play a while back... a kind of a build your own game thingie. Might be good for prototyping (playing around with things until you have your fun framework in place).

Sean
26-09-2002, 22:50:39
Originally posted by Darkstar
If you want, you can find free C/C++ compilers running around. I can even dig up a link for one or maybe even two, if needed.
Like gcc? That’ll take some digging ;).

Darkstar
26-09-2002, 23:06:23
Like Bloodshed Software's Free C/C++ with IDE...

Darkstar
26-09-2002, 23:07:15
Not that I don't like GCC... GCC is cool for Linux and *NIX in general platforms...

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-09-2002, 17:40:54
I liked POG, but not as much as "Consider Phlebas". Compared to the main character there (Horzah?) Gurgeh was a long streak of piss.

moomin
27-09-2002, 20:27:16
Just you wait till you meet with Zakalwe.

FunkyFingers
15-10-2002, 12:49:56
I liked POG more than Consider Phelbas, only because it fleshed out the Culture world more. Perhaps if I had read POG first, then CP second, I might have enjoyed CP more, having got more of an insight in to Culture. I still regret reading Excession as my first Iaian M Banks novel though.

jsorense
26-09-2003, 16:33:59
:)
I read "Excession" while on holiday. I found it very good, one of my favorite 'Culture' novels so far.
:heart:

Spartak
26-09-2003, 20:22:49
There hasn't been a bad one yet.