What is Rich up to?

Rich Skrenta (skrenta@blekko.rt.com)
Mon, 17 Aug 92 2:13:20 EDT

The playtesters on the internals list are a valuable resource. But
internals is a dangerous tool also, since it's tempting to want to
consult it before making any decision. "All the votes aren't in, maybe
someone will have a better idea, best to wait and see what the list
thinks before doing something hasty..." The Net quickly paralyzes
its victim, who becomes addicted to consultation with the mystical
ouiga board of design.


Design-by-committee, as Russell will quickly point out, yields awful
results full of compromises and bloat. This is the drawback to using
a public discussion forum for design work.

I won't dwell on the many good things about this list and the playtester's
input. Some of the ideas that surface are pure gold. And wise, reasoned
arguments wait to shoot down the turkey ideas -- many of which are mine,
I'll admit -- before they have a chance to become implemented and cause

But that's not what I wanted to say.

I've spent the last few days working up a list of "reforms" that I want
to make to Olympia. Some of these are internal code issues. Others deal
with topics discussed recently on this list. Some are simply the removal
of questionable game mechanics. My plan is to attempt to implement these
over the next few weeks, and hopefully produce a new version of Olympia
(Olympia II or whatever).

None of this will affect the currently running game.

The odds would seem to be against me. I am haunted by the spectre of Stephen
Tihor and his promised successor to T'Nyc that never was. A ghostly voice
calls from my copy of _The Mythical Man Month_ on the shelf: "Beware the
second system effect..." And Olympia is nearly 30,000 lines long -- a lot of
typing alone, if one wanted to change it, not even considering programming and
design issues.

Wish me luck!

(Do continue to propose/discuss ideas here, this list is loads of fun.)

Rich Skrenta <skrenta@rt.com>

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