Re: Computer moderated PBeM games

Steve Chapin (sjc@cs.purdue.EDU)
14 Dec 90 12:36:21 GMT

In article <>, (Rich Skrenta) writes:
> I'm curious as to why there aren't more computer moderated pbem games available
> on the net. I've seen the rules and a couple of turns for one called
> T'Nyc (long deceased, however) and it looked great. Does anyone know what
> became of this game? Did Stephen Tihor go on to sell it commercially?
> Did any of you partipate in his playtest?

Yes, I was one of his playtesters (orignially Ingold Merion, then
Kosar the Indefectible, Lord of Chardia). At the end of the game, I
had what I think was the largest, or nearly so, position (several
hundred units in play, my turn report was about 1Meg long!). Ah, the
good old days, battling Jakara, the Caliph, and their minions of evil.
Oh, Twilkip, wherefore hast thou gone? :-)

I will state that this was the most fun I've ever had playing a game,
bar none. Stephen Tihor worked hard to incorporate changes from the
playtesters, and still managed to get our turns out once a week to
over 50 players. The game had strict format rules for orders,
allowing it to be machine parsed. I believe he read all orders and
entered them in an event queue, then processed the queue. This is
speculation, as I've never seen his code or really talked with him
about implementation, just suggestions for game policy.

I don't know what ever happened to T'Nyc. Stephen planned version 2,
with a successive playtest. He had lots of contacts over at West End
Games (several of the players were from there), but I don't know if he
published it. As an active player in playtest 1, I like to think I
would have been informed of playtest 2. I never heard if it actually
came about, but boy, oh boy would I love to have been in on it!

> Of course, it's a got to be a lot of work to write a computer moderated
> pbm; I've had several false starts on one myself. I'm surprised, though,
> that more people haven't written games and made them publicly available.
> Certainly, even if a game was slated for the commercial market, the net
> would be a good place to playtest it (faster turnaround, easy to get a
> pool of playtesters).

I think this was the limiting factor on T'Nyc. Since he wanted to
eventually commercialize it, Steve was unwilling to accept programming
help (certainly understandable). Thus, the full implementation fell
on his shoulders, and he has a full time job besides. I really hope
this game hasn't died, since it was almost too much fun for human
beings to have.

Steve Chapin domain: UUCP: ...!purdue!sjc

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