Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Epic Culture Clash?

Sometimes the emails I receive are so interestingly-worded in a blindingly original style that I feel compelled to share the entire thing. With no further ado, here's Silver Stiletto's heads up regarding Wing Commander Universe, which is currently in Pre-alpha status as an add-on (see release notes) to the Privateer Remake:

Wing Commander Privateer, the Han-Solo style space combat and piracy game has lingered in many gamers' hearts since its epic 1993 debut. The vaunted release of the open source, cross platform Privateer Remake 1.0 has brought with it political upheaval in the world of game development.

When faded Technicolor EGA memories from 1993 are shattered by the harsh reality of cold, hard 3d accelerated pixels, the calm ripples of the past congeal and explode into a torrent of desire, anguish and pain. It was like Lucas bringing the star wars legacy into the 21st century, stirring up previously calm, collected, knowing fans from decades past into a veritable whirlwind.

Naturally some want more, some want less, but everyone wants change. Unlike many Internet phenomenon, and perhaps similar to the epic Phantom Edit from 1999, the complaints about Privateer Remake did not remain in written English. Some of the disputants translated their elaborate expositions into C++ or python and others went straight into to .3ds and png. Users and developers began pounding out their own vision of how the game was--and how it should be, each with a vision both as opaque as frothing bubbling water and as clear as the sound of a graphite on a slate block.

It was as much a coming together of the community as would be an earth shattering, cataclysmic clashing of tectonic plates. But in the titanic crashing of the mountains of developers through the ethereal seas of cyberspace, three continents formed. The remake remained chipped but in tact, delivering the first stable update, version 1.2 with physics more similar to the original but retaining the subtle improvements of 1.0, but two entirely new land masses were chiseled from the uniform whole, traveling askew, opposite on a spectrum ranging from the pure past to the tumultuous future.

This future body, named Wing Commander Universe, a fork of the remake, offers a dissonance of starships from the early wing commander series and access to a mind boggling array of star systems and maps to explore, or rather tumble through, in the hopes that some distant memory may be sparked by the familiar stars packed into a swath of outlandish systems. In stark contrast, the other fork, Privateer Remake gold edition scooped while still in beta by the german news website returns to the placid meadows of the past, dissociating itself from both the sweeping changes of Wing Commander Universe and the even more nuanced changes of the Privateer Remake itself. And with each branch of the main tree comes an even more jarringly verbose crowd of developers all with unique memories of large blocky pixels and the coldest sea full of pirates, bounty hunters and one lucky Privateer.

Gotta love "faded Technicolor EGA memories". Posted as submitted. Thanks Silver Stiletto!

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