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Free BCM Gold and Universal Combat Coming

A post on the 3000AD Discussion Board by Derek Smart announces that Battlecruiser Millennium Gold and the original Universal Combat will be released for free over the internet at some point soon, as the rights to both sci-fi games are about to lapse:

Dreamcatcher's five year rights to Battlecruiser Millennium Gold and the original Universal Combat expires on 12-18-07. I do not intend to renew those rights.

In keeping with my tradition, both games will be released for free on the Internet at some point in the near future.

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44 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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44. Re: free games = good Dec 14, 2007, 21:34 Enahs
 

What, and that's illegal or something? Would you rather have a pop-up with his newest game in it? How about one of those nice little flash ads that you can't close for 20 seconds?

Ohh, me me me! I just love those!


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43. Re: free games = good Dec 14, 2007, 19:24 Creston
 
Cause it's a damn advertising ploy the everyone around here seems to think is a laudable gesture. His hoping someone, somewhere will actually like one of these and cough up for one of his newer versions.

What, and that's illegal or something? Would you rather have a pop-up with his newest game in it? How about one of those nice little flash ads that you can't close for 20 seconds?

Creston

 
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42. Re: regardless of your opinion of Mr. Sm Dec 14, 2007, 16:40  dsmart 
 
Mr. Smart, you're an asshole... and I salute you for it.

LMAO!!! OK, thats a new one.

 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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41. regardless of your opinion of Mr. Smart. Dec 14, 2007, 16:29 Bubicus
 
Until I finally left in frustration this year, I was in the video game industry for over a decade, and I observed that most game coders are arrogant assholes. Only the game designers ever seemed to be socially adept. So I don't think it's right to trash a game series just because the lead developer (and designer) is a jerk. Most of the games all of you love to play are coded by jerks. The difference here is that, as the lead developer, designer, and head of his own company, Derek Smart is required to have a public face. If you stuck the programmers of a popular game (say, WoW) into the public, 65% would be about as rude as Mr. Smart is.

Furthermore, it doesn't really matter if his games only serve a tiny niche. If it's a profitable tiny niche, and it very clearly is since Mr. Smart's company is still operational and not in financial straits after many years, then Mr. Smart seems to have earned the right to be a vocal prick, which is more than can be said for most snarky, uninformed and/or misinformed forum posters on the Internet. Besides, what exactly is a "tiny niche"? He's sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his games. Even if you believe that his target market is too narrow, you can't deny that he has a firm hold on that market and is successful enough with it that his games outsell many other "niche" games.

Mr. Smart, you're an asshole... and I salute you for it.

 
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40. Re: eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 14:01 Ecthelion
 
You clearly know nothing about metrics, let alone that a download is uninstalled five mins later. By your submission, anything purchased/downloaded, can be returned/deleted five mins later.
What do metrics have to do with it? I'm talking about whether the downloads are being downloaded on a whim, or whether they're being downloaded by people that are already fans or will become fans.

Apart from that, if you actually stopped for a minute and engaged your brain (at least the part which works and not under the influence of a controlled substance) you'd actually note that those games are MANY MANY MANY years OLD. If they were as you say, then they wouldn't be downloaded at all, let alone be in a download chart. What you're suggesting is that there is a dearth of other worthy games out there.
The age argument is irrelevant. A few years back, Rockstar started offering GTA2 for free. That game is older than BCM, and about the same age as BC2.0. Quite a few people (I don't have numbers, since I don't work for Rockstar) downloaded the game (as well as the other ones Rockstar released for free), and at least some of them did so on a whim. I certainly did. I had never played GTA2 before it was released for free, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Gamers who have broadband without bandwidth/download quotas are not very picky about what they download. If they see a game available free (especially ones as well-known as GTA2 and BC), they're very likely to try it out, even with relatively little interest in the actual game. It's quite possible that they'll play it for a short time and uninstall it.

On the flipside of this, if people were already interested in your games, don't you think they would have picked them up before you released them for free several years later? It stands to reason that a substantial portion of people who download a game when it's made available for free were not interested in it enough to pay money for it prior to its free release.

By the way, you wanna talk about having no basis in reality? How about this little quote:
In fact, just last week both the legacy BC3K v2.0 and BCM held the top five spots on Fileplanet. As of this minute, they are still in the top ten.
Where you failed to mention that BC3K v2.0 and BCM held the top ten spots in the space category, suggesting instead that they held the top ten spots overall. It doesn't take a genius to see that the space sim genre is not exactly seeing an abundance of new games. That accomplishment is not nearly as impressive as you made it seem.

 
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39. Re: eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 13:45 Burrito of Peace
 
You're such a fucking liar. Anyone can post any manner of shit on the internet with absolutely no proof whatsoever.

Like claiming to have a legitimate Ph.D. for instance?

 
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38. Re: eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 11:54 MyRealName
 
And so the arrogance continues, now quoting download stats.
And you think that not responding to detractors would have made me a kinder, more gentle fluffy bunny, I've got one word for you. Balls. But you wouldn't know anything about that now, would you?
Only in a dsmart thread would you find topics involving the incarceration of lawyers mixed in with the social commentaries of gaming life.
But it all started somewhere, didn't it. People in general will always find something to be hostile toward, even if the rest of the world loves it. You've got to know that by now. That's why, when people attacked you early on - as someone, somewhere, does attack anything and everything eventually - you needed to handle it. You didn't, instead joining the fight, and that began the downward spiral. A spiral which is now inescapable.

Have you ever heard John Carmack, Richard Garriott, Sid Meier, or Will Wright call someone a "prick?"

No, because they are smart.


 
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37. Re: eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 11:49  dsmart 
 
You clearly know nothing about metrics, let alone that a download is uninstalled five mins later. By your submission, anything purchased/downloaded, can be returned/deleted five mins later.

Apart from that, if you actually stopped for a minute and engaged your brain (at least the part which works and not under the influence of a controlled substance) you'd actually note that those games are MANY MANY MANY years OLD. If they were as you say, then they wouldn't be downloaded at all, let alone be in a download chart. What you're suggesting is that there is a dearth of other worthy games out there.

Go on, come up with another senseless argument with no basis in reality. I'll be waiting.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 11:49.
 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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36. Re: eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 11:43 Ecthelion
 
Oh, speaking of which, to this day, all my free games are regularly downloaded (yes, I do keep tracking metrics). In fact, just last week both the legacy BC3K v2.0 and BCM held the top five spots on Fileplanet. As of this minute, they are still in the top ten. heh
But how many of those downloads are uninstalled 5 minutes after trying the game?

Something that's free is always going to get a lot of downloads - it says nothing about its quality. And your games have a lot of "buzz" (although it's mostly bad), so it's natural that people are curious.

And you think that not responding to detractors would have made me a kinder, more gentle fluffy bunny, I've got one word for you. Balls. But you wouldn't know anything about that now, would you?
You really should consider running for political office. If you were elected, I think we can all agree C-Span would be a lot more interesting. Fistfights in the senate!

 
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35. eh, wot? Dec 14, 2007, 11:30  dsmart 
 
It's all been a perfect example of how to screw things up unnecessarily. Imagine if DS was not a loud mouthed bully, not an arrogant hostile misanthrope with a chip on his shoulder. Imagine if he was respectful and reserved even in the face of his detractors. Where would he and all of this be today? He'd be held high, respected and looked toward as a struggling indie with everyone's best interests at heart, just needing some patience from fans as he slowly, steadily improves the one shining hope for the community (since all other space sim devs and producers obviously don't care, just producing the same "wow fight in 360 degrees and zero G" snoozefest over and over (fill in the blanks), or alternately can't get the goddamn game off the ground nor tell fans about it for years and years on end (you know which)).

Instead, he conducts himself as a hostile jerkoff, almost everyone hates him, and so the game itself - which has tons of promise, it's hard to deny - comes to shit.

It's very sad, and it all comes down to one man's ego and bad attitude, and poor handling of the situation.

I held out for as long as I could. Then realized that I'd drunk the last pot of coffee. So here goes nuthin'

It is not uncommon for a nameless and faceless tit to claim all manner of subjective bullshit while gently stroking their...oh wait let me stop.

Normal people - at least those who aren't anti-social misfits with a grunge against their moms, dads, the girl next door, society, humanity and gremlins - know that nobody in their right minds does paid work for glory or fame. That would be too easy.

And those who know me know that I love what I do; whether I make money or not is irrelevant. It just so happens that I do.

I didn't go looking for fame. Fame landed on me. LOL!!! I kill me.

And you think that not responding to detractors would have made me a kinder, more gentle fluffy bunny, I've got one word for you. Balls. But you wouldn't know anything about that now, would you?

Only in a dsmart thread would you find topics involving the incarceration of lawyers mixed in with the social commentaries of gaming life.

Oh, speaking of which, to this day, all my free games are regularly downloaded (yes, I do keep tracking metrics). In fact, just last week both the legacy BC3K v2.0 and BCM held the top five spots on Fileplanet. As of this minute, they are still in the top ten. heh

http://www.fileplanet.com/section.aspx?s=49748&v=0

It is the same all over the net where all my games are downloaded for free. And considering how much money I've made on the BC/UC series, my guess is that someone likes to play them. Woe is me I suppose.

Meanwhile, devs are going out of business left and right or being absorbed into the collective that is gaming corporate culture. Remember Auran? Yeah, they're gone now too.

Stupid tits.

The largest problem with BC is its creator. You may make the most wonderful game in the world but if you're a dick, you'll lose credibility if you had any to begin with. I take turns in the mentoring program my company has in the local college course that teaches students the skills and knowledge they'll need to try and break in to the video game industry. In one of the classes, we talk about how to effectively build up the faith the general public has in your upcoming product. We cite good examples from all the eras of gaming such as Alex Gardner when he was with Relic, Trip Hawkins of the old school EA, Wayne Holder from FTL, Brett W. Sperry from Westwood and Jeff Tunnell of Dyanmix. We also cite examples of the people who should never be allowed to talk to the public. In every single class I've mentored in, Derek Smart has been named by the students as one of the worst people they can think of in the industry in terms of talking to the public and players about your game. To me, that speaks volumes on how a legacy of poor customer service, a very poor attitude and an exceptionally abysmal public image will drive your product in to the grave, no matter how good it may be.

You're such a fucking liar. Anyone can post any manner of shit on the internet with absolutely no proof whatsoever.

Either that or those students are idiots like you.

You and your ilk think you have me all figured out. Yet, I'm still around, almost 20+ yrs later when even the best of the best are but a memory. Looks like I must be doing something right? But you wouldn't know anything about that either.

My games are - and always will be - developed for like minded people who (a) are fans of the genre (b) have a fully functional brain

btw, even though you think I should turn the other cheek when ass wipes like you try to put me under siege online, my games have sold more than X2 and X3 and are more popular. Don't take my word for it, find a friend with access to NPD. So I guess the devs at Egosoft should starting being more like me? I think not.

Why do I even bother? Oh, thats right. Its Friday and I'm taking off early to go see I am Legend.
This comment was edited on Dec 14, 11:39.
 
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Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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34. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 11:25 Burrito of Peace
 
Ecthelion: It's not as accessible, either. I find it funny that there are people who think X3 is too complicated, when there are games like UC out there.

I think the perfect, large scale space sim would start you out with the difficulty of Freelancer and then slowly ramp you up to the complexity of X3. X3 is a great game but I will admit that for a lot of first time players, it's an awful lot to swallow with a steep learning curve.

However, that's not to say it isn't rewarding. Setting up your factories, trade runs and escorts is a lot of fun if you're playing a merchant. There's a special grin I got when I had passed the 25 million mark without doing any personal trading of my own.

The largest problem with BC is its creator. You may make the most wonderful game in the world but if you're a dick, you'll lose credibility if you had any to begin with. I take turns in the mentoring program my company has in the local college course that teaches students the skills and knowledge they'll need to try and break in to the video game industry. In one of the classes, we talk about how to effectively build up the faith the general public has in your upcoming product. We cite good examples from all the eras of gaming such as Alex Gardner when he was with Relic, Trip Hawkins of the old school EA, Wayne Holder from FTL, Brett W. Sperry from Westwood and Jeff Tunnell of Dyanmix. We also cite examples of the people who should never be allowed to talk to the public. In every single class I've mentored in, Derek Smart has been named by the students as one of the worst people they can think of in the industry in terms of talking to the public and players about your game. To me, that speaks volumes on how a legacy of poor customer service, a very poor attitude and an exceptionally abysmal public image will drive your product in to the grave, no matter how good it may be.

 
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33. Re: Glad Dec 14, 2007, 11:07 Ecthelion
 
Is it easy? No. Is it a button smashing arcade game? No. Is it fun? For RPG and space sim fans like me, yes.
I guess if you consider space sims like X-Wing and Freespace 2 "button smashing arcade games", then UC is better.

Personally, those are my favorite kinds of space sims. X3 offers much of the depth of UC (without the planet/ground component though, which is clearly the weak point of UC anyway) without the incredibly steep learning curve, dated graphics, and overly complex interface. I consider myself a RPG and space sim fan (they're my two favorite genres), and I just don't like any of Smart's games. I really tried to get into BC, BCM, and UC (something about the concept kept me coming back to try the new iterations), but they're just not fun for me. It's come to the point that I doubt I'll try any more of his games. He's had several chances to make his games more fun, and he's wasted them all.

I really hope other developers don't get scared away from making space sims (fun, playable ones that is) because of his unfortunate dominance of the genre. What a terrible legacy that would be for him.

 
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32. DS and BC3000AD Dec 14, 2007, 11:01 MyRealName
 
It's all been a perfect example of how to screw things up unnecessarily. Imagine if DS was not a loud mouthed bully, not an arrogant hostile misanthrope with a chip on his shoulder. Imagine if he was respectful and reserved even in the face of his detractors. Where would he and all of this be today? He'd be held high, respected and looked toward as a struggling indie with everyone's best interests at heart, just needing some patience from fans as he slowly, steadily improves the one shining hope for the community (since all other space sim devs and producers obviously don't care, just producing the same "wow fight in 360 degrees and zero G" snoozefest over and over (fill in the blanks), or alternately can't get the goddamn game off the ground nor tell fans about it for years and years on end (you know which)).

Instead, he conducts himself as a hostile jerkoff, almost everyone hates him, and so the game itself - which has tons of promise, it's hard to deny - comes to shit.

It's very sad, and it all comes down to one man's ego and bad attitude, and poor handling of the situation.


 
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31. Glad Dec 14, 2007, 10:02 CalmDragon
 
I'm glad the older games are already available for free, I'm glad that these are going to be. It's worth the time to learn to roam into these four wings of the galaxy. Every time I play UC, I appreciate the depth this series has to offer. Is it easy? No. Is it a button smashing arcade game? No. Is it fun? For RPG and space sim fans like me, yes.

 
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30. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 09:47 Golem
 
I wholeheartedly agree... lawyers are generally scum. Very few use their knowledge of manipulating the legal systems on anything other than increasing the size of their bank accounts. Between them and the Feds jumping through the hoops of Corp America they've screwed up this country beyond repair.


 
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29. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 09:45 Ecthelion
 
Now, if it was as gorgeous as X3, you'd have a point. It doesn't and you don't.
It's not as accessible, either. I find it funny that there are people who think X3 is too complicated, when there are games like UC out there. I have a certain amount of respect for Derek Smart for his "chutzpah" and ambitious games (and releasing older games for free is always a good thing), but he either cannot or will not make a game that is accessible to more than a tiny group of fans. I tried to get into BC2.0, then BCM, and finally UC. Hell, I even bought BCM because I really needed a good space game at the time. But I have trouble understanding how anyone can find his games remotely fun. It'll be interesting to see if his new less ambitious games gain gameplay as a result of the smaller scope. His games are a perfect example of why open-ended gameplay should have limits.

 
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28. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 09:07 Burrito of Peace
 
Hellbinder: And this new one pretty much puts to rest the remaining complaints about graphics. every ship has its own cockpit, the space stations look awesome, everything is to scale...

The year 2000 called. It wants its graphics engine back. If you consider those "good" graphics, I shudder to consider what you believe to be "acceptable" graphics.

Now, if it was as gorgeous as X3, you'd have a point. It doesn't and you don't.

 
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27. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 08:23 zirik
 
He's a rude arrogant person, but he does fix his games, even without any financial incentive

his incentive is the need to prove that he can actually make games because he never attended an acredited college to get his doctorate degree.

 
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26. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 08:10 mongrol
 
Would be even better if he released the source. Though that would have all sorts of implications like. We could see if his code is any good. Crazy fans would try to fork and expand it. The fanbase would make something that would compete directly with his product.  
The Loose Bandit
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25. Re: No subject Dec 14, 2007, 07:33 zirik
 
I'm not impressed with the screenshots from the new game. I expect more from a man with a Ph.D.

you mean he is really smart? i thought he was just phat with a fake phd.

 
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