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Messages - Wolf359

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Starfire Rules / Re: Pre-Purchase Question
« on: February 22, 2017, 10:30:41 AM »
I quit Starfire partly because of the direction the game was heading, but also because of some of what you mentioned. However, because of my bad experience with Marvin, I am also probably biased :)

After 4th edition came out and split the Starfire community (which was a very fun group until that point), I formed a design group (the 3DG) with Marvin's permission to keep 3rd edition alive. I also continued to expand Starfire Assistant to support 3rd edition. Firstly, we created the Unified Tech Manual independent of Marvin, but allowed him to sell it. We took no portion of any income because we wanted to keep 3rd edition alive. Next we engaged in a much larger project to create a complete Unified Rules for 3rd edition, combining all existing 3rd edition products and rules into a single, very large document. This was 99% completed and I still have the document (as do about 30 other people who were in the 3DG).

Toward the end of the work on the UR, Marvin complained it was taking too long (which was annoying as we were doing it for free and he would profit from it). Then he invited himself to the 3DG and caused lots of problems because of his different views on game design (which was frustrating because those different views were the reason for us to try to maintain the old edition). Finally he tried to eject me from the group I created.

The whole situation disintegrated into acrimony when it became apparent to Marvin that what actually went into the 3rd edition rules had less relevance than what rules I supported in Starfire Assistant (as most people used that to run Starfire campaigns). At that point he threatened legal action if I released any further updates to Starfire Assistant (which had been around for about 10 years). This was a free program (like Aurora) so I had no financial interest. Even so, I released a small update and said good luck with your international law suit. He declined to follow through with his threat.

By this point I was very annoyed with the whole situation (about 2003 I think) and decided to abandon Starfire and create my own game, which resulted in Aurora. So long-term, the whole mess was very positive for me :)

In Marvin's defence, he did really want Starfire to be a success and he didn't realise the backlash that would result from 4th edition (essentially he removed role-playing elements, tech system background, fluff, etc and reduced the jumps in technology to be more incremental, creating what he believed to be a more competitive game without the unnecessary background material). In terms of the clash with me and others, I believe he was trying to protect his control over the game but didn't consider how other people might view his actions or how they might react to them. Because of this, the situation spiraled out of control when someone with better people skills may have resolved any disputes in a more amicable way.

Regardless of all the above, I did have a great time with 3rd edition Starfire. So my advice is to try the game and don't worry too much about the personalities involved :)
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2
Starfire Rules / Re: Pre-Purchase Question
« on: February 19, 2017, 07:49:55 PM »
Hi Wolf357,

SDS (Starfire Design Studio) was set up by Marvin Lamb who bought the rights to Starfire from Task Force Games way back around 1997 when TFG was undergoing meltdown (Steve Cole, the original designer, bought out Star Fleet Battles around about the same time). If I recall correctly SDS existed for some time before that.

Up till that point TFG had published Starfire in the ziplock format (1st Edition), the boxed sets of Starfire & Imperial Starfire (2nd edition) and finally 3rd Edition (which David Weber had a large amount of input into)

Marvin & the SDS then produced & published 3rd Edition Revised (3rdR) which cleaned up a lot of rules problems to make campaign play more feasible, and subsequently the 4th & 5th Editions (Ultra & Cosmic) which changed the format to try and balance some of the tech mismatches, enable more possible routes to victory, and try to reduce the effects of the survey lottery whaich could rather dominate in the earlier versions. From a purely personal viewpoint I disagree with some of the design choices made in 4th Ed, but there is no denying that without Marvin Lamb, Starfire would have ceased to exist along with so many other Task Force games late last century.

Ever since Marvin rescued Starfire it has been a largely community based product with heavy input from the fans in one form or another (Starfire Assistant, which was the forerunner of Aurora, is one such; the 3rdR Unified Tech Manual was another that I had some contribition to), resulting in little or no financial gain for Marvin (and, I believe, considerable risk). Matt Olsen (Cralis) has been heavily involved since the days of the original Starfire mailing list. 

I think your assessment is neither accurate nor fair. Starfire, like Aurora, is largely a labour of love.  If you feel that you cannot support it then that is your privilege, but the characterisation you have put forth is not reasonable in my opinion.

I have bought SDS products over the years, so my view may be a little biased in the other direction.

Regards.
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3
C# Aurora / Re: Aurora C# Screenshots
« on: February 10, 2017, 05:25:02 AM »
Uh, sorry if sound a bit rude but... this 4 pages long discussion on crew reduction and armor bands, wouldn't it be better to move it to its own thread? Rather than the screenshots comment thread.

Because it has nothing to do, directly, with screenshots...
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