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Designer's DiaryOctober 2000

Thursday, 5 October 2000: Well, my face is starting to recover from the Bell's Palsy. It's a slow healing, but I should be my old, ugly self again in a few weeks. Thanks, everyone, for all your thoughtful emails.

On the MOO3 front, my life pretty much has focused around the historical overview (i.e., the "big backstory of all the 'Orion' games and more") and working on the "Race Bible." The former I've farmed out to fan who has been added to the MOO3 team's "outer circle," Daniel ("Nosforontu") Hoffman. He and Rantz and I have been working on a plot so enormous and intermeshed that it makes the X-Files seem like reading The London Times. Daniel's task is to expand upon many points in the story that readers of the Data Dump on this subject have pointed out to us on the discussion boards which require further elaboration or that had inconsistencies that needed addressing. My first words to David upon accepting that challenge were, "You poor b______." :-)

My current main focus is the Race Bible, which is all the background stories and information for each species (and, when completed, race) in the game. This is at least double the amount of work that you might suspect, but for reasons that I cannot go into. Suffice it to say that we're planning on putting things in MOO3 that... well, I can't say that, either. (Sorry!) Trust me, though, you'll very happy later when you find out how hard we worked on what we're doing right now. That's a personal promise!

I guess I should mention that we've added another couple of ladies to the MOO3 team. One is the very "sound" Caron Weidner whom you can see and read about in the About Us section of this web site. The other is Joan "Storm" Budow, who is yet another fan joining the outer circle of the MOO3 team. Storm is working in parallel with David "Stormhound" Craft working on the Religion Name Generator and helping to flesh out some of the Race Bible.

Another new name is Alejandro G. Belluscio, our South American connection. We've got him working on a model to simulate how religions Proselytize and Convert each other. (I.e., religious "combat.") This will allow us to tweak the numbers and formulae in isolation from the rest of the game to insure the model is valid. We want to make sure that the waxing and waning of religions in the game "feels right."

What else is there? Oh, we're working on getting the Surface Combat Simulator ready to go online and share it with you. You can thank Harel, Dennis, and Brent "Vagabond" Duran, who has worked hard to improve the presentation of the whole thing. (You guys would have died trying to use the "programmer art" version.) It might not be ready for a while, but when it is, I'm sure you'll have some fun with it.

As for me, once I get this Race Bible monkey off my back, and assuming I survive the innumerable meetings on technology (we've really got something cool cooking) and stuff, I plan on giving the design doc a helluva scrubbing. Right now, it's full of old ideas that we've since revamped, some sections that require further "fill-in" design work, many that are stuffed with notes taken from the message boards with your ideas to be considered, and such like. In short, it's time to bring it all up to date, make some hard decisions, and create the "2nd Edition" design document. And that, kids, will be a huge task.


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