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This section will be updated every 2-4 weeks until the release of Void War. If you are interested in knowing what to expect out of Void War, or are simply interested in the mad mind of a game designer, hopefully this will be a tiny bit educational or at least entertaining.

Part 1: I Wanna Be A Starfighter Pilot!

I really became "hooked" on videogames when I was twelve years old. It was 1981, and the arcades were ruled by the the likes of Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Defender. I loved them all, though I was particularly blown away by 3D games like Tail Gunner and Starfire. The latter had you shooting down ships that looked more than a little like the TIE Fighters in Star Wars. Later that year, I heard about a friend-of-the-family who actually wrote games like this on computers. It was all magic to me... how did you even write a program on a computer? How did you describe what the ships looked like and how they were supposed to behave to a machine? Mind you, back then "Home Computers" were a new idea just catching on, and the Atari 2600 was *THE* new household appliance. But for the most part, when you talked about computers, people still thought of big machines the size of desks with whirling reel-to-reel tapes and green-on-black monitors.

I wouldn't let go of the idea, though. I wanted to figure out how to do this! I wanted to make games like Asteroids, or Starfire, only (of course) BETTER. I picked up a few books on computer programming at the local library, but they were fairly useless. They discussed operands and three-letter assembly opcodes for machines that I would never see. But I still harbored the idea of writing computer games in my mind, and I even had a vision of a 3D space combat game that, like Starfire, put you in the cockpit of a space fighter. My vision was tainted by the limited graphics of the machines of the day, so even my imaginary game had blocky, pixilated graphics.

Ten years later, after I had taught myself how to program and was going to college for my Computer Science degree, I discovered the game Wing Commander. In the pixilated, blocky 3D graphics I recognized my old game "design!" Somebody had created the game I'd dreamed about! Since I was temporarily staying in a strange town where I hardly knew anyone, and my fiancée was out-of-state going to school for three months, I had a LOT of time to play Wing Commander.

Over the years, I played lots of other space combat games, loved most of them, but what I really wanted to do was test my "mad space combat skillz" against human opponents. When those games finally arrived, my genre-loving friends and I discovered the sad truth: Space combat is BORING. Oh, these games were spiced up with missions that required you to be everywhere at once and make keen tactical decisions. But the physics of space weren't like the physics of atmospheric flight (I'm also a flight sim fan). There really wasn't much more to them than pointing and shooting at the bad guys. You didn't have to manage energy, defy gravity, fight inertia, worry about drag or stall speeds, or anything like that. They almost all had the physics of a desk, and tried to make combat more interesting by giving you "task overload" with lots of systems to manage and lots of objectives to complete.

Of course, they WERE fun, but ultimately I wanted to play a game where pilot skill in the void of space counted for something, and where a single one-on-one dogfight could be as exciting as a dogfight in your favorite WWII-era flight sim. This is where Void War was born. This was a game that I wanted to play.  So I began the design of what I thought would be a simple, two-to-four month project.

But that's the subject for another time...

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