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Classic Article About Origins of Merchant Empires

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jun. 22, 2012; By Charles Rector
Type: Thoughts

If you point your browser to http://web.archive.org/web/20010222192928/http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue63/brunton.html 

you will find a great article about the origins of Merchant Empires, a browser based game that at one time had over 1,000 players and is still available on SoureForge as an open source game.

 

Here is the opening part of that article:

 

 

Bryan Brunton is the creator of the Merchant Empires Project. Merchant Empires is a multiplayer, web-based game of space exploration and economic competition. It is a game of strategy, role-playing, combat, and diplomacy. Merchant Empires is based on the venerable BBS game Tradewars. In the article below, Bryan Brunton is interviewed about his experiences in bringing Merchant Empires to life.

Q: Why did you write ME?

A: A number of reasons. First, I wanted to see if it could be done. I have always been a fan of space based strategy games and I have always wanted to write one. Although I knew that the efforts of bringing the idea to completion would be at times tedious, I didn't care. Secondly, I ran across a game called Space Merchant which is a closed-source, ASP-based implementation of Tradewars, and I was appalled at how badly it had been done. In my opinion, there are many things wrong with the Space Merchant implementation but one thing really struck me as ridiculous: when playing Space Merchant, occasionally an error screen would pop up that said, "Command not processed due to an Error Storm. Please log out and try again." The utter inanity of the the concept of an "Error Storm" and that someone was attempting to pass that explanation off as rational was, to me, hilarious. I said to myself, "Tradewars deserves better than this."

 

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