In a Parallel Universe, Dundee didn't take the job with SWG.
And he didn't become a "space guy" at all.
And instead, he kept working on his piddly little experimental UO emulator server, and fooling around with Permanent Death, and his Estate Idea, and Weapons With History, where a weapon, over the course of generations, would keep track of all the things it killed and the folks who used it, and became a magical Orc-Slayer Sword, once it killed enough Orcs, that may be passed down from father to son, or recovered from the famous tomb of a dead player, but it would only "light up" and show its magical nature if it was held by someone from the family, or something like that.
And all that just came from from meditating and musing about ways to make lewt and treasure more interesting, and how to store a player's "advancement" in something else besides a "level treadmill," y'know?
And then there was his Organic Dungeon Spawning thingie, where Dungeons would spawn dynamically and begin to build in strength, and eventually threaten nearby player-made towns, with "scouts," at first, and then sieges, eventually, unless something was done to stop them.
Which was an idea that was almost borrowed by the guys that did Horizons, but then they gave up 'cause it was too hard to do, or whatever, and they made yet another static etch-a-sketch game world where everything respawns and endlessly erases everything the players do, even though, if you think about it, that isn't acutally any different than make everything out of dynamic puzzle pieces that can go together in different ways, from a technical perspective, except in how you keep track of the meaning of it.
Well, as long as you think about it ahead of time.
Just like Dundee's Anamorphic Terrain thingie and the random dungeon stuff (that we had twenty years ago in Daggerfall heh) isn't really really any different than arranging the entrances and exits to a series of "instances" made out of dumb little bricks with some spawn points that you may or may not use.
And then there was the Divination thing, where Wizards would get Divinations about relics and artifacts like Orc Slayer Swords in the Tombs of Dead Player Heroes, that would start quests, at the cost of owing a Demon something, and eventually Demons would become strong enough, through this mafia-like procession of owing favors, to open a gate and attack the town.
Which would make the Wizard pretty unpopular with the locals heh.
Awesome junk like that.
I think its kinda weird that Dundee became a space guy, 'cause I always thought of him as more of a "let's all ride around and seige castles" 13th warrior No-Elves-And-Barely-Any-Magic kinda dude, but with the "success" of Jump to Lightspeed and the friends he made and stuff, everything that happened makes sense.
Although his current interest in social-networks or whatever is completely bizarre to me, I don't get that at all, even when I think about the experiments he did with Player Policing and stuff, 'cause those were all in-game sorta things, and not out-of-game sorta things, well, at least in my mind, and I'm not a big fan of all that out-of-game baggage, I tend to think of all that kinda stuff as crutches players constructed to get around gaping holes in the game's logic and signs that something in-the-game is broken or at least needs some smoothing-over.
But I'm weird, y'know, there are very few people who share the context that I look at everything from, and the list is always growing smaller, 'cause the crusty old jaded gamer guys don't really tend to share all the experiences they're drawing on, y'know, 'cause it'd be so much work to spell it all out and you'd prolly forget about ten million important points anyways so why bother heh.
But we do need to bother, or we're gonna lose all that info, and pretty soon there won't be anybody that knows what usage-based skill stuff is, all the different benefits and things that suck about it, and the improvements Dundee played around with, automating things, and the offline "training" bit that was sorta half-adopted by Eve Online.
And eventually all that junk will have to be rediscovered the hard way, when it might've been really useful, as an option, earlier on.
Its still the only way I can see newbs and high level guys grouping together more-the-merrier style where everybody gains something, y'know, 'cause everybody gets experience just for swinging at the monster, and not just killing the monster.
And the Weapons With History thing is an example of using the power of computers to go somewhere farther than we ever could've gone with Pen and Paper, and not just "doing as good" as Pen and Paper, y'know?
Same with filling a graveyard with the grandfathers of the current players, and having your players really be the guys that make the History of your game, that junk is awesome with a kind of depth that we could barely scrape our nails into with Pen and Paper stuff, 'cause it'd be such a pain-in-the-ass to keep track of all that shit.
Yah, we all hated keeping track of how much water and iron rations you needed to drink and eat and shit, let alone how many orcs you killed, but pretty much every computer game keeps track of how much orcs you kill, even though they hardly do anything that makes sense with it (like giving you a +3 bonus against Orcs as an Orc Slayer or something heh).
Anyways I think about that Parallel Universe sometimes, the one where Dundee is still Dundee, and still grinding away at his piddly little Experimental Server, and what a lucky bastard that Parallel Universe Version of Me is, having all that fun, doing junk at least ten years into the future of the shit I'm doing over here in this crappy Parallel Universe where everything got all fucked up ahaha.
I mean, seriously, all that junk I been talking about was from like ten years ago in this timeline, and that was just the beginnings of where ever we woulda gone by now.
And I think about what we traded all that for, and I'm like, totally fucking bummed man, we got totally fucking screwed in that deal man I mean we got seriously donky cocked ahaha.
And its the same thing with Sunsword, who keeps saying he needs help, and between all of us, we know so many awesome people when you think about it.
I mean, really think about it, that's always was our real super power.
But I dunno how to help him and bring it all back together, even though I love the guy.
And now I'm at the point where I'm staring back down the timeline and trying to make a course correction to swing us toward the good spot a little, if I can.
Like some kinda multidimensional madman ahaha.
But how hard would it be, really?
How hard is it to fix everything and get all the ducks in a row and just make everything right?
Not that hard.
We ain't trading anything really wonderful for it, I been giving this current state of affairs a chance for years and years now but shit seems all fuxxored up to me and I haven't seen anything really good and worthy of all the powers behind it come out of it yet.
We just gotta make up our minds and do it.
And so what if you starve (heh), as long as you advance your art and are remembered forever as a champion of some great 'cause who died a righteous death in battle, or even not remembered at all except as some dude that saved the whole town of whatsitsnuts from whatever that bad thing was that one time, back in the days before all the new people showed up ahaha.
Life is just a sitcom throughout the Multiverse, in each and every one of the different Parallel Universes, but in some of 'em, they're doing really awesome shit, that's way more fun than the shit we're doing, and I'm jealous.
How about we make those other Parallel Universes jealous of us for once, man.
Or, maybe I'm just not patient enough, if you need an easy out ahaha.