All Mouth, No Trousers

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Trip Down Memory Lane

Posted by SouthPaw, Nov 27 2009, 04:49 PM in Other

First thing's first; Yes it has been ages since I blogged anything.

In my defence, I have been working really very hard this year to a) keep my job and b) keep the jobs of everyone who works for me.

Also, planning a wedding takes a lot more of one's thought than I had properly appreciated.

There is more fan-fic in the works (or my mind at least) and it will work its way out here soon enough.

The cause for this post is due to one of my colleagues. He saw me looking at FAO at wrok and said: "What is this 'Allegiance' that you are always looking at?"

"It's a game I play." I replied. He said "I never really had you down as a gamer..."

This kind of surprised me. I stopped to think about it and I have been playing online games as a form of entertainment for over 12 years now. That's a pretty long time. In all of those years I have had passionate love affairs with three games. Here they are:


1997. I am at the University of Warwick studying my undergraduate degree. I am the only guy in my student house to have his own computer (can you IMAGINE that now kids?). We get hooked up to teh intarwebz via my computer and I stumble upon TEN/WON free games including Attack Retrieve Capture (ARC). A very simple team-based shooter that had surprising depth and seemed like magic to a guy who had grown up on Amstrad CPC464 cassette loading games.

You move a little flying saucer across a map, shooting lasers and three types of special weapons at other players in a CTF based game that requires quite a high degree of skill and thought. This game was a cult hit and I loved it. I was never much good, but spent many many happy hours fragging away.

After my colleague's comment I went in search of ARC. Turns out it died sometime in 2007, but the community basically re-wrote the code. It exists now under the name Spark and is free to download and play.

Get it here: SPARK I recommend it for 10-20 mins of shooting fun, though it is really dated by todays standards.

Shockforce / Wulfram 2

If ARC was my first kiss, I lost my virginity to Wulfram 2. This game had it all. Simple to learn, yet very deep to master. An extremely team-based hovertank shooter cum strategy game that broke all of the molds at the time. Two teams of players faced each other on a map, the aim being to destroy all of the opposition's base spawn points - whilst they tried to build them up.

The game required equal measures of skill, teamwork, situtational awareness and strategy and I LOVED IT. The community was small (smaller than Alleg) and very tight. Squad games were intense and fiercely fought. Over time (2002-2006) I grew into being one of the best players in the game in my role (Scout), was a trainer responsible for educating and levelling new players (better system than Alleg - newbies only got access to the regular server after they passed a test administered by trainers), played with the best squad in the game that dominated for 2 and a half years and let it absorb my life.

But... The leadership of the game was never right. The code was held by one developer who had no time to create updates. All of the community members who had the time to help out got frustrated. Very restrictive rules about behaviour (including a strict no swearing policy).

Eventually, the MODs became corrupt - banning people without reason. Finally, in a bizarre and suicidal act, the sole coder gave power to a MOD he thought was going to "clean up the game". This clueless guy (handle of Fireball if anyone here ever played Wulf) life-banned without reason (and with the support of the guy in charge) dozens of players including people who had devoted literally hundreds of playing hours to helping the community and training new players. This included about half of my squad.

In a very small community such an action was very badly taken. Even people not affected stopped playing, thinking that Slurpy (the coder) had lost his mind. The game withered and died sometime in 2008 after slurpy had effectively killed his own community.

Shame. Because although I could never forgive the leadership for what it did, I loved that game dearly...


So... Summer 2006. I have been driven out of Wulfram (although I escaped the life-ban given to so many of my friends for no reason). I am seeking a new passion to fill the void.

I wander through the databases of free games when I see Allegiance.

Hmmm, I think to myself. I loved Tie Fighter, X-wing and Freespace. This game claims to have the teamwork I loved in Wulfram...Maybe I should give this a try...

And here I am.

Just as in love with my second, younger, better looking wife as I ever was before.

If you see me issuing dire warnings about my experiences of a great game dying - take me seriously. I have seen it happen and lived through it once. It hurts a lot more than you think it will.

MooN_Monkey. Aka MooN[GEN]. Aka puggle. Aka SouthPaw@PK

Southpaw Is Getting Hitched

Posted by SouthPaw, Dec 9 2008, 01:15 PM in Other

After many, many years of happy relationship I finally popped the question and the long-time Miss Southpaw has agreed to become Mrs. Southpaw!


For those interested, we were on holiday in Salzburg and I proposed as the sun was setting whilst we were in the fortress that over looks the town.


The view

The fortress


Posted by SouthPaw, May 22 2008, 04:22 AM in Other


Welcome (back) to my blog which I will primarily be using to host fanfic micro-stories. At the time of writing this entry I have posted five entries in the fanfic section and attracted a loyal readership of about four guys... (Hi guys!).

The fanfic stuff I create is aimed at being a creative outlet for me to follow up anything that interests me in the Allegiance universe. That might include depictions of in-game events, politics between the factions, or whatever the hell else has caught me attention. I write this stuff during my lunch hour at work mostly. My job regularly gets so busy that I get no break and 12 hour days so there are going to be (and have been) protracted periods of downtime.

I am amenable to suggestions, requests for topics or scenarios etc. but I make no promises to use them.

Whilst I had originally wanted to just post fanfic stuff, I have created the "other" category for entries searchable in the box over there --------------------->

Entries in this category will, I suppose, be just about anything wandering across my mind though I hope to keep it to a minimum.

I don't get involved in much community drama or squad squabbling and just enjoy playing the game to relax. I've pretty much kept my head down in the two years or so I have been around so don't expect some epic and opinionated ranting.

Kick back, relax, and let me know what you think about the stories.