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Sci-Fi Author Timothy Zahn Is Creating a Video Game 116

An anonymous reader writes "Timothy Zahn, one of the most influential Star Wars Expanded Universe authors (creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade), and writer of 40 novels and 90+ short stories, will be trying his hand as the Creative Director for a new video game, Timothy Zahn's Parallax. From the Kickstarter page: 'The game concept is heavily inspired by the original Master of Orion but, because Timothy Zahn is the co-creator, a major focus is going to be on making sure that each alien race is as fully-realized as possible, and that the interactions with the other aliens are realistic: talking to one alien race will be different than talking to another, and the choices you make in the game will have side effects and the computer players will remember them — and treat you differently because of them.' Other highlights: 'The game will include at least 5 of his non-Star Wars alien races (Modhri, Kalixiri, Zhirrzh, Qanska and Pom); Backers will be active participants in the game creation process; No Digital Rights Management foolishness.' The Kickstarter starts at 6pm MST today."
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Sci-Fi Author Timothy Zahn Is Creating a Video Game

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  • Priced out of Market (Score:5, Informative)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday September 13, 2013 @08:54PM (#44845693)

    $30 for the game?

    $10 only gets you a star name?

    Seeing how they can still sell the game after, I think he could do better on (digital-only) pledges.

    I have been priced off kickstarter (at least for games) which used to be more reasonable about my support, where I could afford to have little expectation, and the possibility of getting a lot for my money. Now I have stopped looking at all.

    My money will go to Humble Bundle 9 [] which currently includes FTL, Fez and Trine 2 and others(the weekly bundle is Duke Nuken 3D and Shadow Warrior with DLC which is better than the original games). In contrast Humble Bundle has hit $2million already with another 11 days to go.

  • by Abram Jablonski ( 3070601 ) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @01:45AM (#44846915)


    I've actually been developing software for 15 years, and have made a game before (XNA on Windows Phone, and Xamarin to port it to Android, ported from an original 3D WPF version that looked great but ran like crap on a phone/ tablet and had too small a playable area there) - there are screen shots on the Kickstarter page. And you can't tell from the screen shots, but the pixels do move.

    That is, of course, the least of what I've done - I specialize in highly-complex modular systems that push around and transform data on the server tier, as well as UI/ UX presentation of that data in the simplest way possible (lots of complex third-order-effect stuff going on behind the scenes, pretty colors for the user). I got an MCSD way back when it meant something. I've redesigned $60,000 per-seat systems and saved multi-million dollar projects... I'm not the idea man - I'm the architect that the idea men go to when they want something to actually get built.

    But for this... none of that really matters. Yeah, I'm going to move pixels around on a screen and create a dynamic shell driven by XML-based files that loads the content on the fly, but the content generation itself is the long pole. I had photoshopped screen shots that were serviceable but, since I decided to let the backers help generate all those reams of content, I stopped working on them. The community management and organization is going to be critical, and my main job is going to be to mentally juggle hundreds of different ideas all at once and make them fit together - and then listen to the backers and fix it when they tell me I messed up. as for the novel core mechanic, I'm stealing it from MOO[1], cherry-picking cool features from other games, and fixing the stuff that tends to annoy me.

    But the cool part is that you don't have to believe me, and you win either way: either I fail miserably and you're right, or I succeed reasonably well and you get a fun game to play.


"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell