Read Me

11-19-12- I've changed how I present the majority of information. I've found that info and ideas flow more freely when I'm just putting it down to read instead of trying to embellish it and make it look like it's coming from a Historian or whatever. It's not as pretty, but even when I do embellish or "stylize" as my late wife used to call it, it's still not pretty. So, just the facts until I find someone/folks to help me out.

2-10-12-- with included History of how I thunk this stuff up at the bottom, it's long winded and an optional read, but I included it because some folks might like it.
I can't remember how to do an anchor and Kompozer doesn't help, so just scroll a little ways down.

        As I mention further down, I lost everything about the game and had to rebuild/remember info just to get to this point. With the help of my family I had a game that was for all intents and purposes, ready to program.(all I needed to do was make the crafting system and program it all) But after my backup disc malfunction, then losing my wife and 2 of my 3 kids to a drunk driver, the game was all but lost. Without their input, the development and "remembering" of the vast majority of the game just wasn't happening.  There have been times when I've gone a full year without making a single update, then I'll churn away for a couple of weeks on a good idea, compare it to what's already in place, then scrap it because it doesn't fit, sound right, or might be what someone else wants, but not what I want.

        I would like to be able to take credit for this game, but the truth is, I can't. I thought of the universe, I thought of the people and places, I gave the ball the "nudge", but it was my family that kept the ball rolling, always coming up with something new, how skills worked, combat, how to design ships. Truly, the only thing that I designed 100% on my own was the character development/generation and even that I haven't been able to duplicate. I just don't have the memory for it.

        It is unfortunately best viewed using Internet Explorer, well that's not entirely true. It's just that the most recent version of firefox --I have-- doesn't show any of the effects I've embedded into the style sheet. The links don't change colors, the font is extremely small, and the scroll bars don't look snazzy. In "IE" you see all this.  YMMV

((I did some tweaking by disabling my Firefox theme and it makes things look the way they were intended, except for the snazzy scroll bar on the right side and the stupidly small fonts, it still looks like the same old clunky firefox bar, but at least the links work right although the fonts are still smaller than they're set up to be. So if you're an avid Firefox user and the font is to small or the links aren't working right, temporarily switch back to the default Firefox theme and that should fix it. Or just leave it as is and get a magnifying glass so you can read. ((On my Firefox no amount of zoom seemed to fix the font, the higher the zoom the more fucked up it looked, just bigger.))

--Note, Oct. 5, 2012-- I changed the overall font style to "Verdana" and although it's kinda ugly, the font no longer needs zoom in order to read on Firefox.


     Due to computer issues  and a fouled up backup cd I pretty much lost the game. Everything contained within this folder is what I could/can remember (so far, and I've only been rebuilding it for about 2 weeks now). I've been told I've got a pretty good memory, but there are some things that I just can't remember, and some things that I did so long ago I'm surprised I remember even writing the stuff much less what exactly what it was that I wrote.

     Top 3 major problems I had before, resolved, and now have them again because I can't remember specifics enough to correct.

     #1A. Economy- How to make the economy as realistic as possible. More or less resolved--More or less resolved because
---#1B. I originally had envisioned a way for the game the start out with no money, the players would literally design/run/be the economy even setting the value of money. This aspect of the economy was never resolved completely. I figured eventually I'd have a brain fart and figure this one out but never did. So 1B isn't a priority.

     #2. Skills checks- My late son devised the math used for skill checks. It was and wasn't complicated  all at once. It looked and sounded intimidating, but after you rolled the dice a few times it usually hit you like a brick what it was you were doing. Now however, I can't remember the math. Basically you used the appropriate skill obviously, then combined your skill level with the appropriate statistic, and tried it against a target number taking into account any possible pros and cons that might make the roll harder or easier. There was more to it than that, I just can't remember it. He devised another part of it that would basically trick a person trying to decipher how a skill check would be/is performed if you are playing on a computer. I didn't like the idea of people being able to anticipate the math behind skill checks, so He figured out a way to trick you with the math, but I just can't remember the math. My son was a mathematical genius, he was literally balancing his blood mother's checkbook before he was walking. He could've and would've changed the world if not for a drunk driver.

     #3. My personal baby, character development. I developed the character creation part of TFS years ago(before "Tales From Space" existed, this was for another game I was making), I was in the 7th grade when I did that. My buddies/play testers at the time (when it was PnP*) thought it was the best part of the game. Basically your raised a family starting several generations before your characters birth, rolling for backgrounds like what sorts of work did they do, and the kind of pitfalls they had in the past that could haunt you in the future. After years and years of rewrites and "balance", it was all gone when I fogged my room.(I left my backup CD out, and when I fogged my room the poison pitted the disk and the data was 90% irretrievable.) I can remember the technical parts, just not the balance and actual lists. Heh, nothing beats starting out a brand new character only to have someone's grandson come to kick your ass because your grandfather robbed his grandfather blind, things like that add so much depth, possibilities, and realities to a game.

--I did have another problem but this was just a stupid thing really. I never could think of names for stuff. Weapons and etc, I usually just called them "Human Chem Pistol", "Cerian Plasma Arm", "Terran Frigate", crap like that.

         There are few things that are not negotiable about the game. My late wife designed the Mon'Za, they can be tweaked, but they must stay as is as far as the race's design goes, and the one character per race per server. Multiple characters ruins economies when you can basically make a character for every need and use them to support your main. When you do that, then why would you ever need anyone else? Pretty much everything else is negotiable within reason. The name is kinda campy, so even that can be changed. I chose it when I was writing short stories for my kids years ago. Each story was a different tale about a small family that lived in space. Hence, Tales From Space.

*PnP is pen and paper, old school role playing games.

This information -IS-  copyright by me, CRG. My full name is available upon request if I believe you're not a spammer/scammer just out for an identity to hijack.
My attorney, who is also my daughter, has gone through great expense and pains to insure I've got a full and legal copyright. Just saying it is won't protect you in court. I'm not an ass with my material. If you write a story using my material and you make it big, FUCKIN' AWESOME, just give me/my material credit. What will make me get litigious is using my material and claiming it as your own. I also expect that if you find anything that appears that I've stolen let me know and I'll gladly fix it or give credit where credit is due. I think all IPs should cooperate with each other, not sue over bullshit. That's a last resort, or only used when someone is just being a blatant ass about something.

--History-- 2003---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I originally envisioned "Tales From Space" back when I was in the seventh grade. (1988) It's (TFS) roots actually lay in a PnP (Pen and Paper) game called  "Dungeons & Dragons", you know, the satan worshiping game your parents probably grounded you for playing. (joking, you can thank "Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters" for stupid people thinking it's satanic) I never actually liked D&D partly because I was always asked to be the DM (Dungeon Master). When you're a DM you always know what's going to happen, you know the story, you know the cool treasure at the the end of the tunnel. There's no surprise, no mystery, no fun for the DM. So I set about trying to make a game that was sort of like one of those "choose your own adventure books" where you read up to a point, then you get to choose "take the left passage= go to pg13" or "choose the right passage= go to page16" but instead of everything being written down and linear, dice rolls could be used and character stats had an effect on what you chose.

     It was rough going at first, most of my friends didn't really like my idea at the time and to be honest I didn't know what I was doing. I sat and trudged through it though, and the end result was a crappy "Super Heroes" game that had some good ideas behind it, but the implementation was horrid. Up to that point, the only games I had played were games like Monopoly, D&D, and Shadowrun, so I had no basis for comparison to even know if I was producing something that was fun or not. I let some of my friends try it out and the only thing they did like about it was my character creation process. They liked the realism aspect of it, where you had to get a job, you had to have an "excuse" for where your starting money and equipment came from, and you had to have a place to call home. They liked the fact you could determine your characters background, and how that could eventually catch up to you in the game, they also liked the fact if your character liked to carry big guns around the cops might not like that to much. In effect, they liked the solid realism of it.  The "choose your own adventure with a dice roll and character skills" just kind of went over their heads.
    They had been so ingrained to the idea of a Dungeon/Game Master controlling everything that they just couldn't accept any other way. So that aspect of my game design hit the back burner for a while.

    The next incarnation of my game actually went back in time for a short spell. I remade my game into a D&D clone using my new found realism ideology. This time I used examples of real life from back in the "dark ages" of world history. I implemented real life skills, the ideas of working conditions, history, and other aspects of that time frame into the game. The result wasn't successful by any means. My friends liked aspects of it, but they didn't like the fact that the rich back in that time were mostly land owners, and in order to progress in my game you had to spend time doing menial things which were mostly calculated with die rolls and character skills, and screwing up those die rolls could, just as in real life back in that time, could cost you everything. My players wanted to be straight adventurers, focus all their skills on swinging a sword, not split it up with swinging a sword AND a sickle. I tried to explain to them that in reality the most famous of heroes in history were usually better farmers, artists, or philosophers than they were soldiers. However, they rebutted with "yeah, but this is a game!" Back to the drawing board. I discovered that despite the fact the game was a flop, the ideas behind it weren't.

    The third incarnation took place during the wild west. Back in my  High School years the big "in" thing was the "cowboy" look. I never got into the look, but I liked the idea. The mid 1850s was a good time to RP (role play) in my honest opinion. I used the same basic rules I used in the D&D clone,  and I threw some "Wild Wild West" into it.

    I used to like the Wild Wild West tv show, so I thought tossing in the sci-fi aspect was a good idea. My friends liked it to, but they didn't like the fact that their characters could die, permanently. In response I added in Indian Shamans that my friends could play and they could call on the spirits and resurrect dead characters. That, like in so many other games tended to make players careless and reckless. With some more rule tweaking, the recklessness started turning to business savvy. I introduced rules into the game that allowed players to purchase/start businesses. I went all out on this, I researched what it cost to build buildings and things back in the 1800s, what it cost to feed horses, make and buy bullets, ETC. The prices and history in my game were more accurate than the information in my American History book in history class. One of my players started a brothel, another started a stage coach line, and yet another found gold. Problem was, back in those days a small success could set you for life. The game quickly became dull because my players had been lucky on their skill sets, die rolls, and adventuring that their business ventures were critical successes and they were set for life. What more did they need to do? The game fell apart quickly after that. I had in effect created an awesome business sim, but the PnP RPG adventure aspect of it was kind of lackluster.

    The "High Seas Adventure" was the fourth incarnation and anything but an adventure to be honest. I thought up this version after flipping through a D&D source book for thieves that included a "swashbuckler" class of character.("Pirates! Gold" on my Genesis had a hand in this as well) My friends loved the idea, and they loved my character creation process as this newest version took it to extremes. Not only did you have the ability to determine the happenings of the immediate future of your character, I had written up a way to determine up to five generations of your character's past. All of it had an impact on who you were right now, and what you were most likely to become.

     I had made it so that half of you statistics were determined by a die roll, the other half were determined by heredity and family history. If your family had been farmers, you got bonuses to strength and endurance, if they had been noblemen then charisma got boosted ETC. My players liked that aspect of the game more than anything. My gaming test sessions turned out to be nothing more than character creation parties as my friends would sit for hours rolling dice and making family histories. At the time I thought it was a little silly, but now I see what they liked, it gave them a sense of connection to their characters. They didn't just appear out of thin air like in every other game, you had roots, a history, family, and some of our later adventures would focus on protecting that family and past.

    Now, if the core game mechanics had been worth a crap, I probably wouldn't have scrapped this incarnation. My biggest problem was I couldn't figure out a realistic way to do ship to ship combat. You line up two frigates about 200 yards away, and open fire with dozens of cannon, how do you calculate hits, misses, damage, and men loss realistically, but not so realistic that if you win the fight you're so crippled that the game might as well be over. Back when piracy on the high seas was commonplace, ship to ship combat was usually a very deadly and career ending task. Fact is, most fights were over before they began because sailors knew, if you fight, you die. I couldn't get that down in this incarnation, I couldn't get the realism, and fun factor meshed right. I did manage to get the character generation aspects of this version right, and this would be implemented into the next two versions without hesitation.

     The fifth incarnation was a modern day alternate reality game. The history of this "reality" was such that religion never got a stranglehold on civilization. That meant that the greatest free thinkers of history could learn, teach, and progress science without fear of religious persecution like what happened to them in real history. With religion out of the picture, science progressed to such a point that the first moon landing was in 1860, and the only major war in the history of the world took place in 1920, and man was it a whopper. My friends never really got a chance to play this version, mostly because by the time this one came about, they were all long gone to their own lives. My  wife and kids however, loved it. Most of the people I told about it though, couldn't see past the inherent anti-religion aspect of the game. In my honest opinion, there's nothing anti religious about it, it's just stating simple facts that if the religious powers that be hadn't of persecuted some of the greatest minds in history, we'd be MUCH more advanced than we are now. Most of the wars throughout history were fought on the "my god is better than yours" principle, most of the tyranny had been imposed through religious doctrine. Take that out of the picture, and the world's strife was just removed as well.

     With such a small test audience, and in the eyes of the audience I could do no wrong, this game was a success. I had combined aspects of my previous games into this one. However, something was missing, it needed more, there had to be more possibilities in the future of this alternate reality.

        The sixth incarnation used the Humans, and Human history of the fifth incarnation, but now later on in time, around 2050 or so, and sent them hurtling into space. Where they came in contact with a coalition of aliens trying to live peacefully with different ideologies and philosophies. A grand place for adventure, intrigue, and business opportunities for the industrious Humans of the backwards planet Earth. I introduced the "Patrolled Sectors" with dozens of different minor races, ten more playable races, eleven counting the Humans, new technology, new character generation possibilities, starship construction, combat robots introduced in the fifth version, now taken to a grand scale. Strife from the Human and Terran first contact, are we cousins, or is it just a gigantically weird coincidence? What are the mighty Mon'Za up to in their 3 mile long Blackship, or the Cerian Hierarchy, in their giant battle platforms. What of the mysteries of the GCN and moon sized super computer built more than a million years ago?

        What I'm working on now is the final incarnation of a labor of love that I started in 1988. I went from being "Thunder", shooting lightning bolts at villains in my Super Hero game, to being "Soron the Solid" in my D&D clone. I picked up my six shooter as "Billy Soron" in 1855, who liked to tell stories of his great grand-pappy "Soron the Cold" who sailed the High Seas. I then submitted myself for cybernetic augmentation, got my Combot pilots license and fought in the "Great War" of 1920 as  "Soron ColdHeart", I even got to see "the rider at the gates" in all his glory. I have to be honest though, he looked like an average guy to me. Later, when most people just knew me as "ColdHeart", I was  the pilot of the first expedition ship into the "Patrolled Sectors" where I was abducted by the Mon'Za, chased all over the freakin' galaxy by the Cerian, shot at by giant cockroaches, turned inside out by a Terran Ramp, and finally captured and interrogated for being some sort of genetic aberration by the TCR (Terran Corporate Republic). All in the first month of coming to the Patrolled Sectors!

    But I digress,,,,,

      This is your story, these are your adventures, and when you sit down with your grandkids and they ask you to tell them a story, you'll have your
Tales, From Space