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Old 12-12-2018, 05:44 PM   #1
MadMarshall71
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Default An open letter to CarWars

Hello, my name is Bryan Marshall I am 46 years old and i have been a gamer since i was 12 years old. Before computers of course there were boards, dice, counters and calculators, i played many games like AD&D, SpaceOpera, Mechwarrior, Starfleet Battles, Axis and allies, and of course my favorite...Car Wars. We would often talk about the power computers woud gain in the years to come, how we would be playing these games in real time against real people in our lifetimes, now this has come to pass all these games are on the computer and all enjoy great success, except one.

The one i love, yes i said love, when autoduel came out in the 90's i played it and i still do, at one time my freinds and i have had every module, every ADQ, every weapons catalog, i even started collecting novels writtin in the car wars world i still have the one by Drake. i love this game.


So what happened?! just poof gone, i thought that autoduel would be the precursor to an infinite number of car wars games just like the small autoduel set led to carwars etc. The closest thing there is is crossout and it is being fumbled by greedy russsian software developers.
The fanbase is huge and is older with lots of cash i for one would spend alot, i already did for crossout just because it has cars with guns you build, the same genreso i must ask what is stopping whomever from just agreeing and getting rich?
Please!! if i had one wish before the big C gets me it is to have a courier rabbit build with a flamethrower out back on the highway where the right of way goes to the biggest gun, just ask the AADA members they really exist for mercy sake.
Thank you for reading this, Your biggest fan.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:23 PM   #2
owenmp
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Dear MadMarshall71,

Here a few important release dates in the history of Car Wars. :o)

Ziplock Bag Car Wars: 1981
Pocket Box Car Wars: 1982-1983
Car Wars Deluxe Edition: 1985
Autoduel Computer Game by Origin Systems, Inc.: 1985
Uncle Albert's Digest-Sized Catalogs: 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989
GURPS Autoduel First Edition: 1986
Car Wars Compendium First Edition: 1989
Car Wars Compendium Second Edition: 1990
Car Warriors Four-Issue Comic Mini-Series: 1991
Uncle Albert's Catalog From Hell: 1991
Car Warriors Novels The Square Deal, Double Jeopardy, and Back from Hell: 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1999
GURPS Autoduel Second Edition: 1996
Death Rally Computer Game: 1996
Interstate '76 Computer Game: 1997
Interstate '76 Nitro Pack Computer Game: 1998
Death Race Movie: 2008
Death Race 2 Movie: 2010
Death Race 3 Movie: 2013


In the mid-1990s, SJ Games announced in Pyramid Magazine Autoduel Virtual Reality Centers and Autoduel Online were going to be produced by VictorMaxx. Unfortunately, the projects were not fully developed, and VictorMaxx went out of business.

Auto Assault was a MMORPG that existed from 2006 to 2007. The game is no longer available because its servers were taken down. Its soundtrack on CD is worth acquiring, and the Auto Assault Strategy Guide is a useful resource for post-apocalyptic tabletop roleplaying campaigns.

Although not an official Car Wars adaptation, you might be interested in Darkwind: War on Wheels. Several Car Wars players who use this forum have played Darkwind.

Darkwind: War on Wheels
http://www.dark-wind.com


Patrick Lipo of Vertigames is working on Auto Fire. Like Darkwind, Auto Fire will be a turn-based car combat computer game.

Vertigames
http://www.patricklipo.com


Auroch Digital, the producer of the new Ogre Computer Game, is working on a turn-based strategy car combat game based on a board game system not owned by SJ Games. :o)

I feel the same way in your post. I have played Car Wars for over 20 years. I still get the same thrill playing the Autoduel CRPG when I first played my copy of Autoduel for the Apple II series over 20 years ago. Making "Killer Rabbit" vehicles with rear-mounted aimed weapons such as flamethrowers was very fun in Autoduel.

Car Wars Sixth Edition may be launched next year using crowdfunding. If that campaign is successful, SJ Games might be able to look at the possibility of a new Car Wars computer game, if such a venture could be profitable.

Until an official sequel or an official remake of Autoduel becomes reality, veteran combat drivers like us will have to continue driving the roads of Death Rally and Interstate '76, revisit the highways of Autoduel from 1985, and watch the auto-carnage in the movies Death Race 1, Death Race 2, and Death Race 3. :o)
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Last edited by owenmp; 12-15-2018 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:33 AM   #3
Blue Ghost
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Spinward Marches
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

I think the new "Version" of Car Wars is supposed to help revitalize the game, and ergo fanbase. I wish the best of luck to the company, I, however, prefer the old classic game.

To be honest I'm not really sure what happened to CW. I personally think it's a combination of just a lot of material out there to choose from, and computer games (not video games, but PC based strategy games). "Back in the day" Car Wars and Star Fleet Battles were the dominant scifi warsims at all the conventions I ever went to. Now when I go to cons there's barely a younger player who recognizes either game, and there's also other auto combat games out there too, as well as other Star Trek games to compete with SFB.

I think a lot of younger gamers are part of the larger demographic that prefers simple card or simple mini games, and aren't part of the hard-core simulation gamers that were so prevalent in the 80s and 90s. Those people still exist, but we're a niche group.

I don't see tank (armor) games at cons, nor medieval warfare, Napoleonic or whatever at any convention. It's mostly about card games that are attached to a playing board that may or may not require dice.


Having said that, Pathfinder is huge, with D&D coming in at a distant second as the dominant fantasy RPGs.

I think this leaves old standbys like Car Wars and SFB out in the niche Pasteur. Still active, but more and more anachronistic due to evolving tastes and a lack of patience and, dare I say it, simplification of mainstream gaming. Which I think is too bad, but it also means that there's possibly a chance that games like CW and SFB can resurge and rebuild that niche that was so prevalent ages ago, because to me, it feels like a lot of hard core gamers are shying away from the cash grab games with kitschy dice and a variety of decks of special playing cards. To me that's not gaming in any simulation aspect whatsoever. And my sense is those games may be fading out because the people who make and market those games really don't understand true sim / warsims / RPGers.

But, it remains to be seen what'll happen.

Just my two cents.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:35 AM   #4
philreed
Chief Executive Officer
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
I wish the best of luck to the company, I, however, prefer the old classic game.
We've got the classic Pocket Box in the works.

http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/N...The_Pocket_Box
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:58 AM   #5
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Quote:
Originally Posted by owenmp View Post
Dear MadMarshall71,

Although not an official Car Wars adaptation, you might be interested in Darkwind: War on Wheels. Several Car Wars players who use this forum have played Darkwind.

Darkwind: War on Wheels
http://www.dark-wind.com
Whilst the mechanic is very similar to CW and I found it absorbing for a long time, eventually it fell into munchkin-ism and suffers due to the alpha group who effectively control the game and trashed the in game economy. If you don't want to play it their way then you end up having a fairly dissatisfying experience ultimately with many of the best features of the game denied you. Interacting with other Player controlled vehicles generally made encounters run about 10 times slower than when playing against the AI (so a simple 3 lap race could take several hours rather than typically 5-10 minutes vs the AI).

I found it best when purely playing vs the environment. The AI was pretty good and the developer evolved it to counter the easy-win tactics adopted by players. If you like courier CW campaigns you can survive on just that aspect for a lot of play value.
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
Blue Ghost
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Spinward Marches
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Quote:
Originally Posted by philreed View Post
We've got the classic Pocket Box in the works.

http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/N...The_Pocket_Box
Very cool, mister Reed. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:34 AM   #7
Blue Ghost
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Spinward Marches
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Quote:
Originally Posted by owenmp View Post

In the mid-1990s, SJ Games announced in Pyramid Magazine Autoduel Virtual Reality Centers and Autoduel Online were going to be produced by VictorMaxx. Unfortunately, the projects were not fully developed, and VictorMaxx went out of business.

Auto Assault was a MMORPG that existed from 2006 to 2007. The game is no longer available because its servers were taken down. Its soundtrack on CD is worth acquiring, and the Auto Assault Strategy Guide is a useful resource for post-apocalyptic tabletop roleplaying campaigns.

Although not an official Car Wars adaptation, you might be interested in Darkwind: War on Wheels. Several Car Wars players who use this forum have played Darkwind.

Darkwind: War on Wheels
http://www.dark-wind.com


Patrick Lipo of Vertigames is working on Auto Fire. Like Darkwind, Auto Fire will be turn-based car combat computer game.

Vertigames
http://www.patricklipo.com


Auroch Digital, the producer of the new Ogre Computer Game, is working on a turn-based strategy car combat game based on a board game system not owned by SJ Games. :o)

I feel the same way in your post. I have played Car Wars for over 20 years. I still get the same thrill playing the Autoduel CRPG when I first played my copy of Autoduel for the Apple II series over 20 years ago. Making "Killer Rabbit" vehicles with rear-mounted aimed weapons such as flamethrowers was very fun in Autoduel.

Car Wars Sixth Edition may be launched next year using crowdfunding. If that campaign is successful, SJ Games might be able to look at the possibility of a new Car Wars computer game, if such a venture could be profitable.

Until an official sequel or an official remake of Autoduel becomes reality, veteran combat drivers like us will have to continue driving the roads of Death Rally and Interstate '76, revisit the highways of Autoduel from 1985, and watch the auto-carnage in the movies Death Race 1, Death Race 2, and Death Race 3. :o)
*some snippage*

I did not know this.

Back around 83 or 84 there were serious efforts by many parties (public and private) to marry RPGs and warsims to computers, because most computer types were gamers. I remember the early D&D programs or helper software that was meant to streamline the bookkeeping for RPGs and warsims, but wound up taking a lot of the fun out of games by shoving all of the game mechanics into the software.

I think the result of that was that no one really noticed what they were doing, and so the big PC game craze that started in the late 80s, but really didn't mature until the early to mid 90s with DOOM (at least in my opinion) just crept into warsims territory to the point of shoving it aside.

It's always been my opinion that software to help games like Car Wars, Ogre or whatever, would have been ideal for the lap top era, but not so much as to replace the game itself. And yet all of the computer oriented people I knew in school and elsewhere were just fixated on computerizing every aspect of gaming. And I think that ultimately bashed tried and true standbys like Car Wars and Star Fleet Battles.

Like I said in my previous post at the local cons most of the games were either SFB (ST2; TWOK re-invigorating Star Trek) or Car Wars (Mad Max 2 and other "car" movies fueling that, and CW just being an all around super cool game that it is). But nothing lasts forever, and the computer era nudged a lot of other games too.

That's just my Monday Morning quarterbacking, but at the time, between 1982 or 83, and say up to 1995, it really did seem like the motivation to create software for every aspect of gaming was trumping table top gaming itself, the very medium that the coders wanted to help and otherwise augment with software. I never voiced my opinion then, but should have. But even if I had, even though I was friends with a lot of middle aged influential software types, my voice would have fallen on deaf ears.

The concept back then was kind of like what CGI artists think their craft and hardware can do for movies today; i.e. do everything and make things better. Well, CGI is CGI, and doesn't hold up to live action, and I think the same can be said for a lot of software that people tried to create for D&D and whatever else. And personally, I never liked the Autoduel game. It was really the epitome of what I've described.

Stuff like Ultima, or even the first Diablo or whatever else, showed, to me at least, that software coders at the time didn't understand the RP nor warsims experience even though they engaged in it. Part of the fun of Car Wars is being able to sit down with people in person and roll dice, trade barbs, contemplate strategy and whatever else.

And the great thing about Car Wars is that it isn't just a game for teenage males, but everyone, like all good games. But again the software types, at the time, again purely my opinion, really didn't understand that. And so you got these games that nudged out the table top games because of the attraction of streamlining the book keeping, or automating it to the point of making it irrelevant. And again part of the fun of Car Wars or even Star Fleet Battles, was having the sheet in your hand that showed you your Car or Starship's visual status, and being able to assess it as you held it, and make your tactical decisions based on that.

I don't susbscribe to SFB Online for a myriad of reasons, but what I've outlined here is largely why. And to me that would go doubly for a game like Car Wars.

In retrospect I think there's been a huge cash grab within the gaming industry, and that good honest "here's my idea, go play with it and see what you think" games like CW, Ogre and all the rest, have suffered from it as well as the softwarization of games as a whole.

Hopefully Car Wars and other "classics" from the late 70s and early 80s RPG and warsims boom will endure.

I've been waiting decades to get that off my chest. Computerizing a game doesn't make it better, nor make it more enjoyable. It might make it more accessible to people who are remote and far removed from urban or suburban hubs where there's ample gamers, but unless it's a phone app (there's an idea, a CW phone app that does targeting and collision work), turning a table top game into a computer game, to me, doesn't service anyone.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:00 AM   #8
totalfailure
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Nostalgia can be an entertaining thing. Rarely, though, is it a good long term business plan for a company. The market has changed. The number of people willing to wade through hundreds of pages of rules to simulate simulate five seconds of action, where you mostly do nothing of consequence, has all but disappeared. And I’m not lamenting that. Star Fleet Battles, Ogre, Car Wars, and Battletech and their ilk had their time and place. But that time and place as viable market products as given has passed. Sure, there is still a niche that wants to play them. That’s good for them, if they can find likeminded souls. And you know what? The thousands of pages of Car Wars material printed over the years is still viable, and mostly not terribly expensive or difficult to find.

But had SJG relied on them in those classic forms, they’d probably have closed up twenty years ago, or be a forgotten afterthought like Amarillo Design Bureau where the most common thing heard about them is ‘they’re still around???’.

And as others have mentioned, there have been several car combat games the last few years that may have stolen some of Car Wars thunder for the coming Kickstarter, even though it is highly likely to be a game you won’t like personally anyway. I myself think Car Wars is a huge gamble for SJG. I fully expect the Kickstarter to be a huge success. But the real question is whether all that effort will produce a viable long term seller, or a forgotten flash in the pan. Given the vast amounts of new product out there these days, it is not nearly as easy to answer that question. Even a lot of good games die at retail now.

In short, wistful bemoaning over how things are different isn’t helpful. You might as well go outside and yell at a cloud; the market today is what it is. You can use modern tools like the Internet to find other gamers that want to get some old games in, or maybe try something new. But message board laments aren’t going to change reality.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
TheAmishStig
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lancaster, PA
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

Quote:
Originally Posted by totalfailure
- snip -
Harsh, but "something I don't want to hear" usually is.

Yet, I can lay a lot of that at the feet of something else...not 'stubborn old grogs', not 'dern kids, newer isn't always better': the industry discovering more intuitive ways to get the same effects on the math.

A list of a million and one modifiers to represent every possible permutation of circumstance, that are then applied to either the result of the roll or the number to roll against, has fallen out of favor. Comparatively few people enjoy the level of nuance it makes possible because of the effort required to apply that nuance, which in the right here right now severely limits the pool of potential players.

Sucks. As I get older I find myself not always 'in the mood', but when it does strike I do enjoy every fiddly little grain and end up having no-one to play those kinds of games with. I'm in that period of my life where I'm no longer a 20-something with enough free time to dedicate an entire weekend to a single Battletech fight without regret or hesitation, but also not a retiree with enough free time to dedicate an entire weekend to a single Battletech fight without regret or hesitation.

Those kinds of modifiers still exist, and still play a large part in a game's strategy...but the market has largely moved to a 'modifiers mean adding or removing dice' instead of a 'roll dice and do math' paradigm, and I think at bare minimum Car Wars needs to embrace that if it's going to do anything other than languish in "I remember loving that game, all those years ago" and/or "You can change it when you pry it from my cold, dead hands"...and I say this as someone who drops a couple hundred bucks a year (and at least as many hours) building arenas like this one for 4th edition play!

Or in short: The single biggest hurdle I struggle with, convention in and convention out, is that Car Wars carries a pretty heavy intimidation factor. I go to great lengths to take some of that bite off...pre-calculating some things (like Base to-hit minus Gunnery minus Computer), creating a 'token economy' to make actions and things easier to keep track of, etc...but I have to get people over the initial hump to even get a chance to mitigate. There's a steep learning cliff, and that leads to "Oh this looks really neat...but really complicated, I think I'll pass."

There's certainly demand for the genre. Gaslands is making waves, so much so that I'm afraid the timing of Car Wars 6 means it's going to be seen as imitating it, rather than Gaslands being the homage to Car Wars it is.

The trick with updating something, as it always is, is preserving the spirit when the implementation changes. That was where (from what I've read, I wasn't an active player at the time) 5E got its backlash: among the veterans, tinkering was just as important as 'driving fast and blowing stuff up', and 5E didn't have tinkering.

So I wait, eager to see 6E's final form. I hope that it's going to capture a lot of imaginations...or as the one playtester said, "this is Car Wars as I remember it". I think they're on to something by adopting the pretty widespread 'dice pool modifier' setup and greater levels of abstraction, so now it's waiting to see if the execution produces a game that can, without hesitation, be met with "Yes, this is true to the spirit of Car Wars".

Fingers crossed.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:10 PM   #10
Racer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London, UK
Default Re: An open letter to CarWars

After playing many , many games of Rock'N'Roll Racing on the SNES with them , I introduced Car Wars to my younger Cousins - 11 & 9 - in 1996 .

Younger one had no patience & soon returned to PC & Games Consuls . Older one has ASD and was fascinated by the charts , numbers , stats etc .
Our games were fairly simple , with Matchbox sized Cars on 2" by 1" cardboard bases . Gaming surface was a half sized pool/snooker table . Many games were played & 20+ years later he still has the orange BMW Rally Car he most liked to use on a stand in his bedroom .

Always felt that a CW based computer game should reasonably simple to draw younger players in : more complicated than R'n'R Racing - perhaps using simplified menus like those from old school space combat games like Frontier: ELITE II or Master of Orion 2 , with a bit of Combat Garage thrown in .
Too many modern games are so details , that multiple players combating one another is almost impossible & almost by default are player vs computer . One Racing Game my Nephew - 10 - plays , you have 100% customization options just on the rear spoiler(s) & neither myself or his computer programming Father can get our heads around it . So far anyway .

Perhaps 'Keep it Simple , Stupid' maybe the way to go ? Who knows & unless a savvy CW playing team of programmers are able to perfect it , will likely never happen ... :-|
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