From: Tom Whore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Sep 26 2000 - 14:44:35 PDT
In 1994 things were almost.
Rock, after a spurt from 1987 on, was almost dead again. Computers were
almost moving into everyones home. The internet was almost spreading
across the face of the globe.
Games, ah games. Games were almost moving up to the next stage of
evolution. You could feel it, tangibly, from the tips of your fingers to
the jitter of your wide wide gloozies. The buzz was strong. Games like
Duke and Doom and the like were pushing games out from modem based two for
alls into 8 way lan mayhem. The grfx were being pushed across hardware
just bearly able to contain its enthusiastic thrustings.
Then it all broke. On night my compadre in crime, Mr Joe aka Sin-naps, AKA
Joey Spunkanado, and myself, tomwhore aka tom higgins AKA Tommy
Spunkanado, foudn the grial and drank from it deeply.
It was called Subspace. It was legend.
The download was tiny. Under a meg of bwf later we took the beta test file
and populated it across the Spunkanados infamous home lan. We each had a
modem on our boxes as well as being wingated togther over a tangle of
coax. Once the files were in place we dialed into our ISPS, launched the
clients, and were off.
Subspace was a simple idea that blew the roof off of gaming. The players
would have a client. the servers would sit on the net. Over 250 clients
could attach to the servers at any one time. The game was a clever
variation of a simple concept, that of the 2d top down space shoter.
Everyone who grew up through the Video Arcade generation had the controls
and basic methodology of this game ingrained in thier brain right next to
breating and ordering pizza. The twist was the number of real live honest
to goodness human players.
The beta test ran for a few months, months where the Spunkanado compound
become infested with pizz shop sub wrappers, empty bottles of root beer,
and lingering death/vicotry hollerings.
The multiplayer concept went from Free For all to Teams to Capture the
Flag to Squads in weeks. The uman concept took the once simple game of
bang bang shoot shoot and turned it on its head.
Virgin, the company who was "in charge" of the game, keep the beta tests
open waiting for the time they could charge for server connects. It never
happend. Other things came that seemed to Virgin to be more important than
being the first massivley multiplayer universe on the net. A few motnhs
cmore and Virgin all but gave the project away to the users. And the user
Things moved for the Spunkanados as well. Coasts changes, jobs changes,
machines got better and games went from the almost stage to the we are
there stage. We lost sightof Subspace.
The year 2000. Late one night last week my compadre in crime, Mr Joey
Spunkanado, and myself, Mr tommy Spunkanado, remembered Subspace. Where
was it? Did people still play? Would the servers still be full of happy
We hit altavista who hit us back with a url which in turn hooked us up
with both the software and a summary of what had happened to subspace in
the years since we lost sight of it.
Few games last longer than an out-of-the-box/unrar-from-jaurez try and trash.
Fewer still over the march of times progress.
(Yes I know about Netrek. I played it early on, play it now and again and
still have not been hooked as heavy as I have for Subspace. Yes its Win
only, one of the reasons I an a gatesian by use is most of the games,
music apps and tools I use are win based. Your millage may vary but my
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