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A Couple of Cautionary Tales

Desert Dave

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We all do it differently.

Whether wondering - to what purpose?

The Lotus, or Cactus Flower,

Or, how we contribute on a Forum - some

Will provide historical insight,

Some will deftly make a mod,

And others will... analzye.


I TRY (yeah, yeah, I usually fail... so what?) to Provide some... ah, serious

Or clown-like Aesthetic

As the mood might strike me.

So, hip hip, here we go,


Tale #1:

If you examine Michelangelo's stupendous statue Of David, you will sooner than later Gasp! to notice that David's... HANDS... are

Out of proportion! to the rest of his Physique. They are far too large! :eek:

Signifying... what?

Michelangelo wished to portray the latent POWER Of David's acts & intentions?

After all, he had only recently slain

That plodding but imposing! Goliath!

Does he mean to say?

That David's hands represent a potential Creative imagination... well, sure they could,


Or, was it a delightful ACCIDENT of design.

(... realizing right along with S Freud,

that there ARE... NO... accidents)

And, to the point,

That Michelangelo deliberately skewed

The usual norm,

And, could actually CARE LESS what

Any might make of his personally achieved

Work of Art?

The designer of any unique thing, including WW2 games, may or may not choose to say

Why or what-for.

He or she is ENTITLED to

A secret nonchalance.


Tale #2:

As a one-time shade-tree mechanic (... I might Summon from the ever-morphic world

That which I know best and somewhat understand

As a method of... imperfect communication)

I present to your discriminating view,

A random array of assorted gears & devices

And otherwise minutely machine-tooled parts.

Once, I insist,

This constituted a transmission

From a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk.


I carry the pieces to a flower-flush park.

I arrange them on a picnic blanket.

I post a sign:

"Please, all passers-by, tell me what you see."

1st passer-by: "Hmmm, this must be a disassembled Machine of some sort, perhaps

For... perpetual motion?"

2nd passer-by: "No, no, it is a secret project Intended to carry stray Aliens

Back from whence they came!"

3rd passer-by: "You are both confused and as Clueless as can be. I should know,

I am a retired Automotive Engineer,

Thoroughly trained in recognizing

Any and all mechanical devices!

This my foolish friends

Is a Transmission!

Broken down and modernly de-constructed

So that precise Deduction

Might carry the day!

And hey by the way,

It is... from a 1956 Buick Roadmaster,

You know, that grand Detroit design

That had the port-holes

On the fenders?"


Well, we can all point out our very own

Deduced & de-constructed impressions of SC.

I have done it,

You have done it,

We each have done it.

May we remember this: Hubert has created

A very unique and quite accomplished game

... OUT OF THIN AIR! :cool:

It DIDN'T EXIST last year at this time!

He deserves more than merely appreciation,


How hard would it be for any Creator

To have to listen to constant

And (... mostly well-meaning) critiques?

It would be hard for me.

How about you?

I am NOT suggesting that we forego

Our suggestions and comments.

I am ONLY suggesting that we take a moment

And fully realize, and appreciate,

Just how unusual it is for a designer

To actively participate

In an ongoing forum.

That's ALL I mean to say,

Aesthetically, as is my peculiar bent :eek: ,


In a cautionary way. smile.gif

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Excellent refective post, as always, and I have yet to see you fail. smile.gif

Starting from the top -- I remember reading that Michelangelo said he'd run his hands along a piece of marble and feel the person inside telling him where to chip. Great painter, goldsmith et al that he was, his hands didn't have the same significance in those other artistic crafts and he always considered himself a sculpter, first and formost.

In David I think he transferred this importance of the hands, either consciously or not, to the artwork. Perhaps he identified with it, seeing himself as the artistic David in combat against the Giant Patrons -- The Florentines, their Medici Family, The Church, and most gigantic of all, the Papacy, specifically Julius the Soldier Pope, who forced him to spend so much of his valuable time painting (specifically the Sistine Chappel ceiling) instead of sculpting.

Don't know what I'd have made of the second case, would have liked to have seen it!

Regarding Hubert. A few months back, in my youth, I posted game observations much more abrasively than I do at present, forgetting that the game designer wasn't an individual and thinking of him as an insensitive combine of faceless progammers locked away somewhere gulping Pepsi and hacking bank accounts in their spare time. These days I try to be more sensitve and I think others do too.

It is, as you mention, quite amazing that he makes himself part of the forum and responds to comments, some of which can (occasionally though not often) be quite rude and poorly worded.

At this point I think those of us who contribute here on game aspects are also doing something we don't really have to do; part of our reason is a quest to make SC the truly great game it ought to be. In short, the game has gone beyond being one person's personal entity and now, like Abe Lincoln himself, belongs to the Ages -- :eek: no, I mean, is like a group activity!

Ah Moon , glad you got in ahead of my offering. The General Forum, uh, contributors (?) would have hit this thing like a pack of, well, fill in the blank _________ ! ;)

[ March 06, 2003, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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How true. A year ago SC wasn't even on the radar screen as a coming attraction, even though Hubert had already been working on it for the better part of two years. To watch your labor of love be subjected to endless critique would be agonizing; and yet, to watch its acceptance and support grow must be thrilling. We can only hope that Hubert is inspired to reach for the next level of creative genius, even as he deals with challenges we may not appreciate.

We should be thankful for what SC is and the niche it fills, rather than what it is not. It need not compete with the WWII grand strategy games at the high end of the spectrum - Hearts of Iron for the grognards inclined toward micromanagement of every last detail, or Computer World in Flames which has yet to be released even without a functional AI. SC has some room for improvement, but is certainly not "broke" to the point that it requires major fixing.

As ideas and counter-ideas are proposed, argued, recycled, and left abandoned on 87(!) pages of this forum for others to find, we should all learn to enjoy the "process" and just be patient for whatever happens next. :D

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:


But that's just the thing. I don't think it needs to, I think it already does. This game is nothing less than a magnificent achievement. Do you know how many computer games I'm still playing after three weeks, let alone ten months? Hell, I got more play out of the damned demo than I've gotten out of games costing forty or fifty bucks.

But it has the potential to be even more. And that's what I'm trying to work toward. I don't think I've been impolite or overly critical; if I have, my apologies to anyone I've offended.

I think are some problems with the game, though, which I've tried to address. I could be wrong about that. It could be that there's very little wrong with the game that a few tweaks won't fix just fine. It could be that limiting the Germans to five air units would cure all the problems, although I'd like somebody to explain why that wouldn't make the "trench warfare" aspect of the game even worse. But hey, maybe I'm wrong about that, too. Maybe those are just my games, and that in other people's games if the Germans don't knock Russia out of the war by the end of the first year the Russians just build up and build up and eventually overwhelm them. Maybe in those people's games the Eastern Front resembles what actually happened, with sweeping armored thrusts and counterthrusts, instead of watching umpteen air fleets pound corps after corps into oblivion so that units can advance a few hexes. I'd like to hear from those people. How do you do that? How do you work it so that the Russians are eventually able to effectively counterattack?

Or maybe I'm not wrong, and maybe we should stop worrying about bruising Hubert's feelings (especially since he seems to be quite open to criticism and willing to make modifications), and help him make a good game a great one.

But that's just me. And I could be wrong.

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