Stardock has a Cosmic Encounter

I noticed Stardock’s walkthru of Dark Avatar includes a feature that is a key part of the game design of Cosmic Encounter. [also, also]

“Each civilization has its own unique super-ablity. And they’re not afraid to use it. Here, ‘someone’ has persuaded the Altarians to go to war with the Korx. Someone has the Super Manipulator ability…”

This is such a mash-up of memories for me. Stardock was originally a developer of software for OS/2. [see, also, also] Stardock’s original Galactic Civilizations was built to take advantage of the multitasking and multithreaded environment that OS/2 provided. Back in the early 90’s, I owned the original Galactic Civilizations as well as Stardock’s Object Desktop. Those were the days before I migrated to Linux as my primary environment. (Or, maybe I have my own timeline confused and I was already using Linux by that time.) It was in part on the strength of a help document I wrote about connecting OS/2 to the Internet via dial-up that I got my job at a regional ISP in Seattle where I was re-introduced to NeXTstep and for many years used a NeXTstation as my primary work computer.

There’s a comment on the wikipedia’s page about Stardock’s reliance “on the goodwill of its previous customers, who essentially purchased Windows subscriptions for Object Desktop in anticipation of the products it would consist of.” [via] I was one of those customers. I remember buying that to support them even though I had reservations about moving to Microsoft’s environment.

Well, the memories go back even further to the previous decade. The mash-up with Cosmic Encounter revives faded memories of my first gaming group sessions. Back in the early 80’s, I had a friend that convinced me to go to a gaming group that met at a local library and one of the games I was introduced to there was … Cosmic Encounter.

Cosmic Encounter is for me one of those games. It’s stuck in my memory. But, I never play it. I have a copy of the game, but every time I try to play it some other game is chosen. It feels a bit daunting to explain the rules and get people playing when other games are so much faster to start up. But, I think in large part what is really going on is that I don’t want to ruin my memories of the game by playing it and finding that I don’t like it any more. I guess, in a way, by not playing the game now I’m trying to preserve my memory of it.

A mash up of memories and decades …