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Kudos and Criticism

by Ambrosia Software Users


This section features reader responses to Ambrosia's software & service. We will include the good with the bad, and address any problems brought to our attention. These are real people writing real letters about real issues. Feel free to drop us a line.

Escape Velocity Reactions

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOEYYYY!!!!!!! Escape Velocity is the BEST game Ambrosia ever made! It involves thinking, moving, buying, trading, killing, dying, landing, etc, etc, etc. Right now (on EV), I'm saving up credits to buy a ship, and get fighters, killers, flyers, thinkers, movers, buyers, landers, etc, etc, etc.


Well, we are glad you enjoy it. What we could do with your vocabulary.
I'm an addict! Oh yes I am! EV should prompt the user every 2 hours that perhaps they should go outside and enjoy life... EV is only a game!!!!

-Jason Whong

Really? You don't think it should be the other way around? I think life should prompt you every two hours to go play EV. What do you think?
Let the guys at Ambrosia know that Escape Velocity should ship with marriage counseling software.


We can't get invoved in marital affairs. We leave that for the experts.
I was wondering... do you have an EV Anonymous group or something?...

-Captain Dirkinator

Yes, but we do not know who runs it, nor who any of the member are. Strange...
Escape Velocity is, in short, the most fun I've ever had with my pants on.

Actually, it probably would be the most fun I've ever had with my pants off too, if only the "Hire an Escort" function worked like I first expected it to. ;-)

-Peter A. Cohen

Umm... You've been reading the personals a little too much.
My first E-mail letter contained the following line: "Space exploration, and trading gave me the impression that EV was akin to Monopoly only more so." The key word here being *akin*, not suggesting a copy.

Is there some reason spaceyard warships cannot be renamed business units, and these bartered on various planets? When a player gets enough properties on a planet, he collects the tribute as a merchant prince rather than a pirate. You've got lots of planets to be subjugated, and perhaps the Confederation would object just as strongly to cartels as to pirates.

Likewise with the weapons window, remove some exotic weapons and put in some commercial enterprises for the successful trader to invest in. Stock market?

Keep the piracy feature if you must, but not as the primary objective.

Make it more difficult to amass a fortune. In the present form, it's only a matter of flitting from place to place, and the player becomes a millionaire. Add some setbacks in the play sequence. (Chance & Community Chest on the Monopoly board.)

Allow players to operate more than one ship, and to trade under aliases. Multiple players? Preferably just me and the computer, but the rage now seems to be networking games.


We welcome all comments and criticisms. We are still tweaking EV and hope to have a very well rounded game when we are done.

Maelstrom Rock

These are really good folks...They once gave me permission to use Maelstrom as an example in an object-oriented programming course I was teaching. The first day I had all 23 students load Maelstrom and play it. There really was a pedagogic reason for that, but the most fun was the incredible noise 23 people can make if they play a shoot-em-up simultaneously with the sound cranked to the max. We cleared the computer center and I could legitimately give a smug smirk to the director. Ah yes, those were the days. Then I wrote my CS1 text and life in the computer center got dull again.

- Rick "WoBbing again" Decker
Kinda makes you want to change the lesson plan, eh?

Barrack debate continued: Is Barrack a Word?

barrack v.i. & t. Orig. & chiefly Austral & NZ. L19 [Prob. f. N. Ir. dial.] Of spectators at games etc.: shout vociferously (for), jeer (at).

barrack n. Austral & NZ. L19 [f. barrack v.i] An act, or the action, of barracking a person, team, etc.

In every day use, Australians 'barrack for Carlton' or 'barrack for the Adelaide Crows.' The word is used as a shorthand for 'this is the team I hope wins each week and if they don't I'll be vaguely depressed on Monday morning and if someone barracking for the team that beat them comes near me to gloat I'll probably growl at them.

As far as I can work out, it encompasses some of the meaning of 'root for' as used by USonians but also covers some of the territory taken by the phrase 'to follow' (eg 'I follow the Cincinatti Reds.').

It's interesting to observe that the term is reserved for teams involved in domestic competitions. Australians don't 'barrack' for Australia when it is playing an international fixture (whether it be cricket, soccer, hockey, netball or whatever).

Moreover, Australians don't 'barrack' for cricket teams at any level: District; First Class; or Test (International). First Class cricket is played between states, so identifying your home state is tantamount to identifying which team you want to win the Sheffield Shield. People who follow District cricket tend to identify themselves as 'supporters' of a particular team rather than suggesting they 'barrack' for said team.

-Brian Forte

Yea, well... so what?

Andrew's Parents Gotta Be Proud

In the comp.sys.mac.games.action newsgroup, Andrew wrote:

"Barrack Discretion allows you to permanently change two sounds in Barrack that some may find objectionable or not suitable for children.

You guys are *truly* a class act. As a hard-core Christian, I was a little put out by the "oh my God" statement that I found in the game. But, knowing that not everyone believes the same way I do, I chose not to say anything to you guys because I know you're so busy doing other projects, etc. That, along with the fact that it isn't a pattern with you guys to insert questionable (morally that is) sounds into your games. So, to have you offer to change the sounds, just in case it might offend someone, really speaks highly of you and your organization. I commend you and Ambrosia for your sensitivity to others and children and for consistently producing outstanding work. Keep it up Andrew!

-Chris Vaughn

Hey, it's the least we can do. Besides, we don't want folks poking around the Barrack files with ResEdit. Only trained professionals should be performing these operations. I feel like Mr.CyberWrench.

Great Game, But...

I had just picked up 20 tons of industrial goods in the Antares system. I was cruising back to Earth in my shuttlecraft "Magellan III," when out of nowhere appeared the most dispicable creature in the known universe. I was caught red handed - nowhere to escape, nowhere to hide. If I'd had more warning, I might have been able to escape, but, alas, I knew that I was doomed.

Fortunately, I was able to come up with a good enough excuse to keep my boss from firing me on the spot. I told him I was checking the color bands and pixel widths on my monitor. Can you believe he fell for that?


Bosses are pretty dumb. It's amazing what you can pull off. I remember this one time... oh, Hi Andrew.

Hector Under Glass...The Threats Keep Coming

From the Comp.Sys.Mac.Games.Action.Newsgroup, Andrew wrote:

"Geez! Bloodthirsty bunch out there -- everyone wants to roast poor Hector. :)

If he jumps in the middle of one more furball, I AM going to roast him! ;)


-Chris Krueger

Poor Hector. We give him a job and people use him as target practice. He just can't win.

A High Price to Pay

One of my colleagues (an unemployed lawyer) and I (an employed lawyer) have had a running competition on Barrack for about 8 weeks. We figure at $180/hr we have clocked up over $200,000 in lost time on this bloody game.

Golly, is that what you guys make? I'm in the wrong business.

Poetry Corner

Ambrosia is like a shinning light,
It brightens my day and keeps me happy all night,
When I score big, it cheers me no end,
And best of all, my girl's still my friend,
Cause she loves 'em too, the first time ever,
It's Maelstrom that won her all the shootin' and fervor,
Now that is what gamin' is supposed to be meaning.

-Andrew aka Bladez
Ahhh... I can feel the love.

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