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Kudos and Criticism

by Ambrosia Software Users


Mailbox

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.

What an endorsement!

Hi! I *love* all of your products and find your continued existence and success inspiring as hell. You are among The Good Guys in a world of greed and mediocrity. Thank you and please don't die. :-)

-- Martin L'Heureux

Uhh... sure, no problem. ;)

Is there no end?

I've been playing Escape Velocity, and I was wondering if it's even possible to dominate the Sol solar system. I have tried and tried and I just can manage to do it. Even in a Kestral, with a forklift, and 6 alien fighter escorts (I cheated a bit after a while with plug-in's). I put a roll of quarters on my firing button, and put the speed up all the way, and jetted around the screen with my forklift on full blast, and even after an *hour* real time, Luna was still spewing ships at me...It seems a little extreme to me, so I'm wondering if it's even possible to beat it. If you could help me out, I'd appreciate it :)

-- Andrea Smith

A roll of quarters, eh? That's rather creative. For those of you who don't know, every planet in the Sol system has 2276 ships in their defense fleets.

Terrible Tom's Tyranny

While Tom was answering eMail one day...

Customer: So my question would be how do I bring this window up to type in the code and what the code is to become in invincible and get "k-rad stuff dood" as the game says?

Tom: Hey, hey, hey, you don't think we'll actually tell you how to enter in the cheats, do you? If we did that, then it wouldn't be a cheat. We might as well put it in the manual. And yes, I may be one big *expletive deleted* but at least I won't ruin the game by letting you cheat...

Man, I'm mean.

Maybe Tom isn't cut out for customer support. If any of you are wondering, this is a joke for all of you ResEdit Snoopers. There are no cheats in EV ;)

Harry's Predecessors

Just a note of appreciation from the masses. I work at an automation design company, in the final test shop. Most days are quite busy putting machines together and troubleshooting them, but some days there isn't a whole lot to do. When I'm simply watching a machine run, I've been known to sail from one end of the shop to the other on, you guessed it, an office chair, of which we have about 7 in the shop. Anyway, last night, we came up with the World Chair Hockey Championships. This consisted of 2 man teams (4 chairs and a crushed soda can) complete with chair checks, high legging, interference, etc. And it will amuse you to know that I won the timed office chair obstical course. Anyway, this is so you'll know that your products really do pertain to everyday life. Way to go! Needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Harry the Handsome Executive, and it will definitely be in my gamespot the week it comes out. Finally, a hero we can relate to!

-- Dave Fink

Yes, there's a little Harry in all of us.

Kids Schmids

I got the shirt and I wanted to give you my thanks. At 43 yrs old, I love it when I find a game that I can whoop my kids at.

-- George Sifnotis (#20)

Power to the old people! Congrats George!

Something strange is going on...

Hi, this is Drew Carey. Do I have any messages?

You would only get that if you read the last issue of the AT. I thought it was funny.

What Smells Funny?

My conversation with a user who sent in a very strange registration form...

Cajun: What's the red and brown stuff on the reg form and why does it say "Smell Me?"

Rob: OK. The red stuff is Koolade... Topical Punch... I soaked the paper... threw on the Koolade... Microwave... Waaalaa... Red Stuff... Now the brown spots... Before you argue on who's gonna touch it... its chocolate chips... on top of the paper in a microwave for a while... melted them... smushed and spread out. "Smell Me" was your challenge to guess what on earth it was.... heh heh heh...I have too much free time on my hands... Wonder what'll I'll come up with next time... Hmm...

-- Robby Saunders

I thought the red stuff was transmission fluid. It smelled like it..

What is shareware?

First, let me say that I like Ambrosia and your products! I use Discolour, Bomb Shelter, and uLife (as a screensaver). I am also a registered user of Maelstrom (cool game).

Then, a few days ago, I downloaded Escape Velocity from your Web site. I was DISGUSTED! Escape Velocity is called shareware, but the author obviously has NO concept of what shareware means! Let me define it for those who don't understand it...

The shareware system operates on the HONOR system!!!

When a program (Escape Velocity) monitors how long you have used it, how long you have had it, and records whether or not you have paid for it and then annoys you if you have not paid for it (by sending in Cap'n Hector)...

It is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT shareware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is monitorware, nuisanceware, bigbrotherware, or commercialware (with a trial period)!!!

If you are that afraid that people won't pay, then go commercial. Otherwise, TRUST people, and believe in HONOR and the shareware system!

Escape Velocity is not your only program that does this! Bubble Trouble does it also! I feel very strongly about this disturbing trend (obviously).

In conclusion, if you still want to distribute programs like this, PLEASE do NOT call them shareware, because they are NOT shareware. THANK YOU!

Needless to say, I threw away Escape Velocity...

P.S. Escape Velocity has good graphics and game play. I am not disappointed by the game, just by the methods it employs to get people to pay for it. Compare it to Maelstrom, which relys on my HONOR instead of annoyance...

-- Denny McKernan

This gentleman and I had a long conversation about this. Our position on this lies with protecting our business. People sometimes forget that a piece of shareware is on their machine. Our system simply reminds the user that it is installed. I guess we all have different opinions of shareware, but what is boils down to is that shareware is a distribution method, nothing more. What the program does (remind, cripple, delete, etc.) is up to the author.

For those of you who may be interested, studies have shown that shareware programs that limit themselves in some fashion do better registration-wise than shareware programs that do not. You will be seeing similar techniques used in future games from Ambrosia.

The bottom line is that by doing this, we aren't inconveniencing our customers, but we are assuring more business for Ambrosia. This allows us to continue as a viable company, and make more products for you to enjoy.


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