Against my better judgment, let me just make this as clear as I can be.
In 1989, I embarked on a journey to single-handedly create an all-encompassing video game, a space combat sim.
That journey came to a head in 1996 when my publisher (of one year, who gained the rights after buying my existing publisher) released the game while still in Beta - and without my permission. And until the truth came out that I had nothing to do with that, I was the one who bore the brunt of the attacks.
I took legal action. It was settled out of court in which I was paid for my work and my IP returned to me.
It was later found that the publisher, Take Two, had done that in order to shore up the financials in a bid to go public - which they did in 1997. And in that public filing, my game - a financial success by all accounts - was 14% of their revenue when they went public in 1997. SEC filing (also linked in the AIP).
I later used the money, finished the game - and released it for FREE so that the publisher and its partners couldn’t continue to profit from it.
Almost one year later, another prominent publisher, Interplay, signed a completed and updated version of the game and re-released it as Battlecruiser 3000AD v2.0. It was an additional financial success that has kept me making games.
These two events jump-started my career, and I left the world of IT behind.
That was all 27 (!) years ago. And I have continued making games ever since. I am now 60, and my first foray into computing started around the age of 20 and back when it wasn’t as accessible as it is today.
Fun fact 1: I am one in a very small breed of programmers who still knows how to program in languages such as Forth, Fortran, Lisp, COBOL, and RPG (all flavors). And you can still find my work in most banking and research software (btw including a missile tracking software) where a good portion of my derivative income comes from, and which has allowed me to be truly independent in my field.
Fun fact 2: Unlike many of my friends and peers from back in the day, and even up to now, I have never - ever - worked for any gaming industry corp in any capacity. Ever. I was able to do this by fiercely defending my independence and by making my own road. That first game, Battlecruiser 3000AD, for which I am vilified, derided and made fun of, made this possible.
In print and online, much has been written about that first, game. And that game made me an industry name - and with a lot to show for it because I did something that most had laughed at, claimed couldn’t be done etc. In an industry where gamers recognize very few of the names of the hard-working devs who make their games, I am privileged to be in the great company of game industry legends and pioneers - even after so many have left the industry. Long after I am gone, gamers will remember my name, who I was, and what I stood for. That’s how legacy is built.
Nobody, regardless of their race, color, creed, religion or politics, should be vilified for standing up for themselves, nor pursuing something that they believe in. To try and then fail is no disgrace. And I didn’t fail. And it’s got nothing to do with being controversial. When you’re outspoken and don’t take crap from anyone, it’s easy to be vilified and character assassinated because you’re supposed to just be silent and take it. Even though I don’t have the benefit of anonymity, I am not, never have been - and will never be that guy.
So, if being “controversial” is of any relevance to an AIP that is written and designed to benefit a community that I care about, go ahead, don’t vote for it. That’ll teach me, won’t it?
ps. I have routinely released versions of my older games for free. You can search for them online or from my studio’s website download page links. Eventually, ALL my games will be released for free.