In response to "The Greatest Game Never Played" from the Escapist Forums: Nice article, never heard of the game when it was still under MS.
I played this one when it became free. By the time I did the community was small, tightly regulated but made regular events for newbies to learn the game.
Gameplay was basically: Scouting. Pinpointing the enemy location. Getting all your team geared up, usually headed by a mission critical craft like a bomber or a capital ship. Travelling, sometimes stealthed. Combat.
Halfway fun when it worked. Lots of ship and equipment possibilities. Too realistic flight physics for many (most?) people to comprehend, especially in a laggy enviroment.
Funny fact I remember: Our team (most in very cheap scouts with "reparing" guns) was told to constantly fly into the main bomber and heal it; this allowed the bomber to fly way faster than normal while being healed constantly. Very weird gameplay. (exploit?)
Ah, Allegiance - I knew all about that game back when it was actually on sale, and that the source code had subsequently been released and the title was now freely available, but I have never even been slightly interested in it even though I happen to freaking love space simulators.
Why not? Multiplayer-only. Juxtapose whatever you want, hype the amazing and innovating gameplay, release to rave reviews, it won't matter, those words are the kiss of death (of any interest I might have had in your game) - I don't play multiplayer-only games. Or rather, I don't play multiplayer-only games that are not online RPGs with no subscription fee.
Allegiance, at time of release, was essentially the worst of both worlds - an exclusively multiplayer title that they wanted me to pay a subscription fee to play. I've made it very clear over the years that my "I will not EVER under ANY circumstances play a game that has subscription fees" stance is utterly inviolate - there is no even remote possibility of my ever capitulating and compromising that point, so as interesting as the mechanics of Allegiance sounded (and they did sound pretty damn interesting, in principle anyways), it was never going to work.
Releasing the source code, modding the game, and establishing community run servers are all great moves that have extended the lifespan of what sounds like an excellent space sim, but none of that eliminates my complete lack of interest in a non-RPG online-only multiplayer space sim - that isn't what I'm looking for from that genre, and my single-player campaign needs are ably met by Freespace 2 (the greatest space sim ever released, bar none) and it's own source code project.
In response to "The Game That Ate the Earth" from the Escapist Forums: This has value, it has value because you experienced it and because you shared it. If you had never finished the game, if not one person had ever played it. It would still have been worthwhile because you described the process honestly and concisely, which is perhaps more important than anything else.
Which is ironic considering how much I hate being forced to show my workings.
Thank you, thank you for going where few are brave enough to tread and for reporting back as man and not a half dead wreck. By your grace we all go forth a little better prepared and perhaps, we will stride just a little bit further on our journeys to create.
This story convinced me of one major thing; I had to download this and play it for myself.
I'm only a few hours in, and holy crap. I can see why this project swallowed your life whole. It's flipping huge! I've only managed to find ONE comm tower so far, and I spend more time getting my ass kicked than anything. But the setting is amazing, the dialogue interesting, and there's a real sense of accomplishment each time I manage to garner JUST enough resources to earn that new bit of R&D I've been lusting after. The controls are a little gummy, but nothing too major.
Honestly, for what it's worth, you've got one new fan right here, based on this alone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try that comm tower again. Maybe now that I have these boosters I can actually finish it...