That it is based in a semblance of reality is one of the most refreshing aspects of Pirates of the Burning Sea, the captivating new online game from Flying Lab Software that opened last week after six years in development. After all, there are dozens of games out there for aspiring sorcerers, dwarfs and elves. There are another handful for would-be space jockeys. But until now there have been almost no major online games set in an approximation of the real world.
Schiesel also writes:
It is not as polished a gem as World of Warcraft, but all of the major game systems seem to work well, and the star of the game, the finely tuned ship-to-ship combat, is downright addictive.
The sailing model is accurate enough to feel right without being realistically punishing. Mr. Williams said the game’s long development time reflected the team’s willingness to admit when features it had spent months working on simply were not feeling like fun, and then start over.
“We first built this very realistic sailing system where if you turned into the wind and didn’t take down your sails, you would slow down and stop and actually go backwards,” he said. “Real-life sailors thought it was pretty cool, but most people hated it.”
Damn, those real-life sailors! Always looking for the hard way to do things!
Today marks the 50th birthday of the classic LEGO brick. Over the past 50 years they have produced over 400,000,000,000 blocks that would stretch 611 million miles!
Some exciting nautical moments in Lego history include the launch of their first Pirate Ship in 1989 and more recently the City Dock set which we got for my son Luke for Christmas. It’s the perfect toy for the boat and crane crazy 4 to 40 year old.
Why am I writing about LEGO’s? I’ve been working on a fun series called LEGO Leaders: The Building Blocks of Leadership which will launch soon. Stay tuned.
On 11 January 2008, the US Navy reported that Whidbey Island had fired warning shots at a small Iranian boat in the Strait of Hormuz in December. The boat was reportedly approaching Whidbey Island rapidly but stopped after the warning shots were fired. (link to AP Story)
Here’s the perspective in pictures and words from our Flickr friend Lou Vest, Houston Ship Pilot.
“OK. Imagine you’re driving a big yellow school bus:
…except it’s jacked way up on tractor wheels,
…and it steers with the rear wheels instead of the front wheels,
…and you have to lay down on the hood so you can’t see the road except way ahead,
…and you can only tell where you’re going by lying exactly in the middle and lining up your eye with a pencil sticking up where the hood ornament would be,
…and you only have a 1 hp engine,
…and your brakes are caliper brakes from a bicycle,
…and you can’t steer when you’re trying to stop,
…and the body is tooth picks and aluminum foil so everything you touch tears it,
…and if you have an accident a bunch of people who don’t drive or even have a driver’s license will do the investigation,
…and you’re driving in some city in Europe where the roads were made for carriages.
On the positive side, you don’t have to go up any hills.”