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Message from Larry Bond

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Message from Larry Bond - 1/31/2007 7:03:21 PM   


Posts: 1
Joined: 1/28/2007
Status: offline
Chris Carlson and I are the original creators of Harpoon, and Don Gilman and his company AGSI is the licensed holder of the computer rights for Harpoon. Chris and I created Harpoon over twenty-five years ago, and since then have released four editions of the print game, along with many supplements. Don Gilman has worked with us on computer implementations of Harpoon for over twenty years. Darrel Dearing and Dale Hillier have contributed fifteen and five years’ of design experience respectively, including working on earlier versions of the game, and have a deep understanding of modern naval warfare.

The Harpoon player community is very active and for the most part eager to participate in improving the product. We are grateful to everyone who has participated with us in the past, and we encourage continued communication as we introduce each improvement. Feedback is vital to improving the Harpoon system, and user-created scenarios enrich the entire gaming community.

However, Harpoon is a large, complex, data intensive simulation. Unlike many other popular games, it is constrained because it has to model real-world processes. No Zurgs allowed. It is inevitable in such an ambitious project that programming bugs will occur. Gamers have a right to expect a quality product, but most are also sophisticated enough to know that bugs happen.

On some discussion boards, a few players have attacked AGSI and Matrix Games personally and professionally because of programming bugs. This unhelpful behavior says much more about the attacker than it does about AGSI’s quality control. Providing AGSI with complete information about any problems is the best way to correct them.

Others in the gaming community have made self-serving claims to speak authoritatively for the game system. The only official source of information for the Harpoon game system is Chris Carlson and myself, and we will work through Don Gilman, who is the only computer rights holder.

Anyone who attempts to distribute or profit from original or modified code without authorization is violating the law. We will act to protect our copyrights. Anyone who distributes Harpoon code or data without AGSI’s approval is at best wrong, or in violation of the aforementioned law.

We categorically denounce flame wars or negative posts concerning the quality of one version of the game over another. Chris and I founded Harpoon as a collegial enterprise, with the twin goals of enjoyment and education. We have always shared information freely, including our physical models and databases, and in return have received valuable support and information from the Harpoon community.

Anyone with ideas or suggestions about the game is welcome to contact AGSI or Chris or me. We do not have a monopoly on information, the laws of nature, or imagination. Even after twenty-five years, there’s still plenty of work to do, but for the community to benefit, we have to work as a team.
We work closely with Don and AGSI regarding improvements to the computer game, and feedback provided by Don and his team also influences design of the print game. We are committed to continuously improving both products.

We look forward to the upcoming improvements that lie ahead. Our goal is a nothing less than a totally superior product, one that everyone can enjoy. And we will achieve this goal if we all treat each other with respect and work through our disagreements in a constructive, respectful manner.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us, either through AGSI or Clash of Arms, our print publisher.

Larry Bond and Chris Carlson
January 2007

< Message edited by uncleharpoon -- 1/31/2007 7:16:04 PM >
Post #: 1
Follow on from Don Gilman (Uncle Harpoon) - 1/31/2007 7:19:22 PM   

Posts: 106
Joined: 11/28/2004
Status: offline

I'm going to post my own message very soon addressing:

  • 3.8 and changing the way we plan for 3.8.1 and later releases (i.e. our process)
  • A new communications channel for content providers (i.e. scenario and database providers)
  • The balance we are trying to strike between our Pro version and this public version (and it's not what many people think).
  • Opportunities to participate directly via AGSI


(in reply to LLBond)
Post #: 2
RE: Follow on from Don Gilman (Uncle Harpoon) - 2/19/2007 5:44:10 AM   

Posts: 106
Joined: 11/28/2004
Status: offline

Regarding the Content Creators Channel - my PROVISIONAL thinking is a follows:

I'm assembling about five folks who I believe would make a good Membership Committee for this Channel. Content providers will be invited to join by them or existing members and subject to Membership Committe approval. This is loosely based on the way my Rotary Club does things. Likewise, folks can get tossed for causing grief.

Members will have access to AGSI tools and will be very involved in providing us feedback on which bugs to fix next, and give feedback on the new features necessary to realize Larry's Vision (and our opportunities provided by H3 Pro work).

Members will also get a seal/logo for use on their web sites and a tag line for their signatures if they so desire. AGSI will provide a special (new) page for the membersship and links too. This way the public will know who is a Team Harpoon member and who isn't.

This approach is a synthesis of ideas generated by Matrix, Larry Bond and myself over the last few years.

If you have someone you wish to nominate for the Membership Committee, please send me an email, in confidence, with your pick. Be sure to point out how they are a non-partisan contributor to the Harpoon 3 world.

As far as timing, I'm concentrating on getting up to five excellent Harpoon Heads together for the Membership Ccommittee - then with them - work out the details of membership, communications, etc.


(in reply to uncleharpoon)
Post #: 3
RE: Follow on from Don Gilman (Uncle Harpoon) - 3/1/2007 5:32:23 AM   

Posts: 106
Joined: 11/28/2004
Status: offline

It is the belief of several published database developers I have talked to that plagiarism has occurred. There were enough unique items to the source database that appeared in the plagiarized database (and some Scenarios) that there is little likelihood of co-incidence. Due to the realities of the internet, and international parties there is little we can do about the situation except ensure that those we suspect of such behavior do not bear the mark of "Team Harpoon Content Provider" If they were to come clean, apologize, and make amends, the Membership Committee will reconsider.

There has also been an issue with some folks believing they know better than Bond/Carlson or the Development team. I think Mr. Bond's post cleared up our position on that so there shouldn't be any misconception. Final design decisions are the sole responsibility of AGSI.

The benefit of joining is that you will participate in deciding on the sequence of defects to be fixed, as well as helping us work out what new features get put into each of the (more frequent) free updates. You get access to the DevTeam and possibly Mr. Bond and Capt Carlson. You also get access to internal tools starting with the H3RE. You also get to put up a logo showing you are a "Team Harpoon Content Provider" in good standing.

To become a member, you have to be nominated by someone who is in, and approved by the Membership Committee. To stay a member, you need to produce some content (Databases or Scenarios) not get into trouble with AGSI, Matrix or the community - generally HAVE FUN.

Here are the rules as they now stand:

< Message edited by uncleharpoon -- 3/1/2007 5:55:48 AM >


(in reply to uncleharpoon)
Post #: 4
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