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Full Version: Looking forward to 2014
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Greetings Everyone,

Some of you have noticed that only Ry Vor has been updating the games run information recently. We began transitioning Game Mastering to Ry Vor in December and going forward he will be running the games exclusively, although he may be interested in bringing another GM on (or not - I'm sure he will address this in due course).

I've had some RL stuff come up that impacts my being able to provide as much dedicated time, such as running games at fixed times each day or on regular days.

I will be focusing my (more flexible) time on troubleshooting game issues that arise and on working with Ry Vor to make enhancements to the existing game and starting to map out work on Cycle of Chaos and try to move that forward. On the shorter term horizon is online order entry/checking which is looking better recently than it has in months.

2013 has been a lot of fun for me regarding Alamaze. I was thinking about this note, and decided it might be nice to capture the evolution of what's happened over the past 16 months or so...

Rick (Ry Vor) approached me in October 2012 about gathering up information on Alamaze. As most of you know, Phil (Rick's brother) had taken over processing Alamaze turns, moving the game from South Florida to North Carolina and running the business from there. I had played from Game #2 on, and Phil and I usually wound up on the same side of the games we were in. I made a couple of visits to see Phil and the operation there and I even had Phil down to Atlanta to attend a practice round of the Masters in Augusta one year. Phil lost the programmer he used to transition the progam, and basically talked me into filling that roll seven or eight years ago. As Phil's health declined I had a couple more chances to visit, and am glad that my last visit included my entire family, and gave Phil a chance to meet the kids that I had been bragging on to him (and he always asked after) for all those years.

Anyway, I had all the information necessary to run the game, and had run test games to resove game/code issues for a while. I sent all of this to Rick, without the intention of having much more invovement than getting the game back to the owner and maybe up and running again.

We worked on this for a while, but in the end I agreed it would just be easier for me to run the turns and I agreed to partner up and get things started again.

Of course, a few things had changed over the years between Rick running the game and the state of things as they were in the beginning of 2013. There were several things that were to be addressed before a re-launch:

"Re-fantasize" the monster kingdom brigade compositions
Make the turn results more visually appealing
Re-create an order entry system
Update the rules documents
Test, test, test

We worked through the changes, found a .txt to PDF conversion utility, developed the excel based turnsheet, reformatted the rules documents and got a few playtesters together to start running test games.

We worked with the testers (initial Imperators crew) in Feb/Mar 2013 looking for an April release. The second half of March was incredibly busy, but we opened for business and here we are today.

Alamaze is a living game, with evolution and changes in response to player demand and efforts to improve the experience across the board.

We've moved the processing to a fall or rome server for a more stable environment from which it would be easier to scale out the game processing.

With Ry Vor focusing on game operations and more time for me to work on coding updates, 2014 looks to be another year of advancement for Enlightened Age Entertainment.

Ry Vor had asked if I was interested in a "Q&A with Cipher" section. I don't know if this still plays the same way without my having GM responsibilities, but I am happy to use this thread to answer questions about the game, evolution of the code, or anything else that players may want to ask of me.
How to start? There would be no Alamaze today if not for everything Cipher has done to make it so. He took on the resurrection of Alamaze and made it happen. Seeing then the state of the game as it last was, we agreed certain things had to change to present the game again in 2013.

He has been able to make those changes, create the infrastructure to produce Alamaze again in a more secure fashion, share in the vision for future developments, and of course, he has been your Master of Games from the time you rejoined. Now he has found his Grasshopper and he has earned a well deserved break from the running of thousands of turns. No doubt, Grasshopper will need the help of The Master from time to time.

The best of the situation is that Cipher can now embrace the development aspect of working on what we hope you will agree, is the best game of its type, to make it even better. We want Alamaze to be a dynamic experience, constantly evolving, to always entertain our players, and our players' children, as we understand is already happening.