really make an effort to bring new players into the fold.  Zack identified
many of the problems (lack of good graphics, sound, better help, etc.)  I've
seen some discussion about platforms too, and this one is the most
mystifying to me as its answer seems, to me, entirely obvious.

If you are going after players, your first target must be Windows, because
that's where the players are.  At a minimum, you must make a client which
fully supports this platform.  A good way to do this would be to write it in
C# against .NET and Mono, using the SDL and OpenGL wrappers as Mono is cross
platform.  Targeting the single digit markets is truly a waste of effort,
assuming your goal is to bring in more players.  The only reason I would
even bother to support Linux at all is to ensure that your experience
players who currently use that system can still play on the new system.

Another thing I would suggest, having both been through the code base and
watching the evolution of games since Netrek last had a makeover, would be
to rethink the whole client architecture/UI as well as the client/server
interaction.  Borgs being a big issue, I'd put special effort into securing
the network protocol, perhaps even having the server upload code required to
play during the game (a dynamic client updating system designed to obstruct
run-time debugging, or at least make it very difficult.)  Stuff like this is
fairly straightforward to do with C#.

Another option is to consider reimagining the game for the console market,
a-la the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live.  I've often felt that this is an excellent
way to expose new players to this wonderful game, but the user interface
currently heavily relies on the keyboard.  Substantial thought would have to
go into an effort like this, but it could pay off big in exposure.

Anyhow, those are my recent ideas.  I don't want to in any way suggest that
Netrek is fundamentally flawed - it's not - but it does need to be brought
into the 21st century, and that path won't be easy because the game has been
essentially left fallow for about 15 years.

- Cliff

-----Original Message-----
From: netrek-dev-bounces at
[mailto:netrek-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of Andrew K. Bressen
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 4:05 PM
To: netrek-dev at
Subject: Re: [netrek-dev] technical pre-reqs to marketing efforts (Paradise
as entry-level)

Rado S <regrado at> writes:
>> { Paradise } But I think it is foolish to put any effort into it
>> until there are clients for something besides unix.
> I guess you mean primarily windows, and there you're right,
> such a beast would definitely help. (Paradise has run on
> non-unix/-windows systems, I even read about mac).

Macs have Unix underneath things these days, which is why the TT port
to OS X was possible. But... to your average mac user, it looks
terrible. They are used to things that are written against the mac
toolkits, not the unix toolkits, and the mac toolkits have a familiar
and consistent "look and feel" which is a main reason for people
buying macs in the first place.  And they look a lot nicer besides.

This is not to say that we wouldn't get any players, but we'd
be targeting a platform that has maybe a 10% market share to 
start with, and many of whose players would take one look at
the client and bail. In the absence of a windows client, 
I can't see focusing effort there; it's fighting with two hands tied
behind our backs. 

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