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Author Topic: The Greatest Strategy Guide Ever Written  (Read 4511 times)
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« on: April 21, 2005, 11:21:23 PM »

Yesterday I got my copy of "Vel's SMAX Guide, version 4.0" in the mail.  It's written by Chris Hartpence, aka Velociryx.  A small indie publishing company named Booksurge bought the rights to print and bind it, so I ordered a copy, despite slightly older versions of the guide being availible online for free.

It's 253 pages of pure text--and every drip of it is brilliant, not only in relations to SMAX, (Sid Meier's Alpha centauri eXpansion), but in relation to strategy gaming as a whole.  It's fantastic stuff, and just anihilates any guide I've read before it.

Doublejump's guide to Phantom Brave used to be my favorite, but that's been dethroned (though DJ is still by far the best gaming guide publisher out there).  This guide just blew me away.

Wow, this reads like a sales attempt.  My bad.  I'm really not trying to pander to this guide or anything, just, it's that good, and I felt like sharing.  Anyone else read it?  Or anyone else have a guide they view as their personal best?
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Ascendent
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005, 11:46:11 PM »

I always loved Versus strat guides, really thin but informative and never spoiled anything. I think Baldurs Gate II they did the official strat guide for it.

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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 01:03:17 AM »

Read it.  Loved it.  Used it all the time back when I played Alpha Centauri.
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EddieA
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 01:29:46 AM »

The Star Ocean : Til the End of Time guide is massive and very high-quality.  They even used high-quality thick paper for it.  It puts most RPG strategy guides to shame.
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2005, 03:09:41 AM »

Have'nt seen one worth my money since the Baldur's Gate 2 one. Thebest ones are from the past like MOO 1 and Privateer.
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2005, 04:45:30 AM »

The bethesda strategy guides are always amazing.  They add so much more to the story that just a walkthrough.  The Daggerfall Chronicles was outstanding.  

I have also always loved my SSI Gold Box guides.  They had a ton of detail on fights and strategies and laid out each level in a clear concise manner.
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2005, 05:51:54 AM »

Quote from: "dangerballs"
The bethesda strategy guides are always amazing.  They add so much more to the story that just a walkthrough.  The Daggerfall Chronicles was outstanding.  

I have also always loved my SSI Gold Box guides.  They had a ton of detail on fights and strategies and laid out each level in a clear concise manner.
I thought the Daggerfall Chronicles was terrible... it had very little game info at all in it...
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Vinda-Lou
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2005, 11:56:37 AM »

The Ultimas usually had decent guides.  Infocom had the best guides ever IMO.  They had those magic markers and blank books where you colored in boxes with the markers and the words appeared.  This way you only saw the info you wanted, and they put many false leads in the guides to catch you cheating.  Surprisingly, the Ultima Online Age of Shadows guide is great.  Very in depth with more strategy and advice than stats that become useless quickly.
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Jeff
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2005, 07:04:58 PM »

LE, can you post a link where one can find the free versions? I'd like to have a look.
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2005, 07:13:09 PM »

Hm... most of the freeware versions of the guide are MIA -- dead linked, as it were.

I'll keep an eye out for it, but the usual spots are all missing.
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 01:14:54 AM »

Much of the information is available right here.

Freebie versions of Vel's guide are linked from this page.

Still, "buy the dang book."
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 02:13:00 AM »

Ebonstone:

I picked up the EA bundle that has Alpha Centauri and the expansion a while back.  Unfortunately, no manual is included.  I've been debating a purchase of this guide for quite a while.  You think it would do the trick for an Alpha Centauri/turn based strategy neophite who also doesn't have any of the manuals for the game or its expansion (I don't even recall .pdf manuals on the CD-ROMs, but I'd want paper either way)?  I've heard it's a great guide.

Edit: does the guide cover both the original AC and the expansions?  Thoroughly?
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 02:15:17 AM »

Recent strat guide favorites have been Star Ocean 3 and SMT: Nocturne (another DJ books guide).  

I so loved those old Ultima guides.  There would be so much additional information in flavor in them.
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2005, 05:26:17 AM »

Quote from: "Grundbegriff"
Much of the information is available right here.

Freebie versions of Vel's guide are linked from this page.

Still, "buy the dang book."


Thanks for those links.  Those strat guides are intense but highly educational.  It's like the old saying about people only using 10% of their brains at any given time.  There are so many nuances of this game that I wasn't even aware of.  Excited to fire it up later.
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Velociryx
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2005, 01:28:19 AM »

Cool

What can I say...with a glowing recommendation like that, how could I stay away?!

I'm glad to see the ol' gal is still finding an audience, and if you guys like it, I'm betting you'll be TOTALLY jazzed at my next project...slywink

-=Vel=-
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2005, 03:16:10 AM »

Quote from: "Velociryx"
Cool

What can I say...with a glowing recommendation like that, how could I stay away?!

I'm glad to see the ol' gal is still finding an audience, and if you guys like it, I'm betting you'll be TOTALLY jazzed at my next project...slywink

-=Vel=-

Welcome!   biggrin

We want to know more!
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2005, 03:24:37 AM »

Quote from: "Velociryx"
Cool

What can I say...with a glowing recommendation like that, how could I stay away?!

I'm glad to see the ol' gal is still finding an audience, and if you guys like it, I'm betting you'll be TOTALLY jazzed at my next project...slywink

-=Vel=-


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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2005, 04:00:53 AM »

Quote from: "Velociryx"
Cool

What can I say...with a glowing recommendation like that, how could I stay away?!

I'm glad to see the ol' gal is still finding an audience, and if you guys like it, I'm betting you'll be TOTALLY jazzed at my next project...slywink

-=Vel=-



Vel's Mortyr Guide, version 5.3?
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2005, 02:44:30 PM »

I really liked the Starflight hint book, written from the perspective of a ship that had gone on the same mission you had, failed just at the end, and fell backwards in time.
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Velociryx
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2005, 10:06:36 PM »

biggrin  Thanks for the words of welcome!  I didn't know about this forum till about two days ago, when I stumbled across the reference to my name (in efforts to keep abreast of how the books are doing, I'll google or msn search myself to see what folks are saying....when I found this, I had to drop in!)

As to the next project...well, they've been getting exponentially harder, let me tell you!

The SMAX guide was tough, but the easiest of the lot, because at least someone else had created the world, and I was just....exploring it via pen and paper.

Guardians (first novel, published a couple years after SMAX) was harder, because it involved creating the world in addition to exploring it.

Five Days in May was the toughest one to cross the finish line because of the *type* of story it is, and the latest....

ohhhhh the lates....toughtest thing I've done in my life is to create an entire gaming world, populate it, flesh it out, and beginning on August 1st, I'll be hiring a coder to help me bring it to life.

Since nobody's making my kinda computer games, I'll make one myself....The Courts of Candle'Bre!  smile

-=Vel=-
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2005, 10:37:50 PM »

I'd say The Outpost strategy guide since it was 100% work of pure fiction
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Orinoco Womble
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2005, 03:54:37 PM »

Quote from: "Velociryx"
:

Since nobody's making my kinda computer games, I'll make one myself....The Courts of Candle'Bre!  smile

-=Vel=-


We need more info!! smile

Do you have a website or any info on the type of game? Hopefully it's 4X -I'm missing that genre...
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Velociryx
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2005, 11:38:21 AM »

Hey Orinoco, and yes yes!  More info on the Courts of Candle'Bre can be found here:

http://apolyton.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=151

In summary, it is indeed a 4x game, and if I had to approximate its general bent, if you could imagine a synthesis of Civ, MoM, and EUII, you'd land pretty close to the mark where Candle'Bre is concerned....slywink

-=Vel=-
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Orinoco Womble
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2005, 03:52:20 PM »

Quote from: "Velociryx"
In summary, it is indeed a 4x game, and if I had to approximate its general bent, if you could imagine a synthesis of Civ, MoM, and EUII, you'd land pretty close to the mark where Candle'Bre is concerned....slywink

-=Vel=-


Whoa! Now you've REALLY got me interested!!  biggrin
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Velociryx
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2005, 04:51:43 PM »

biggrin  Music to these ears!

And, I'm happy to report that we'll be acquiring a full time coder, beginning on August 1st.  Much of the art work has already been done, the backstory is in place (an all-original fantasy world...no recycled stuff borrowed from other folks), and the mechanics have been hammered out....about the only piece we were missing was some coding talent, and in less than two months, that problem goes away too....

smile

-=Vel=-
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2005, 01:10:59 AM »

Vel, have you ever played Dominions 2 by any chance?  I'd pay good money for a Dom2 guide as meaty as your SMAX guide.
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Velociryx
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2005, 10:55:05 AM »

Hey!  There's the guy that got me here to begin with!  How are ya, Lord Ebonstone?  smile

I've not played Dominion 2, but at its mention, now you have me curious.....gonna have to give it a try!  (besides, I've been looking for a new game to sink my teeth into!)

-=Vel=-
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