I’ve never been much for games that you play on-line against an opponent, in real-time. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that I didn’t have much early exposure to them; this type of game simply didn’t exist during my most formative gaming years. Another is that these types of games are not usually the types of games I’m interested in. The third is that I’m not very good at a lot of games, and this is something we’ll explore in a later entry.
One of the first games of this type I did play — for about an afternoon, at least — was LineWars. I don’t remember if my opponent was Kurt or Gene. LineWars was a simple space combat game where you just fly around and try to shoot each other.
The conflict took place in 3D space, and the battlefield was large. In fact, this is what wrecked the game for us. After trading a few shots, we flew away from each other, and then got lost. Neither ship appeared on the other’s radar, and without any other landmarks, it was impossible to find the other. We tried several times to restart, but something like this always happened.
The next game of this type I played was one I can’t find any trace of on the Internet. It was probably shareware, and it was one where the players were battlemechs (one was a “Vulture” or a “Mad Dog”, I think) in a maze trying to shoot each other. (It wasn’t an official BattleTech game.) Kurt and I were roommates and the time, and we ran a null modem cable between our rooms.
I would periodically sneak over and look in Kurt’s room. His computer screen faced the door, and because of the cable we couldn’t close the doors when doing this. I’d see where he was in the maze and then go back and try to catch him there. It was some fun, but repetitive. We didn’t play it too much.
The only other game of this type I remember was a couple years later, when I was visiting Kurt and Anna in their new home in Mississippi. Kurt had hooked up a cable (possibly a LAN) between two computers in his house and we played a Duke Nukem game, both against each other and cooperatively. At some point during the co-op play Kurt died, so I was waiting for him at some checkpoint while he made his way to me. One command let me see what was happening on his screen while I waited, and after only a few seconds of watching someone else move quickly through a crude 3D landscape I was in migraineville.