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Submission + - Can the Elite-like niche sustain a small scale product? (

Heliosphere1 writes: I'm the sole developer of an Elite-like indie game in development called Heliosphere: I made some demo videos to show what I have done so far. If someone wants to toss the original AVIs up on bittorrent, that's cool; I can post filehosting links separately. I recommend using fullscreen and "HD" mode on DM:

There is no staff or money behind this effort. I decided to take the last few years before I can retire to try something creative, and attempt to write a game. I'm just over one year into the project, so the road ahead is long. I'm trying to decide whether this is viable to pursue. I'm aware of about 4 or 5 other impressive efforts in this genre, all of which have more resources (programmers, sometimes artists and/or money, where anything more than 1 person and zero dollars can be defined as "a large project" from my POV).

On one hand, I think it's absurdly cool that this genre might stage a bit of a comeback, and also that the efforts are coming from indie developers, who in my opinion are keeping gaming alive in the face of various major studios who are crushing it. I hope at least some of those indie projects will see wild success. On the other, Elite-likes are a small niche: for every gamer interested in such games and who hasn't abandoned the PC as a gaming platform, there are a million who'd prefer Angry Farmville In Space. It's unclear to me whether this niche can sustain a lone developer with all the limitations and constraints that brings on what I can create. Unfortunately, I will need to make a living wage, as I am currently chewing through my retirement savings to create this. It's this, or a few more years at the grindstone.

I can answer questions about the project here, but cannot accept or read implementation ideas.

(And yes, it runs on Linux, as well as Windows).

[Editors: Sorry for the double submission: the first attempt appeared to disappear from the queue — not down voted, but just gone, after about 5 minutes, so I figured it didn't work.]


Submission + - Why Science is a Lousy Career Choice 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "President Obama had a town hall meeting at Facebook’s headquarters last week and said that he wanted to encourage females and minorities to pursue STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) but Pastabagel writes that need for American students to study STEM is one of the tired refrains in modern American politics and that plenty of people already study science. but they don’t work in science. "MIT grads are more likely to end up in the financial industry, where quants and traders are very well compensated, than in the semiconductor industry where the spectre of outsourcing to India and Asia will hang over their heads for their entire career." Philip Greenspun adds that science can be fun, but considered as a career, science suffers by comparison to the professions and the business world. "The average scientist that I encounter expresses bitterness about (a) low pay, (b) not getting enough credit or references to his or her work, (c) not knowing where the next job is coming from, (d) not having enough money or job security to get married and/or have children," writes Greenspun. "Pursuing science as a career seems so irrational that one wonders why any young American would do it.""

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!