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Darling Brothers, UK Indie Game Devs, Upgraded to CBE

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the which-brother-submitted-this dept.

Classic Games (Games) 110

scriptedfun writes "The BBC reports that David and Richard Darling, the brother tandem who founded Codemasters back in the mid-'80s from their bedroom, were recently made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for their 'services to the computer games industry.' Their story is definitely inspiring for modern-day independent game developers." Naming such honorees annually is one of the perks of being Queen.

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110 comments

D: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798693)

And yet, I can't name a single Codemasters game off the top of my head.

Re:D: (5, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798719)

How old are you and which country? Not meant as a patronising question, it's a genuine one. If you're around my generation (I'm 36) and from the UK, chances are you will have heard of them. Spindizzy and Micro Machines being the top ones - they're stars of the 8-bit and 16-bit era really. I know they've done a lot since, but that's still what I know them for.

Cheers,
Ian

OMG someone is wrong on teh internets! (5, Informative)

BuckoA51 (1119431) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799011)

Spindizzy is not a Codemasters game, you are thinking of Dizzy. Spindizzy was a Marble Madness clone from Electric Dreams Software.

Re:D: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799015)

Mostly though they were the pioneers of the 1.99 game if i recall correctly. Not that that means they were no good

Re:D: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799387)

But the cover blurb always said the games were BRILLIANT! Oh well, I hope they enjoy their Advanced CBE Simulators.

Mastertronic got there first, Darling! (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799917)

Mostly though they were the pioneers of the [UK £] 1.99 game if i recall correctly. Not that that means they were no good
Not quite... Mastertronic were the ones who really pioneered the budget games market in the UK (i.e. tape-based games sold at the £1.99 and later £2.99 pricepoints, typically without significant advertising) (*).

According to WP (uncited), Codemasters were formed in 1985, and Mastertronic in 1983; but I certainly know that Mastertronic were releasing games in 1984. (In fact, having scanned the WP article for this comment, I find that apparently (uncited, again) the Darling brothers supplied many of the early Mastertronic games before going on to form Codemasters).

(*) Interestingly, I've seen no evidence that an equivalent segment existed in the US. Although the 8-bit market there was (AFAIK) mainly disc-based by that time, and Mastertronic did release some of their stuff over there on disc, you never hear Americans discussing it, which implies that it didn't really have the same success or cultural importance it did here- I mean, anyone who grew up in the UK during the 1980s had some Mastertronic/Codemasters/Firebird/etc games. Anyway, this might be because this was around the same time that the NES started doing really well in the US (**)- cartridge-based consoles being pretty unsuited to Mastertronic's business model- but I assume that the C64 market was still in reasonably good shape then.

(**) This contrasts with the UK, where (although the NES sold moderately (***)), the games market remained overwhelmingly computer-based until the early 1990s, when the Mega Drive (Genesis) and SNES started doing really well.

(***) Actually, the NES wasn't even dominant in its 8-bit console niche- it was outsold by the Sega Master System here, strange though that might seem (****) to the Americans or Japanese.

(****) How many levels of nested footnotes are too much?

Re:Mastertronic got there first, Darling! (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#23800717)

How many levels of nested footnotes are too much
If you need to ask, you need to refactor your comment.

Re:D: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799557)

Plus most of the good games for the Spectrum & C64 were from the UK. The UK consistently produced the best coding & games during the 80s, but has not been anywhere near as dominant in the 90's and beyond.
For those of us growing up with C64 the Codemasters guys were much more famous than rock stars.

Re:D: (2, Insightful)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801285)

I admit I've never been huge on names, but I don't remember many of the rest of the folks knowing the names of the developers very well.

The names that got remembered, at least in the C64 scene, were the musicians.

Re:D: (5, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798721)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Codemasters_games [wikipedia.org]

The Dizzy Series
Colin McRae series
Micro Machines
Operation Flashpoint
Overlord
The TOCA series

It's a good back-catalogue, though I was always more a fan of Bullfrog before EA ate them.

Re:D: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798769)

I remember playing Micro-Machines (Sega megadrive yeah) and Overlord, didn't know it was Codemasters though :o

Re:D: (2, Interesting)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799091)

I'm pretty sure they're only *publishers* of some of those games; Operation Flashpoint, for instance, was developed by Prague developers Bohemia Interactive. And that turned out to be bit of a clusterfuck, with BI going on to develop the sequel, ArmA, with another publisher, and Codemasters making their own using just the name.

Re:D: (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799623)

Oops. Here I was waiting for the Sequel (rather than an expansion pack) all these years! OpFlashpoint was one of the best games I've ever ever ever played, so immersive that I stayed up for almost 3 days solid until I'd completed it. Thanks for the heads up, I should probably get that even if it will tempt me to spend money on my old PC gaming rig just for one game. Armed Assault 2 looks like it will be out on PS3 at least :)

Re:D: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799225)

Of course as that's a wikipedia category that list will only include games that have wikipedia writeups. In full Codemasters have done / published: 1NSANE, 1st Division Manager, 750cc Grand Prix, Advanced Pinball Simulator, Advanced Ski Simulator, American Idol, Asheron's Call 2: Legions, Asheron's Call: Throne of Destiny, ATV Simulator, Bee 52, Big Nose Freaks Out, Big Nose the Caveman, Blade of Darkness, Bliss Island, BMX Simulator, Brian Lara 2007: Pressure Play, Brian Lara Cricket '99, Brian Lara International Cricket 2005, Brian Lara International Cricket 2007, Bubble Bobble Evolution, Bubble Bobble Revolution, Bubble Dizzy, Cannon Fodder, Captain Dynamo, CJ In the USA, CJ's Elephant Antics, Clive Barker's Jericho, Club Football, Club Football 2005, Codemasters 2 in 1: Fantastic Dizzy + Cosmic Sp..., Colin McRae Rally, Colin McRae Rally 04, Colin McRae Rally 2.0, Colin McRae Rally 2.0 / No Fear Downhill Mounta..., Colin McRae Rally 2005, Colin McRae Rally 3, Cosmic Spacehead, Crash Presents December 1989, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Dance Factory, DiRT, Dirty Dancing, Dizzy Collection, Dizzy's Excellent Adventures, Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure, DJ Puff's Volcanic Capers, Dropzone, DTM Race Driver (Director's Cut), The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy, Fantasy World Dizzy, Fast Food, Firehawk, Freddy Hardest in South Manhattan, Grand Prix Simulator, Grand Prix Simulator 2, GRID, Heatseeker, Heroes of the Pacific, Hospital Tycoon, IndyCar Series, International Rugby Simulator, Italia 1990, The Italian Job, Jarrett and Labonte Stock Car Racing, Jonah Lomu Rugby, Jonah Lomu Rugby / Brian Lara Cricket, Kamikaze, Kwik Snax, Little Puff in Dragonland, LMA Manager, LMA Manager 2001, LMA Manager 2002, LMA Manager 2003, LMA Manager 2004, LMA Manager 2005, LMA Manager 2006, LMA Professional Manager 2005, Maelstrom, Maelstrom (Special Edition), Magicland Dizzy, Manchester United Manager 2005, Miami Chase, Micro Machines, Micro Machines 1 and 2: Twin Turbo, Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament, Micro Machines 64 Turbo, Micro Machines V3, Micro Machines V4, Micro Machines: Military, Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament 96, Mig-29 Soviet Fighter, Mike Tyson Heavyweight Boxing, Moto X Simulator, Motocross, Mr. Angry, MTV: Music Generator, No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking, Olli & Lissa 3: The Candlelight Adventure, Operation Flashpoint (Game of the Year Edition), Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, Operation Flashpoint: Elite, Operation Flashpoint: Gold Edition, Operation Flashpoint: Gold Upgrade, Operation Flashpoint: Resistance, Overlord, Overlord: Raising Hell, Perimeter, Pete Sampras Tennis, Pete Sampras Tennis 96, Pete Sampras Tennis 97, Phantomas, Phantomas 2, The Premiership, Prince Clumsy, Prince Naseem Boxing, Prisoner of War, Pro Boxing Simulator, Pro Powerboat Simulator, Pro Race Driver, Pro Skateboard Simulator, Pro Tennis Simulator, Project IGI 2: Covert Strike, Psycho Pinball, Quattro Adventure, Quattro Arcade, Quattro Arcade, Quattro Cartoon, Quattro Combat, Quattro Firepower, Quattro Mega Stars, Quattro Power, Quattro Power Machines, Quattro Racers, Quattro Skills, Quattro Sports, Quattro Sports, Quattro Super Hits, The Quest of Agravain, Rainbow Islands Revolution, RF Online, Robin Hood: Legend Quest, Rock Star Ate My Hamster, SAS Combat Simulator, Second Sight, Sensible Soccer 2006, Sensible Soccer: European Champions: 92/93 Edition, Seymour Goes to Hollywood, Sink or Swim, Slightly Magic, Soccer Pinball, Soldier of Fortune (Gold Edition), Soldiers: Heroes of World War II, Spellbound Dizzy, Spike in Transilvania, Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, Steg the Slug, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Stunt Kids, Super Bike TransAm, Super G-Man, Super Grand Prix, Super Hero, Super Robin Hood, Super Seymour Saves the Planet, Super Skidmarks, Super Stuntman, Super Tank Simulator, Tarzan Goes Ape!, Terra Cognita, Tilt, TOCA 2: Touring Car Challenge, TOCA Race Driver 2, TOCA Race Driver 3, TOCA Race Driver 3 Challenge, TOCA Touring Car Championship, TOCA World Touring Cars / Colin McRae Rally, Total Sports, Treasure Island Dizzy, Turbo the Tortoise, Twin Turbo V8, Ultimate Racing Collection, Violator, Wacky Darts, Wild West Seymour, Wizard Willy, World Championship Snooker 2003, World Championship Snooker 2004, Worms 4: Mayhem, ArchLord , Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 , Colin McRae Rally 04 , Colin McRae Rally 2.0 , Colin McRae Rally 2005 , Colin McRae Rally 3 , GRID , Heroes of the Pacific , IndyCar Series , Micro Machines V4 , Perimeter , Project IGI 2: Covert Strike , TOCA Race Driver 2 , Worms 4: Mayhem.

Re:D: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799443)

Are any of these any good? I don't know because I've never played any of them.

I had no idea there's an alternate universe of games over in the UK.

It's a shame they didn't make it over here, because "Super Skidmarks" sounds like my kind of thing.

Re:D: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799501)

Skidmarks and Super Skidmarks were New Zealand games done in a programming language called Blitz Basic. Skidmarks was a superior version of Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road... here's a video of gameplay [youtube.com]

Re:D: (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799703)

Are you serious? Worms was an awesome and massively famouse game that spawned a large series of games - done in Blitz Basic like AC says, I think Worms was winner of a competition in Amiga Format, I'd got blitz basic myself but I was about 14 and it was unstable enough even without a budding programmer trying to get to grips with it. I liked Super Skid Marks to though again it tended to crash a lot on my Amiga. It was a racing game in case your mind is still pondering. The TOCA series is great, Rainbow Island was amazing (sequel to Bubble Bobble), Micro Machines is a hilarious multiplayer classic for up to 4 players using only 2 console controllers.. Sensible World of Soccer (SWOS) is regarded by even one of the hardcore football fans I know as one of the best football games in history just for sheer fun and playability. Cannon Fodder was also good fun and used a similar style of graphics to SWOS. I would have thought that Colin McRae Rally especially was famous the world round, it would be weird if it was all just a british phenomenon (despite the fact that it has a scottish rally driver as its name) since World Rally obviously involves many countries. Star Trek: Elite Force was also a pretty good FPS based on the Quake III engine in the Star Trek universe, I only played the demo but I think my brother has the full thing and the sequel somewhere..

I wonder if that Maelstrom game is the same one that I played on the Mac that had all the funny sound effect clips from Aliens etc..

Re:D: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23800683)

Oh yeah. Worms is a cool game. A lot of these games are probably good, but I just didn't encounter them back in the days when I'd get my games at the local game store here in the US.

Re:D: (5, Informative)

AAWood (918613) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798725)

Colin McRae Rally is probably the series they're most known for in recent times, and most old-schoolers will probably think of the Dizzy games first, and Micro Machines second. Personally, I remember them for things like Jet Bike Ski Simulator on the Spectrum. Came complete with classic incomprehensible speech synthesis, but at least you didn't need an add-in speech cartridge.

Re:D: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23805403)

Parent post says sooth.

I cannot believe that they've been recognised like this. CBE is ludicrous, but there's a lot of gong inflation in the system at the moment. They really do deserve some acknowledgment though. Wow!

Re:D: (2, Interesting)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798755)

I doubt I could tell you who wrote any particular game. I know the game companies are "famous" but matching up software to who wrote it ? Not a chance. As I'm writing this I'm struggling to think who wrote Doom - I know Carmack, Cash et al did it - but the name of the company escapes me ! ( Looked at the box - it's ID software * slaps head, DOH! * ) I looked at the Codemasters site as I know that I've heard of them - they've done some well regarded stuff.

Re:D: (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799789)

And here I was thinking that id were one of the most prominent software houses for any geek to know ;) I mean I wouldn't say I knew exhaustively who made what, but I knew Codemasters made Colin Mcrae and released Operation Flashpoint, Valve make Half-Life, id make Doom/Quake, 3D Realms make Duke Nukem (well, they used to ;) ), EA make a never ending multitude of yearly sports games, and need for speed, Naughty Dog make Crash Bandicoot games (which I generally am not that interested in, but Crash Team Racing is an excellent alternative to MarioKart for the PlayStation consoles) and recently did 'Uncharted!' which is a great game on the PS3.. uh.. Atari make Test Drive and probably some other games as well as re-releasing old classics like pong. Outside of people who make old-skool FPSes and racing games I probably don't know many developers though >_>

Re:D: (2, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798809)

The only game I can remember from them is Vampire, which has a MSX version (and looked awful like any game ported from Spectrum).
Spectrum users probably know more games from them.

whoops! (2, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798855)

Now you've done it, giving the Spectrum two mentions in one post.

I can feel the urge to re-awaken the old 'spectrum vs Commodore 64' argument rising.

Must....resist...

Re:whoops! (4, Interesting)

keeboo (724305) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798961)

Uh-oh... Peace, man! :)

From where I am C64 did not exist, it was more like MSX vs Spectrum vs Apple II.
The problem with Spectrum-to-MSX ports (and Codemasters are not alone) it's that developers simply added a Spectrum hardware emulator layer (both machines used Z80 processors) and, presto, port done.
Often the game was slower than the original version.

There are games which list 'joystick' as 'kempston' in the MSX version. C'mon!

Re:whoops! (2, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#23800161)

From where I am C64 did not exist, it was more like MSX vs Spectrum vs Apple II.
I assume that you're not from the UK (where Codemasters are from) then; in terms of user base and (consequentially) software that supported the machine, MSX was (at best) a very minor player here. Since Codemasters were originally selling in the UK market, that'd be why they didn't do many MSX games.

Here it was ZX Spectrum (first) vs. C64 (clear second, but still successful) vs. Amstrad CPC (some way behind, but still usually a chosen "third format" for mainstream games).

Owners of other formats, e.g. Atari 8-bit, Commodore 16/Plus4, BBC Micro/Electron had lesser and patchier support. I'd go so far as to say that MSX was even behind them, because I can't recall seeing any MSX games on sale in the shops.

I think that MSX did little here because it came out pretty late, trying to become a "standard" in an established market that had already "standardised" around other formats, mainly the Spectrum and C64. Plus, I read that the MSXs were quite conservatively specced for the price. (I heard it did quite well in the Netherlands due to Philips' support, but other than that I think that MSX was only really successful in Japan).

As for the Apple II; although there were some here (my Dad used them at his work), they were *never* a widespread home format and not even in education, where the BBC Micro had its niche.

Incidentally, what you say about MSX conversions apparently also applied to the Amstrad CPC, which due to its shared Z80 architecture, got a lot of Spectrum games copied over without taking advantage of the CPC's superior capabilities.

Re:whoops! (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799753)

Easy there tiger, do you not have to say it three times in succession for the proceedings to commence? Like Beetlejuice, Candyman or Chuck Norris?

Re:whoops! (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 5 years ago | (#23800285)

Go for it... the Commode was a piece of trash, and everyone knows the CPC was the best ;)

Speccy was okay once Sugar got his claws into it and marketed the bastard properly though.

Re:D: (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799361)

Grid is an amazing game. I'm usually not into racing games... this game though is fantastic.

Reviewers [metacritic.com] are saying it's like going to dinner with a supermodel only to discover she's also as witty as a stand-up comic.

Re:D: (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 5 years ago | (#23807405)

the Brian Lara Cricket series!

Easily the best cricket computer game of the past decade. Most releases have been big hits in the various parts of the world where Cricket is popular.

One of the perks of being Queen? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798697)

Pity she ain't a human being.

Re:One of the perks of being Queen? (2, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798839)

If that gets modded flamebait there is no future

Re:One of the perks of being Queen? (4, Funny)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798931)

It got modded flamebait because...

We mean it man
We love our queen
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Bit early for my Codemasters sessions on the Speccy, but formative nonetheless.

Re:One of the perks of being Queen? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799351)

Exactly, we really need a 'woooosh' meta-moderation for the septics.

Re:One of the perks of being Queen? (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 5 years ago | (#23802631)

Totally. I watched the moderation on this thread for ages last night (it's Kiwi-morning now) and it was hysterical - people complain when jokes are explained on /., but if jokes aren't crystal clear then they're modded troll or flamebait. I thought I was being unsubtle quoting 4 lines - funny would have been continuing the thread a line at a time - but 4 lines is what it took to make the mods think.

Disclaimer: I'm now wondering if I've ever made that mistake while moderating - "no one is innocent".

seeking approval (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798731)

No, I don't get it, what could possibly be more pathetic than looking up to an "honour" from a hereditary monarch? While I'd take the Lords over the Commons any day in the past decade as protector of my rights, this whole "give the usual privileges to the usually privileged plus a pat on the back to the occasional commoner to keep them feeling like they have a chance at glory too" is cringeworthy.

We are more than ever living in a world where we are able to be observed and judged by others and feel we must live up to the expectations of others, rather than setting goals for ourselves and being content with our own advance. Culture has been so homogenised (in the direction of what is perceived as "American" values, though contemporary American values are alas far removed from what they were in late C18) that what have been considered the greatest breakthroughs in the past couple of decades are usually tweaks of detail. Big picture thinkers have gone from being condemned to being summarily ignored, because they veer off the One True Way.

Re:seeking approval (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798749)

what could possibly be more pathetic than looking up to an "honour" from a hereditary monarch?
Apart from whining about it on Slashdot, you mean?

Re:seeking approval (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799037)

Apart from whining about it on Slashdot, you mean?
What an, erm, clever humour pattern.

[Slashdot poster #1] "What could be possibly be more pathetic than _____?"
[Slashdot poster #2] "Apart from whining about it on Slashdot, you mean?"

Where _____ could be any of:
(i) Apathy to gradual loss of freedom;
(ii) RIAA's abuse of the courts;
(iii) Bribery of political officials;
(iv) ...
(v) Profit!

Oh look lol a meme lol, it's witty because it lacks originality.

If there's one thing many nerds are sorely lacking, it's.. well.. any sort of ability outside their narrow field of vision. Including the ability to analyse the wider impact of their decisions, which is why they're the grunts and not the management. And why, despite all their grandstanding, they're fairly easy to keep in check, and they have a rather shocking respect for power structure and authority. They can be as sycophantic as any petty bureaucrat in local government, as willing to kneel for that little morsel of favour.

Which is why I've been (-1, Troll)'d - I veered off the party line.

Re:seeking approval (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799073)

Actually, the GP AC (not me) has a point. If these titles were *only* ever awarded to people who actually have made enough of an impact to deserve them, then yes, they'd be something you could respect (just like you respect, say, a Nobel prize); but in reality, 95% of those having them got them for no other reason than having been born as part of the so-called nobility and aristocracy.

It's quite frankly insulting to everyone else that a life of hard, dedicated work will most likely not be enough to get the recognition that someone else gets simply because of who their parents were - simply because they're a member of the "network", so to speak.

Not that I'd turn down such an award myself, not at all, but I don't see these things as anything more than the occasional breadcrumb dropped from the tables of the rich elite.

Re:seeking approval (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798771)

Right on Comrade! Let us post on Slashdot while we await the glorious peoples revolution.

Re:seeking approval (4, Interesting)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798851)

Most honourees, even those who disagree with the concept of hereditary monarchy (the majority), just go along with the whole deal.

Partly because it's not worth making a fuss over within the context of modern, laser-guided wrongdoings, but mostly for the improved ability to secure last-minute restaurant reservations.

Re:seeking approval (1)

who knows my name (1247824) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799149)

Are you sure the majority of Britons disagree with a hereditary monarchy? I'd like to see at least a poll to back that up

Re:seeking approval (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799241)

Are you sure the majority of Britons....
I didn't say a majority of Britons, I said a majority of those getting honoured (perhaps an even more outrageous declaration).

Of course I don't have proof, that would be against the entire spirit of internet-based debate. But I was getting at a wider truth about the UK- There are many reasons to hate every country, the UK included, but one of the things I love is the progressive egalitarianism prevalent in the thinking classes; Announce at any formal social function that you are religious/believe in astrology/are pro-life/etc., and watch as the rest of the room politely get as far away from you as possible. Brilliant.

Re:seeking approval (1)

who knows my name (1247824) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799467)

Are you sure the majority of Britons....
Of course I don't have proof, that would be against the entire spirit of internet-based debate.
I'm sorry, but is 'against the spirit' of any debate to not provide at least some evidence to reinforce such an important assumption. Otherwise, why else should I bother debating something which has no grounding in reality?

I personally expect that most Britons would be apathetic to the idea of monarchy; and those receiving honours would perhaps be less so.

Re:seeking approval (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799519)

"Announce at any formal social function that you are religious/believe in astrology/are pro-life/etc., and watch as the rest of the room politely get as far away from you as possible. Brilliant.
British: Minding their manners above all else. Where I'm from, we just tell them to fuck off.

Re:seeking approval (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799561)

Manners are a social construct that allows you to be much more nuanced in conveying the message 'fuck off'. This allows the true, high-end 'fuck off' to hit much harder than your diluted, one-size-fits-all insult. Manners rule.

Re:seeking approval (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23801693)

Announce at any formal social function that you are religious [...] and watch as the rest of the room politely get as far away from you as possible.
And that's just the bishops.

Re:seeking approval (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 5 years ago | (#23802785)

But I was getting at a wider truth about the UK- There are many reasons to hate every country, the UK included, but one of the things I love is the progressive egalitarianism prevalent in the thinking classes; Announce at any formal social function that you are religious/believe in astrology/are pro-life/etc., and watch as the rest of the room politely get as far away from you as possible. Brilliant.

I can tell you don't go to many formal social functions. I, on the other hand, do and believe me that the majority of the 'thinking classes' (an amusing notion in itself) are nowhere near as closed-minded and discriminative as you seem to be, sir.

Re:seeking approval (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#23803511)

one of the things I love is the progressive egalitarianism prevalent in the thinking classes; Announce at any formal social function that you are religious/believe in astrology/are pro-life/etc., and watch as the rest of the room politely get as far away from you as possible. Brilliant
So basically they're tolerant of everyone except those who disagree with their political opinions? BRILLIANT!

Re:seeking approval (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799257)

DO any poll thats not just in the mail/sun and it will be something like 20% get rid, 10% keep, 70% dont give a shit.

Given that shes not even the one who chooses who to give the awards to its not really an issue here. I personally would like to get rid of her, but there is some benefit to separating out your purely political honours to those given by 'the country' and while not perfect (i mean you can buy either apparently), it does In theory stop gordon or tony knighting all his mates.

Still if it were up to me the government should sack all the monarchy, reposes anything that they can use to make the country some money, then use it to cut our taxes, shame I dont trust any government to do that.

Re:seeking approval (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 5 years ago | (#23802853)

Still if it were up to me the government should sack all the monarchy, reposes anything that they can use to make the country some money, then use it to cut our taxes, shame I dont trust any government to do that.

I think you overestimate the size of the Royal Family's assets. Is what amounts to uprooting the foundation of the country worth a fiver's reduction in your tax burden (just think, you could buy yourself a newspaper and a burger with that!)?

Re:seeking approval (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23804375)

I think you overestimate the size of the Royal Family's assets. Is what amounts to uprooting the foundation of the country worth a fiver's reduction in your tax burden (just think, you could buy yourself a newspaper and a burger with that!)?
A whole fiver? then defiantly. TBH i dont expect more than a few pence, at which point itll cost so much to have an enquiry into it that its not worth it, but otherwise its a win/win, no more royalty and 2p to spend on slashdot

Hate to reply to an AC...but... (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799697)

I can see it now...Her Majesty reclining on the leatherette sofa with a bejewelled micro-switched joystick, playing Dizzy on her Amiga...

Oh, wait. It's not the Queen who picks people for the honours list, it's the honours committee. Truth be told, the Queen will probably have never heard of them, won't know who they are when she confers the honour and won't ever know.

To your more expansive ideas...about why people, through their actions, seek approval from others, and why this is a bad thing: What is it,exactly, that you've been smoking? People have been doing this for centuries, if not millennia.

The Queen and Video Games (5, Informative)

DCFC (933633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798861)

Firstly of course the award is not decided by the Queen. She is a constitutional monarch, and all such decisions are in theory made by minsters. Even they don't make most of the minor ones, delegating it to committees. This level of award confers such rights as your daughter being able to marry in St. Pauls Cathedral (the one Princess Di got married in), but little else. I'd also take exception to the notion that game development in the UK or elsewhere is a desirable career. It is so badly paid that it cannot be offshored to India because Indians won't work for that little. EA games and several other firms have been prosecuted for violations of minimum wage laws. Game developers are treated with a contempt that I have not seen in any industry (I've been a chemist, worked in banking, education, IT, journalism, night clubs and most recently headhunting), and none treat their staff so badly. Even the one nude model I know gets more respect from her employers.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799003)

Indeed, I originally intended to work in the gaming industry when I graduated from uni, but was warned off from it by a lecturer who'd spent some time in the real world before taking up his lectureship. His reasoning was that I'd end up in cubicle land writing small bits of games over which I had no say, and from what I have since learned, he was spot on.

It seems the industry is getting worse in recent years, but its not uniform. There are some companies where the staff seem to be well paid and have fun, but those tend to be smaller companies, and companies that have avoided the corporate mire.

Even then I wonder if there isn't a hierarchy where the visible coders have a great time and good pay, and beneath them lie unknown coders with the aforementioned lack of say and low pay.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799171)

It all depends on the structure of the company, and on the personality of its top dogs. I've been in the software industry for 17 years, and the work environment varied in every company. Watching out for signs in job interviews is essential. But when you need a job very urgently, you don't usually pay attention to that.

Re:The Queen and her daughters etc (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799157)

Lady Diana was Princess of Wales but never Princess Diana as her mother was not royalty.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799185)

When I was in my teen age, I was occasionally contacted by games companies to write games for them. But I declined every time, because I didn't want to get paid a lollipop and an ice cream for many hours of work. Stupid me! My games could've entered the annals of history! ;-)

Some of the guys I've known back then (and also some years later) have made a living on games programming; but they founded their own games companies.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799489)

"Commanders of the Order of the British Empire"?

Is that anything like a Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain?

Do you get any special powers when you become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire? Like, for example, can you force all the non-CBEs to avert their eyes?

I mean, if no special powers come with being a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, then what good is it? Do you get like a t-shirt with that? A t-shirt would be pretty cool, especially if you could make the commoners avert their eyes.

Don't you hate it when ice cubes start to melt and it dilutes your Captain Morgan?

Re:The Queen and Video Games (2, Funny)

DCFC (933633) | more than 5 years ago | (#23800957)

There are moves to make British honours more modern and politcally correct. The British Empire is of course Belize, the Falkland Island, Rockall, bits of Antarctica, and Gibraltar.

Sadly that does mean instead of Commander of the British Empire, one would be
Facilitator of the move towards general consensus on climate change.
or
Chairperson of goodwill towards all nations.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 5 years ago | (#23804995)

The British Empire is of course Belize, the Falkland Island, Rockall, bits of Antarctica, and Gibraltar.

Actually there seems to be a bit more than that [wikipedia.org] -- a few more Caribbean islands (including Bermuda of course), the Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and a few other islands in the Atlantic, a few atolls in the Indian Ocean, and a couple of chunks of Cyprus. Intriguing.

Re:The Queen and Video Games (1)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23804981)

I'm a professional game developer. I often tell people, "I tell my mother I'm a meth dealer instead of a game developer so that she'll have at least a bit of respect for me."

Sadly, that's not too far off the mark.

The one upside is that if you stick with it long enough, you can become a veteran of this industry much faster than in others. I've "only" been developing games professionally for about 10 years now, but I am one of the most experienced people, particularly in online game development. I'm no Richard Bartle or Jessica Mulligan, but my experience has allowed me to land some pretty nice consulting and contracting gigs.

It is possible to make good money in the game industry, but there's an attitude that you have to "pay your dues" before you get any real respect or authority by others in the industry. As someone else mentioned in this thread, the winners are often the people who go on to start their own companies and maintain some level of control. Working as a wage slave sucks in this industry, so either you have to be the top of your field in an industry full of scary-smart people, or you have to be the one calling the shots and not beholden to many other people. But, once you get to the point where you have respect and/or authority, it can be a really awesome job.

Really, it's like any other creative field. For every superstar, like J.K. Rowling for book authors, there are thousands of people languishing in obscurity and doing grunt jobs to keep the bills paid. Some of these people may even produce better work than the superstars, but part of standing out from the crowd is just dumb luck. You really have to love the art or you'll just get chewed up and spit out with hundreds of people eager to try to take your place. Unfortunately, in most of these industries the people in control of the finances realize the leverage they have over new entrants to the field and take advantage of them.

Codemasters (3, Interesting)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798887)

I was always a fan of Codemasters back in their Spectrum days (come on, it's time for a new generation of Dizzy games) so when someone from the company came to my university to give a talk on working for Codemasters I went along to see if I could be persuaded. Rather than selling the idea to me though, it really put me off. The gist of the talk was that Codemasters weren't interested in producing good games, only games that sold well. The guy actually said that the company wasn't interested in people who wanted to work on producing good games. I understood the point in principle, but the emphasis on commercialism ensured that I never even considered applying to them.

Re:Codemasters (2, Interesting)

Steinfiend (700505) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799785)

I don't know from direct experience with the Codemasters company if this is true, but from playing a lot of their games back in the 80's, that would be pretty obvious. The did have some GREAT games that sucked many of my hours away, but for each gem there were maybe 10 disasters. Yet to look at the back of the tape you'd think they were all the best game ever. How many times can they write, "This Game is Amazing! - Richard Darling" before my weak, 10 year old brain realized Richard Darling directly profited from the successful sales of the tape, and as such would say any old nonsense to get me to buy it?

Saying that, the Dizzy games, BMX Simulator, Rockstar Ate my Hamster, ATV Simulator and Grand Prix Simulator, were well worth the 1.99 I paid for them!

Re:Codemasters (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801043)

Rather than selling the idea to me though, it really put me off. The gist of the talk was that Codemasters weren't interested in producing good games, only games that sold well.

When you're in business trying to make a buck, the definition of "good games" and the definition of "games that sell well" intersect almost entirely. Every so often, you hit a game that does both; Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, or Portal, for example. But most of the time it's one or the other. Beyond Good and Evil, for example, is cited as a good game by a lot of critics, but it sold terribly. (I have a copy and I was never able to get into it.) Or Otogi, or Psychonauts, etc.

Awards for video games? (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798901)

I can see it now, in about 5 years a bunch of natural light evading geeks lined in front of the Queen:

(To the first one)
"Please accept this MBE for fragging 50 players in under a minute without taking damage"
"Thank you, Ma'am"

(To the second one)
"Please accept this MBE for pulling off a 53 hit combo in Street Fighter IV"
"Thank you, Ma'am"

(To the third one)
"Please accept this MBE for obtaining 100% completion in GTA V"
"Thank you, Ma'am"

etc.

Re:Awards for video games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23799665)

It'll be a sad day when people are referring to the queen with "Ma'am".

Re:Awards for video games? (2, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#23802225)

The etiquette is to address her initially as "Your Majesty" and subsequently as "Ma'am".

Absolutely amazing!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23798927)

(Actual Spectrum Screenshot)

elite (4, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23798935)

I move to nominate David Braben and Ian Bell

Re:elite (2, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799069)

That would be interesting just to see the two in the same room together. I don't think they've spoken for over 20 years...

Re:elite (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801921)

That's a long time to go without talking at all.

Re:elite (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 5 years ago | (#23805007)

Oh, I wouldn't say that. After all, I've never talked to you before, and I've been around for over 35 years.

Re:elite (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799795)

Seconded. Mind you, they cost me about five months of my childhood, and I STILL didn't get past Deadly on the ZX Spectrum.

Re:elite (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801777)

same here. We tried faking it by decoding the elite status file but after the third layer of encryption we hit a message that said: "Does your mother know you're doing this ?", which means we were more or less meant to get to that level (and it took weeks), we gave up after that...

I really think Braben and Bell should deserve this honour well ahead of the cut & paste 2d gaming crews with the exception of Jeff Minter possibly (but I don't think he was British).

Darling brothers (1)

nfk (570056) | more than 5 years ago | (#23799217)

Must be a mushy atmosphere, where they work. "Hello Darling", "Bye, Darling", "We should add some blood and gore here, Darling".

A missed great opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23800375)

If I was a British citizen I'd take this opportunity to refuse the title as a protest against the USA-like paranoid police state UK is morphing itself into.
Not that being a somewhat famous changes anything in the politicians minds, but the message would reach a much wider audience among the public.

Re:A missed great opportunity (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801837)

If I was a British citizen I'd take this opportunity to refuse the title as a protest against the USA-like paranoid police state UK is morphing itself into.
Declining an honour is a great way to protest against the monarchy itself, or the corruption many believe is widespread in the honours system, but I don't think it would be very effective as a protest against trends in policing and surveillance, due to the lack of any direct connection between the issue and the protest.

Better approaches (for any famous people who happen to read Slashdot and don't like the way they think Britain is going) would be either noisy emigration, or some kind of publicity stunt that directly related to the thing you hate. For example, buy a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook and parade up and down outside the Houses of Parliament shouting "Arrest me! I have material that could be of use to terrorists!"

"As is the country of Venezuela!!!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23801037)

For those thinking "huh?"

http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/articles/letters38.htm
http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/articles/letters42.htm

Scroll down a bit.

I used to live down the road from the Darlings.... (1)

InfoHighwayRoadkill (454730) | more than 5 years ago | (#23801889)

When they were just starting out. They sort of ripped off my cousins company by getting a load of stuff out of them and not paying. Years later they sent him the cheque with interest after meeting up on Facebook

Game Genie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23806339)

Codemasters is the company that made the Game Genie adaptors.

Those were the days (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#23807725)

I met the Darling brothers, albeit very briefly, at a computer show back in the 80s. I was just a little kid trying to pitch a game I'd written for the Spectrum, with hopes of making it rich like those guys. The game was actually quite fun, but it was just a little strategy thing, hardly the sort of thing Codemasters would release. Worst of all, it was written in Basic (though I didn't tell them that!) Unsurprisingly, they didn't seem too impressed.

I have a bit of a history of trying to use Basic for entirely unsuitable tasks. I once made it onto a release in the Atari ST demo scene with a little thing I wrote with a friend in STOS Basic [wikipedia.org] . Luckily I saw the error of my ways and learnt C and assembly language in the end... although it took an unhealthy obsession with OS development to finally persuade me.

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