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Derek Smart on Battlecruiser Generations & Beyond (PC)
The Supreme Commander Speaks.
By Andrew S. Bub | Apr. 19, 2003
In the years since, things have calmed down somewhat. Even as he closes in on 40 with a signed contract with Dreamcatcher Interactive in his pocket, he's still as outspoken as ever. We managed to get some time from Derek's busy schedule to answer some questions about Battlecruiser Millennium Gold, Battlecruiser: Generations, Battlecruiser Online, and much more. GameSpy: Can you give us some idea of your background? You didn't start in the industry as a bold and controversial-industry-maverick-indy-developer-space-sim-visionary-pioneer did you?
Derek Smart: Well, I think I just dropped in (much to the chagrin of some in the industry). I worked as a salesperson while still going to school. In those days, CompuServe was the place to be. Eventually, and quite by accident, Brian Walker who used to write for Strategy Plus (now Computer Games Magazine), heard about me and decided to take a look at what I was cooking up. He was impressed [with Battlecruiser 3000AD] and put it on the cover of the 1992 version of the mag. It changed the rest of my life. It wasn't until Take 2 came into the picture that my name started getting around the industry. Usually in phrases like "...he's an ass!" or "...that incompetent w*nker cussed me!" -- with my favorite being "...the developer of that buggy mess, Battlecrapper." Eventually, I became the "Battlecruiser guy." It kinda stuck. And thus, Derek Smart entered the industry. The rest, as they say, is history.GameSpy: When did you first come up with Battlecruiser? I'm envisioning a tiny Derek in footie pajamas imagining space ships by the light of an R2D2 nightlight ... am I close?
Derek Smart: Hehe, wrong. I chose Battlecruiser because it denotes power and strength. A commanding presence, if you will. I tacked the 3000AD at the end of it in order to denote the year in which the game's first events take place. When I formed my company in 1992, I adopted the 3000AD name.
Derek Smart: I decided to continue the series because I had invested a good portion of my life into it. I had lost a lot of my early life, gone through a divorce, quit pursuing other interests, and literally had isolated myself from everything. So, it was a part of me -- you never forget that first time, and as such, you just keep reliving it. It's like a bad episode of Groundhog Day.
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