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Wallace Wang writes:

"I remember buying the first Microgame, Ogre, way back in 
1978 and had a great time with wargames and microgames in 
particular until the early 80's.  Around 1980, I wrote a 
satirical wargame article for The Space Gamer (when it was 
under Metagaming's control) that was accepted but never 

"In 1983, I sold the game Orbit War to Steve Jackson Games.
I only got paid $300 for it.  I had originally designed 
Orbit War in hopes of selling it to Metagaming but they 
went out of business before I could propose it to them.
Then I tried Task Force Games but I think they were going 
out of business in the early 80's too.  So that left Steve 
Jackson Games.  To my surprise, they bought it, published 
it in 1984, and then later sold it as a boxed edition 
in 1992."

"I never met Steve Jackson and only spoke to him once on 
the phone to ask for my free boxed copies of Orbit War.
The most pleasing memory to me about the Orbit War game 
is that I received Steve Jackson's acceptance letter on 
my twenty-second birthday, so it made a very memorable
birthday present indeed!"

"My only other wargaming credit was designing one of the 
game contests for Avalon Hill's magazine, The General.
My contest focused on their game Submarine."

"After 1983, when reaction to Orbit War was less than 
astounding and the entire wargame industry seemed to be 
fading away under the onslaught of computer wargames, I 
kind of drifted out of the wargaming community and started 
focusing on personal computers instead.  Starting around 
1986 I began writing computer books for various publishers 
such as McGraw-Hill, WordWare Publishing, Sams Publishing, 
and others.  Eventually my friend Dan Gookin, who wrote 
"DOS for Dummies", hooked me up with IDG Books and I 
started writing the Dummies books around 1992."

"Prior to that I got tired of writing computer books and 
gave it up for two years, starting in 1990 when I devoted 
myself to stand-up comedy.  In 1994 I managed to appear on 
the TV show A&E's "Evening at the Improv" and in 1997 I 
first appeared at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas."

"So right now my plans are to continue both comedy and 
computer book writing and maybe slide in a wargame design 
here and there. I had three other wargame designs partially 
finished when I drifted away from wargaming, so I might try 
to bring those out again and see if I can get them 
published somewhere."

"By the way, Orbit War was meant to be a game system, not 
just a game in much the same way Melee and Wizard were 
systems instead of isolated games like the later 
microgames became.  I had planned a Strategic Orbit War 
game where the goal is for players to explore, colonize, 
and mine the solar system.  So I envisioned one big map 
showing the planets orbiting around, then a bunch of 
little maps showing the players' satellites orbiting the 
different planets, trying to blow the other guy's 
satellites out of orbit so they can claim the natural 
resources of that planet for themselves."

"Alas, with Orbit War failing, Strategic Orbit War never 
came to pass either.  Looking back, it's hard to see that 
there will ever be a resurgence in wargaming since computer 
simulations are so much cheaper and exciting to play."

June 30, 2000

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