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1  Other / General Discussion / Re: Salisbury case on: September 18, 2018, 10:07:59 am
"There's no motive, the story makes no sense!"

"Here's straightforward, clear motivation, confirmed by multiple sources, that he was directly working to undermine Russian intelligence operations."

"There's no motive, the story makes no sense!"

Cool, cool.
2  Other / General Discussion / Re: Salisbury case on: September 18, 2018, 06:47:12 am

Then he got down to business, rattling off information about Russian spycraft and the activities of former colleagues that might give the Czechs an edge over their foes.

But in the years before the poisoning, Mr. Skripal, a veteran of Russia’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., apparently traveled widely, offering briefings on Russia to foreign intelligence operatives, according to European officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. The meetings were almost certainly approved and possibly facilitated by the British authorities as a way to both educate their allies and provide Mr. Skripal with income. He met with Czech intelligence officials on several occasions and visited Estonia in 2016 to meet with local spies.

Mr. Skripal arrived in Prague in 2012 shortly after his wife, Lyudmila, succumbed to uterine cancer. He was grieving, but nevertheless in good spirits when he met with officers from at least one of the Czech Republic’s three intelligence services, according to a Czech official with knowledge of the meetings. Some details of the visit were first reported over the weekend by the Czech weekly Respekt, and were confirmed independently by The New York Times.

Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky, asked about the reports in an interview on Monday, said the visit was part of “the normal cooperation of services between the Czech Republic and Great Britain.” He added that he believed Mr. Skripal’s visit had been useful.

During the brief visit, Mr. Skripal drank, he joked, and he provided Czech intelligence with information about G.R.U. officers operating in Europe. His information was dated; he retired from the G.R.U. in 1999. Even so, the Czech officers found his knowledge to be valuable. Many of the G.R.U. agents he worked with in the 1990s were still active, the official said. Though Mr. Skripal’s health was poor, the official said, his mind was clear.

He was giving out information on currently active Russian spies.

Still, it was clear that he remained under Russian scrutiny. In 2013, the G.R.U. hacked into his daughter’s email accounts, according to the British government. And in 2014, his case was profiled in a Russian documentary series about the lives of Russian traitors called “The Price of Military Secrets” that was financed by the Moscow government.

The Kremlin would probably not consider sharing outdated information with foreign intelligence services to be much of a threat, said Mr. Sipher, the retired C.I.A. officer. But it would be a different matter if Mr. Skripal was being used for other purposes, like recruiting new Russian agents.

“If he was pitching other Russians, that would put him higher on the list,” Mr. Sipher said. “Or if he got too close to something that was really sensitive to the Russians.
3  Other / General Discussion / Re: Salisbury case on: September 18, 2018, 06:38:44 am
It's not that simple though. Skripal was indeed a double agent, but he didn't escape to the UK. He was caught, jailed, and spent 6 hard years in a Russian prison. Had Putin wanted him dead, he would have died in that prison and the world would never even know. That's the biggest problem I have with this story. It makes no fucking sense.

They traded him for another spy and let him go. Why try to murder him 8 years later, especially in such a theatrical fashion? The risks were clear, what were the benefits? None.

You write cynical RPG plotlines, surely you can think of a reason here?

So Skirpal was a double agent, the British probably wanted him back. Which means he has value as a bargaining chip. Why murder him instead of keeping him for leverage?

Which is proved out when the Brits agree to exchange captured spies with Russia and insist on Skirpal being part of the deal. They wanted him back. So Vlad agrees to the swap, gets his own guys back, then kills Skirpal later when convenient. Vlad gets what he wanted, and rubs the nose of the Brits in it.

On 9 July 2010, Skripal, along with three other Russian nationals imprisoned for espionage, was freed as part of a spy swap for the ten Russian agents arrested in the United States as part of the Illegals Program,[32][33][34] after being pardoned by the then President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev.[35] The UK government insisted on Skripal being included in the swap.[17]

But you don't even need to go that far or use any imagination at all. There's a clear reason for Vlad to want him dead now, all other things aside.

Because Skirpal wasn't just sitting back and enjoying his retirement after the spy swap. Skirpal continued to provide more intel to the Brits after the swap and traveled around teaching other countries how to spot and deal with Russian spy techniques, and the media revealed that. That must have infuriated Vlad, and it would be reason enough for Vlad to want to take him out or punish him.

Skripal moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he purchased a house in 2011.[36] According to British security officials, Skripal continued to provide information to the UK and other Western intelligence agencies for a period after 2010.[26]

Skripal's wife died in 2012 of disseminated endometrial cancer. His daughter returned to Moscow in 2014 and worked in sales.[17] His son died aged 43 in March 2017, in unknown circumstances, on a visit to Saint Petersburg;[37] Skripal's older brother died within the two years before the poisoning.[2][38] Both Skripal's wife and his son are buried in a cemetery local to Salisbury.[39] In May 2018, the New York Times reported that Skripal, though retired, was "still in the game." While living in Britain he had travelled to former Communist countries, meeting with intelligence officials of the Czech Republic and Estonia, most likely discussing Russian spying techniques.[40] In June 2016 he travelled to Estonia to meet local spies[41], and it was later reported that he had links to Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier

Maybe Vlad would have been satisfied to leave Skirpal to enjoy his retirement, if he'd just sat at home tending his garden and watching TV. But he actively worked to undermine Russian intelligence operations in various places.

That's more than enough motivation to try take him out.
4  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: New name, the second poll on: September 07, 2018, 05:30:49 am
"Colony Ship" just sounds very dry and utilitarian to me, dull.

Like sure, it tells you what the game is about. But the other names make me want to find out what the game is about. They intrigue me.

It's the difference between calling your game "No Man's Sky" or just "Spaceship Pilot".
5  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: New name, the second poll on: September 06, 2018, 01:15:29 pm
"No Home But the Stars" as first choice, "Pilgrims of the Void" as second. Both are great, evocative titles that sound like classic sci-fi novels.

6  Other / General Discussion / Beautiful Desolation - Post Apoc Adventure Game on: July 09, 2018, 12:48:23 pm
Thought you folks might like to check this out, if you haven't seen it already. A PA adventure game set in sub-Saharan Africa.

It's an adventure game, not an RPG, but the devs just showed off the combat in the game and it looks interesting. It's certainly pretty.

7  RPG / RPG Discussion / Re: RPG and other games-related humor here. on: May 14, 2018, 06:45:03 am
8  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: CSG update #25 - Weapons, Armor, and Attacks on: March 28, 2018, 04:02:33 am
Sounds good guys.

Also, Starlord confirmed in The New World. Wink

9  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: CSG update #23 - State of the Game (the first screenshots) on: February 26, 2018, 10:44:27 am
Holy moley, that's looking good.
10  Other / The Reading Lounge / Re: Cool comics and graphic novels on: February 23, 2018, 03:33:52 am
Been binging Birthright, a comic about a kid who goes missing, whose disappearance tears his family apart, and then a year later a man dressed like an extra from a Conan movie appears claiming that he was that kid, that he stumbled through a gateway to a magical world where he became the Chosen One, the hero destined to defeat the Dark Lord.

That's the setup, and then it gets twistier from there. It's fundamentally a story about this family and their relationship against the backdrop of this hellova cool fantasy setup that deftly plays with the tropes.

Definitely recommend it.

11  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: Taking Care of Business - 2018 on: February 21, 2018, 06:04:22 am
Very interesting.

About sequels not making as much as the original game - it may be (in part) because they were released later and steam sales seem to be worse across the board (unless you're a viral hit like PUBG). Which may be related to the increasing glut of games being released on Steam.

But yeah, even in the best of times, I suspect that a new game is more exciting than a known quality like a sequel or an expansion, regardless, and thus has more potential sales.

I know that, for System Crash, I hesitate on making sequels/expansions because, even though I'd love to grow the game further, the base game is not yet profitable, and as you say, an expansion would probably only achieve 30% of the sales figures. But I'm resolved to make one expansion just to get the data point. Maybe I'm wrong and it will be a worthwhile venture.

12  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: CSG update #23 - State of the Game (the first screenshots) on: February 01, 2018, 02:54:00 am
Making some great progress there. And loving the screenshots, that's a rather substantial improvement in the graphics department, relative to AoD. Nice work dudes. Wink
13  RPG / System Crash / Re: A request if you enjoyed System Crash on: October 24, 2017, 07:38:53 am
If you got it via Humble, there'll be a redeemable steam key in your library. Smile
14  RPG / System Crash / A request if you enjoyed System Crash on: October 24, 2017, 05:53:09 am
Hey folks, long time no chat.

Got a quick request, for anyone who enjoyed System Crash and feels like helping a brother out.  Wink

Turns out those user tags are super helpful for Steam discoverability. If you've got the time, going and clicking that little plus next to the user tags and ticking whatever tags you feel appropriate would be very helpful.

And if you've got time for a user review, that's also really helpful.

Help me work the algorithms, chaps. Wink

15  RPG / System Crash / Re: Halloween Update - Night Terrors on: January 26, 2017, 06:36:24 am
Glad you had fun with it, and thanks for the feedback, I'll check out that balance. Smile

As to what I'm doing with it...that's something I'm thinking about at the moment. The game hasn't made me back the money I spent on it, yet, and there's a huge glut of card games at the moment.

I basically settled on making a CCG right at the point when a bunch of other devs had the same idea. And, like you say, no multiplayer means it doesn't have the legs of say a Hearthstone.

So I'm left wondering whether it's worth investing too much more into it, or whether it would be throwing good money after bad. Adding MP would be quite expensive, I'd need a critical mass of players to get the raw numbers needed to have a full lobby,  and would it draw people away from Hearthstone and what they've invested there?

So yeah, I'm still thinking about what to do next with it. I'll probably test out what happens with a proper expansion (decent number of new cards, new story, new mechanics etc), whether that is profitable, and judge based on those metrics. It might be that expansions make me a profit, and grow sales in the base game.

Running a business is like playing a strategy game, figuring out where to spend your resources effectively.  lol
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