Latest developments in the GOF Eras 2 mod

20 OCT 2014: Hello All. Here is this weeks progress. I have mainly been reskinning and reclassing Merchant vessels to better balance encounters. I am also working on a couple more Spanish warships. The Neptune is coming along really nice and I am more proud of her than anything I have done yet. You will see my work on her later this week. This adds a distinctly mid 17th century Spanish warship to the game. When I get my

Dutch Yacht finished in Maya I think I may take on the “Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion”. I have found excellent surviving plans and models of her. She is HUGE and VERY GOLDEN AGE/17th century.

The pics up right now are of the new merchants. The version of the Pinnace that I made to represent that type of ship in continental merchant fleets really turned out nice. One of the skins I call “El Sol”(the Sun) turned out so nice and is an homage to the late famous tattoo artist Greg Irons. I added his famous picture from the Pirate Book on Flickr so that people can compare. Iron’s Pirates I think I did pretty good.

So I made some really interesting discoveries on my contining research of 17th century ships. Once again relying on Spanish sources rather than English I discovered a neat little ship called a “Zabra”. Over the course of history in the New World there were quite a few times when the Terra Firma and New Spain Flotas (Treasure Fleets) would be so damaged by storms or threatened by enemies in the area that the King of Spain would order the Flotas to stay in place and make repairs or wait. When the fleet was very heavily crippled which happened quite a few times it could take a year to repair and get on its way. This was not acceptable to the Spanish Crown that relied so heavily on the income from the treasure fleets. So the King would dispatch small fleets of Zabras. Zabras were of a specifically Catalonian design with a Flemish influence. Often these ships were commissioned to be built by the King himself and constructed by the best Catalonian and Flemish ship builders available in the employ of the Spanish Crown.

Zabras were already used as couriers and could make the Atlantic passage in as little as 20 days. This is remarkable when one considers that the treasure fleets took three to four months to make the passage. The Zabra was not only one of the fastest ships in the Spanish Navy, but she was also well armed for her size which averaged around 250 tons (vice the average galleon that weighed between 500 to 1000 tons). By sending fleets of 3 to 12 Zabras, the King could get a sizeable amount of treasure in his coffers in less than two months time from the moment he gave the order to sail. So I gathered as much information I could find about the Zabra and found that she had the lines of the Flemish/Dutch pinnaces combined with features of the English and Spanish fast galleons. She was in use from the middle of the 16th century up to the last quarter of the 17th century. So I chose a model that would look most like her 17th century incarnation. I will probably eventually model one based on some woodcuts I found, but for now thought she most resembles the little Pinnace from POTEHO that I morphed and called English Pinnace. So here for your pleasure is my now Spanish version of her called the Zabra. I hope you like her. I made her very fast, distictly Spanish flavored and I think she is a pretty little vessel!

So now as to why I have not put the website up yet and distributed the mod out to you all? – you ask! So the primary reasons are that I have been very busy. Things have not been going as well as I would like. I have been travelling more than usual and I have not only been very engaged with personal and professional responsibilities, but on top of it all I have been injured…again! All this to say that I have been delayed with getting the mod finished and the website finished (although it IS almost ready!).

There have been good things happen as well. I have added several really cool new items. I fixed a bothersome bug with the Indian(Erikson) showing up instead of a new skeleton that I made for the encounters with Flying Dutchman raids on towns. Everything is fine now and you will never again see that pesky unrealistic Indian in the game ever again. I also fixed a bug with the additional fighters. I have tested four successfully and am now pushing to get five fighters.

I think four may be enough though. That extra fighter really gives you an advantage in quest fights. Two additional may be a little much.

I still very much appreciate your encouraging emails but I have to comment that negative nagging does not help me to finish. Also please do not say that I made promises or broke promises because that is just not so. I will remind everyone that I made this mod for ME and my closest family and friends. The only promise I have ever made is that I will get a website up and will release the ERas mods to you. I will honor that promise, but I have a problem meeting projected timelines and probably always will. I always have the best of intentions but I get sucked into so many distracting responsibilities or problems. I am sorry its not ready yet however I want to remind my fans of some reasons why I will not release yet….

*** When I initially released the mod I was still heavily involved in some transitional code involving

flags, weather, and sound. I should have never released it until I had it sorted out. It is of course

perfect now and does not crash during large battles, you have a better variety of flags than ever before than any pirate game existent, and there is no further graphical glitching or anomalies. However, becaue I felt so pressured by fans, I released anyway. What a mistake! While so many of you enjoyed it anyway, there were others that just raked me over the coals. In fact one of the staff members at PA! who I regarded as a

friend (Hylie) called it a “buggy mess”. That really hurt. So all that to say that I will not release it

until I have it just right and you guys will be in heaven when you play it. We are very close!

So on to the website, It is so close, but there are still a couple of subject areas I am trying to get
finished up and I am trying to finish one of my stories as well so that you will have the whole thing up

I also plan to very prominently display a statement of forgiveness to all those that wronged me at the top of the site that explains the reasons why I was driven to create this new site in the first place. When all

that business was happening I told them there was no reason we couldn’t cooperate but they weren’t

interested….now they will see what a true Historical Pirate Genre website SHOULD look like!!! LOL! I know

many of you that are my friends or fans, left PA! after what they did to me and I appreciate your loyalty.

I also must apologize that I have not got the new site up and running yet so all of you COAS junkies like me will have a new Forum home.

Even though I still feel horribly wronged and unfairly villified – and those of you who know me, know that

I am who I have always said I am. I am a retired US Army Colonel and sims/ enterprise expert. I am not a hacker – never have been – and I am not at all a bad person – OR all of these other people that I have been accused of being – (any person who really wanted to take it upon themselves to dig for the actual truth, could see who is me and who is not based on IPs and location traces.). They banned all of my interested

relatives and friends that I had encouraged to join and contribute and had at one time or another used my netbooks (IPs) or my main 10 port CAT5 router IP. Most of those folks just signed up on PA! as a favor to me and it was really no big deal to them, but it hurt me anyway and it especially deeply hurt me personally

because of all the time, effort and love I put into PA! for so long – and – as I don’t think I deserved

that kind of treatment after so much contribution….I will say again that I was never warned.), I am still going to offer the statement of forgiveness regardless and offer the olive branch because I want to see our hobby grow (why can’t we all just get along) and the interest in our great game COAS to expand.

I’m not a monster…I am a dedicated Age of Sail and Pirate historian, afficionado, and video game

hobbyist. Otherwise why would I have this blog page and my Flickr site? Why would I spend so much time writing on this subject and crafting a historically authentic mod with correct period ships, characters and weapons? Would a troll and hacker do that? No…but a dedicated hobbyist would…..which is what afterall….I truly am…..and anyone with a brain in their head can clearly see that.

I think I can safely say that everything will be up and running and ready to go (and the mod released)
before Christmas(probably much sooner), but I DON’T WANT to MAKE ANY PROMISES. OK???

I will make one limited offer however….while I have my new modeller friend hard at work on some things that we will enjoy next year, for ANY modellers (including guys I already know) that want to join me or contribute new models to my effort, once I have received an agreement with you – and new model(s) have been received, I will give you a working link to the current working version of ERAS2 to play. So just contact me at my email and lets talk!

PAX, my friends! MK

9/26/14: Good week! Lots of new screenshots on Flickr These are some good ones. I continue to reskin ships on my improvement list and they are just getting constantly better! I have played to level 43 with no problems or issues. Everything is working great in Eras2. I have played through all the quests personally except Austin. They all work. I have found a few small bugs along the way and fixed them. Your emails have not fallen on deaf ears. I will find a way to release Eras2 publically when the website goes up in a couple of more weeks. A way which will ensure only interested people get it and my content is safe. I almost have a solution. Just wait till you see the new site!!!

9/15/14: More breakthroughs! Good week. Many more photos like the ones above posted to Flickr!

9/02/14: Many more pics posted to FLICKR Thank you for all of the supportive emails after the last announcement. Not one negative one! I can’t believe it. A new modeler has joined me and he is more talented than any I’ve ever seen. So I am hoping for great things!!!!

8/30/14: IMPORTANT UPDATE: Most of you will not like what I’m about to tell you but I must. I have had a GREAT year concerning my personal life and my professional life. Lots of new opportunities have presented themselves and I have sailed oceans, climbed and skied mountains, floated rivers, hiked trails and seen many people I love dearly. ====

However, one of the companies I was working with has gone back on our original understanding. Instead of developing a commercial Age of Sail Game they want me to go in a different direction and I am not interested. So the gaming division that I have built will continue on without me in the driver’s seat. The good news is that much of the support, backing and talent I have put together are only interested in my original ideas. Having said that I will very likely start my own Gaming Development Company next year at some point.

As far as the new website is concerned and my hobby of video game modding goes, these things will continue, however not as I originally intended. The website will be stood up and offer the best content on the web with regards to historical articles about the Golden Age, the latest Age of Sail news, models, simulations/games, trivia, etc. Mods will also be offered. I will offer mini mods for members.

HOWEVER, I am sorry to say that GOF Historical ERAS Mod 2 will only be offered to a select few that are trusted friends, Beta testers, and family. There are some very important reasons I am taking this drastic decision. The primary reason is all of the character assassination of myself and accusations made by individuals on other web sites that work in the genre of video game modding. I have been accused of taking ships and material without permission. I can assure everyone that 99 percent of ERAs content was taken with permission and 100 percent of the content has been recognized giving credit to where it came from.

Now let me explain myself concerning the 1 percent I took without permission. Everything I took was from mods or material that was offered on the web for free. Everything I took was modified, often extensively from its original form. The people I took these items from had taken items from versions of the CMV and from GOF without asking permission from the GOF modders, so I followed in turn thinking that we had an open understanding considering they had taken content from us. Considering that Luke159 and myself are the only members of the original CMV and GOF team left around, permission should be asked of one of us…..but it hasn’t been! So if they make these accusations at me, then I turn them right back around on them.

So what does this mean??? Well it means that I will be releasing many mini mods of my Characters, my Items, and my retextured and morphed Ship models. However I will not release ERAS2 publically because I do not want to give away my best secrets. My new harbor clutter behavior implementation will remain secret, my multiple fighters implementation will remain secret, my dozens of new islands and new locations capability will remain secret, my new multiple sail texture implementation will remain secret, my new multiple flag implementation will remain secret and my lower boarding deck implementation will remain secret. The way I implemented the multiple flags and the lower decks is much different than how it was done in POTC New Horizons or in the Russian mods, so no one is going to figure out how I did it.

The good news is that when my new website comes up public, you will be able to DL many of my new characters and ships for any version of GOF. However, since everyone in the community seems to have become so prudish and selfish I will follow suit. Anyone who wants to use any of MY content in their mods must have my express permission before they can use it. On top of this I will upload GOF ERAS Mod3 (the late era) on the new site. Since this mod will not have any new ships in it, I will allow complete downloads of it since it does not have any of the AWESOME breakthroughs in it yet that I achieved for mod two. It has a bunch of new late period characters that I have made that I don’t care if people steal them from me anyway. So the encounters will be all late era ships that look correct for each nationality just like in ERAS2.

I must apologize to my fans for such drastic action, but the pirate game community has been very unfair to me this year and this is the result. I have been accused multiple times by several individuals of attacking and hacking. I will state to everyone that I AM NOT, NEVER WAS, AND NEVER WILL BE A HACKER! In fact on the contrary I am the one that has been attacked, banned unfairly without warnings, and hacked by several members of these communities that I have been able to trace and identify because of my background and through some of my friends in the industry. Only one of these attacks was successful and it did not set me back that much.

All of this is really unfortunate because I was hoping to work with some of these people when my website went public and I was even going to prominently showcase the German work there. Oh well, what a shame. The good news is that I have made many new Russian friends and the Russians are doing such great work. The future of the Storm Games is still very clearly with the Russians and I will promote and help them all I can on my new site.

The only way my decision on this stand will change is if some of these people come forward to work with me and reconcile with me. However, I very much doubt this will happen because 1) they don’t care, and 2) they have formed cliques that are only concerned about a couple of little pet projects. Many of these folks have become prudish, judgmental, selfish and are really simply just hypocrites. They have NO interest in sharing or working with others to really make some great stuff. So if you want to blame someone, don’t blame me – blame them. If they wont openly share, then neither will I and that is why only my most trusted friends will continue to have access to ERAS2. I will continue to post pictures of my work on Flickr and I will continue to make all of my sets available to the public even though I know some of the people I just spoke about have used these same pictures as reference in helping them to construct ships which they do not wish me to have access to. Hypocrisy I say.

These pictures will continue to visually show off my progress but unfortunately for most will only remain “eye candy” unless something changes. I would like to thank all of my fans for their many views on my FLICKR Photostream as my FLICKR photo sets just reached 1.4 Million views as of last month! WOW! I never thought I would reach so many people! Thanks and I am really sorry to have to do what I must. Sorry Folks. Keep your stick on the ice. MK

8/26/14: Hi all. Very busy. I posted a few new screens here and a bunch on Flickr. More will be going up soon and I am happy to say I have some new videos as well. So I will be opening my YouTube channel back up again soon once the remaining PA! content is stripped out.

For testers waiting on the latest dump I am sorry I have been delayed but when you see the few new ships and items you will think its worth it.

I have to comment that my occasional surfing of PA! always gives me such a laugh. No one can answer COAS questions and the comments by POTC moderators and admins continue to offer no guidance and are often laughable. I’ve heard them say that they have all the best ships in New Horizons and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hilarious, but they don’t even know because none of them play or are familiar with COAS mod work.

I also find it very humorous that they have switched their HOO effort to Unity and they are now soliciting donations. What hypocrites! LOL! I recommended both of those courses of action at the beginning of their discussions but was shot down. Too funny. Their deletion of a fine modelers work that I commissioned to build the Zeven Provincien has driven him underground. Yeah so I paid him a thousand bucks. Big deal…I was planning to share the model with everyone – and it was almost done. What a shame! I still have all his files so I could finish it later as I continue to progress in modeling or find someone else to take it on.

Due to heavy work and family commitments the website is delayed to September or October. I could go public now and I am tempted to because of all of the COAS questions that don’t get answered. It such a shame that folks think they still can’t buy this game. For those that read this, Micro Center in Kansas City, MO, USA (look them up on the web) has hundreds of very cheap copies of this game ready to go. There are other sellers as well.

When the site goes up people will set up and take notice – simply because of the rich historical and subject content that is already very mature and ready to read – as well as the fact that the site will offer 50 times the surfing enjoyment for the Pirate and Age of Sail aficionado than PA! offers. So just stay tuned a while longer.

For those fans of my stories, the ones that were unfinished will be picked up again and there are new ones as well. Also I will return to offering a serial episode of the latest story every week again.As far as Eras2 goes it looks better and plays better than ever and we will continue to grow and expand it into its full potential.

7/26/14: I will continue to post progress screens of what I believe to be the best and most historically accurate Golden Age of Piracy Simulation on the planet:

Beta-Testers have been selected and contacted. Two I have been unable to contact successfully. Beta-testers: The link for the mod will only stay up for 48 hours so please Download immediately as soon as you receive your link. Keep in mind that the link is protected and you can only unlock the mod link by providing the email address that you provided to me when you asked to become a beta tester. Please do not share the link or the mod with anyone.

With stability now near perfect, all major bugs fixed and all quests now working, I am looking at this point in time to root out all small bugs so that the game will be polished to near perfection. I am also looking for recommendations on additional characters, ships, items, weapons, etc. I think I have figured out quests enough that I am finally ready to start implementing my own unique quests. So we can discuss these ideas as well.I am very busy for the next couple months. Our progress here will determine if and when I release the mod to the general public.

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