THE NWS (Naval Warfare Simulations) STORY... Dec 4, 2021 10:40:46 GMT -6 kallek, JagdFlanker, and 22 more like this
Post by williammiller on Dec 4, 2021 10:40:46 GMT -6
The following (as best my poor memory now serves me) is both the story of my long relationship with Christopher Dean and the story of how NWS began & evolved:
In mid 1999 I discovered 'some guy' who, using the tag "WarshipFC", had created a realism mod for (the then brand new) "Janes Fleet Command" game, which I was a big fan of but was disappointed by its lack of realism and detail. I tried out his mod, liked it, but noted a number of things that could be improved in my opinion. I emailed the fellow, whose real name turned out to be Christopher Dean, and let him know about what I thought could be improved in his mod. He emailed me back and stated something to the effect of "thanks, but if you think you can improve upon it perhaps you should make you own mod", or something along those lines. Well, I had already modded *his* mod to my liking, so I went ahead and sent the 'modded mod' version to him. The next day he emailed me back and asked if I wanted to collaborate with him on the mod, and I said 'Great!'. Over the next few months we worked on modding Fleet Command, and a bit later starting work on modding the (again fairly new) "Fighting Steel" game, which we both loved but were also rather disappointed with the realism of. We eventually setup a site to show off/download our mods, which we used the title (honestly just a working title, one that we never got around to changing, obviously...) of "Naval Warfare Simulations". Chris and I started selling games on eBay as a side gig for extra income basically, which was in effect the earliest version of the "NWS Online Store". We also modded other games after this, such as "Silent Hunter II, "Destroyer Commander", "Dangerous Waters", etc.
After a few short years had passed, Roy Gibson (President of Divide-By-Zero games and the developer of Fighting Steel for SSI) contacted me and stated that he loved our Fighting Steel mod, and asked if we would like to have the actual source code for the game since ownership had reverted back to him after the demise of SSI, and he liked the idea of the game being kept alive. We of course said "YESSS!!!". So, Chris and I started work on "The Fighting Steel Project" (which we called FSP for short), and released a number of versions of the mod over the next couple of years. The eBay store later grew into a monster, so Christopher took it over and it became basically his full-time job (I had a full-time engineering job at that point, but also I just did not like the idea of running a large online store at the time, but Chris certainly did, so...).
I (with Chris' help) starting working on a series of naval war/board games during this time frame, starting with the "Naval Warfare-WWI" and "Naval Warfare-WW2" games, and expanding to about a dozen or so titles within a few years. Chris and I later worked on his pet project, a great 'hidden gem' of a PC game called "Navies at War", which we published under the NWS name. We also helped publish the "Harpoon 3" PC game in conjunction with AGS during 2002, which was our first official foray into the PC game publishing business. In 2004-2005 we also distributed/published the excellent "Seekrieg 5" naval miniature rules developed by Rich Sartore. We were also heavily involved in the early/mid 2000s with assisting several other developers with their game designs, for both board and PC titles.
Roughly 10 years ago we were approached by a very smart fellow from Sweden who had a great idea and construction for a WW2 naval campaign PC game that we really liked...his name was Fredrik Wallin, so we worked out an arrangement with him to first help publish his campaign framework for Fighting Steel called 'Thunder at Sea', then the 'Steam and Iron' game & the later expansions to it, and of course the newer (and best selling so far of any of our titles) "Rule the Waves" series.
We were also approached sometime later by Tony Glazebrook from Australia, who showed us a wonderful design for a strategic WW2-era game, which we were lucky enough to publish under the title "Supremacy at Sea", and which our players greatly enjoyed.