More reflections on my relationship with Computer Harpoon

Looking over the few items I have posted over the years I reflected on the fact that I don’t miss Harpoon one bit.  Granted, I just completed a chapter on Computer Harpoon for a forthcoming MIT Press book tentatively titled “Zones of Control” due out in early 2016.  In some respects writing that provided a lot of retrospective and dredged up some old memories.  I sent draft copies to everyone I tried to mention (only the positive mentions, I skipped the names of the trolls) and received a few corrections and general agreement that my memory was accurate.

I did find it interesting to go through my archive box, including the original design notebooks (which we thought were lost), letters, marketing materials, reviews in the US Naval Institute Press, etc.  The game is actually never far from my mind because i have two of the framed “Tom the Captain” game posters from 1988 in my offices (home and day job). But I don’t really dwell on it.

Tom Frisina Harpoon 1 Poster

Tom Frisina Harpoon 1 Poster

When I guest lecture to classes at Texas A&M I try to provide some insight into what the business was like in the 1980’s and 1990’s but make it clear that I’m there to provide historical context only.  We didn’t have mobile, cloud, nor Facebook so my lessons learned have to be generic (like dealing with publishers, staff and the usual software development issues).

I am probably closer to donating the materials to one of the three museums who have expressed interest in my collection of period naval games.  I think most of the interest is in the Harpoon project archives (including source code).

I haven’t played any naval games and am only interested in beating Diablo in Diablo II and playing the new Homeworld products in 2015 onward.

Besides, I start a new job on Monday with ViaSat and will get to learn about networking while sharing my knowledge of project, product and software engineering managment.  I’m goining to be VERY busy for some time to come.


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