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February 20, 2017
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James Hicks's Blog


James wrote his first text adventure in the 80's, aged ten. It was awful, but popular around the house. Building on this success he wrote am ANSI BBS door game called Mania in the mid 90's. Mania was a text adventure comedy dungeon hack and slash where you could have up to 255 gory wounds at any given time (a spoof on the industry standard hitpoints - you could have 17 broken arms and festering gashes on your neck - any unhealed wound could become graphically infected) and your daily turns were limited by sanity which ticked down while in the dungeon.

Building on this game's complete lack of commercial success, he turned his hand to business IT, working as a "make things work" consultant for the rest of the 90's before founding an ISP in 1999. Building on this ISP's lack of success he continued with several more businesses based on software projects - sharing internet in hotels, document management and expert systems, before moving to corporate and government Systems Administration, Database Administration, Security and Disaster Recovery before finally moving into team leadership and eventually IT Management.

In Febuary 2013, fed up with being well paid, supported and appreciated in the corporate world, he quit his management role, said goodbye to eighteen staff and began working on the ineptly titled Ascent: The Space Game. He has described this move as "by far the stupidest thing I've ever done, but it's way too much fun not to do it"

A-TSG is quite possibly the first MMO to be released to the public within a year of full time development commencing, the first MMO to be developed (both client and server) by a single developer, and based on virtual space alone by far the largest computer game ever built. Despite these idiotic goals, players are surprisingly enjoying themselves in the game and it has gathered a cult following as a web game, before finally being released for PC on

You can check out James' latest moronic bugs and annoy him on the forums at


Member Blogs

Posted by James Hicks on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 03:52:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online
Like most Indie games, we didn’t get Big Press coverage, so what we saw is probably a good example of what most can expect, what we did is most likely what you need to do to to succeed, and you can probably learn from our mistakes.

Posted by James Hicks on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:08:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
James explains how Ascent: The Space Game's new colony engine can handle giant cities without skipping a beat.

Posted by James Hicks on Mon, 05 May 2014 12:33:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Social/Online
Almost every game published to date, from AAA titles to the smallest Indy bash-together is limited in performance in some way by CPU power. But what we mean by that is that they're all single threaded. This is a huge waste of CPU power - and potential.

Posted by James Hicks on Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:19:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie, Social/Online
James talks technical but plain english on how one person can develop 270,000,000,000 game zones in a month without storing a single byte until a player visits one.

James Hicks's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 11/24/2014 - 03:52]

I guess it comes down ...

I guess it comes down to how big A lot is...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/29/2014 - 01:08]

Too many systems is a ...

Too many systems is a problem because...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/05/2014 - 12:33]

Confirmed - ran Skyrim with ...

Confirmed - ran Skyrim with some .ini edits for multi-threading and it 's definitely using more than one core now. Maybe 1.5 cores but that still puts it well ahead of most games released today. r n r nWhy it doesn 't ship with multi-threading as a default is an ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/04/2014 - 07:31]

I think you 're definitely ...

I think you 're definitely onto something there, but don 't beat yourself up too hard - the visitors you 're getting now might be mostly from articles etc about your game or your own sites, who go to the page with the specific intention of voting for you. r ...