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It is daunting knowing where to jump into so many different threads in this forum about a game I have loved a good part of my life.  Introductions seem like a good place to start.  My name is David Oliver Kling I first started playing Midgard back in 1986 when I was 16 years old.  I continued to play over the years when Zan ran the game and he could no longer run it and passed away.  My first clan was "Toshiro Takekoshi," and I was in the MercVerk and eventually became the city leader of Dranghaven.  I still remember conversations over the phone with Jim Early and others while still in High School.  I would eventually join the US Navy and remember the excitement of getting turns in the mail while deployed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the first Gulf War.

When Zan ran the game I played actively in several different factions.  I was, at one time the Banner #4 player.  I then played as the Senior #1 for the Roder and worked to help make them the "royals" of Midgard.  Towards the end of Zan's sojourn in running the game, I went into something new and took over the Blood and Fire #1 spot but didn't get to develop it much due to the game shutting down.

By profession, I work in hospice as a chaplain and also teach medical ethics at a local college to mostly nursing students.  I am married and have a two-year-old daughter, which feels unusually since I will be 50 this year -- but who's counting.  I love the PBM genre and used to write for both Flagship and Paper Mayhem magazines "back in the day," and I am excited about the prospect of Midgard being started again and I truly hope that this does happen and isn't just an idea perpetually kicked around.

David Oliver Kling
Welcome aboard Oliver, and may we have a fun time here!

Brother to Brother, for one and all. United we stand, and divided others will fall. Hear my call, and take up your arms with me as we bring Justice to all. Big Grin

Father Morpheus's theme music
Hi Everyone

Just found this site and the talisman website the other day!

Great to see a midgard revival. I have been waiting for 20+ years!! Wink

My name is Ram and I played in the Australian version of Midgard. My understanding was it was a point in time snapshot of one of the american versions.

I was the highest ranked Orthodox Banner player when the Australian game stopped. Unfortunately didnt make it to official senior rank but did run the city of knightsbridge. Also had a Getham family clan.

Happy to give reflections on the Australian game dynamic as we hadnt opened up the game beyond the northern continent as far as I can remember and had a different dynamic to the US game ( Merk Verk and SOA were our most popular factions!).

I'll post some thoughts in some of the other threads.

Ram (aka Scarill)
Galac-Tac is written in APL?

Wow. My intro to CS course in 1975 was half APL and half PL/c (a subset of PL/I).

Maintenance must be .... interesting. (For those that aren't programmers, APL is one of the most powerful languages for some kinds of data manipulations, but uses a unique character set for the operators. It is sometimes called a "write only" language as it can be very hard to read, even for the person that wrote the code.)

Is Midgard?
Yep, Galac-Tac (and the GTac Assistant) is written in APL.  It was coded back when home PC's were brand new and most of the code has been untouched since then -- and it still runs just fine on modern equipment and OSes!  How many languages do you know that you can say that about?  And yes, Midgard is being rewritten in APL too (using a SQL DB on the back end), and the whole of Talisman Games' web site is written in it (without using any other web software such as IIS or ASP).

There are still several APL implementations available and being maintained today, even though the language is over 50 years old.  Maintenance (and development) is no problem and as you mentioned, for an experienced programmer writing (but also reading!) APL can be several times faster and easier than in other languages.  It has a reputation for being "write only", but that really only comes from people that don't know the language.  After all, how many people that don't know musical notation can read and write pretty music on paper?

If you'd like some evidence, check out some of the many code-competition sites around (I was recently pointed to, for instance) and compare APL solutions to other languages.  If you'd like to learn more about APL, I'd be happy to discuss it with you elsewhere, or you can visit for all sorts of information and references.

Just for an example, what would your program be (in your favorite language) to add up all the integers from 1 to 10?  I expect it's got a loop, an accumulator that needs to be initialized, and an output command, at least, right?  Here it is in APL:
Yep, that's the entire program, from input through output. Yes,  this program uses one of those funny symbols and any APLer can read that code at a glance in well under a second.  (And you'll notice that the forum software has no trouble with the symbol either.)  If you'd like a more game-oriented example, how about a program to roll six sets of the sum of three six-sided dice for your favorite D&D-like game?  Most people would at least use two nested loops with an array to hold the results and perhaps another loop for display?  How about:
+/?6 3⍴6

As you might have guessed, it's my favorite language (and I know dozens of others) and I think it's the best choice for Galac-Tac and Midgard as well.  I've been programming in APL constantly for over 45 years now, for both home and work projects.  There are really surprisingly few application areas that APL doesn't excel at - for instance, the very first CGI movie (Tron) was rendered using APL.

I hope I've set your mind more at ease regarding our game programming, though it may also have raised some new questions for you.
I wasn't uneasy. Just impressed.

As I said, I did coursework in APL back in the 70s on an IBM mainframe. It was great for programming once you got your head around it. And for matrix math it's wonderful. I know that there are some groups that do math modeling for financial work that use it extensively. (Which implementation do you use?)

I later did professional work with another obscure language, MUMPS, a database language developed for medical data management. I wish I could get a good implementation - there are some database applications for PBM that I would love to write in it.
There are some financial companies that use it exclusively because nothing else can do the job.  Most other languages can't manage their monstrously-large sparse data arrays in memory and the few that can manage it take days to perform one calculation that has to be finished over lunchtime (and APL takes about 20 minutes).

But it's not just good for math stuff, of course.  Application areas that aren't as suitable for APL usually can't be handled well by any language higher than hand-tuned assembler.  Maybe other programming-types around here might like to check into it.  And yes, you do have to "get your head around it" because you think differently when using it.  That scares some people off before they've had a chance to really try it.

I've run into MUMPS before, but never used it for anything.

Maybe I should get you to help with the Midgard coding??  Huh

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