STEPHEN YONG
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Galactic Conquest
Unification Wars
Ancient Worlds
3700 AD
3800 AD
Darklands Online
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  Stephen Yong > Others > Gamestotal.com



Gamestotal.com started as a portal to offer games to our existing members of Galactic Conquest and Unification Wars plus as a means for players to be able to communicate between games.

Gamestotal.com is an independent (indie) organization and company, there is no tie-worker work environment, nor a large company (corporate) that owns and runs this. At the very least at least for now.

Gamestotal.com survives mainly thanks to various volunteers donating their time to help run the games, and also to players who is kind enough to offer financial donation (donating money) as a means of support to help me pay out bills.

We continue to work hard to improve our existing games and to bring new games to the game list.

Gamestotal.com website



Detailed History of Gamestotal.com

I started using the computer around 1985 and mostly it was the computer games which attracted me at first. At around 1990 I started taking apart my computer. Back then it was the PC-AT and the 286. I can still recall that the games started off with 4 colors and gradually improved to 256 with the arrival of the VGA. It was at this time around 1991 when I started programming. My first language was basic. The best accomplishment was being able to produce 256 colors with a 4 color CGA computer. This was thanks to a friend of mine who is much older than me, which showed me some of the tricks-of-the-trade, so called. Both of us teamed up to make some software for companies and some games. He tried to sell some of the games and I think may have actually sold one to one company for a couple of hundred bucks. That was considered a lot way back then. Especially in Malaysia where you can cheaply buy pirated software/games for as low as USD$10 bucks. Yeah, it is true that you can get what ever software at that price. Of course with the recession and all prices has dropped to a mere USD$1.50 now a days for games/software. It is not that I condone piracy it is just too rampant over here in Malaysia. You can practically get it in small mobile-stalls (ones which they can pack up easily to escape cops and copyright people) at the corner of any road. Gee, I seemed to have side tracked. Now back to the original story.

Most companies back then in Malaysia don't even have a single computer. This plus the fact that we are still kids makes companies not to take us seriously about writing software and games. To their eyes we are just small kids working on a computer, something they might not even have seen before. Because of this we eventually gave up and moved on to other things that small kids do. Like ... I can't say much here cause if my mom were to read this she would kill me knowing what I did back then when I was small.

I was out of the IT industry until after college. Yes I studied computer and it sucked ! We learnt about punch cards and COBOL. It was so boring and the teachers back then don't really know the subject because computer was still a new thing.

So after I finished I went to another college to learn engineering instead. I learnt assembly which I still think is the best language around. Of course I can't remember jack about it now but do remember all the concepts which I still apply.

Now that is when I was introduced to BBS or bulletin board systems. It was before the Internet really took off and BBS was some-what like the Internet. We can chat, download files, play multiplayer games (doom, doom2, MUD games) and others. It was pretty interesting to find lots of people who can interact and forming an online community. Yes and that was back in 1995. I was hooked to the interactive environment that I eventually setup a couple of BBSes myself. I bet you guys won't believe this but I tried to setup my first BBS only after 2 days of playing with some other people's BBS. I said to myself how hard can it be. Man ! How wrong was I. I did not have any experience with networking what-so-ever along with something totally new like multi-user environment systems. Eventually after 48 hours (yes straight without sleep & food) I manage to set one up. People always say that the first time is always the hardest in doing something. After that I setup a number of BBSes and one of it is called EOL (Entertainment Online BBS). During the peak of EOL we had around 250 active subscribing members with 7 dial-up line running on a dual clustered server. Our biggest competitor was Backroom BBS founded by Kamal Yunus which has 8 dial-up lines. Everything was custom built because there was virtually no budget as I was still a student. The entire operations rely on donation by the active members. Still would like to say many thanks to those who have contributed back then.

Since then I started working at 1997 in various networking and management line and soon migrated back to programming in the beginning of 1999. Learning programming at that point of time was not my free choice.

How was I forced to pick up programming? I was maintaining this clustered server which frequently crashes. I was only able to solve the problem by rewriting the most of the code by picking up Coldfusion Web programming by Allaire (now it has been renamed to Coldfusion Macromedia MX). Since then I continued being a half network engineer and half web programmer. I also worked in various countries around the world (Thailand, Singapore, Hongkong, East Carribeans, Ireland, United Kingdom or England and others) and finally returned to Malaysia in the year 2000. I could say that jobs in the IT industry in Malaysia is pretty limited compared to other countries, which is one of the reasons why I start off GC.

I started working on GC around December 2002 and finished the beta version by February 2003. Bad thing is I can't really put full concentration on it but only able to work on GC during my free time, which was pretty limited due to to my MBA and my full time employement:-

I have to give many thanks to my huge library load of custom tags which I have developed and collected since the year 1999. Those did helped me out A WHOLE LOT by cutting down 90% of the development time.

So far I have personally found GC to be more interesting and fun compared to my other games. Yes I have written a few other games, like Online RPG and Space Trader. The Online RPG (I can't remember the URL) has no clear goals and contains a lot of architectural problems. Main problem is caused by an inefficient engine. I improved that engine and came out with Space Trader. It don't have the architectural problems yet remain quite complex (many functions/options) to the player. However during the initial beta testing I decided to discontinue this project because I found it boring. It is found that people still prefer war (killing one another) than a peaceful trading game. This is my observation in the online game sector.

After trying out some online space theme games I then decided to rewrite the entire game engine from scratch, change the concept to be simplier with less features/option to the player. This would make it easier to learn and play the game. Technically designing the game on the concept part was hard because I wanted the entire structure to be dynamic. This is so I am able to add content (example: technology, minerals, goods, ship types) easily and in real time. This would allow the game to be evolve with out major recoding.


This game took three months to develop and I can safely say that 80% of that time is tied to figuring out this technical design concept. Coding and page design is the easy part.

My hopes is that GC is able to touch its' user's lives by making it better for them. By allowing them to make new friends in an interactive game environment, experience the ultimate in multiplaying games and of course to live up to the fantasy of living as the governor or emperor of Star Wars and not to mention being one of the leaders of Star Trek.







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