Yeah, it’s been a while (a little less than three months) since I’ve posted anything, but I am looking to get back in the swing of things. So, expect near daily updates again. I’ve found that balancing being a wage slave, along with a personal life, and game dev, doesn’t leave much time for blogging.

Anyways, in honor of the holiday, I would like to point everyone in the direction of a transcript of a speech by Hal Draper made in 1962. Draper examines the numbers behind the American Revolution to find that it was far from being widely supported.

Yet I must report that the very best historical authorities admit that the percentage of the colonial Americans who supported the Revolutionary side against the British was only – one third. Specifically, according to the best estimates, one third supported the British; one third supported the Revolution; and the last third just wanted to be left alone to hoe their corn.

While Draper’s numbers can be called into question, most modern sources including Wikipedia agree that around 20% of the population were considered Loyalists, or active supporters of Britain during the revolution. The campaign of terror, which included the practices of tarring and feathering and burning houses, against the Loyalists is not something to be celebrated. Our revolution was that of a minority, and that minority used tactics, which by today’s terms would be considered terrorism.

Just a little something to consider in light of the grilled food and fireworks that tend to obscure any real historical value of the holiday.

EDIT: On a less serious note, you may have noticed that I finally registered a domain name! All requests for theblackmask.wordpress.com will be redirected to the corresponding page at http://www.the-black-mask.com.

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Free Mod Download (Half-Life 2)
Download Battlegrounds

I was reading an article about some popular mods the other day, and wasn’t very interested in any of them. When the first entry in an article about mods is a mod enabling you to play Battlefield 2 as nothing but World of Warcraft characters, and everything else is a few years old, I tend to get bored.

One mod that caught my attention years ago, and still tends to suck me back in is Battlegrounds or BG. This is a Half-Like 1 and 2 mod that takes place during the American Revolution. The British and Americans fight to control points on the map. It’s pretty much like any team-based FPS, but guns take about 7.5 seconds to reload, and the majority of combat is done with bayonets.

This is, in my opinion, what sets BG aside from most FPS mods. Because the game relies heavily on melee combat, to really be any good at the game, you need to learn how to use a bayonet. Anybody with a mouse can point and click to shoot a person 50 feet away, but Battlegrounds has a bit of a learning curve in the fact that if you can’t melee, you don’t survive.

This mechanic presents an entirely different FPS experience, one where individual skill can easily outbalance team coordination. I have been in matches where a single person has held a capture point against 4 or 5 people, and come out unscathed. Combat in Battlegrounds is not a contest to see who can get the better shot, but usually a 1v1 test of melee skill.

I was never very good at Counterstrike or any of those shooting games, but I excelled at stabbing people in the face in Battlegrounds. My clan even won a couple of North American Championships. There are organized clans and league play in BG, and a pretty hardcore community centered around the game. There are even historical clans which get together and perform line battles using authentic military tactics for the time.

All in all, Battlegrounds is a welcome departure from your standard FPSes. It is a bit of a challenge to learn how to operate the bayonet properly, but definitely worth it. If you have Half-Life 2, or can use Half-Life 2 mods, this is arguably the best mod out there.