April-May 1996 After Mr. Smart botched the agreed upon release,
Take2 demanded that, if the effort was to continue then,
responsibility for BC3K would be brought in house.
-June-Sept 1996 Derek had signed the contract agreeing to give
control to Take2 but, he didn't cooperate. From Derek's own words,
it appears he fought them every step of the way. He didn't cooperate
in modifying the game to fit into the agreed upon schedule. He
didn't cooperate with his development team's decisions or direction.
He even worked on a different build than the rest of his team worked
on. In a following quote from Derek, he even admits that his build
had a whole bunch of fixes in it that were not in the Take2 build.
Why hadn't Derek released his fixes to his development team's build?
He instead played "chicken" with Take2, assuming they wouldn't go
through with the planned deadline if their build was too pathetic
unfortunately, he was wrong.
-September 1996, Mr. Smart allegedly attacked a coke machine at
Take2 when he was told Take2 was releasing the game anyway.
Allegedly, security had to escort Mr. Smart off the premises.
A curious note, Mr. Smart still says he didn't find out that
they really shipped until he went and bought his own copy. I
don't know why he likes to say this unless, he was so convinced
that they wouldn't do what they had always said they were going to
do, that he didn't believe it until he actually went across the
street from his home and bought a copy of BC3K for himself. If
that's the case then, it's just another example of the amazing
blind spots that Mr. Smart can suffer from due to his lack of
note: In the following months you could always "trigger" Mr. Smart
by mentioning the "Coke" incident.
-October 1996 Take2 released BC3K as an incomplete game. My guess
is that Take2 went through with the release in large part because
Mr. Smart had not cooperated with the BC3K development team and
Take2 didn't see any other choice except walking away and taking
a big lose on the whole deal. I speculate that, part of the rational
for their decision could have also been that Derek told them he had
a build with many of the problems already fixed. I think that this
overall interpretation is the same conclusion reached by Dean
Gordon in his review of the flame war pointed to inhttp://www.access1.net/huffman
. Derek vehemently objected to this
interpretation then, he put out his story at the end of the manual
that seems to completely support the hypothesis that he had been
very uncooperative with Take2 and his own development team.
THE PATCH AND MANUAL MONTHS (after release but, before exposure)
-At this point most of the flame war was still not out on Use-net. The
main topic was of course problems trying to get the game to run and to
get a manual so the game could be played. However, foreshadowing the
great fraud discoveries involving Derek, there was the ACAS insanity.
ACAS was a web site that claimed to be an independent computer game
Award company and supporter of the gaming industry. The months of
11/96 and 12/96 involved some fun threads where it seemed to become
obvious to everyone that ACAS was some kind of front for Derek.
-This was the start of the "Blame It on Take2" phase of the
Flame War. Mr. Smart would blame almost everything on Take2.
-During this period the flame war topics were primarily about
Derek blaming everything on Take2,
patches not being done as promised,
manual not being available as promised,
general flames being fired back and forth,
-Mr. Smart did his best to get people to buy and keep the
DOA game. October 1996 when Usenet posts were just
starting to make it look like the game might be total junk,
Derek posted. "Once the patch is released it WILL solve 99%
of these problems because 50% of them were already solved in the
version that did not make it to master. It was sitting on the
Take2 BBS while the company gave the team some days off!! They
shipped v199z when v199z.4 (I think) was sitting on the Take2
BBS. The MASTER version was to be v1.00a. The patch will clearly
display the versions as we go along."
-November 12, 1996 Derek posted (on AOL)
This patch will be a major patch which marks (a) the completion of
the game's missing features, ie orbital flight model, probe ORBSCAN
logic and fixes several bugs in the space and surface models. Any
problems found with the version will be fixed and a final BC3K
v1.1 will be released at the END of November."
note: The D patch actually came out in October 1997. Version
1.1 was renamed to 2.0 and is being released by Interplay as
a bargain bin title packaged with another game.
-As I understand what went on in AOL and Compuserve, Mr. Smart was
a laughing stock and the center of the flame war in these forums.
The main body of the flame war moved from AOL and Compuserve into
Usenet during this period as the AOL and Compuserve forums were
discontinued and Derek modified his posting habits. However, some
input from some folks that actually observed the AOL or Compuserve
exchanges would be very appreciated. This is interesting for two
reasons. First, it further establishes this flame war as the biggest
and longest in history. Second, Mr. Smart seems fond of the
misconception that the flame war was about Take2 botching the
release of the game. You may reference the following directory
for posts that were made to Usenet but indicate to me the flame
war was going strong before it ever moved to Usenet.
-12/96 As an example of how nasty it was getting, someone started
up a thread titled 'Derek buttfucks sheep'.
-As the flame war moved to Usenet, the flame war topics were centered
around things like where is the promised FAQ? Where is the promised
manual? Derek blaming everything on Take2. Derek claiming that he
didn't get paid by Take2. (A report filled by Take2 with a federal
overseeing agency contradicts this.) Derek insulting customers.
Derek insulting bystanders. Derek proving he could be a most
entertaining fellow, at least when he didn't want to be. Derek
claiming he warned people the game wasn't playable from the
beginning. Derek saying he only flames in self defense. Derek
telling his customers in Europe they wouldn't be supported then
denying he ever said that.
-1/97 Most of the threads were about the horrible reviews that
-2/97 After a big lull in the flame war because people just
weren't that interested in the crappy game and the initial
outrage at being ripped off had died done, Derek moves his
flaming to Use-net starting this month and the Use-net flame
war really starts to pick up steam.
-2/97 The C4 patch meant the game was kind of playable. The problem
now was that there was no manual. Most of the complaints were
now about the manual and really dedicated fans were starting
to drop like flies. Also, because of record returns, many
places had BC3K in the bargain bins already.
-2/16/97 Mr. Smart said, "I would like to assure you AND give you my
personal guarantee that my midnight on 3/01/97 a complete manual in
Word 7 and Adobe Acrobat format (which I am currently wrapping up)
will be online at http://www.bc3000ad.com/Commanders_Forum/
". It was
never available in Word format. A "preview" manual was available
in August 1997. The complete manual was finally made available
months later, January 1998.
-2/20/97 Mr. Smart makes some racist insults against an oriental
and all hell breaks loose. (see TOEFL posts in FamousFlames)
-2/97 Derek's best quote of the month, "Again, let me apologize
to all orientals who were offended by my post. The rest of you
can kiss my ass if you think I'm racist."
-2/97 & 3/97 This was also the wonderful pre-Europe release period.
During this period, Mr. Smart firmly established Derek bashing as
an international pass time. There were brief periods of time he
said the European release wouldn't be supported. He said the
European release would be dud units and you wouldn't be able to
patch them with his patches. For some reason he seemed to be
especially hostile to the earliest European customers and managed
to recruit a number of long term naysayers.
-3/16/97 Derek had a run in with some magazines. In particular one
magazine (Boot) even printed an article where experts stated that
the neural net in BC3K was a lie. This caused Mr. Smart to go off
the deep end and in email, threaten physical violence against the
author. As part of Derek's on-line response, he made a post in which
he waved his PhD in their faces and said that if they wanted more
detail about how it worked, they should have looked up his
dissertation because, it's published and available. He said they
should do their homework, it avoids so many hassles latter. This
proved important later as Derek's biggest known lie, his PhD,
started to unravel. see
-3/97 Derek's best quote for month, "It does NOT need support because
-In this early period of 1997 a statement that Mr. Smart allegedly
made in the AOL forum that he had spent 3.5 million dollars of his
own money developing BC3K made it into the Usenet record via a
thread involving Mark Asher, Derek Smart and someone else.
On 2/22/1997 Derek said, "If they think, this game has not cost me
$3.5 over the past 7 years, someones got a faulty Pentium chip in
-4/97 Derek had established himself as a real nut and there was
getting to be more flames about Derek than about BC3K. The C5
patch was delivered without the promised manual. The manual
became a VERY touchy subject. It had replaced coke machines as
the easiest why to get Derek to explode.
-4/97 Derek's best quote of the month, "The best defense is a
crippling, definitive and unceremoniously cruel offense. After
all, I am under military command and I don't plan on running
for diplomatic office."
-5/97 Derek's top quote of the month, "Is it me or are you just
oozing with stupidity? The BC3K fame directed at US the gaming
community for crying out load. Do I have to spell it out for you?
Yet YOU can tell ME I have a communicating problem? I least
when I lay it on you, you seem to understand quite well what I'm
saying. Go figure."
-6/11/97 Derek was saying he could re-release BC3K on his own if he
wanted to. Where would he get the million to do this? "I can raise
a close to a million in a week if I did the paperwork. ...
Besides, I don't need a million to publish BC3K."
-6/14/97 Derek said, "I got a $175k loan back when I didn't even have
BC3K 25% finished. I'm still paying off this loan if you must know."
-6/97 Derek's best quote for the month, "Perhaps one day in the
future, I'll do a manual. But for now, I'm too busy doing add-ons
for an unstable and still partially unfinished game to worry about
something as trivial as a manual."
-During this period, Mr. Smart hatched his pay for the final patch
plan. After overwhelming cries of foul from customers, Mr. Smart
-Summer 97 The C5 patch was done in April apparently in preparation
for the demo in the CGW. This sparked some good laughs. Among them
was a Derek statement that CGW was having an extra big problem with
CD thefts out of the mag because people wanted BC3K so bad. Another
episode was a Derek statement that CGW messed up the patch he gave
them and someone from CGW posted the exact email directions from
Derek and he had messed up the directions.
-8/6/97 Derek posts what is probably the most vile post I've ever
seen, the infamous piss in mouth flame.
This lead to me wondering if there might be a way to rid the news
group of this scourge. I thought that Mr. Smart was possibly a
pathological liar. I remembered someone from my past with that
affliction. I learned I couldn't trust a word they said. When they
made a statement that put them in a favorable light, I could almost
count on it being a lie. Previously, I'd noticed that Derek had
not responded to queries about his PhD. That had always seemed
strange to me because I'd rarely seen him pass up a chance to brag.
But, I had always just dismissed it as maybe Derek just didn't see
the post. However, at about this same time, Derek had responded
to a medical doctor that had asked about his PhD. Derek said,
"What's it to you? Still struggling with your high school
Putting it all together, I concluded that his PhD was probably fake.
-8/8/97 I fire the first volley in the PhD wars.
I say that I believe the PhD is probably a fake and I challenge
Mr. Smart to name his school. For good measure, I threw in some
old fashion goading to make sure he didn't just ignore the post
then, I leave for a two week vacation.
note: the source for all Derek Smart posts in the following stuff
up to Derek Smart Fraud Day is
-8/9/97 Derek responds with a bet to my challenge. I'm sure he
was hoping to distract the whole issue with this red herring bet.
Another thing that made this day interesting in the flame war is it
is the day that Derek stopped calling his flame war antagonists
naysayers and started calling them detractors.
-8/22/97 I guess all the stress of wondering whether his fraud would
be exposed got to Derek? Or, maybe he thought he could get rid
of the rest of the detractors by flaming? In any case, his posts got
even more vicious. It got to be so bad that this day was declared to
be the first official "DEREK-SMART-SAYS-FUCK-YOU DAY".
-8/25/97 I return from vacation and I'm excited to see what I
interpret to be, a Derek running scared and I'm convinced, more
than ever, that Mr. Smart is a fraud. After barely being able to
survive the uncontrollable laughter due to Nai-Chi's FAQ, I shrug
off Derek's bogus bet, state why I believe that Derek doesn't have
a PhD and say "I will promise to never again post an article to a
Derek Smart or a Battle Cruiser thread again if your PhD is confirmed.
My last Derek Smart post would be a public apology for calling you
a habitual liar."
I then visited the technical librarian at my work and asked her to
get me a copy of Mr. Smart's dissertation. All I told her was that he
went to a school in the USA or England and that his dissertation was
on Artificial Intelligence. When she stated that it would cost about
$75 to get a copy, I told her, "Well, let's take a look at the
first before we decide to order it." I the