A Long Overdue Memo…

Yes, I know – I disappeared off the face of the earth. I’m sorry! Really I am. I won’t spend a long time pleading with you for forgiveness, instead I’ll let you in on what’s up.

  • This is the new Hutsell Games’ site. The goal is to have it serve as a central hub for all things relating to W.R. Hutsell’s classic computer wargames VGA Civil War Strategy, EGA Civil War Battleset, Wars of Napoleon, and World War II in Western Europe.
  • The latest versions of each game are available for free download from the site.
  • And the question everyone really wants answered…

Will there be a new Hutsell game?

The answer to this is maybe. Several years ago I (Dave Mackey) commissioned an excellent artist to design new artwork for a new release of VGA Civil War Strategy. I received and still have the artwork…and it is still amazingly beautiful with the passage of time! The breakdown was on my end (surprise?), I just didn’t have the know-how or time to complete the project.

Now, over the last several days I’ve spent perhaps twenty hours working through the code and looking at the possibility of moving ahead with a new game. The truth is, it would be fairly easy to do….but it will take some time. I’d estimate between 100-200 hours worth!

My initial goal would be to rewrite the application in Microsoft Visual Studio as a Silverlight application (which could be run either in the browser or on one’s local computer) that simply replicated the current functionality of VGA Civil War Strategy but in a native Windows environment and with the updated graphics.

From there the goal would be to focus on creating multiplayer functionality which would allow for online rankings and intense competition. I’d leave the AI as is for the time being, b/c with a web-based game, the relative short duration of the games, and the number of potential players, one should almost always be able to find an online opponent.

Once the multiplayer functionality was accomplished I would probably work on creating similar games on the same engine – beginning with World War II in Western Europe and the Napoleonic Wars.

Once the engine has been built once it should be reusable across all time spans (at the strategic level) and I’d like to integrate an editor which would allow users to create their own custom games (with some restrictions).

So that is where I’m at currently…I’ll try to keep this blog updated semi-frequently with the latest reports.

Ohh, and a caveat:

  • Mr. Hutsell is writing games anymore, he has passed the source code on to me. While I intend to be as true as possible to Mr. Hutsell’s initial vision any flaws and failures in this area will rest totally on my shoulders and not Mr. Hutsell’s. I hope to deliver a game which is worthy of standing in Mr. Hutsell’s legacy of excellence, but if I fail, this should be clearly my burden to bear.


10 thoughts on “A Long Overdue Memo…”

  1. Dear Sir

    I played this game (ww2) for hours when I was a child. This along with prince of persia consisted of my standard after school activity.

    I wanted to play this game again but it would not run on my linux PC (or even my win XP PC). Is the game written in C? If so, is the source available to download?
    Many thanks to you and Mr Hutsell.


    1. Karan – You should be able to get WW2 running on either machine using DOSBox, once you have extracted the files using the installer. The game is actually written in PDS, a successor to QuickBasic and a predecessor of Visual Basic. I am working on rewriting the game engine in a cross-platform compatible manner currently. I’ll be providing updates on this site as things progress.

  2. I love all of these games.

    Here’s hoping you complete the project and successfully port them over.

  3. I’ve finally found VGA Civil War again. After years of playing all the newest and greatest strategy games, I still come back to this game. Definitely bookmarking this site. I can only dream about having a windows version….especially with an editor. I tried moving the cities around once….didn’t work like I thought. Keep up the great work!

  4. I love these games.

    Do you need any help from a begginer? Is so, write me. Im retired, so I have loads of time.

    I especially would like a fair or decent AI. and an editor.

    Keep up the good work!


  5. Been testing CWS for the last week.
    Here are my comments:
    have to F3 to redraw the screen after every end of turn sometimes I have to do it twice
    need to F3 during play but it only redraws the right side of the screen not the map in play
    F3 after cancel orders
    if there is no railroad move the option is still available on the main menu
    I thought that under windows, I would have the mouse available
    the window that opens is not resizeable
    is there anyway I can change the default side when it opens
    when I choose to drill army, why are the armies still displayed that are maxed out
    is there a way I can choose the attack order – I am attacking one city from several others
    I will be happy to beta test for you.
    Please email me

  6. Played over 200 times and the following are my results:

    during middle of game end turn
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:3350 Subscript out of range
    train disappeared along with troops

    Unhandled error #9 (no train in transit)
    Line:2730 Subscript out of range
    errors continue as follows:
    screen appears and several moves are made then—-
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:4230 Subscript out of range
    screen appeared
    used f3 to redraw screen and
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:4230 Subscript out of range

    Starting new game after winning, unable to have ships raid. Option not available.

    Enemy troups annilated not always recognized. Have to play another round to get it to end game.

    When given ships by England, the option to raid is not always available.

    When other side attacks raiding ships or ships in a port they can continue to a port on the same move. Is that correct as my ships cannot do that, only attack the raiding fleet and then no further action.

    Please let me know if this helps. thank you.

  7. I think Dave Mackey has died. It has been 14 months since he posted anything to the blog. Anyone know where he lived or is burried or how to contact his estate?

    1. I’m not dead, though I do have a new friend – auto-immune disorder. But in any case, see my latest blog post for an update.

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