This message is a compilation of questions, answers, polices, and other information that players need, or have asked for over the 6+ years I've been GMing. ~80% of the questions I get are answered here, or in the rules.

Changing you Empire's name (via the C command), Setting Passwords

If you change your empire's name from what it was originally set to, I should not need to change anything, unless you can talk to other players. The code that deals with forwarding lists doesn't "notice" renames.

If you change your name, and don't tell me. Some of the empires you could talk to in the past may no longer be reachable under your new name....

Vacations, quitting, new players:

If you are going to be going on vacation & will be unable to submit turns for several turns, please try to tell me in advance. You can give me (the Human, not the server) turns ahead of time, but please mark them as such. You can also opt to have someone substitute for you, again, give me a few days notice so I can make sure their e-mail address is reachable from here and that they do not have some archaic mail system that chokes on "large" mail messages (like some Micro$oft "products" and a few free email account providers).

Note that mail of this sort needs to go to gm @, not server. [In other words, if you send future orders to server, you won't get them used as you intend!]

If for some reason you wish to or have to quit, please drop me a note. or issue a Q command. If your empire is in decent shape, I'll try to find a replacement (or you can nominate one yourself).

Effective October 2000: If you miss 4 turns in a row, the code will automatically assume you've quit and turn you into a GM controlled NPC. Kindly don't go this route, running these games takes a fair ammount of time when things are going normally. Writing orders for a leader can be very time consuming!

Note that the Q command is supported (and will direct reports to me as a result), so you have no reason to not to drop gracefully.

Number of players and locations:

The galaxy will be large enough that your nearest neighbor will be at least 20.01 LY away (i.e. you shouldn't see anyone on turn 2 unless you happen to both send probes to the same system). This should give everyone time to expand for a few turns before they run into each other with armed units. Again, the constant I'm using is secret, to make homeworld location guess more difficult during the midgame.

I do tweak the code to generate galaxies somewhat (minimum homeworld separation, and planet size distribution), so those of you with source code won't have an unfair advantage.

Game Rules & Quirks

I'll be using all the rules, including:
  1. The K command will be allowed.
  2. Partial techs will be allowed.
  3. Automatic password and empire name changes are "supported".

Note: The following commands are not presently supported in the blind code:

@        - send a message via the forwarder

Options: twocol, underscores, namecase
The following commands have different meanings or are slightly different in blind galaxy:
I (intercept) - you have to be able to see where they are going
G (upgrade) - partial upgrades of a group are impossible
F (full reports) - this is not the player @ lookup command
Reading the rules for other differences is _strongly_ encouraged. A player who only uses Standard Galaxy commands, will be at a substantial disadvantage.

Order selection

The last set of orders SENT (as determined via the timestamp set by your computer) is used. This may or may not be the last set recieved.

Using multiple computers to send in orders whoose clocks are out of sync can have unpredicatable results. Try to avoid this case! Times are not impacted by different timezones (i.e. there is no advantage to sending orders from a GMT site instead of an east coast USA site).

When multiple players do something were ordering makes a difference, the events are resolved in the order that orders are given to the program (time, as above for my games) for unload commands, or player order [i.e. the order that they were created] for routes and intercepts.

The player order cases are admittedly a bug, particularily for intercepts. Several coders have investiaged fixing the problem in the Galaxy code.


Help! I've forgotten when my turn is due, how to send mail to the server, etc.

If you've got a Internet connection, you can finger server at server's .plan has instructions on how to use the server. It's .project is updated every few minutes to tell you if it is running.

server's .project typically says one of three things:

Web enabled types can browse There are no graphics (well, none of importance for this purpose), so lynx or an ascii browser is just as good as a graphical one. There are links to the server status, as well as the most up to date copy of the turn running schedule that appears at the top of your report.


The server should be up pretty much all the time except for the once every month or two reboot of the machine or when I've disabled it. It typically is disabled for ~30 minutes or so while I'm running turns, and for a while at the beginning of each month when I archive the logs and messages from the last month.

Uniqueness of players

It is against the rules for my games to play more than one empire in a game. Any attempts to submit orders for inactive players, or otherwise play multiple entities in a single game I run is expressly forbidden. I may make exceptions in certain rare cases. Such cases will be considered on a case by case basis.

Source Code

Anyone who is interested in getting their hands on any tools that I am using to run the game, or the source code is welcome to ask. The most recent released version is available upon request.

Conceeding a Game

Click Here

Inactive Player Rules

Click Here

How to send mail

Click Here

Detailed directions

Click Here
Last update: December 15, 1999