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JULY 27, 1999 - SEPT. 26, 1999

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News & Gossip:

Sept. 26, 1999

I don't know if it's legal to link to these guys (or if I do, I'm not saying!), but this Top Secret/S.I. site I just found has virtually the entire Top Secret/S.I. game reprinted on its home page. Nice start-up graphic, too. Does this belong to one of you?

By tomorrow night, the transformation should occur...

For those of you who visited today and strangely don't remember seeing this entry...: Tripod's publishing server was down again Saturday night.

Sept. 22, 1999

I've been working on the new site, which should be up in a week or two. These have been the busiest two weeks of my law school career. Whew!

I visited this site the other day and found that my hit counter (bottom of the page) read 01. Is that true for all of you, too? I'm averaging almost 40 hits a week; I'd like to think they are showing up!

Hasbro has been quiet about what they're going to do with Wizards of the Coast. I've been reading some new articles by places like Gamespot guessing what's going to happen to some of the other games owned by WOTC. Maybe now would be a good time for us to start a letter campaign to get our game back?

I haven't gotten many beta-testing requests for 03082 (the car chase). Anybody interested? If not, I'm taking it down and making a bunch of my own changes. Let me know if you are interested. Better act quick, because it's going to be a lot different soon...

Sept. 11, 1999

A week without news!! Won't happen ever again... (tee hee)   Hey, at least there's always more news after a week... School's just been killing me, but it will settle down... I hope...

First, I'm sure I speak for everybody in giving our sympathy to Klydesdale, whose grandfather passed away a few days ago. Klydesdale has posted a brief memorial to his grandfather at his site.

Wizards of the Coast have been bought out by Hasbro, Inc.! Who knows what effect this will have on the Top Secret/S.I. franchise. An article on the takeover is posted at GameDaily (near the bottom of the page). I will post a copy here when they've taken it off the news site.

Two weeks from tomorrow, this site will undergo a very significant conversion. Be prepared for a shock!

Sept. 4, 1999

The Orion HQ community grows! Welcome to HatcherAspen (nice to see you again), the newest member of the biggest Top Secret/S.I. discussion/chat forum on the Net.

Check out, everyone. We've got four TS/SI links there now!

Charlie Martin's Top Secret: The Role-Playing Game site is sporting some updates to his last campaign. Great reading, great characters! Check it out.

Sept. 3, 1999

Calling all Top Secret/S.I. sites! There is a big RPG directory on the net called, where you can list your site under games>rpg>genre>modern and espionage. Want to recruit more people to TS/SI? Get more hits? This is the way to do it.

Sept. 2, 1999

I've had a chance to check out Alternity, the game that Wizards mentioned in their last e-mail. It looks a lot like Top Secret, only stripped down some. Anybody have a different take on it? Let me know.

Sept. 1, 1999

Welcome to the newest member of the Orion HQ discussion community at Excite: SkyKleaver, who happens to live very close to me. (The Los Angeles office is growing out of control! Where's the rest of the country, anyhow?)

I've gotten several e-mails in the last couple days of people interested in working on a revision of Top Secret/SI. If you would be interested in such a campaign, contact me here.

Once again, the front page Java applet has been changed. If you missed the previous ones, check them all out here.

Aug. 31, 1999

Wizards of the Coast replied to my questions about Top Secret/S.I. today. Read my e-mail here. Read their reply here. E-mail me your comments here.

Eldermount raised an interesting point: if Wizards is going to be doing a Top Secret/SI conversion for Alternity, maybe we could help write it. Comment here.

Whew, school is killing me! I should be back on my feet in a day or two, though, as promised. 03082-"Fire Forest" will be done soon, maybe this weekend, and you will all get to take your favorite character for the off-road ride of their paper lives. I'm writing the environment as a training environment for California and a combat environment for an undisclosed, forested location, so that's slowing me down a little.

In about two weeks, I'm going to completely redesign this front page, too. I also have a big surprise coming, something that may show up around the same time...

In other news, Roger Lai's James Bond-to-Top Secret/SI conversion is looking interesting... Here is his home page (Top Secret/SI link is near the bottom). I've added Roger to my Links page, since he seems to be updating recently enough. If he keeps it up, we should invite him to join the Webring.

Aug. 27, 1999

Two big bits of news:

One, inspired by Valkyrja Klydesdale (Realms of the Imagination), I wrote Wizards of the Coast and pled the case for Top Secret/S.I. Read the e-mail here. I'll post any reply I get.

Two, as you may have noticed, I have a new Java applet running on this page. I will be rotating up a new one every couple of days, keeping a theme of Top Secret/S.I.  Today's flying simulation is to celebrate the posting of "Air Shot," the Blackhawk chopper training simulation. I am collecting all my Java applets into a file that I will make available as soon as it's ready, so you can all use Java on your sites. PLEASE report bugs on this quick form. I don't want to give away buggy applets! (Much thanks to Fabio of Anfy for the base applets). Click here to see all the applets used so far...

and heck, three: Happy One Month Birthday to TSSI Environments!

Aug. 26, 1999

new.gif (105 bytes)Air Shot is open to the public FOR BETA TESTING. Be sure to comment on your experience on the form: too hard? too quick? etc. You'll need ten-sided dice or a book of at least 500 pages to play.

As soon as I get hosted and I finish the last two Stage One environments, I will revise the front page to show off and explain the environments. Keep checking this site out!

Aug. 25, 1999

Well, I found Top Secret RPG Resources. Moved to AOL. Check it out. Nice to see 'em again.

Aug. 24, 1999

Well, as promised, the first week of school is chewing up time. I'll catch up this weekend! Expect to see two more locations up by Sunday night.

Air Shot will be finished by Sunday night, and all of you Top Secret/S.I.-starved ex-addicts can try your hand at flying a Blackhawk in a 200 m.p.h. chase in the coastal mountains of Santa Monica!

Klydesdale (Realms of the Imagination) e-mailed Wizards of the Coast (the big fish that swallowed TSR) and asked them when they were going to dust off Top Secret/S.I. Wizards said we're on our own. HA. Right up until we get sued. (Klydesdale also credits me with inspiring his new News page. <blush> Check it out.)

The Orphanage, famous final abode for RPGs so good they had to be discontinued, seems to be losing the bug battle. The Top Secret section is just a root directory. I can't seem to get through on the Contact form, either. If anybody knows the webmaster's e-mail, let him know!! We can't afford to lose another Top Secret/S.I. site (Top Secret RPG Resources being the first, a couple weeks ago.)

Aug. 23, 1999

Wow, talk about embarrassing: I was at a job interview and my interviewer was looking at this website; we found a crossed link that made people trying to get into Pepperdine end up at Zuma Beach!! Ouch. I just fixed it. Sorry about that, all. (I still got the job, though.)

Aug. 20, 1999

Calling all beta testers! 90265, "Air Shot," a helicopter training mission and combat simulator, will be going up this weekend. I don't want to post it for the public until I'm sure the crash tables and difficulty settings are right. I will give the code to get to it to anyone who promises to tell me what they thought; I don't want people just buzzing in and out without giving any feedback on it. E-mail me to get the code.

Aug. 19, 1999

Put the finishing touches on the new front page today. After it's posted and you've seen it, feel free to shortcut here.

I'm planning on adding a slew of Java effects to the site, so if you have a beef with that, use this form now.

Links on this page may be a little loopy in terms of what frame/page they open in, for a few days. I had to do some horrible things to get the old Java clip above to work when published.

Aug. 18, 1999

From the ashes! After having this site completely deleted from the web for almost a day, I'm republished. I used the time off-line to design a new front page, which I'm troubleshooting now.

Sorry, to those of you who visited yesterday and got a root directory ... it will never ever ever happen again. Heh.

Top Secret (RPG) Resources ( is still down. I'm trying to get a hold of the webmasters over there to see if I can post a mirror of that site...

Aug. 16, 1999

Okay, with some workable environments, my gameplay page about to go up (with online combat tools and character sheets), the first adventure in the works, and my instruction pages on how to use this site soon to be posted, I think it's about time I put up a nice gateway page and started gunning for search engines. I'm averaging four or more hits (from different people) every day, but I need to get up to 50 a week to be hosted by somebody.

Aug. 15, 1999

new.gif (105 bytes)AAAAIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!!! PEPPERDINE IS ACTIVE. Explore, check it out, imagine the fun we're going to have there during "Nobody Loves Me".... (click on link in the Environments frame).

...And post any bugs on this form or to the webmaster.

Zuma Beach will go up next, then a few "solitaire location" environments you can play through like a mini-mission. As soon as the MPSF is done, we'll have a house-warming party here at the site. Be sure to come by in a couple days.

Just for the record: Pepperdine is 146 pages. Including the pages for Zuma Beach, the Malibu Personnel Support Facility should be about 170 pages of HTML.

new.gif (105 bytes)LATER: the public areas for the ZUMA BEACH environment are active, too. Training classes at Zuma Beach will begin in two weeks; sign up here.

In the next day or two, this Master page should change some as I post directions on "What Is An Environment?" and "How Do I Join An Office?"

Aug. 14, 1999

Congratulations to Dave McAlister for being the first TS/SI site to get onto RPGHost. I'm considering the move myself... I just can't find anywhere to put the big banner.

Aug. 13, 1999

Chat session at the Orion HQ: just ggander, Eldermount, and me today. Nice little chat, got some ideas on how to organize the environments when I'm done (thanks, "Old Mountain," for the tips).

new.gif (105 bytes)The Pepperdine environment is MUCH bigger today, but unfortunately for those of you who haven't requested assignment to MPSF, these areas can only be accessed by agents with the passwords. I WILL tell you that the MPSF office (90263072299) alone is currently 126 pages!! I'm expecting it to be 160 at finish, so we're getting close... Sunday night should be the grand opening.

In other news... Top Secret RPG Resources has disappeared from the net. The site has been down all day. Check up on him...

Aug. 12, 1999

Dave McAlister reports that his PBeM game may be finished in two weeks. You go, boy! Urge him on at the Excite discussion group (chat session tomorrow at noon PST...)

A bio and dossier for an PC named Vanessa Owens have been added to Charlie Martin's Top Secret page.

Klyesdale has added TSSI Environments to his links page. Recognition at last.

And finally, Brice is back! We've already got a loose storyline hammered out for "Nobody Loves Me." At this point, I'm calculating we're going to need about 3 major locations (close to the size of 90263072299-Pepperdine) and about ten smaller locations. If you want to write a location, BE IN TOUCH.

NEWS CALL: if you hear anything Top Secret/S.I.-related happening on the net or in the RW, drop a note to the Excite discussion group or e-mail this site.

Aug. 10, 1999

Eric Brice has agreed to work as a co-Administrator for "Nobody Loves Me". When he returns from his business trip this week, we will be writing full-time on the first PBiN (Play By InterNet) mission to be hosted by TSSI Environments (still tentatively named "Nobody Loves Me").

I will be posting instructions on agent bios for Nobody Loves Me within the week. Basically, this is a Realistic mission, we want new and realistic characters, no superheroes. Plus, I don't want anyone putting their old/favorite character on the line and having him get hacked, leading you to have your next character launch an assault on the Malibu Personnel Support Facility...

new.gif (105 bytes)Check out the new Links page. I consider any  site that is Top Secret/S.I.-related and updated regularly (i.e., once every six months). I'm going to try to keep the number of links to under a dozen, but I'll consider more. Write me to get on... 

(Thanks to Klydesdale for giving me the idea for the new Webring animated jpg).

Aug. 9, 1999

I'm back up on the Top Secret/S.I. Webring! (see the Ring, below)

Since the Pepperdine environment is finished enough to have briefings and recruit agents, I also started writing the first mission today: "Nobody Loves Me." If you notice a few days where there are no site updates, that's what I'm doing. I'm not sure how long it's going to take to finish; classes start in two weeks, and after that I won't have much free time until the second week of September. However, "Nobody Loves Me" should still take place by the end of September! Sign up to take part NOW. Rules will be posted in September but e-mailed early to participants.

new.gif (105 bytes)Want to write your own branch office? See new submission tutorial in Submission Instructions section.

Anybody have a scanner? I have a ton of TS/SI goodies I'd like to post as downloadable files, and none of my scanner-equipped buddies are in town yet.

Aug. 8, 1999

The Orion HQ community at Excite is up to 31 members. Congratulations to Steve Flores of CA: see you in the chat room.

Dave McAlister has a great template for PC dossiers on his website. I'll make you go to his site to find it so he gets your hit. =)

Valkyrja Klydesdale updated his Top Secret/SI site on the 6th. Good for him. Check it out.

And last but not least, Charlie Martin updated some bios on his site. Note: he's also got 150 links for Top Secret or espionage, now. Check it out.

Aug. 7, 1999

I finished the Administration building in the Malibu Personnel Support Facility environment. The offices for new agents have been created: everyone who joins will get a room where they can leave equipment and leave/get messages; in addition, you will be able to have somebody "meet you at your office" and do a chat session. I'll wait until the first mission, "Nobody Loves Me," before I bother setting up the chat stuff.

Here is a look at what the organization structure of TSSI Environments is going to look like. I'm going to post job descriptions and a mission statement soon.

If you're observant, you will notice my hit counter has dropped from 70 to the mid-50s. I deducted some because I visited the site a bunch of times when I started it, to check my publishing, and now I want an accurate hit-count. However, I'll have 100 "other people" hits in less than a month! Who says Top Secret/S.I. is dead??

Aug. 5, 1999

The Top Secret/SI webring obviously works for the WEB: my site and Dave McAlister's have been temporarily dropped from the ring. (To get even, I shrank that big 10k Webring gif down to a 2k jpeg. Ha ha ha ha. Now my front page loads in half the time. Anybody else from the ring can feel free to steal the jpeg below.)

Check out Dave's TS/SI page! I can finally get to it, and the SF Office looks darn good, especially the well-developed NPC profiles.

Don't forget the chat session at Orion Headquarters tomorrow at noon PST (3pm for right-coasters).

Check out my Updates page: we're just a week or so away from having the first Environment done...

Aug. 1, 1999  

90263072299-Pepperdine is the most developed Environment. Remember to  click on the Environment link!!!!! (That's what this site is about...) Keep in mind that the environment will have more NPCs and skill check opportunities during missions...

All of 90263072299 (Pepperdine) and 60001072399 (Orion Taiwan) will be written in time for the first mission, "Nobody Loves Me," in September.

For information on adding an environment to TSSI Environments, write the webmaster.

July 27, 1999

National Office Advisory 072799--Click HERE