Corbynova was built to help support a play by mail/email game Nova, run by Corby Gilmore. Nova is a space game very much like starfire, invented in Ottawa and controled by Chris Wilkes. Many people helped develop the rules (and variants) over the last 20+ years. Sadly I do not think the game is played at this time. Game rules are linked below for you to play or get ideas for other games. Nova Rules HTML , Nova Rules Word Doc
In Jan/Feb 2001 the Corbynova game ended, one of the players David and I talked. We had both read/and played starfire 10+ years before for a limited time and he told me there was a new version out (GSF). I agreed to SM a game planning on use my server to assist me, and learn java.
The game started out with the XLS sheets and the word docs. I hated them as the SM, it was hard to use and the work involved was amazing for the planned empires. I wanted players to have a large empire (70 systems or so) and knew I could not handle the amount of SM work for 10 players. Instead of quiting I built feature after feature into my website tell it could help me run the game. My players where great, they accepted the changes and the game progressed. This is my Beta test group and the group is at approx turn 100 Feb 2004.
Now the server/code can support a full game of Starfire GSF with little SM work. The players enter all there orders online, when they are all finished the turn is run. The SM is only required to judge interactions and battles. Basically it runs itself.
The summer of 2003 I made the required code changes to support multiple games, I believe the code had matured enough to allow non programmers to SM a game. I also restricted myself to using the SM screens for changes not SQL (this improved the SM screens alot). I started the Holy Empire game with another person SMing, (I play the Holy empire to gain experience as a player with a big empire, trust me alot of improvements come about because of this empire). Gene started his game at this time.
We are over 10+ games now, players can create there own on the fly for solo games or to learn the SM interfaces and run a game later. I'm working with Jeff and his group to get Elite added in, and changes to the code base to support most Elite rules.
The code has been constantly improved for over 3 years, weekly, sometimes daily. New screens get added as they are partly done and we stand at 160+ screens. There is no notice of changes (So new screens or enhanced screens just appear) and only one code base (So a bug effects all games, as do updates). One day I will release the code to run on your box, since it is coded in java it will run on any type of System (Unix, Linux, Mac, Windows and so on). But that is a long way off. Not because it won't run but it is a alot of work to create the installation guide and to help people getting it working. Then once its working to arrange for updates as new changes go in weekly.