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V Planet (
The first 100% QuickBasic game Review magazine

AlienQB Joins V Planet!

(10/29/2000) Holy five-star ratings, Batman! Dark Legends mastermind AlienQB takes his game reviewing expertise to V Planet.

While visiting a QB discussion board, whether it's at a QB site like NeoBasic, Future Software, or even V Planet, occasionally you'll find the voice of a disgruntled QB programmer who moved on from the QB community to the C community. And in even rarer occasions, you'll find this salutation at the end of this mysterious programmer's posts:

"AlienQB, a little famous here and there"

This comical phrase pretty much summarizes the phrase's author Svante Ekholm (better known as AlienQB). As a traveller, AlienQB has been through the upper end and lower end of the QB community. The beginning of his rise to the top begins best at his first humble attempt at a QB site, AlienQB's QB Dungeon. The QB Dungeon, which launched in late 1999, was a QB news site and QB arcade game review site that was concise but highly visited. The early success of the site probably came from the straight-to-the-point, knowledgeable style with which AlienQB reviewed QB games.

As AlienQB's QB Dungeon expanded due to popularity, name changes for the site took place. In May 2000, the website changed it's name to Dark Legends Software to accomodate a new QB programming team, which included talents like Terry Cavanagh and Matthew R. Knight. The final transformation of AlienQB's website occured when Dark Legends Software escalated into what is known today as the QB Portal. This final version of AlienQB's vision was a QB news site that updated even more often than Dark Legends, with the vision of being a website that would bring together the entire QB community.

Unfortunately, the QB Portal did not turn out to be as successful as planned. There were already too many meeting points for QB gamers and programmers to begin with; with Future Software, Neozones Productions, and NeoBasic currently being the head places for QB programming discussion, and with QB news and game review sites multiplying across the board during the summer season, the many transformations of the QB Portal alieniated some of it's readers.

As the QB Portal ate away at AlienQB's free time (which is usually reserved for programming), AlienQB passed responsibility of his website to the folks at Then, while Shadowcorps handled the Portal, AlienQB took his newfound time to expand on his C programming skills.

It was around this time that we started having our own problems here. V Planet! QuickBasic magazine had expanded it's site to over 180 webpages. The tools used to update the site were outdated, and the database was being too large for our small staff. Fortunately, the V Planet crew noticed that writers and programmers in the QB community are interested in employment. So, we posted a Job Openings section on the V Planet site, hoping to find some people who can help us out.

Coincidentally, AlienQB announced on the V Planet! discussion board about two days before the Job Openings started that he had finished with his endeavors learning C++, and is now happy to return to the QB community. His main interests involved programming as well as reviewing QB games. Seeing the Job Openings section, AlienQB signed up for application as a QB game reviewer.

I was tempted to hire AlienQB right on the spot. I thought to myself, "This is a person who loves what he's doing. This isn't a money issue because V Planet is currently a non-profit magazine, and his credentials far outweigh the job that he is applying for. But nevertheless, writing is what this man wants to do. For lack of a better Star Trek reference, I felt like I was hiring an Admiral to do a Captain's job."

But before AlienQB could be hired as a Game reviewer, we had to test his writing skill to see if his writing style from the QB Dungeon days are still intact. For this test I personally chose Kaswoj Software's Confaive. I wanted to see if AlienQB could still write game reviews the way he did for the QB Dungeon and Dark Legends Software. But more interestingly, being a fan of AlienQB's work, I wanted to know what his thoughts were on this particular game.

I was not disappointed. As I was editing the Confaive review, I saw the distinct old-school, technical arcade flair that AlienQB uses when writing his articles. Not since the days of AlienQB's QB Dungeon had I ever felt like a fan again of somebody's QB game review. But what surprised me more is that after careful inspection, the score he had given Confaive is remarkably close to the reading the game would have received had I done the review himself. The critical difference is that AlienQB was able to finish the game review with the proper length and quality in less time than I thought possible. I realized in my mind, This guy is a natural game reviewer.

So, without hesitation, I am proud to announce that AlienQB, a little famous here and there, is now part of the V Planet game review team. For all your QB gamers out there, that means we'll be as stringent as ever when it comes to game reviews. But for the fans among you, you'll be happy to know that the best part of the QB Dungeon is right in our backyard.

Article written by QBShire, editor

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