Duo bringing Web fun to area

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 10:51 p.m.

A local father-son team is playing games with its latest business venture, and they hope to bring a little of the World Wide Web's entertainment to rural Gilchrist County.

U.S. Coders Inc. was started by Bill Burdick and his son, Bill Burdick Jr., and the company is developing an online "strategy" game in the vein of Everquest and Sims, a pair of popular computer games played by hundreds of thousands of people each day. The elder Burdick said 110 million people are projected to be playing online games by 2005, and he wants to tap into that fast-growing market.

"This would be a little different from the 'shoot-em-up' computer games," Burdick said. "This is more like 'Risk' or chess. It will involve a lot of strategy. It's based on building your own civilization, and it will use Earth as its gameboard. We'll be doing it from the Stone Age to modern times."

The game doesn't have a name and is still in development, but it will have 30 levels and pit competitors from around the world against one another, Burdick said.

Participants wouldn't play against the computer itself, and the game is being written in Java script in order to accommodate both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh software users, he said.

For now, U.S. Coders is looking for investors to see the project through. Burdick, his son and two other employees are working in an office in Trenton, and they're seeking about $1.25 million to add staff and further develop the product.

Burdick and his son also created a software product for selling life insurance online. It was sold about three years ago to Justerm.com, an Internet-based insurance sales company.

Joe Coombs can be reached at (352) 338-3102 or coombsj@gvillesun.com.

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