Archive for May, 2006|Monthly archive page

Brand New Lexus or MMOGs

holy-unwieldy-metric-shit-ton of monthly subscriptions, batman!

somebody needs to figure out how to do the no-subscription fee thing right.  how's a brother supposed to pay for all of that?  how's a company supposed to attract players in that saturated of a market?


us?  no subscription fees.  only takes a couple minutes a day to play.  fits in your life in ADDITION to all this other mmog battle-a-thon nonsense. 


CNET on SDForum

raph points us to cnet's take on the sdforum yesterday. like he said earlier, there appears to be a lot of talk on how the myspace model fits into a virtual world. (on the second page) over here, we can tell you exactly how a site like myspace fits into a virtual world definition.

"Things like MySpace, which are big flourishing communities–what they lose in 3D experience, they make up in high degree of interoperability."

can i get an amen to that?

sophisticated community tools? check. high level of content syndication? check. tons of user created content? check. highly personalized, online distributed avatar? check. grand themes and a world setting to tie it all together? check. equal opportunity play styles? check, check.

and, in our world, you can still have teamspeak running while you cook, joi.


Defining a Virtual World

so. raph just published an interesting piece on the perspective floating around the sdforum. my favorite quote of his:

Lots of referencing MySpace as a virtual world.

now. i know i'm not the first person to hit upon myspace as a virtual world, but, we're pretty ahead of the pack in building a passive web experience (myspace) around a persistent game world. fills my head full of crazy ideas thinking about our game being like myspace layered in myth, narrative and competitive activities.


(Not So) Super Secret Game Update

so, i pushed up a style sheet update last night for those of you testing (read: hanging out while we work on adding features) our pre-alpha. it's one of 3 style sheets we're going to launch with. keep in mind, it's at about 40% right now, so, no critics yet. tho, it is fairly representative of where we're headed.

Blue Fear Screenshot

in other news, the questing engine and guilds will need some debugging here soon, so i'll probably send out an email to you guys asking for some help.

anyway, we're cooking right along.


i should also note the theme above is called "blue fear." the other two we'll have are "old skool" and "blue passion" — neither of which will be nearly as booga-booga-scary.


refreshed that screenshot to one a bit less jarring. 


Another Short, Passive Missive

duncan is hookin' a brother up today.  (er.  tonight for him.)  great find here:

Where's My Browser Based?! 

we're comin' morbus!  we're going as fast as we can!


Some Passive Play

if you guys don't read suttree, i'd recommend it. duncan diggs (ha! diggs!) up all kinds of jewels out there on the web. and, like me, he's seemingly becoming obsessed (well. maybe not as much as i am.) with passive web gaming.

my favorite tho, is his pointer to alice taylor's piece. web-mogs? eh. luke warm…. flippability? absolutely brilliant!

oh, and wonderland is a good read too for those of you not already familliar with it.


Where My Head Is At: The Perverse Invasion

i dunno if 'perverse invasion' is really indicative of how we plan on storming the world, but here's a funny story. i was talking to one of our devs (tj) along the lines of possible competitors coming up. he pointed me to a job opening for a new mmog played in a browser that uses a java engine.

first of all, it's java. java blows in a browser. any of you out there building java games — you're wasting your time. build it in flash instead. higher penetration. faster dev environment. and, you can do anything you need to do without using java. the only people really allowed any leeway here are those poor bastards having to port a c++ standalone game to a demo on the web.

i'll say this right here, nice and loud: java sucks. i know it. you know it. the only people howling about it are the idiots who wasted years of their life mastering it and hiring those who mastered it.


in this explaining to him how that really wasn't any different than a standalone, downloadable version of the game (or at best just one order of magnatude different — it's missing the actual install process) i threw out the 'we are going for pervasive, not instanced, gameplay.'

that's when tj said: perverse invasion?

yeah. kinda.

we're squeezing into all of the smallest parts of people's lives. from checking in on their challenge history from their mobile device to training your character in the same 'temporal space' as you check your email. time spent playing the actual game doesn't necessarily make your character any more powerful. maybe some time researching skill trees or strategizing could give the hardcore's the edge, but that's about it.

noobs are protected. casuals can power level too. hardcores can min-max their way to godlieness.

it's really just about living in this easy-to-check alternate life as it crossfades through your own real life. intertwine that with the business model we're planning and you guys can get a pretty in-depth glimpse of whwere my head is living these days.