Posts Tagged ‘gamers’

Jane McGonigal on the Colbert Report: Let’s Spend More Time Gaming

4 February 2011 | 5 Comments » | pixiestixy

I gave you all a bit of a preview last night of game developer Jane McGonigal’s appearance on the Colbert Report, and I have to say that she did deliver.

Take a look at what McGonigal has to say about common gaming misconceptions, the influence of women on gaming, and why “gaming is the most productive thing we can do.”

Further in to the interview, she describes how she things the world should go from spending 3 billion hours a week gaming to 21 billion by increasing the number of gamers in the world from 500 million to 3 billion. She argues that games can be harnessed as a social tool to effect positive change in the real world and tackle problems such as cancer, poverty and climate change.

Pretty optimistic, but I like her way of thinking. If you’re interested in learning more, check out McGonigal’s book or even her game Evoke, which she also mentions in the interview below.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jane McGonigal
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What is the Price of (Not) Trusting a Game Developer?

17 August 2010 | 3 Comments » | Ronix

StarCraft 2 recently came out and sold one million units on day one. Analysts predict that this figure will increase somewhere between five to seven million units sold by December 2010, and those estimates are conservative. When faced with this information, people often shrug and say something to the effect of, “It’s Blizzard, what did you expect?”

Gamers are so accustomed to associating success and quality with the blue Blizzard logo that we are willing to spend money on their products without giving it too much thought, knowing that polished gameplay and high production values come with the package.

Only a minority realize that this widely accepted view is the result of a lot of money and effort spent on Blizzard’s behalf. The company pays an extraordinary amount of attention to the way it is perceived by customers and has managed its reputation so well that most of them believe Blizzard is simply unable to release a bad game.

How many of you have heard of Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans? Probably not many because this point-and-click adventure based on the Warcraft universe was canceled. After a year of intense development, magazine interviews, press tours and built-up hype, Blizzard decided that the game was just not good enough. Fans were in uproar, and an online petition to resurrect the game was formed mere hours after the announcement hit. Blizzard responded to the community but remained adamant in the company’s decision, citing that the game did not provide enough value for their customers and that the company would not sell out on the quality of their games. Continue Reading

CrunchReview: MMO Civilization-game Ikariam

3 June 2008 | 22 Comments » | LHStaff

A few weeks ago I stumbled across one of the most delightful MMO browser games. In fact, I was so enamored by it that I actual convinced three of my other friends to play it with me in a world populated by… well at least a few hundred other would-be kings. The main reason why I was so enamored by it, and I am assuming you’ll be able to make the distinction as well, is due to it’s inherent familiarity with long-time famed series: Civilization. Let’s take a closer look at Ikariam, a massively multiplayer online strategic browser game.

Despite its instant familiarities with Civilization, the gameplay is actually quite different, but don’t be too quick to give up hope. Where Ikariam is different than Civilization is also why Ikariam is such a fun game. Some key differences include:

  • This game is time based, not turn based.
  • You won’t ever get to different eras of technology. You’ll primarily be hanging out with Caesar and crew in this game.
  • The entire world is divided up into hundreds of islands with a specific amount of space available on each for newcomers and colonies.

Now that I have dashed away the key differences let’s continue on to the actual review of the game which, like I have stated before, is still quite good.

You’ll start your new-found civilization on a random island, most likely already populated by other players. Depending on where you start off you could start on a relatively young island or an island already teaming with huge civilizations. For example, when I started I was placed on an island where the highest level city was only 5 (out of 24), where as, one of my friends started out on an island where the highest level was level 18. Needless to say, he was in a much heavier situation than I was. Naturally you’ll start your city with nothing but a town hall that is level one and from there you’ll build all your buildings in designated plots of land.

Now before I continue on, I think it’s important to explain briefly the mechanics that make Ikariam work. I mentioned above that the game is time based, not turn based. This means that every building you make (only one at a time per city) will take a certain amount of time and resources to make. So provided you have the amount of wood and ore required to upgrade, let’s say, your town hall it still means you’ll have to wait until it’s actually built. These times depend on the level you are upgrading your building too and range anywhere from 10 minutes to 12 hours and beyond. The same holds true for troops, trading, transporting, and warfare. Everything is time based and, while that may seem like a turn-off, the system works surprisingly well.

Continuing on now that we’ve explained the logistics of the game a bit more, you’ll find near everything in Ikariam that you’d expect from Civilization, only smaller and more suitable for a “play for 15 minutes” type style. Barracks allow you to build troops, academies allow you to invest in research towards one of four fields (seafaring, military, economy, science), hideouts allow you to train thieves, trading ports allow you to build cargo fleets, and shipyards allow you to build military fleets. All the same fun stuff you’d expect from a Civilization-esque game.

In order to recruit troops, research certain things, and build and upgrade buildings, however, you’ll need the resources to back them up and sometimes, those aren’t very easy to come by. In fact, this is probably one of the few annoying things about the game. When you start on your island you’ll have two resources available, wood and one of the other four resources. Each island has a different resource and depending on which you land on you could end up with marble, sulfur, crystal, or grapes. Each has their own uses and you’ll notice that each becomes extremely important in the later parts of the game, especially grapes. Early on, however, the most important resource you’ll need will be marble, and if you have no instant access to that material you had better start asking some of your neighboring islands that do to cut you a deal or else your expansion has ground to a halt. It’s a slow process and an even slower fix as it could take weeks to secure some marble. When all is said and done though, you should be back on your path to civilization greatness.

Of course, what would a good review be without a look at the battle system? Yes, worry not, those troops that you plan on amassing will be put to good use. Ikariam offers two direct ways to utilize your military; pillaging and occupation. They do exactly what they sound like. Should you decide to pillage your neighbor and succeed you’ll get an amount of their resources/gold (depending on how fast your troops can load up your ships). If you decide to actually occupy a city and succeed you’ll get full use of that city until such times as you decide to withdraw. The actual battles are a bit mundane and offer no graphics, but it’s still satisfying knowing that your troops are returning with a bounty of treasure.

So that’s basically it. There is a lot to do in Ikariam and if I really wanted to I could probably explain on and on about all the minute details that make Ikariam so much fun. However, as I am sure this block of text has already fulfilled your review quota for the day, I’ll just tell you to go out there and give the game a try! It’s 100% free and while they do offer a RMT system I haven’t noticed anything that they offer to give any players a noticeable advantage. For those who wish to look me up here is my information:

  • Server: Iota
  • Username: Dmitry
  • Island location: 2, 32

Hope to see you there!

One Mythos Please… MMO Sized!

2 June 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

The crazy bastards did it! I don’t know why they decided to do what they did but the brilliant minds behind the charmingly free2play MORPG Mythos has decided to tack on another M to that acronym and fully realize it as a true MMORPG. That’s right, as of last week, Flagship Studios released unto their test server their newest incarnation that is headed towards the once fully instanced game, that is a persistent world dubbed the “Overworld”.

For those that have yet to play Mythos or even hear about it, the game is being developed by some of the same people who brought you Diablo 2. As such it plays much like it; point top move, right click to use a skill, left click to attack, massive amounts of loot, etc. Up until last week, the rpesentation of the game was much the same, you and a few friends party up in the town (usually StoneHill) and take off into an instanced zone on your way to whatever quest you were on. It was a simple straight forward method, but it was also one that worked fairly well. Well apparently the developers disagreed.

While not yet available on the actual server, those players whose curiosity needs to be peeked can find that if they head on over to the test server they can experience Mythos ala World of Warcrat style. That is to say, you can go anywhere and do anything with anybody at anytime. For those of you who are fearing that this game will become yet another WoW-clone now that it has lost much of it’s past identity, don’t worry, while the presentation may be completely disheveled the core gameplay is still much the same. Lots of baddies, lots of flashy skills, and lots of loot await you in Mythos just like before. The only difference is now it’s all in one big persistent world. It’s all very exciting stuff!

AoC Feats Calculator

22 May 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

For those of you guys fighting your way through Hyboria, I thought you would be interested to know that Ten Ton Hammer has added a feats calculator on their site.   I’m sure most of us have used such calculators in the past to help us decide what skills to train and in what order and considering how new AoC is, I’m sure you guys will get some good use out of it.

I got say that I’m trying to hold out for some reviews before I get AoC, but it’s getting hard.   I mean I’m not playing any MMOs right now and I bunch of friends have gotten it and keep talking about it, so I think after this holiday weekend, I’m going to give in and pick up the game on Tuesday.  PvP all the way.  See ya guys there.

How MMOs are Killing the Single Player RPG

5 April 2008 | 29 Comments » | LHStaff

Single player RPGs are few and far in between these days. Even those RPGs that do come out, most now have online game play, which it seems is where gamers want to be. So what’s an RPG do? Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done. The online revolution is in full swing and has been for some time. Gamers not only want an immersive storyline, but they want to be able to interact with real people while playing and single player RPGs just can’t deliver.

Since Microsoft launched Xbox Live on its console, casual non PC gamers have had the opportunity for the first time to game online with friends and more importantly strangers. With its success Sony has followed with online play and even Nintendo is joining in.

Not only does it seem that gamers want real interaction, but there really isn’t much incentive for studios to make a single player RPG. RPG’s are massive undertakings to create, requiring years of work by huge teams, unlike FPS where you can just pump out a sequel ever year. No, RPGs need characters with voices, thousands of quests, a crafting system, training systems, as well has dozens of cities and towns that all must seem to be alive. With all the work to create an RPG, why NOT make it a MMORPG, where you can generate a stream of revenue for years to come? There are still some very succesful single player RPGs out there, but I wonder how long will it be before they too cross over to become MMORPGs.

More Console MMOs on the Way

23 March 2008 | 2 Comments » | LHStaff

Codemasters Online, who is set to release NetDevil’s new space based MMORPG Jumpgate Evolution (PC Only), has recently announced to that they are set to publish two more MMOs for consoles. With this announcement it seems that the gaming industry is finally warming up to the idea of MMO’s on consoles, as of up until now there have only been a hand full of MMOs on all consoles combined.

SoE’s The Agency, Funcom’s Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventure are set to be released within a year. Then you have the untitled NCsoft PlayStation 3 project which might be released as early as Q4 2008. Along with these, there are also a hand full of other MMO’s that have been announced such as a new Final Fantasy MMO.

Indeed it seems as though the MMO has fully arrived on consoles. So what what was the hold up? David Solari, vice president and general manager of Codemasters Online Gaming, stated that one of the bid hurdles with console MMO’s was the business model.

“It’s got to be the right business model. It’s more difficult because the first-parties take a share of the revenue – and it’s quite significant share.”

Can you imagine WOW having to give a percentage of its revenue to Microsoft and Apple? Ouch!

With this next set of MMOs set to hit the consoles late this year, it will be interesting to see how things go when gamers have more than 1 or 2 MMOs to choose from. If we see some flops it just might scare away future MMOs from consoles and send them back to PCs where PC gamers will continue to have there pick of the litter.

Book 12 for LOTRO is Live!

18 February 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

You don’t play for a couple of days and Turbine goes and does its next big content updated.   Right now I’m downloading the update which looks likes its going to take a least an hrs, after that I’m going to jump on and see just how cool some of the new features are.  I’ll be sure to post a pic of my rocken Elf hunter after I pimp him out with some new threads.