November 23 2012

The Waiting Game

The Repopulation - Blue Energy Shield (a Black Friday Special)

For those who haven’t noticed, I’m currently waiting for The Repopulation. Thing is that it may not be entering beta for a while now. I am trying to wait patiently. I’m also trying not to find another shiny that distracts me from waiting to play what looks like an MMO gem in the making.

So what is a gal to do?

I tried playing Planetside 2. I may try again sometime but I just don’t seem to get it. The nice part about the game is that it’s all action. You just log in and shoot. Though in my case it’s more like you log in and die, but hey, it’s no biggie.

I could play more Mine Craft. Somehow though it just doesn’t have a lot of appeal to me right now. Though I have to admit I do enjoy getting in some serious world building in the game. Granted I’d probably enjoy doing that kind of thing on a multi-player server. Dungeons aren’t much fun if you’ve set them up yourself.

I’m thinking that in an attempt to keep myself off The Repopulation forums for a bit I’ll try playing Sims 3 a bit. I did pick up the Supernatural expansion at a decent discount. It’s not the newest expansion (Seasons) but it looks pretty fun.

Here’s hoping I don’t get too bored with the game and decide to start building worlds again.  The last world I built was based on the Fallen Earth town of New Flagstaff. Before that I wanted to set up an entire challenge where the poor simmies started with almost no businesses or amenities and essentially had to earn them via making enough cash to plunk down the buildings.

I may be thinking too big when it comes to playing the Sims.

I did want to get back into another MMO, but at this point nothing is really catching my interest. I’m just not seeing anything that grabs my attention. If anyone has some suggestions I am all ears!

The Repopulation

PS The Repopulation is running a Black Friday special of their own. If interested take a look at their page.

November 20 2012

Sandbox Game or Emergent Gameplay

The Repopulation Gallery Screenshot

If you look at the MMORPG forums, SANDBOX is all the buzz.

Whether you love them or loath them, Developers are turning their eyes toward Sandbox game development.

Why? Because it’s much more cost effective than trying to cycle through content that players will plow through in a matter of hours.

Instead of looking to World of Warcraft and trying to emulate that design, it looks like more and more Developers/Producers are looking at EVE online and yes, even Mine Craft.

Mine Craft is no MMORPG, but in multi-player mode it is an MMO. Massively Multiplayer and Online. It sucks people in and doesn’t let them go.

Now why do people go back to playing Mine Craft instead of enjoying the shiny gems that are the current Themepark MMO’s?

Mine Craft gives you the ability to build your own structures. It even lets you build your own dungeons. I mean come on, how cool is that?

Even if you don’t have the patience to build you can explore, mine, then find other people and trade for anything else. There is even an economy in Mine Craft with respect to Emeralds. They’re only useful as currency (and very American, it’s green).

There are no levels in Mine Craft (there is experience, but that is only used for enchanting goods). You don’t find armor or weapons lying around. If you want to equip yourself, you’re going to have to build it yourself.

The thing is that even Developers/Producers are catching onto the fact that while players do love the super fancy roller coasters in Theme park games, you can only ride that so many times before you get sick of it, or from it.

In a Sandbox, you build yourself a castle. Yeah that by it’s self can be boring.

  • What if a creeper walks up, freaks out, and blows it away. Now you have to repair your castle.
  • Say some guy comes up and starts hacking away at it. You have to kill him, and repair your castle.
  • Now your gear is worn down, you have to make new tools and armor. TO THE MINES!!!

There’s just SO MUCH to do, and it doesn’t end unless you walk away.

Game companies have listened to the folks who play single player games for some time now. These people expect that every game they walk into will be like Diablo, Dragon Age, Skyrm.

You start out as the wandering hero to be, you gain strength and fight monsters for the best gear you can get your hands on. Then you get to the level cap and you go off to defeat the evil masters.

This is great and all, don’t get me wrong. I’ve played through Torchlight II and Diablo 3. It’s fun building the character and getting the loot. Thing is though, after the first couple play throughs  random dungeons or not, it starts to get a little old.

When you are producing new single player games, say one project at a time. It’s cost effective. You produce the game, you sell the title. You offer DLC for the previous title while working on the next.

MMO’s don’t work that way. If you want a steady revenue stream, you need a game that will get people interested and KEEP people interested.

In a recent article it looks like even SOE is getting into the act by building a new  MMO with more sandbox elements. Thing is though, I’m going to keep an eye on the independent developers. I have a strong feeling that the success of the independent developer projects will set the tone for how many of the big names pick up the idea and run with it.

The Repopulation is my main focus. It looks a lot more like the kind of game I’ve been waiting for. And yes, still no more elves.

Now fun reads for the day :

Wired (Thanks to Trixie in The Repopulation forums) – The Future of MMO Games

MMORPG Forums – We want worlds not games

Category: Game Biz, Game Building, Gaming, MMO, The Repopulation | Comments Off on Sandbox Game or Emergent Gameplay
November 15 2012

A Place to Call Home

I haven’t posted in a long time. I haven’t had much time to game and I haven’t been able to dig into a game that feels like home.

Currently I’m passing up on Pandera. I’m falling out of Fallen Earth. I’m not going to sub up for the new Rift expansion and no I’m not even going to dink with Star Wars the Old Republic when it goes free to play.

What I’m really looking forward to is a game that I can call home. So far I haven’t really found that.

Right now I’m focused on The Repopulation. My husband said “we’ve got to play this”. I looked at it and yeah, I agree, we do have to play it. The Repopulation looks like the kind of sandbox style game we’ve been looking for. Permanent player built structures, multiple players to a vehicle, situation based events, a complex crafting system, and much more.

Right now I’m planning on settling into the beta and enjoying the game when it goes live. Since my hubby is set on it too we’ll be there. He keeps me from chasing shinies. We’re also post kickstarter backers, so hey we’re invested at this point.

Greed Monger also looks like a good upcomming sandbox game. If medieval is more your thing, you may want to look into this sandbox MMO. I like the fact that they’re trying to build a more social sandbox game. They’re going for everything being player crafted and keeping the servers live through selling portions of land. That business model was successful for Second Life, why not MMO’s right? Check out their Kickstarter page and if it looks interesting to you, chip in a buck or two.

I think that for the foreseeable future I’ll want to focus on playing sandbox style games. I’m hoping that as folks take Bill Murphy’s advice and do a little more focusing on Systems as opposed to content. Content keeps a player in game until they complete the content. Give us systems to expand upon the game and we will have fun for a LOT longer. It’s like building the sandbox, but forgetting to put in the sand. If we have the shovels but nothing to dig in, we’re going to get bored pretty fast just trying to beat each other over the head with the shovels. I mean even for people like me that’s only funny for the first 100 times or so.

That’s my two cents.


Category: Greed Monger, The Repopulation | Comments Off on A Place to Call Home