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Bang! Howdy Goes Beta 36

Posted by Zonk
from the yeehaw dept.
GameSetWatch relates the launch of Bang! Howdy's Beta. The new game from the folks who made Puzzle Pirates even has a Beta blog. From the article: "The game ... is 'a hybrid between turn-based and real-time strategy gameplay, and is played in short fast-paced rounds', looks very neat indeed - and it's going to be 'play for free, pay for items' when it launches, just like a whole bunch of Korean titles like Kart Rider that have been super-successful. Also, damn, it's steampunk!"
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Bang! Howdy Goes Beta

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  • Interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FirienFirien (857374) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @09:48AM (#15401604) Homepage
    Puzzle Pirates (http://puzzlepirates.com/ [puzzlepirates.com]) has been a successful and fun project for Three Rings; it's targeted a lot of social gamers, avoiding the wailing speedmongers who powerplay on WoW and go around ganking. The lack of vast rewards for time-in-game disinterests those who want to be ahead of everyone else; by leveling the playing field to depend significantly on skill, they've made it a much more interesting game to play. The graphics are amusing; the cartooniness again pushes away powergamers. As a result of this the community as a whole is more social and interactive. They've filled a nice niche in the market, and made it work well. Hopefully Bang!Howdy will follow the same vein in a different style; if the developer/community interaction is as good as it has been for Puzzle Pirates, this should be a great game.

    Powerlevellers, gankers, and those who believe that the best games request and require top-spec hardware need not apply. It won't interest you anyway, and it gets rid of you for the rest of us to enjoy better.
    • As the summary says, a lot of these asian mmogs let people buy in-game items instead. I like the kind of games where people put time rather than money into it to get more out of it.
      • What's your age? You in college?

        Just out of school with no girlfriend?

        Not meant to be a rip, but I've noticed most people who value "time put into MMO" are also those who's time is in great supply.

        I've given up on MMOs because my time isn't, and normally I focus on one (1) RTS at a time, preferrably one that a game averages 20 minutes or so. (Rise of Legends is my current obsession)

        I couldn't imagine what getting married would do to my time, and having kids. Just maintaining the gf is tough enough. But

        • But the trade-off, more time for gaming yet no girlfriend, isn't that appealing.
           
          This is slashdot, the trade off isn't exactly optional here ;)
           
          The game itself is ok so far but it lacks the depth of puzzle pirates though. Not to say that is a bad thing, YPP in its current state can be a little overwhelming to some. But there is so much to do there that it makes it kind of fun, and you can spend as little or as much time in it as you want.
          • lacks the depth of puzzle pirates

            This game went into open beta yesterday... Puzzle Pirates has been gold for nearly 2.5 years. Are you surprised?
            • Puzzle Pirates has been gold for nearly 2.5 years.

              Not only that, but they've been periodically adding to the game for most of that time. New puzzles, new elements to the in-game economy, changes to re-balance the gameplay, different business models (playing on a doubloon-based ocean is different from playing on a subscription-based ocean, simply by virtue of having to collect/buy doubloons), etc.
        • Dunno about him, but I'm in my mid-30's, and, no, I'm not still in college, nor fresh out of it. So are my co-workers that play MMOs. Two even have kids. And, you know, they can still play a MMO and earn their levels and items the honest way.

          "Time investment" is something you don't have to do in 16 hour bursts. Just because it takes, say, 200 hours to get to level 60 (just a number pulled out of the hat for example sake), it doesn't mean you're in a race to cross that 200 hours line in the least days. Some
          • Not sure about the rest but I occassionally play a few hours of FlyFF, that uses the "free game, premium items" business model and the items sold in the store are usually either not available through normal means (and often merely cosmetic) or just some potent healing or temporary stat boost items. Sometimes they add hassles to the game (like a chance for items breaking when applying upgrade items on them) that have to be negated by buying an item from the store but the store won't allow you to purchase sup
          • Because that's what those games invariably degenerate into, if they didn't outright start that way. When your main income source are the idiots willing to pay real cash for a +20 Sword Of Ganking or for a Level 3 Mech in a Level 1 Battletech-like game, guess which group does the game catter to?

            The thing that you're missing about Puzzle Pirates is that the most of the really big, expensive items don't actually give you an in-game advantage. The custom portrait of your character hanging in your fancy hous

          • but getting there in 200 days at an average of 1 hour per day is no shame either
            Many of the end-game instances (all of the ones with decent equipment) in WoW require a minimum of 2-4 hours to complete. I'm not sure if this sort of thing is common in most MMORPGs.
            • Well, true, but that's why I was talking about getting to level 60, as opposed to "finishing" the game. The end-game grind in WoW is there more as a time-sink to prevent you from finishing the game, than anything else. Even if you have massive disposable time to sink into that, as far as I'm concerned, at that point the game is essentially over and the content is over. I have better things to do with my time than doing MC the 1000'th time.

              That "content" is there just as an ellaborate scam. People have been
        • I know this wasn't really what you were asking, but it seems though it would be material to satisfying any curiosity you might have about gamers of this type in general.

          The age of long-term Y!PP players tends to start in the mid-20s and go up from there. Many (actually probably most) of the entrenched players have spouses and families. There are a lot of families who play together through all age ranges, from early teens well into the 60s.

          Don't get me wrong, there are lots of pre-teen and early teen players
      • I like the kind of games where people put time rather than money into it to get more out of it.

        In my opinion, both are real problems. I enjoy friendly competition and social interaction. Money certainly won't get me either of those. Time usually helps relationships, if you're spending it working on the relationehip, but time spent "leveling up" does not.

        My picks for getting more out of gaming are for games to emphasize pitting players against other players of ballpark similar skill levels ( Bots and NPCs
    • I completely agree with the above. If this is like Puzzle Pirates, it will do well.

      There is a huge audience of casual gamers (with a significant proportion of women) who are under-targeted. Puzzle Pirates is a masterpiece of a mmorpg simply because it expanded the genre. The fact is that while you're 'puzzling', you're not thinking about your character role or the world so it appeals to the 'less hardcore gamers'. In a way, the created world is merely a context for casual gaming...

  • by Mursk (928595)
    You know, I had a tough time figuring out what that headline was supposed to mean...
  • Trivia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HunterZ (20035) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:01AM (#15401732) Journal
    Ian McConville, the artist of the webcomic Mac Hall [machall.com] recently started working for Three Rings [threerings.net], the company who made these games.
  • by Digital_Quartz (75366) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:07AM (#15401778) Homepage
    Is this in any way related to "Bang!" the card game, from mayfair games?

    http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3955 [boardgamegeek.com]
  • Wow, MindStalker was already taken. I almost NEVER have to fight for that name. Hmm that would be an interesting idea for MMO fight for popular names! :)
  • I suppose I should read the article before commenting on this game and its name

    But given the name, I feel it appropriate to shoot first before introducing myself to the content.
  • by BobBobBobBobBob (861762) * on Thursday May 25, 2006 @01:08PM (#15403490)
    Unlike Puzzle Pirates, Bang! Howdy pits you against other players in little strategy puzzles (mostly, how can I kill them and get the gold nuggets or cattle before they kill me and get the gold or cattle). You can convert your gold nuggets to dollars (like the whatevers to dubloons in PP). You can also buy the "harder" currency with money.

    For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone. After a while, they started making the land-based head-to-head puzzles free only on certain days. And to run a store or own a ship, you had to have a badge purchased with dubloons (the harder currency). It was easier to buy it for dollars than grind away to get enough of the light currency to buy dubloons at auction. The whole thing ended up being no fun.

    In both games, you can buy new clothes with some of each type of currency. In PP, at least, clothing deteriorated, so if you didn't want to wear rags, you had to buy new clothing at intervals. Also, some colors were more expensive because of scarcer raw materials. The look of both games is cute, as ar the themes, but if you want a casual game, get Tetris or solitaire.

    I would like the developers for making Bang! Howdy no fun right out of the gate, so I wasted almost no time with it.

    • On the other hand, Puzzle Pirates started out as a subscription-based game. They still have servers with a flat monthly fee where doubloons are irrelevant, though I understand the doubloon model has been working well for them.

      It may be that Bang! Howdy, designed with "Big Shot Units" (I can't even type that with a straight face) from the ground up, will work out differently as far as the business model's impact on game play is concerned.
    • For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone. After a while, they started making the land-based head-to-head puzzles free only on certain days. And to run a store or own a ship, you had to have a badge purchased with dubloons (the harder currency). It was easier to buy it for dollars than grind away to get enough of the light currency to buy dublo

      • YPP! remains fun for the casual player - it's folks who think they should acess to the entire game without either grinding or paying who now find it no fun. (You also have the option of playing on a subscription ocean where, for a single payment a month, everything is available to you.)

        But for $10 a month, it doesn't feel casual anymore. It's then a subscription and if I don't play "enough", I don't get my money's worth. But if PP works for you, in either flavor, then more power to you. Whatever float

    • For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone.

      The "not talking to anyone" part is what makes things hard for players to advance. It's a social game, and those who engage in the social network find things vastly easier to accomplish. The game is designed to reward cooperative play and the Navy is not a part of cooperative play, thus the rewards for u
  • MMOG final fantasy tactics at best. This game isn't for me.
  • It's a fairly light tactical RPG. The numbers are mostly hidden, probably to decrease the apparent complexity to it's 'casual' audience. Personally, I'm not convinced that a large latent demand for casual tactical wargames exists. It's fun, kinda, but I found it a touch confusing. Needs better documentation.

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