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Comment Define SciFi MMO (Score 1) 194

I think the tricky thing is to nail down a definition of SciFi. Then, to design a SciFi game that will please the vast majority of players, and/or get them to migrate to a new MMO from one they may already be playing. First of all, SciFi can range from anything from futuristic space settings, like Star Trek or Star Wars, down to something that is remotely technological. Batman could loosely be defined as SciFi because of all his bat-gadgets. Let's assume a it's the former, that the MMO has a futuristic space setting. Okay. Now, is the game going to be featured around space battles? or, interplanetary trading? or, space exploration? or, technological advancement strategy? All of the above? If you have something that doesn't contain enough of these options, you are going to rule out some players who aren't getting what they want. If you have too many or all of these options, are players going to find the game too confusing or cumbersome? I think it might be difficult to find a good balance. Maybe they'll just settle for a good ol' fashioned killing and looting D&D style game (Is anyone out there going to create Munchkin Online?). Also, both RPGs and MMOs both have origins in the realms of fantasy. Comparing MMOs to the pencil-paper-dice RPGs, you will still find much more fantasy genre games and less sci-fi. You could do the same comparison to other genres. Why aren't there more western MMOs or gangster MMOs? Or, it could be that an MMO just isn't quite right for format for a SciFi game. Instead of Massive-Multiplayer, maybe it would work better in limited-parties. I think one person's comment was about too many Cap'n Kirks and not enough Ensign Smiths. But, if you had the small crew of the Firefly as opposed to the entire star fleet academy of the Enterprise, maybe it would work better.

Comment Game Comparisons (Score 2, Informative) 76

First off... I enjoy various kinds of text games from the early Infocom games, to the King's Quests, to the Monkey Islands, and event a Zork or two. Yes, Legends of Zork took elements from the world of Zork, but it lacks challenge. In the text games, I like trying everything under the sun to try to get that one step further in the game, even if that meant starting over a million times. It was part of the challenge, part of the fun. This... I found very frustrating. It's like the game is so incredibly dumbed down that it's like a slightly interactive advertisement for something I don't want to buy into.

Games like Kingdom of Loathing and Twilight Heroes, are what lit a fire under me to create my own, Urban Legions.

Kingdom of Loathing is incredible. Since the day I stumbled upon it via Wikipedia (looking up "Trifids" of all things), I have been hooked and play it practically every day since. I love the sense of humor. I love collecting all the crazy items. After ascending about 8+ times, the quests are getting a little tedious. But, they add new content, which makes me want to play it even more. I haven't even broken into the Hobopolis or PvP sides of the game, and it's kept me entertained for 2.5+ years.

Twilight Heroes... I played for a while. Then, I got stuck on one of the quests. After a while, it got repetitive and I dropped it (mostly). I go back every once in a while. It's not a bad game. It's as easy to pick up as KoL. It's got a good sense of humor, and I've enjoyed playing it. Yet, it lacks something (for me, at least) to want to keep playing it. Maybe they've found that certain something that I lacked, and maybe I should pick it up again.

Urban Legions... Why did I create this game? Because I told my friend about KoL, how much fun it was, and we both agreed it was something we should try doing ourselves. During the creation of the game, we broke away from several traditions, but kept various elements we enjoy from playing other games. One of the things we broke away from is character creation. All characters start the same except for their names. You enter a name and an alias, and you're off and running. Stats? We limit it to Brains and Brawn. I mean seriously... How often do you roll for Constitution while playing D&D? We also wanted the game to play differently. The world is very much open ended. There is an over-arching plot that we continuously add to, but there are various side quests along the way. We are light years behind KoL in the amount of content, but of what we already have, we are already building a community of people who play on a regular basis and crave more (By the way... We love you guys and gals!). Like the others, KoL, TH, and LoZ, we provide a few turns per day with the options to subscribe for more turns per day or to buy a big block of turns that you can slowly whittle away. Sure, he and I would love to make enough money from this to one day quit our day jobs and focus solely on this and a few other projects up our sleeves, but the enjoyment we have of creating something that we are most proud of and trying to constantly out-do ourselves is also so incredibly rewarding.

So, back to Legends of Zork... As I said, I enjoy playing these kinds of game, if not for seeing "what not to do". One of the first things that irked me is the combat. I can't control what my character does in regards to combat, so why even go through the motions of creating a character? The next thing that bugged me... I went to my inventory to see what I thought I gained, but didn't. To get back into the game, the only way I could figure out was to go back to the map and into the location I was just at. This took another couple of action points to do. Seriously?! It takes an action point if I want to view my character and click ONE LOCATION on the map?! Are you fbleeping serious?! That right there should have been caught during beta. I can see "Exploring the Area" as one action point, and maybe healing at home, but picking which area you want to explore, especially when there is no easy way to go from your inventory back to where you just were?! After that, I decided to call it a day. I think I still have about 22 of my 30 Action Points left. Anybody else want them? Anyone?

If ya'll know of who else is out there in the world of browser-based games such as these, drop me a line. I'd love to check out the "competition". And, if ya'll would like to try Urban Legions, I'd also love to hear what you have to say aboot our game, both the good and the scathing.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Urban Legions Released (urbanlegions.net)

PegamooseG writes: "Doug Schwartz of Pegamoose Games and Phillip McCartney, CEO of interNEKO Ltd. Co. are proud to announce, Urban Legions, a unique style of browser-based, hero-vs-villain, role playing game. After two years development, Urban Legions is now available to the general public.

What makes Urban Legions unique is its blend of various gaming elements: role playing, interactive fiction, strategy gaming, puzzles, text adventures, and exploration. The game is entirely online and requires nothing to be installed locally other than your favorite web browser. The interface is simple and low-key, and requires no downloads or plugins. Anyone with an email address can sign up for a free account to start playing within minutes. Where other role playing games require rolling dice, choosing a character's race/class/sex, and calculating complex formulas in order to establish a single character, Urban Legions starts after entering your character's name and secret identity.

Urban Legions is easy to set up and simple to operate. However, don't let the simplicity fool you. Urban Legions is as deep and as involved as the player is willing to immerse themselves. The game is broken up into mini-episodes, called "events", taking place within the vast city of Macropolis. Each event presents players with descriptive text and one or more options of how to react. The choices made in the game directly effect the development of the character, the special abilities acquired and which future events the city produces. You may be presented with multiple actions, and the action you select may produce different results. A single action may have multiple possible results. Decisions lead to the development of a more heroic figure or a more villainous criminal, and may flip-flop throughout the course of the game. Events happen randomly throughout the game, and you may often revisit similar events throughout the course of playing. New content is added regularly, and an over-arching plot-line is continually built upon by content developer Doug Schwartz. "We have tons of plans and notes for the game's big picture and for several mini-episodes. Phil and I think of more events and features to add than we can keep up with. Stay tuned! Much, much more is to come!" said Schwartz.

The general public is able to play up to 20 turns free per day, and may purchase additional turns via subscription or by blocks of turns. A public forum for help and discussion of the game is also available via the Urban Legions website. To experience Urban Legions yourself, go to UrbanLegions.net and sign up for your free account today.

For more information about Urban Legions
For more information about Pegamoose Games
For more information about interNEKO Ltd. Co."

Comment Based on my meager experience... (Score 1) 149

A couple years ago, I was telling my friend about http://www.kingdomofloathing.com/. At the time, I was working on a card game that was not feasible as a card game. I kept trying to keep the game simple, yet have most of my druthers included... It just wasn't going to fly. So, he and I combined both concepts and the result is something quite different.

The game is entirely browser-based with no plugins or downloads necessary. We tried to keep the interface as simple as possible. We do have a few people who stumble through it, but most beta testers were able to pick it up and run with it without referring to documentation.

The game is divided into numerous events, each with a set of options. The options are modified by the character's current status, inventory, random chance, or by the choices the character makes. The player's status even helps determine which events are presented to the player.

The thing that I find fascinating is trying to write the content in a way that presents itself randomly to the character, but in a logical order and way. This is as not straight-forward as fiction writing. It's like trying to write a Choose-Your-Own adventure where the reader starts from flipping to any random page and a single choice may lead to many possible pages. I also find it challenging creating the puzzles that blend well with the plot and setting, yet are challenging enough for most without being too straight forward or too randomly difficult.

He and I have had a blast creating our game. And, we have had several people try it and give us positive feedback.

If you'd like to try it out, you can find it at http://www.urbanlegions.net/. If you'd like to discuss the decisions behind our designs, that's really a topic for another thread.

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