Friday, February 26, 2010

Random Encounters!

I thought I'd post a few random Allods screenshots from tonight.

This is my latest encounter with a significant monster, a giant elite spider.

Not very hard when you have a level 19 helping you, though!

Spectacular sights everywhere!

This is a squirrel. I told you they were big! Unfortunately, again I forgot to screenshot the rabid one! It's just as horrifying. But Blue.

And yes! This was the highlight of the evening. That gibberling psionicist is exactly who you think it is.

If The Squirrel Is Blue, It's Rabid

I think I met Allod's Hogger last night...An elite "Rabid Squirrel"

This thing could 2-shot me as a cleric in robes.
It took at least 5 of us to take it down.
I also got my first chance to actually heal a tank. Just like the good old WoW days!

...Don't underestimate the SQUIRREL!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can We Better Tie Fantasy to Reality in MMO's? - "This Hunger for Reality"

A friend linked me this video of a presentation about a current trend of video games to break through to reality. He compares it to the video game follow-up to television's Reality TV shows, citing Facebook games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars which utilize your Facebook contacts to connect the experience to real-life. Also, games like Guitar Hero that deliver an experience that gives you the sensation of actually playing a real guitar.

This presentation is remarkable, and I think it applies to MMORPG's. They allow you to put a bit of yourself into your character by offering various appearance options. They also let you communicate with other players who are not just game NPC's--And don't forget, you also invest real time and effort to get a payback for loot that feels like a real reward and investment.

I wonder though: Are there ways MMORPG's could push this concept further? What more could they do to break the barriers of reality? How else could data acquired from real life be applied to MMO's? Would an MMO that does this attract a wider, fresh fan-base? (Are there MMO's that have already done this??)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's pronounced Jibberlings!

I played more Allods last night, and found I was actually having just as much fun submitting bug reports as I was playing the game.

I found some conversations with NPC's that contained html tags.

I discovered the human female character's run animation causes her to sink into the ground, almost to her knees.

I reported a strange time-based glitch with quest reviews in the quest log where some buttons that shouldn't be there were appearing after a short time of having the window open.

I also tried the male human character and discovered most of his emote action animations cause him to turn to face other directions than forward. And the voiceover for his emotes were still in Russian! I didn't report these things yet, though.

It turns out I made my characters on Nezeb server, but most people I talk to are on Tensess, so I made some characters there too.

EDIT: Screenshots! These were submitted with the bug reports.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Allods Open Beta Update tool

If anyone is having problems getting Allods to run (Thallian!) I found this thread about an Open Beta Update Tool. You need to follow specific steps to fix the game if you downloaded it before February 15th.

Allods Open Beta Update Tool

Allods is Very Fun

I read mbp's post about Allods and decided to download it Saturday night. I played about 3-4 hours last night, I must have been hooked.

This game is the best-looking MMO I've played. I would say slightly better looking than WoW. I made 7 characters, finally picked which one to try out, and played through the opening sequence as well as the whole main quest chain in the starter zone. I felt like the game was basically a complete copy of WoW, except that it looked better, and felt fresh and prettier. It also has some unique races and classes. I ran into no glitches, which I hear is an impressive start for an MMO. Supposedly you get to fly airships later, so I'm hoping to get that far eventually.

My play style consisted of following the main quest line, avoiding 10-rat side-quests, and grouping up with a friend as early as possible so I could enjoy some sociality. It made for a really fun time, and I managed to break free of the starting zone.

It's a 2.5 gigabyte download, and free (The game shop isn't even open yet, the game has only been out for a week, I think), so if you want to try something new, it's a good pick.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GEEX Prep - Indie Game Development Musings

This July, in Salt Lake City, there will be an event called GEEX. It's an Expo for gamers. Somehow I got penciled in to discuss Indie Game Development at the Expo this year. So I'm going to jot down a few thoughts that I might use later for my presentation.

What I've Learned So Far Developing Indie Games:
(In case you're wondering about Reclaimers of Rhuidia, I'm still trying to wrap up another game to get time for it, so I'll be discussing that)

Indie Games Usually Don't Have Funding- Therefore, you have to make time for them, and you have to remember to narrow the game's scope.

Indie Games Have Small Teams-Bring together one Programmer, one Artist, one musician, knock around design ideas and get going! It's exciting and also a reality you have to remember. As the soul artist on Siphon Spirit, I realized animation would pretty much be impossible to do, and still make a full-scale game. So I found cheats. I got the programmer to do particle effects, and enable moving artwork--Even if there's no animation, it doesn't have to lack movement!

Indie Games Can Innovate- Take advantage of the opportunity to try new game mechanics and concepts. I highly recommend not making a clone of another gameplay style. Why not find something different and new, and focus the limited time you have on building up that one concept? I started wanting to make an rpg, but then I scrapped everything rpg and made a game that plays in a new fun way. There are plenty of RPG's out there. The aspect of an RPG I really wanted was more in the storytelling anyways, so I got my friend to program a scripting system that allows me to incorporate art sequentially to tell a comic-style story sequence at any point in the game I want.

Indie Games Need to be Feasable- We spent 2 years on an RPG and are basically abandoning it. Why? Because it would take 2 more years to complete it. While we have this little simple game that will be complete in 4 months total. But what if you REALLY LIKE RPG's? You won't. Not after 2 years and no results. If you must make an RPG, remember your time and man-power limitations. You will probably want to cut out a lot of gameplay features you originally wanted.

Indie Games Should Start at a Fundamental Level and Build Up- The problem with the RPG I was making, was that we added a whole ton of features to the design up front, and then started taking them all out when we didn't have time for it. A better way, is to simplify gameplay as much as possible. Then, when you get that fundamental gameplay working, you can start to add in things as you go.

Make Simple Games First as Trials- You will be tempted to make a big game right off the bat. Because that's what you like, and they are prestigous. Don't. Try something small, and simple. Make a complete game. Learn the Process. You will be much happier knowing there's a finished product of yours out there for others to try, and now you can maybe make something a little larger in scale. I can't tell you what you will learn from making a small game project from start to finish. It's something you learn in doing. So don't miss this important learning step!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GA is hard now

I read that there was Garth Agarwen was revamped into two three man dungeons and one 6 man dungeon, so the itch to re-explore it got me gong in with my wife and sister-in-law (hipag in tagalog) Only we got our clocks cleaned by the elites who were in exceptionally plentiful numbers, worse than before, and couldn't get near the dungeon. Be forewarned. If you want to run these dungeons bring six people and then break it into two groups if you have to. Sheesh. Anyways we had fun because now the Agamaur area is actually quite challenging, as well as the end of book 2 instance is slightly more difficult as a group due to the trees being beefier. (we still 4 manned it though) I recommend lvl 32 tank for GA though now, Orion went and tweaked all the levels up of things, and you'll have an easier time if the whole group is lvl 32. Good luck fellow adventurers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How nerds like us can sound cool.

Yesterday, the first person I talked to at work asked what I thought of the football game.
"I didn't see it."
"There was an amazing interception at the end, totally changed the game, it was intense!"

So the next person I talked to at work, I said "Did you see the game? There was an amazing interception at the end, totally changed the game, it was intense!"

Repeat that with about five other people...Now you're cool.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In case you missed it ... STO is Online!

I'm sure my blogging friends already know but for non bloggers or those out of the loop, Star Trek Online launched today! I Generally recommend avoiding launch day like the plague and this is no exception. However this title is looking interesting if they end up making the Klingons more fleshed out like they recently promised to do. At any rate, best of luck to trekkies out there playing this game, and others who are checking it out based on curiosity.