Ah, March is a wonderful month. I’ve been lurking behind the scenes for a few months working on some *stuff*, but now that the seasons are changing and Springtime is on the way, I figured it was time for me to crawl out of my cave and say hello.
I will be a guest speaker at the Indie MMO Game Development Conference in Minneapolis (April 14-15). Come check it out. I’ll be hosting a wet t-shirt contest for some hotty elf chicks and you don’t want to miss out on that.
Read on for some opinions and ranting!
D&D Online: Ok, so I try to spend some time in most of the new online games when I can, and I have to admit I was sucked into D&D Online recently (Fernia server). I was quite surprised as I enjoyed it MUCH more than I did my time in World of Warcraft. Of course, I have a long list of complaints (as I do with all MMORPGs)…the auction and in-game mail system is worse than terrible, and the old “enhancement” system is very irritating. They were supposed to release a new mechanic for the enhancements “In February”, but that didn’t happen and now they are claiming “March”. You know, I waited the whole damn month of February, and nothing. They could have said “mid-February” or “late-February”, or even “We honestly don’t know when, but we are hoping in February or March”. Seriously guys, developers need to be a little more forthcoming with information sometimes.
Anyway, the questing system is pretty decent, and I have had a lot of fun both soloing and being part of groups. My happy little Cleric gets along just fine. I’d recommend giving the 10 day trial a shot. It may not be the perfect game, but it isn’t bad or mind-numbingly terrible like some other games I will decline to name.
Dave Perry’s Secret Project: Ok, for those of you that haven’t heard, Dave Perry has announced a new contest…the winner gets a job and a fully funded MMORPG. Executive produced by Dave Perry of course. This is a hot deal and opportunitity for all of you arm chair designers that think you know what you are doing. I’d recommend checking out the terms (SMALL PRINT) and taking a shot at submitting stuff. There is much more to this opportunity than just getting a design gig, so you artists and programmer types should take a look as well.
You know, when I first saw the announcement, I was quite skeptical. Why are they promising to fund an entire MMORPG? Are they completely out of good ideas? Is this a marketing gimmick where they expect to end up with a crappy player concept that they have to blow a few million on with no expectation of a hit? Is this a ploy to collect resumes and find out who is really desperate for work? And then I realized that one of my biggest complaints about this industry is the lack of fresh ideas, innovation, and talent. Perry’s Secret Project is the perfect way to inject fresh blood and concepts into the industry, and GIVE IT FUNDING. All the good ideas usually seem to die from lack of funds no? The other killer of small developers is lack of business experience. Having Dave Perry around as Executive Producer certainly takes care of that little problem. The game would be published by Acclaim (9Dragons and 2 Moons)…is this a good thing or a bad thing? Can this company become a MMO leader with some fresh ideas, or are they just going to stumble around in the dark? Time will tell…
So, all in all, I think this is a bloody good idea, and I’m tipping my hat to Dave Perry. If I wasn’t otherwise uh, involved, with something, I would probably take a shot at the contest myself. Good luck guys! I know there are a lot of killer ideas out there. Let’s see em.
Wake Tech Shoutout: Just wanted to say thank you to Wake Tech for inviting me to speak to the students in their Game Design program a few days ago. They have an awesome new Game Development Lab and some bright students.
Second Life: Is NOT a game dammit. It is just a crappy virtual world and not much better than the VRML worlds from the mid 90’s. I am going to beat the next news anchor that treats it like the best thing since sliced cheese or calls it a “leading online game”.
Finally…1.618 is cooler than 3.141
I’ll be commenting here more frequently soon. Lots of stuff to talk about : )