Plug it!

I finally got this ripped to something digital. The following link is to an mp3 of the piece of the Sound & Vision Radio E3 coverage where Robert (Nicodemus) & I spoke about games and plugged KTN. You even get to hear me snort! Woop! (I was out of breath and scrambling to come up with something after Robert stole my answer hehe).

All and all it went well.

Grab it here.

Face of Mankind

[Face of Mankind] In 2001 Duplex Systems was founded to pursue and develop products in the MMO space. The Berlin based studio is focused on intelligent and unique game play styles where the player ‘lives the story’. Last month they launched their first title; Face of Mankind. So the question holds; does it stand up to the PR or is it just another bag of sullen dreams?

Continue reading Face of Mankind

Oh lord!

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I havent slept in almost 30 hours, but while just watching the newly released Lord of the Rings: Online trailer, I just couldn’t stop laughing. The thing is cut horribly and it doesn’t really do anything to make a good show of the engine. The copy is also horrible; sporting horrible effects. I wonder if that is a plug-in for After Effects; Horrible(R). The thing honestly looks like the publisher was yelling at them to release a trailer, but they already had plans to go out drinking, so they just told Bob the janitor to throw something together.

Check it out for yourself



cov[City of Villains] Following the success of the world’s first widely accepted comic based MMO; City of Heroes, the brains at NCsoft began design on a companion product to allow roles of a more malicious nature. The surprise regarding this obvious progression of the universe is concerning the independent nature of the product. City of Villains is designed and marketed as an autonomous entity, free of all dependences to its predecessor.

While the above statement is true it is also an expected assumption of players in both games to assume it is a shared world, through parallel style, game play, design, account fees, and all around structure. It would not be too much to say it is simply a modified template positioned atop a singular foundation.

Continue reading Segregation

Dragons Don’t Fly

About three weeks back, I got accepted into the beta of a highly anticipated MMO. I cannot disclose the name due to non-disclosure shit, but I was excited.

I love betas because it is really your chance to get into a game, try out everything and make a difference in the development path. This interest however is only viable when you can actually PLAY the game. I have not been able to play this game once because it will not work on my 6800 card. It also is not working on any other 6800’s apparently.

Continue reading Dragons Don’t Fly

Sex, Drugs, and Succubus!

[Sociolotron] I read an article in Wired the other day regarding this little indie MMO based in a post-apocalyptic London. Not exactly an original concept, but the bells and whistles make up for the lack of originality. In fact the frills almost require such a setting in order to be believable.

What makes Sociolotron unique is its dedication to the minute realisms which other MMOs, due to their mainstream audience refuse to address. Pouring the bag out on the table I will point it all out for you up front. The world allows explicit sex, murder (including perma death at higher levels), drug use, BDSM, disease (including sexually transmitted), pregnancy/abortion, rape, and mechanics to support them all. This is obviously only the things which should get your attention. Much emphasis is also put on combat, ownership, crafting, business, etc.

Continue reading Sex, Drugs, and Succubus!

Foreign Waters

[World of Warcraft] I finally picked up WoW and will be installing it tomorrow when I get back to LA. I am completely unfamiliar with the game since I learned very little in the three hours I have under my belt (which I have mostly forgotten). I have heard reports of players waiting in long lines just to get on some servers.

Are there any suggestions for which server I should play on?

– Spot

Sanctioned Sabbatical

I have been away from my home for over a month now, visiting family down in Texas. Before you ask, don’t! It’s hot and hellish.

Anyway, it has been a month since I have touched an MMO. After playing MMOs almost continuously for several years, a month break was a frightening venture. It has however turned out to be quite refreshing. I have had time to ponder many things in the realm of game design and how the social implications of MMOs bounce and react to real life group behavior. I would suggest it to anyone who has not had a break in some time.

Anyway, I fly back to Los Angeles on Wednesday. I previously tried WoW and it was not my bag really. However, a good friend of mine has been playing and really likes it, so I may pick it up again and play a little with him. I never really gave it much of a chance before so I plan on playing more than three hours this time.

Four at least! :)


Jesus or a Gun

[Lineage 2] My interest peeked while reading this article about NC Soft releasing a different version of Lineage 2 in order to acquire a teen rating from the Korea Media Ratings Board and therefore tap a larger market.

What interests me is that the current edition of Lineage 2 has a teen rating in the United States. This combined with the fact that Lineage 2 sports a chat content filter which cannot be disabled, is an interesting demonstration of Korea’s stricter handle on content.

This in itself is not extremely entertaining of a concept, except when you look at the picture with a more broad view than just violence and language. Lineage 2 adorns itself with some of the most sexually abrasive visuals you can find in an MMO. The Dark Elf females carry large and voluptuous breasts which actually bounce while moving. They are also sometimes clad in extremely revealing outfits.

Please do not misunderstand; I enjoy this show as much as any other strait male, but it prompts the question; where do the core principles lie in Korea’s rating system?

Due to the fact that battles in Lineage 2 reveal no blood, dismemberment, or notable sign of injury, yet revel in the female form, it will be interesting to see what is removed from this new edition.

Is it that Korea puts more of a focus on any type of violence and language over sexual content, or that the United States just has easier acceptance of sexual demonstrations?


Auditory Entanglements

I had the pleasure of attending the first Video Games Live event last night at the famous Hollywood Bowl.

While I have been a huge gaming enthusiast for most of my life, and especially in the last five years, I was doubtful of this event’s turnout. While taking into consideration the majority public opinion that games are simply that, just games; it seemed quite probable that those interested enough to spend hard earned cash on a ticket fit into a small room.

I was beyond mistaken. The Hollywood Bowl seats sixteen thousand. Very few of these seats were empty. Hearing a crowd of fifteen thousand people of all ages cheer and scream when Yuji Naka (creator of Sonic the Hedgehog) walked onto the stage was one of the most surreal and amazing experiences that I have enjoyed in quite some time.

Games covered included Mario™, Zelda®, Halo®, Metal Gear Solid®, Myst®, Final Fantasy®, Castlevania®, Medal of Honor™, Sonic™, Tron©, Tomb Raider®, Advent Rising, Headhunter, Beyond Good & Evil™, Splinter Cell®, Ghost Recon™, Rainbow Six®, Pong®, Donkey Kong® as well as EverQuest® II and World of Warcraft®.

There were two girls of about the age of 13 sitting in front of me. When the World of Warcraft segment started they almost fell off their chairs screaming. I was astonished at the diversity of people present. During the intermission a raffle was held based on ticket number. The second presentation started with a competition between a forty five year old woman and a thirteen year old boy. Suffice it to say the thirteen year old won.

The event wrapped up with an introduction of the Mario music by designer Shigeru Miyamoto to much fanfare. The producers then announced time for one more presentation and asking for any requests were answered by a huge cheering for Halo.

After the conclusion of the segments, the stage was filled one by one with the designers and composers present for the event, which looked to be a good forty or fifty.

Overall the event was extremely entertaining, and most likely was for even non-gamers. The music was beautiful and at times heart pumping. I suggest you check out the tour dates to see if it will be visiting your area.