Game talkProject Darkstar is open sourced now

 Posted by (Visited 3903 times)  Game talk
Aug 312007

Got email from Chris Melissinos:

…we open sourced the Project Darkstar game server today!  It has been released under GPLv2 and we are also going to be offering a commercial license to companies that feel “funny” about using GPL’d code.

Game talkThe Aberration Bandwagon

 Posted by (Visited 7042 times)  Game talk
Aug 312007

The Austin Chronicle: Screens: Cooperative Play: Richard Garriott and his team at NCsoft unveil their new online game

“My passion for online games comes from history,” says producer Starr Long… “The first games ever were dice games. They were social experiences. They were mechanics that gave us structure for social interaction. It was an aberration when they became about solo play. Cooperative play goes back to what makes games strong.“That’s a feature Garriott extols. In a climate where video games are blamed for everything from youth violence to obesity, he sees MMOs as a net gain for society.

Solo-player games throughout the rest of history tend to provoke an anti-social behavior that drives people to hide in their rooms in the dark,” Garriott says. “That can be seen as a negative social impact; MMOs are bringing people with like interests together. So all good MMOs are having a good social impact.”

Hmm, I do think that Richard’s remark is a bit over the top. I would cite games that have made people stop and think and even think socially. Like say, the current BioShock, or Civilization, or maybe something like, oh, Ultima IV.

Edit: I should clarify that this is, of course, a reference to my prior comments that used the same wording.

Game talkHow much does the world matter?

 Posted by (Visited 5155 times)  Game talk
Aug 292007

Virtual Worlds News reports that Stardoll has reached 10 million registered users, with 6 million monthly uniques (it’s so nice to see people reporting uniques lately!).

Their audience is 94% tween and teen girls — which is just extraordinary. They’re the most popular site on the Net for girls ages 9-17.

But there’s not much world there, beyond a fairly simplistic “virtual suite.” Which begs the question, how much world do you really need?

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Game talkThe lie detector game?

 Posted by (Visited 4208 times)  Game talk
Aug 292007

I suppose it is possible for new interfaces to go too far. The link is to a USA Today article about a new game from Sega that analyzes stress patterns in your voice to arrive at (dubious) opinions about words they are having you read off the screen. Like, “marriage,” “divorce,” and “affair.”

Maybe the intent is to make the words come true. Then no one could say that games don’t have an impact. If not on society, then at least one your personal relationships. 😉

Game talkSpeaking at CEDEC in Japan

 Posted by (Visited 7425 times)  Game talk
Aug 292007

CEDEC has kindly invited me to speak, and I will be saying something along these lines:

The New Gaming Landscape

The games industry is under attack, and in response it is evolving rapidly. In every part of the world, the evolution has been in different directions. This talk will cover the major business trends driving change (rising costs, team sizes, online connectivity, and the rise of the Web  versus closed platforms). We will discuss some of the changes happening from a design perspective, such as art games, serious games, online games, user-created content, web games, and so on. The goal will be to have a better understanding of both the changing landscape and the sorts of game design that we must explore in order to take part in the new global industry.

This is my first time ever in Japan… I am really looking forward to it.