Gaming, like the mythical Phoenix, is being reborn. How ?

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“The worst thing a kid can say about homework is that it is too hard. The worst thing a kid can say about a game is it’s too easy.”
― Henry Jenkins

CROWDFUNDING

Consumers can now directly influence the development of games. They need no longer wait passively in the background for organizations so greedy, so out-of-touch, so myopically focused on quarterly profit projections, so few CEO/executive management positions occupied by software engineers and developers, so many finance educated managers, sooooo…… disappointing!!

THE WAIT IS OVER

Potentially, with a good idea you could have a game developed with nothing more than your idea, and the trust in which you inspire. If you haven’t visited kickstarter (an American-based private for-profit company founded in 2009 that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding through its website), you need to.

The concept is simple. An organization or individual creates an account on kickstarter or an equivalent, inputs various data elaborating on the idea, adds rich media to sex it up and you’re done. Once the project has been given the official green light, it will be created. Once it is underway, it is then up to the consumer(s). If the project fails to achieve minimum funding, no funds are debited from credit cards. From the start, the creator(s) can then keep in touch with their pledge-es (pledgers, who knows) via their forum, as the countdown begins. Typically, a project has a month to reach its goal. It can be anywhere between 1-60 days, however, it is recommended to be below 30 days. Usually their is a pledge tier that is just for donations, say $5, which will directly contribute to the project, but without any reward other than the feeling of generosity. Other tiers exist that offer a higher reward. This could involve any manner of things, usually for games this is a digital copy, and it goes up from there. As an example, Satellite Reign, the spiritual successor to the infamous Syndicate and Syndicate Wars titles, had a tier of $7801 at the very top of its pledge hierarchy. This enabled the pledger to have his own likeness infused into the evil CEO character of the game. Anything is possible.

SATELLITE REIGN

Speaking of Syndicate, Satellite Reign, the official spiritual successor, has reached intial funding. I have created a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ZealotsofSOSR dedicated to help raise additional money for 5lives studios. Any donation made from my FB page will go toward advertisements on FB. The minimum ad costs $5 per day, and then on a per click/impression basis. Official funding opportunities will continue to July 2014, as Paypal is now the medium of exchange, and is run from 5lives’ website. This is common once the initial Kickstarter funding window has closed. Satellite Reign exceeded initial funding goals, and is now working on achieving its stretch goals. If you like real-time strategy, cyberpunk/dystopian megacities, futuristic cyborg agents, the ability to simultaneously or sequentially manage your agents (you have 4 in total, an Assassin, Soldier, Hacker, Support), destructible environments, a powerful arsenal of weapons, dynamic game-play, then get your pledge on today. All pledges via paypal have the original rewards associated to it…

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Rise of Gaming via Kickstarter – Satellite Reign

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Welcome to my blog gamers…

This is an exciting time for gamers. No longer do we need to be the slaves of “Big Gaming”. Platforms like kickstarter have shifted the power dynamic toward a more organic, grass roots, decentralized, democratic playing field… We have the power to start and support games that we desire… “Big Game Corporations” will always have their place, however, they have gotten greedy.. Spread the revolution…

Intro to cult classic  – Syndicate

And its successor – Syndicate Wars

Here it is – Satellite Reign, the spirtual successor

Satellite Reign, is now a reality. And with your help, it will be created to its most promising, most exciting, most satisfying level.

Pledge today, and make it a reality….. http://satellitereign.com/pledge/

Your fellow agents are counting on you. Join the crusade for better gaming…

End of transmission

MMO(G) – Massive Multiplayer Online Games

Hi. Welcome to my latest blog. I was doing my usual troll of news sites but nothing came up of interest. After a few failed attempts, I decided I’d blog about one of my favourite hobbies. MMO’s.

playmmoja01

What is an MMO?

In case you’re not familiar with what MMO or MMOG is, then you’re about to learn. Now, just in case any gaming guru is reading my blog, I’ll begin my stating the following. MMO’s have been around for many years, and I’m aware the concept wasn’t pioneered by Blizzard with their ultra popular MMO “World of Warcraft”.

The key component that separates an online multi-player game from an MMO is the volume of real players that you can interact with in the game. Just because you can play a game online in multi-player mode doesn’t qualify it to be an MMO. It’s pointless to put an exact number on it, but massive does conjure up a certain expectation.

The game may be played in a single universe, world or map for players to explore while others have multiple copies of the exact same universe, world or map. There may be hundreds of servers. Large games usually have server farms in the US, Europe and Asia. On occasion there are servers in Oceania, although that is not as common. Players usually select a server that gives them the lowest latency, which is commonly known as ‘lag’. Each has its own pros and cons. Personally, I like the idea of every player existing in the same universe.

The main sub-genres of MMO are RPG, RTS, and FPS. Lets have a brief look at all three.

MMORPG – the original MMO

Role playing games existed before computers, and were played on tables or floors. There have been many, and I have no desire to list them. Basically, in an RPG, you assume a role of a character and build their inventories, character skill sets, attributes and powers over time as you complete quests and gain points by slaying your enemies etc. In the early days, you slayed or interacted with NPCs (non player characters), as it wasn’t online and no real players were involved. A classic example of an RPG would be the Elder Scroll series, including it’s latest realease, Skyrim. In Skyrim, you choose your race, character name, and alter the appearance of your character from facial hair colour, to bodyshape among other things. Personalization of character is key within these games. From there you focus on particular weapons or magic and develop the respective skills in order to master your art. There is usually a main quest-line to complete, although numerous side quests are often available. Goods are bought and sold, as you strive to acquire the toughest armor and most devastating weapons. They have come along way in years past. Skyrim is an amazing game. In lacked one thing though. Real players to interact with. The creators of Skyrim are creating Elder Scrolls Online, however. Watch that space.

I personally suggest playing http://www.eveonline.com

EVE Online

MMORTS

I’m not personally sure about what constitutes an MMORTS, as I’m not aware of any online real-time strategy game that has massive amounts of players in its world. Most are probably claiming MMORTS status. The good news is, Kickstarter, has come to the rescue of this sub-genre with an awesome new game that takes on traditional RTS features and combines them into a massively multi-player world. Planetary Annihilation. The closest thing I can find to a real MMORTS.  I personally supported this game on Kickstarter, and am expecting big things. Any true RTS fan will be drooling over this. Inter-plantary base building, no unit caps, up to 40 players. This should truly be epic. If you like RTS, go to the link and buy it right now https://store.uberent.com/Store/PreOrder?titleId=4&sessionId=h55757c84r

Planetary Annihilation

MMOFPS

True massively multi-player first-person shooters may also be fiction, as current leaders like Battlefield 3 have a server size of 64 and below, although apparently there is potential to increase that.

The WarZ

I played WarZ, which promotes itself as an MMO, a post-apocalyptic zombie survival MMO. Truthfully, it suffered from making false promises and is currently beleaguered by hacking, as a lot of games are today. It was a truly fun game and it has great potential. For example, you dropped all your gear when your character died, and conversely, when you put someone down, you could pick up their gear. This made dying so painful, and killing so rewarding. WarZ was designed for PvE (player vs environment). Basically the constant battle for survival against zombies, hunger, thirst and other potential hazards were supposed to be your main enemy. However, PvP (player vs player) was immediately the most popular style of game-play, as players quickly started killing each other on site, as they learned that trust was a liability they could not afford. Groups were quickly formed for mutual protection, as associations of friends in the real world logged in and coordinated activities together. Then the disease of hacking quickly set in, granting extra powers to gamers willing to pay for hacks. Hacking could result in you being permanently banned, but in the beginning this was not a big concern as it was difficult to catch the hacker. It quickly impaired the game for non-hackers, as they didn’t stand a chance, and were disposed of swiftly and easily. Overall, it was a very challenging and addictive game. I hope it survives and eradicates their hacking problem.

Planetside2

What I’m really excited about is a MMOFPS shooter by the name of Planetside 2. It was released late last year. This is FPS on an epic scale. PIcture massive maps, thousands of units, and battles that can potentially last for weeks. WTF! How come I didn’t know about this game earlier.

The Social Aspect

Contrary to popular belief, MMO’s are quite social. They are designed for interacting with other people, which, evidently, we humans desire. It’s certainly more social than reading a book, or watching TV. Just like non-virtual life, people make friends and fall in love with people they have meet in these games. Take this article for example http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_relationships.html. There are probably many more examples, but I’m running out of time. I have to go meet someone in real life.

I really enjoyed writing this blog, and I hoped you enjoyed reading it too. As always, leave comments, and share if you like it.