Comments : Comments Off on Browsable Games
Categories : convergence, digital distribution, engines, web games
I read on Gamasutra today that the classic, harsh text adventure Zork is returning as a browser based MMO. Similar things have already bee attempted, such as the bot running classic text adventures at the Idle Thumbs Forums, and they’re a good place to go if you want a quick look at just how obtuse and punitive these games could be.
Not only does this seem utterly bizarre, but they’ll probably have to dumb it down to make it acceptable to a modern audience.
Everything seems to be heading to the browser right now. I was shown a demo of the hugely impressive Unity engine at an academic conference last summer, developers like FlashBang have been consistently knocking out interesting games with it, and the company is attracting talent.
iD currently have Quake Live in beta, and it’s basically Quake 3 running in a browser. There have been similar demos out for a while, for instance an only occasionally up demo of a simple Unreal Tournament level running in shockwave was doing the rounds a few years ago.
Some of the first FPS games to lead into professional gaming leagues, that required a pretty hefty gaming rig a decade ago, are now simple enough to pipe through a browser. This is going to be an incredible new thread by which to acclimatise people to gaming, as well as encourage invention. How long before games like Katamari Damacy and De Blob appear online first?
Comments : Comments Off on Monumental Games Funded with £300K
Categories : britsoft, engines, funding, middleware, mmos, virtualworlds, web games
East Midlnads based Monumental Games have won £300,000 of funding from the Technology Strategy Board, they announced yesterday.
It makes a lot of sense, as networked technology is looking like one of the safest bets in games at the moment.
I do wonder if Rocco wrote this or it was written for him, as press release quotes often are:
Project Chairman Rocco Loscalzo (CTO of Monumental) praised the approach of the Technology Strategy Board. “This is the first year that the Technology Strategy Board has invited applications from the Creative Industries, and it is encouraging to see recognition for the contribution made by such industries to the UK economy. This award for Collaborative Research and Development has enabled us to kick-start a commercially viable but inherently high-risk project, and we can’t wait to get going with our partners.”
Either way, it’s fairly progressive for a games company to class themselves under “creative industries”; most stay pretty aloof from the label because they see it as only applying to small, local artisanal businesses.
(CC image of monumental forehead by Salemek)
Comments : Comments Off on WebWars: EVE
Categories : brands, convergence, mmos, web, web games
Late last year was a season of highly polished AAA game releases, and the run out of summer this year seems to belong to interesting indie games. We’ve already had Braid and Echochrome, and upcoming is Flower.
Upcoming is also Webwars: EVE, which seems to be a casual take on CCP’s MMO, in which players compete to control websites. As Alice says, “It’s PMOG meets EVE!”
Which are both interesting projects in their own right.
I played EVE Online for a two week trial, and it was not only beautiful, but surprisingly deep and huge. I felt truly lost in a massive galaxy, rarely seeing the same players twice. It was a surprising mix of casual and complex, with an Alt+Tab friendliness that most games don’t have coupled with long travel times, leading to attention being on several things on the computer at once. However, the markets and character leveling were really very involved, calling for much advance planning and scheduling of play time. It was one of the first games to impress on me the quote Eyjolfur Gudmondsson gave to gi.biz recently:
alternate universes such as Eve’s are “real, but not reality.”
It is extremely interesting yet of course logical that CCP would turn EVE into a brand and spread it down into more casual territory.