Browser Game Advertising in 2011

It’s nice to know that in the new year, the proud tradition of online strategy game ads hasn’t been lost. I ran across this gem the other day for Caesary. “Seize what’s yours!” Caesary. Seize. Nice. I also did a quick search for “Caesary ad” and found this one from before the game’s launch. Classic.

Also, Bio Break posted a great one for Lord of Ages featuring the guy from 300. 2011 is turning out pretty good so far. And just to save you from searching, here are some other articles about infamous browser game advertising and art theft:



1 Year Celebration

Oi, somehow the days seem to slip by as we approach the end of the year. Speaking of the end of the year, OSG1 is now 1 years old! Huzzah! And look, Ikariam has dumped another load of snow to celebrate:

It’s pretty interesting that the developers are so dedicated to bringing us special graphics each holiday, but what I really want for Chirstmas is an improvement to the gameplay.

Now, I realize I’ve falled behind again this week. Let me make it up to you with a sweet image from the Travian4 Alliance:

Okay, now I’m off to chisel the next Tales of Aloriah.


Negligent Ruler

Today I received a message from the loyal citizens of my Ikariam account:

Your citizens from world Eta have been running around for 7 days, not knowing what to do!
Hoping for a sign from you, they have now gathered in front of the town hall, instead of working.
So come back to and give your citizens the advice they need!

We are looking forward to your return,
Your Ikariam-Team

Has it really been 7 days? I am a terrible ruler. Maybe if a dragon would attack Ikariam, or something else exciting, I would be more inspired to tend to my account… Hint hint, Gameforge. Hint hint.


Travian 4 Beta

Success! I have made it in to the Travian 4 Beta! Even though I can’t activate my account for another 5.8 days, I’ve already chosen my tribe (Gauls, since I seem to have the most success with them) and designed my Hero. I’m going for the “young Stalin” look that’s popular with the ladies these days.

From what I’ve read on the Travian 4 blog, it seems that the majority of changes for Travian 4 are the graphics. They’re adding a lot more depth to the Hero system, including “Adventures”, and expanding the Natars. While all this sounds nice in the blog, it will be great to get to experience it first hand, and also see how the new images integrate with the rest of the game.


I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 19

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 19
– by Goemon

A really long time ago, I complained that building layout should have more of an impact in this game. Being devout followers of both this blog and this series, EA finally decided to listen to me. You now get a bigger increase in resource production by building next to natural resources rather than destroying them and just building cottages. Of course, you won’t find my name being thanked in the update notes. Classic corporate move if you ask me. Ahem. Here is the subtle difference between the new and old buildings (Left is new, right is old. Hopefully you knew that).

Basically, now you get a 50% bonus for connecting rocks, 40% for nearby (i.e. diagonal ones) as opposed to a 25% previously. That’s quite the boost. I like it. Of course, now that I find out it’s beneficial to build next to natural resources, look at the layout of my new city.

It’s like some kind of post apocalyptic vision of what a city should be. There are no trees, no water, nothing natural. It’s all smoke, cottages, factories, and they couldn’t be packed closer together. In a way it’s perfect…Too Perfect. Ever seen that movie Soylent Green? No? Didn’t think so. Spoiler alert: Charlton Heston finds out he was on Earth all along. But seriously, this city is like that.

It’s my first expansion on the new server though, and I’m not about to go demolishing everything and starting over. I’m going to make this utopia work. Now I’m being plundered by two different top 10 alliances, the oh-so-creatively-named “the_elite,” (they might have well just called themselves The Lords or something) who are currently ranked #2, and “ghosts” who are #10. I took over this town so naturally I was expecting it to get plundered, but I didn’t know it was going to happen so quickly.

Unfortunately the fact that I didn’t start this city from scratch has left me in a bit of a tough spot. The building limit is definitely maxed out- beyond maxed out actually. There are too many buildings for the current town hall level. This is only possible because while it was deserted, all of the buildings degraded. I did not realize this at the time…I guess that’s why they have scouts, right? Well, too late now.

Anyways, I need to build some defense, or at least some hideouts, but in order to have more buildings, I need to upgrade my town hall, but in order to upgrade my town hall, I need resources, but in order to keep getting resources, I need to stop getting plundered, but in order to stop getting plundered, I need to build hideouts and defense, but in order to have more buildin- alright, I’ll shut up now. My head hurts.

10 Games That Could Have Spin-off OSGs

Lord of Ultima started the ball rolling, but is less of an homage and more of an attempt at publicity by somehow including the name “Ultima” in the title. The OSG really has nothing to do with the Ultima MMO, but what if we took some classic (and maybe some not so classic) video games and truly adapted them to the OSG genre? Let’s find out.

1. Lord of Mushroom Kingdom: The Super Mario OSG
Naturally, the standard hot girl would be Princess Peach. Units would include Koopas (both flying and normal), bob-ombs for seige, and goombas for grunts. Your Toads would be hard at work mining for Mushrooms, Flowers, and Stars, and upgrading your Doom Ships.

2. Final FantOSG
I know Square Enix already has one in the works, but not a strictly Final Fantasy based game. The units would include the job classes from the classic games- I’m talking black mage, white mage (priest), knight, lancer, etc. The game would also have the most 3d Animated Cutscenes of any OSG to date.

3. Castlevania
Have we ever seen a horror OSG in general? I don’t think so. This game would need to employ a hero system in which players could have a Belmont lead the way. Standard units would be Castleveania staples like zombies, skeletons, those weird merman fish things, you get the point. Awesome soundtrack included.

4. Doom
A first person shooter adapted to an MMORTS? I must be crazy. But think of the potential units! All of the cool demons would be build-able: Imps, zombies, cyberdemons, pinkies. The tough part would be incorporating all the weapons.

5. Team Fortress 2
Walls built by engineers and defended by sentries. Every single class is able to be recruited. Build a 1000 scouts to rush your opponent. Build thousands of heavies and medics for a solid defense. Soldiers and Demomen destroy the walls, paving the way for a pyro rush. I don’t see how this can be bad. They could even make a shortcut to jump into a round of 2Fort while waiting to upgrade the Intelligence.

6. Half Life (2)
It might be a little difficult to capture the post apocalyptic-resistance feel of the game, but the different unit classes could work if the player was allowed to choose one of two factions, human or alien. And if Valve is going to make an OSG, why not two?

7. Grand Theft Auto Vice City
I only chose Vice City because I love the 80s theme. But really the key to making this a good game would be to have it based on different gangs in different parts of the city. It would probably end up being a mix between Mafia Wars and an OSG, which would actually be pretty interesting.

8. Halo
The franchise has already been converted to an RTS, in the form of Halo Wars. Why not one step further. The different alien types and vehicles would translate easily to the genre, and might help induct some frat boys into the genre, which will make prime raiding targets.

9. Any Star Wars game
Currently building: Death Star. Time left: 02y 04m 23d 17h 12m 14s. Hurry production?
Use the jedis as heroes, and rest is pretty self explanatory. Xwings, TIE fighters, and it makes perfect sense to have an army of 1,000 identical Storm Troopers.

10. Tetris
You figure it out.


I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 18

I Am the Lord of Ultima (well, not yet) Part 18
– by Goemon

EA and Phenomic released a huge update a couple of days ago entitled “Ascension.” This is the second of a planned three (free!) updates to the game. The first was entitled “Serpent Isle” and essentially added streamlined menus with more customizable options. Nothing major. But while Ascension doesn’t add more content like new unit types and NPC areas per say, it does change the general structure of the game, and adds some new features. It makes sense that this is not a paid-for, “DLC” update, because the changes affect everyone. Let me brief you.

The biggest change is the structure of moonstones, barons, and city founding. Prior to this update, essentially what you would do to found new cities is build a moonglow tower to level 10, spend 50,000 of every resource to get moonstones, then you could buy a baron and found/take over a new city. They now introduced the Research system. Basically, you now have the option of “purifying” your normal resources: wood, stone, iron, and food, into Darkwood, Runestone, Veritium, and Trueseed, respectively. Are you lost yet? Surely an OSG veteran such as yourself can keep up with some simple name changes. 1000 wood equals 1 Darkwood, 1000 stone equals one Runestone, etc.

“So what’s the difference?” I hear you asking. This might just seem like an extraneous step- and maybe it is- but after you purify the resources is where it gets interesting. Sure, you have the option to recruit barons, found new cities, etc. BUT, you can now Research(there’s that word again) as well. You can spend your purified resources on MMORPG-esque enhancements for your units and cities.

There are simple yet highly useful things like Construction Speed Bonus which does what you might expect. You can increase travel speed of units and carts. And you can increase combat strength in general.

This is kind of cool, in that you can further customize your playstyle. Opting for brute force, strictly berzerkers? Upgrade Berzerker strength to the max. Want to get in and get out with as much loot as possible? Focus on unit speed.

The problem is, as far as I can tell there’s no limit to how many upgrades you can get, whereas a traditional MMO or any other RPG will limit your character to only have a certain type of skills. So basically, if you got the funds, you got the upgrade. And with enough cash you get all the upgrades. Which means, on a long enough timeline, all the best players will have all of the upgrades, throwing customization out the window, and then you’re just back to essentially the vanilla game. Then again, it will probably be really hard to get ALL of the upgrades. Anyways it’s brand new, I guess we’ll see what happens.