Stone Age Kings Releases English Version

Finally, after almost a year of waiting, Stone Age Kings has finally launched an English version. I’ve started an account and should get a review out soon.

I’ve also been really impressed with the translation. A lot of online strategy games, most of which are developed in Germany or China, end up with some horrible engrish, but it’s clear Stone Age Kings actually spent some time on this. I’ll leave you with some great text from the tutorial:

“My Son! For more than 50 winters, I was the Boss of this family. Now my time is over. Our ancestors are waiting for me. Now it’s your turn to lead teh family and our tribe.

“Unfortunately, we both know, you’re your mother’s son. To prevent a complete fail of yours, I’ll have a look at your first steps. Don’t disappoint me, or I’ll haunt your dreams.

“Hell, it’s about time! At least it wasn’t a complete disaster. I’ll reward you with the promised raw materials.

“Now let’s see if you can handle the next quests.

“Have you really found someone who will do the dangerous hunt for you? Perhaps that’s better – everyone would have starved if it had been left to you.”

This has been the most insulting OSG tutorial I have played, but it’s hilareous. Great job, Gorilla Gaming.



Interesting Comments

One of the develoeprs from Aloriah left a comment! Depending on how the poll goes this weekend, I’ll be starting a game with them when they start their new server.

Mytheria made a slew of comments during my absense, so I’ll return the favor by including a link to his Freesky Blog which recently has been discussing Plants vs zombies.

Finally, Uryxt pointed me to another OSG, Cultures Online. Unfortunately, aside from the home page it seems the game is in German. Coupled with Stone Age Kings, that makes two OSG’s I really wish would hire a translator.


Checking In On Stone Age Kings

Time to time I check back with Stone Age Kings to see if they’ve expanded beyond German yet. Still no luck. It looks like a great game (I’m especially intrigued by their weather system), so hopefully they will eventually release an English version. Until then, I’ve taken the liberty to (poorly) translate some of the ads they have on their site. Compared to some of the Lord of Ultima ads on Facebook, these are quite creative.

“Out on Vacation. Now testing the new vacation mode.” Vacation mode is a feature I first noticed in Ikariam. If players are going to be away from the game for a while they can freeze their account: they won’t harvest any resources, but won’t be attacked either. Vacation mode also has a cool-down perioid of a couple days, so it’s not abused. It’s a free feature in Ikariam, but it looks like in Stone Age Kings it costs 10 Obsidian / day.

“Feature Preview: Conquest. All information about the coming patch.” Stone Age Kings is release a “Conquest” patch that allows players to conquer villages of inactive players. Conquering a player’s village is a huge game element, and many games approach it differently. In Travian you can conquer anyone’s village, active or otherwsise. In Ikariam you can’t conquer any village at all. Lord of Ultima introduced their own Castle System. Being able to conquer inactive villages certainly makes sense, as it allows for the mechanic without active players having to worry about it. However, I can only imagine that conquering an inactive village is much less satisfying to the conqueror.

This one I had the most difficult time translating (as I’m relying on Yahoo and Google; German speakers are a lot harder to come by in the States…) It says something along the lines of “Sign up here and lead your own village. Seize the power and lead your people to glory and honor!”. Nothing terribly interesting about that, but I found Babelfish’s original output rather humorous: “Seize power and cart-load your Bolk outer fame and honour!”

And finally, one more to the ranks of OSG ads using sex-appeal. Or as best you can with a neanderthal character. “Only ‘fur’ you. Obsidian. Load now”

Should anyone catch word of Stone Age Kings coming to the rest of the world, definitely let me know!


Game Themes

I’ve been thinking about OSG Themes, or perhaps more accurately, settings. In my hunt for new games I keep coming across the same thing over and over again. It seems there are some themes that are very over-populated, while there are other interesting themes that OSG’s haven’t taken advantage of. Looking just at the List of Games on this site, I came up with the following breakdown:

Ancient Europe: 13 games
Classic Fantasy: 9 games
Space: 7 games
Ancient Orient: 5 games
20th Century War: 2 games
Modern: 2 games

Then there are a few games that, as far as I know, are the only games in their theme. Stone Age Kings presents a refreshing Prehistoric setting, Nile Online tackles Ancient Egypt, Age of Ocean is a very unique OSG set in the 17th Century, and Freesky presents an interesting blend of fantasy and Steampunk.

Still, there are other themes I haven’t come across that I would very much like to. I think both a “Western” and a “Nuclear Fallout” setting would be perfect material for an OSG, since those eras are all about building (or rebuilding) a civilization. There’s also pre-Columbus America (Aztec, Mayan, etc), which has yet to be explored in an online strategy game.

All to say, I’m growing tired of the seemingly endless line of Ancient European OSGs (if you combine Ancient Europe and Classic Fantasy that makes up for over 50% of the games). If the developers insist on copying the standard OSG gameplay, the least they can do is wrap it in a unique skin.

I’d like to compile a sort of wishlist for OSG themes. If there’s a game setting you’d like to see, let me know!


Browser Game of the Year

The Browser Game of the Year site has declared its winners.

The Strategy browser game of the year is Stone Age Kings!

And the overall browser game of the year is Wewaii!

Stone Age Kings looks pretty cool, and it’s a refreshing theme, so I’m trying to spend some time with it even though my German is awful. Wewaii is a Hotel-managing game (similar to the Tycoon series) by Travian Games.

Has anyone played these games? Do you think they deserve the title?