Ikariam Update

The new Omikron server is now live. I’ve actually been surprised to see several alliance members starting new accounts on the server. I guess the opportunity to be at the top of a server is pretty tempting. As of yesterday I heard the high score was 94.

Also, Ikariam has put out a “trailer”. As with most OSG videos, it doesn’t address the gameplay much, but it does do a good job of capturing the feel of the world. Enjoy.


EVE Online

Gamasutra posted an article about EVE Online, comparing its content strategy with those of traditional MMO’s (ie World of Warcraft, etc). For those that don’t know, EVE Online is one of the most successful space-themed MMOs. It was released in 2003 by Iceland based CCP. The article suggests that what makes EVE so successful is meaningful in-game interaction between players, something found in OSG’s.

Most MMO’s rely on new content (dungeons, raids, etc) to generate gameplay. In fact, World of Warcraft recently released another content pack, “Cataclysm”. The problem is that players will eventually finish the content, regarless of how much there is, and it is very expensive to create more. Instead of creating linear content EVE Online, and OSG’s, focus on creating a system for players to interact, and let the players create the content. If my Ikariam alliance goes to war again, that’s fluid player-driven content that I don’t have to wait for the developers to release.

Also, purusing the article’s comments revealed this gem: a music video made by the EVE Online Team. It may not be safe for work due to crass language, but it’s very interesting to get a look at the people behind the game. It’s nice to see a game that’s made by actual people, instead of a faceless corporation. The Travian Crewchats accomplish this to an extent, but it would be cool to see a video of them at work.


Sid Meier and the 48-Hour Game Contest

Sid Meier, the designer for the Civilization series, recently took part in a 48-hour game-making contest. Motherboard has the video feature. He doesn’t talk much about Civilization or OSG’s, but it’s a really interesting video and sounds like a fun contest.

“The contest, titled ‘7th Annual Wolverine Soft 48 Hour Game Design Contest’, took place at Sid Meier’s alma mater University of Michigan and pits coders and designers against each other in a race to create a game in two days. Sid Meier participated in the contest and made a game called ‘Escape from Zombie Hotel!’. In addition, he judged the games made by the student teams.”

Global Agenda Video

Global Agenda is a third-person shooter released early this month. I finally got a chance to check it out and was surprised that it encorporates a good deal of OSG mentality. In this video describing the Conquest package, the designer could very well be talking about a Travian alliance planning their war. Similar to Erepublik though, each player only controls one character and only by joining with others do you form a whole army.

Hah, and this Gobal Agenda: No Elves video is great:

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what other genre’s the MMO Strategy gameplay works its way into in the future.


Civ 2 Advisors

Anyone else remember the advisors from Civilization 2? I thought it was really intersting to have live-action in a game, and some of them were pretty funny. The one at 2:37 is hilarious, especially considering that you would have to cheat in order to see it! (the advisors in this video are all from the “Modern Era”, yet the advisor suggests you need to research “Trade”, but to access the Modern Era you have to research several tech’s that only come after Trade.)

Travian Battle: Ninjas vs GW

Here’s a video of a war between two players on Travian, with thousands of units on each side.

Cheers to the victor on this,

Ikariam City Phases

I found this video that shows the progression of a city in Ikariam. It’s very interesting to watch the transformation, almost like a time-lapse video.