Posts from ‘MMOG’ Category

Diamond Rider: The Making of

By: Tim

On: May 18th, 2008

Some behind-the-scenes footage of two bedroom coders(!) doing… something.

Whirled (Beta)

By: Derek Yu

On: April 11th, 2008

Whirled Brawler

Hmmm, this is most definitely intriguing. Ian McConville, who’s probably best known for his work on the webcomic Mac Hall, joined Three Rings (Puzzle Pirates) in 2006 as an artist. What he has been working on there was anyone’s guess until about a week ago, when he revealed Whirled to the world (via his new webcomic with Matt Boyd, called Three Panel Soul).

At first glance, Whirled appears to be your average game portal/social network, but it’s a bit more than that. Ian describes it on TPS as “a Flash-Based Object Oriented Multi-User Dungeon.” Three Rings calls it “a web-based social world fueled at every turn by player created content.”

Aside from playing games alone or with other players, you can create your own Flash games and hook them up to Whirled via a free multiplayer library supplied by Three Rings. Ian himself designed a simple brawler (see image) with it that’s pretty awesome.

In the games you can earn points which can be used to buy things, including assets (avatars, pets, etc.) created by other players. You can also create a personalized “room” from the ground up and then connect it to other players’ rooms. These rooms can be embedded into any website, where anyone, account or not, can access it (guests show up as little ghost avatars).

It’s obviously early in the beta, but I’m excited by the idea… it seems like the next logical step for social networks, game portals, and MMOG’s could be right here.

(Source: Transfer, via Sensible Erection [NSFW])


By: Derek Yu

On: March 31st, 2008


I’ve been playing this web game Ikariam for a few weeks now, and man, it’s pretty fun (and free!). There’s just enough to do that it keeps my interest, but it’s passive enough that I don’t feel bad walking away from it for a few days at a time. It’s well-balanced so that you can have a good time no matter how social you want to get.

Essentially, the game is empire-building. You register an account, choose a world (server) to play on, and then you’re plopped down on a random island. A big part of the game involves building up your town, doing research, and managing resources. Which, of course, ends up being pretty fun. Harvesting of materials and research is automatic, and the only decision to be made is how many citizens to devote to each (citizens without specific tasks will generate gold).


Every island in Ikariam holds 16 towns maximum, and each island has one sawmill and one luxury resource – marble, sulfur, crystal glass, and grapes. These two spots are shared by all the inhabitants of the island and must be upgraded through donations. As you can imagine, you need all four of the luxury resources to expand in Ikariam, so trading between other islands is a must. The trading interface is slick and easy to use.

Since the sawmills, quarries, pits, mines, and vineyards are all communal, you get some moochers on every island who don’t donate – it’s common practice to pillage these poor bastards until they feel generous. War and diplomacy are also big parts of the game, and I won’t go into too much detail, but, suffice to say, you can be a total Machiavelli and/or Ghengis Khan, if you please. Just be careful of pillaging towns that belong to alliances, as you can quickly find yourself at the wrath of one of the more powerful ones.

This is about the perfect amount of learning curve/investment for me, for an online game (and the graphics are nice, too). If you want to play together, join the world “Iota” and come find me! My capital is “Tiger Sauce,” on Cukios [70:45]. My friend and I have a small alliance going (“Owl Country”), and it’d be nice to have some TIGers in it!

EDIT: Great to see so many people joined up! Here’s a guide to joining alliances. Before you join, you need an embassy!

GDC Game Collaboration #1: Diamond Rider

By: Derek Yu

On: February 18th, 2008

Diamond Rider

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (May 10, 2006) – RomeoPie Software® of America, Inc. and RomeoPie Software Europe Ltd. today announced the long-anticipated return of Diamond Riderâ„¢, a fan favorite since its original release in 1989. Developed exclusively for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360â„¢ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Diamond Rider marks the first project from the recent acquisition of San Francisco-based studio, Drip Dry Software.

Diamond Rider delivers action-RPG thrills as a small band of Riders embark on an epic adventure to recruit allies, expose the enemy and prevent the annihilation of their breed. Delivering an intense and unique combat experience, players charge into battle on the backs of ferocious beasts or take their chances with the enemy while on foot. Fighting skill, wits and even magic are all called into action as players immerse themselves in the struggle to defeat an evil intent on enslaving the remains of civilization.

“Diamond Rider is one of our most treasured brands and is a complete re-imagining of the story that will take gamers on an unforgettable journey,” said Kyle Pulver, Vice President of Marketing, RomeoPie Software of America, Inc. “The vision we have for the remake of Diamond Rider is nothing short of remarkable and it can only be realized on the PlayStation 3 system and Xbox 360.”

Lila Dreams

By: Derek Yu

On: February 10th, 2008

Lila Dreams

There’s a new indie MMO in the works that’s got people talking. It’s called Lila Dreams:

…the game is a 2d, side-scrolling platform game that takes place in the mind of an 11-year old girl named Lila (pronounced, LEE-lah). As she drifts through life, players (as a race of mental entities called “Memekins”) must deal with the emotional storms and actually guide her through events which could crush her or save her. There will be plenty of actiony combat, some RPG-lite elements (but no level grind), exploration galore, and other non-combat activities like gardening in the soil of Lila’s psyche.

Well, the concept is certainly damn cool! As well as the concept art (no screenshots yet). I’m really curious how players can interact with one another as “Memekins.”

Lila Dreams is being developed by a small team of three, and will be published by Kongregate as part of their Premium Games service. As revealed in this recent interview with Wired, the game is browser-based and will be free to play, with micro-transactions as the primary source of funding for the developers.

No hints about a release date, although Creatrix has said that they will probably launch with 30% of the game’s planned content in, with the rest to come if it does well with players.

Lunia out, Pristontale free to play

By: Albert Lai

On: May 20th, 2007

Welcome to another installment of "Korean MMORPG: If It Ain’t Broke, Keep
Making Copies In the Hopes That It’ll Result In Another Hit, or At Least Enough
Money to Feed Our Children and/or Keep the Server Running", which is not
‘indie’, technically, but, eh.

topics of note:

Lunia! Not actually "Entirely New
genre!"— more like Gauntlet in addition to some kind of instanced mission

This game has the most punishing tutorial I have ever sat through.
The classes are limited to only 3 types, with no customization available, so
you’re required to get used to the three different models after a while. It’s a bit soothing,
like a preview of some kind of dystopic future. It might appeal to some people
– the interface is heavily reminiscent of World of Warcraft and everything
else is more or less directly taken from other MMORPGs, including the complete
lack of attention to localization
– but I would suggest skipping the download
until it’s more fleshed out.


On a similar note, Pristontale is
also free to play now, though the vague memories I have of it have completely
been fuzzed over by now. It’s probably fairly safe to say Pristontale is similar, if
not identical to, games such as ROSE Online, RYL, etc, etc, etc. More polished than Lunia, but the thought of sitting through another heavy download to test that claim
makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Reports have been somewhat
positive. (Screenshot from

It’s rather funny how all these companies try to imitate the success (the terrble,
terrible success) of Maple Story. You can almost hear them thinking "3D
is one more than 2D. Ha! Maple Story! More like…soon to be overwhelmed with
my success story! Should I implement Cash Shop now or later? Where’s my coffee?
I need to celebrate."

Second Life Client Now Open Source

By: Derek Yu

On: January 9th, 2007

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The popular MMORPG has made its client open-source under GNU GPL. You can read the official announcement at the Linden Labs website.

…wow, it’s already a world where people can launch unsuspecting flying penis attacks, and now they want to give the users MORE power?! Outrageous! How many more penises must start flying before we put our foot down on the metaphorical penis and start thinking about the children?

Okay, I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

Trickster Online Finally Out

By: Albert Lai

On: August 4th, 2006

By the gods, Trickster Online
is finally out.

spiritual successor to other popular online MMOs such as Maple Story and Runescape,
Trickster Online has entered the beta stage of what many hope to be the beginning
of yet another free online RPG. But what, you ask, makes Trickster different?

For one, it’s been delayed from the original start of the open beta (July 10th)
to this morning, ensuring that most of the people interested in another MMO
would’ve heard of this. In addition, it requires the player to log in the Trickster
website (Internet Explorer only!), and launch the game from there due to an
enigmatic control called Single Sign On which lets you play any of the games sponsored by GamenGame . In case you really got bitten by the MMO bug.

Anyway, the gameplay itself (or the portion that centers around fighting) is
a tile-based isometric system that operates in real-time. As one of eight different
character classes (Two for each ‘archetype’, such as the Magic Type, Power Type,
etc) you fight monsters, go through quests, yada yada yada. It’s pretty unlikely
that the basic system is unfamiliar to most players.

In addition, experience can be gained through card games, or drilling for items,
enjoyable sub-games that can be a break from quests, some of which are repeatable.

Right now Trickster Online is in a ‘Closed Beta’, but from the wording on the
official site, it seems rather as if the game is in a open beta, just that the
amount of simultaneous players that can be logged in is, er, in the thousands.
At least you can try, right?

User-Created Ecosystem in Second Life

By: Derek Yu

On: May 31st, 2006


It seems like every time I look, there’s something new going on in Linden Labs’ virtual world Second Life. I like this story about how a stay-at-home mom (who formerly worked in the games industry, I might add) has created a flourishing ecosystem in the game in her spare time. It’s just the kind of geeky and fun thing that makes gaming great.

All this sounds like an invaluable experiment in artificial life or testing theories on evolutionary development, so I ask if she’s interested in finding out anything from Svarga.

“Yeah,” she answers, “Is it fun? I’m totally uninterested in all the hypothetical bollox that gets spouted by academics.”

She sounds like a cool mom.