Archive for June, 2007

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Tir a Slan

June 29, 2007

profilepic.jpgBy Osprey Therian

Tir a Slan is a pleasant community of medieval-style role players who inhabit a small land in Green Goblin sim divided into many role-play friendly areas including a cave, a gypsy camp, and a town with ships at anchor. Buildings are carefully marked as private or for role play – which is undoubtedly a help for those who rent houses. The core group, which numbers about 120, is augmented by role players running their factions as separate groups. It’s only been running full tilt for about 6 weeks, but weekly events such as duels on a stone bridge (under which lurks a dragon) as well as the day-to-day polishing of the storyline keep inhabitants satisfied. I spent time here on my own, but also attended the weekly tournament. The Tir a Slan role players were gentle and courteous with each other (even when dueling) during my visit, however I have learned of age-old conflicts that must shake their good manners. I was told that players in RP wear the RP hud to indicate they are ‘in game’ and those that are just observing or shopping do not.

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Read the rest of this entry ?

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Watch We Are The Strange In SL Friday

June 27, 2007

by Onder Skall

DROP EVERYTHING!

Oh… ok well wipe that up and then come back.

Watch We Are The Strange in Second Life at Ars Virtua Gallery this Friday 6pm PST. Yeah. Seriously.

Full article, click here. Yeah I know, you’d be surfing away from my website if you read it. That’s cool. Ars Virtua are awesome. Go.

See M Dot Strange pimpin the DVD and talking about the SL show here:

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Building A Virtual World On A Budget

June 26, 2007

Wraith: The Iron Horse put this fantastic writeup in their newsletter recently: 

The purpose behind this particular piece of literature is to inform would be indie developers of not only the true, hands-down, minimum costs to get a basic world up and going that has a bit more than stale, rehashed content, and to provide a frank window into some of the skill-time-needs analysis that we’ve hit and currently stagger along with. In other words, I’m going to answer why so many folks end up making technology instead of MMOGs.

Definitely worth checking out.

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The Future Of Insert Coin Arcade

June 25, 2007

Hello. I’m Seven Shikami, owner and designer of Insert Coin Arcade, and all the games within. Now, let’s get down to business.

“Seven, what’s this I hear about your retrogames no longer being for sale?”

I had never dreamed — or intended, really– that this enterprise would become a massive business that would eventually lead to opening a full island sim. The problem is that the products here essentially infringe on the rights of several copyright holders, such as Nintendo, Capcom, and Konami. While I firmly believe that retrogaming nostalgia is a form of common, shared culture, and my games are an expression of my love for that culture, I can’t reconcile the fact that I am actually making some money off this labor of love, and that’s a no-no.

Lately, Second Life has been in the news, and not in a good way as police and FBI and lawyers are starting to sit up and take notice. Since I’m not in the mood to have my life destroyed by corporations, even ones I have a great deal of love for due to the joy they’ve given me throughout both my childhood and adulthood, I’m doing the “right thing” and not selling the games anymore.

“Noooooo!”

Hey, hang on! This is not a death knell, it’s a rebirth. Just keep reading, okay? Right. Onward!

“Hang on, what about the games I bought from you?! Are they going away? Are you magically whisking them from my inventory!?”

No, no, of course not. You bought them; they’re yours. I RECOMMEND you set them free play or simply delete them, though, to avoid legal troubles. If you wanna damn the torpedoes, though, that’s your call and you can keep them rolling and keep them giving you money. It’s entirely up to you! However, no more patches or features will be added to these games.

Excluded from this are Whack-a-Mole and Skeeball. After some modifications (which will be issued free to owners) they’re safe as houses. Technically, the trademarks on these games are actually “Whac-a-Mole(tm)” and “Skee-ball(tm)” and our games play like any number of similar non-infringing clones — and ours even have features the originals do not. So, good to go!

“So… does this mean no more arcade games, ever?”

HELL NO! It’s a rebirth… I have plans to take the code — which was entirely my work and only vaguely echoed the original games anyway — and repurpose it for a SECOND GENERATION of games, using original intellectual property, but hearkening back to the era of coin-op that time forgot. Original sprite artwork and new cabinet designs. You can learn more about this in the Upcoming Projects room, in the back of the arcade, which will open soon to the public so you can follow our progress.

What’s more, when they’re finished, you will get the “equivilant” Second Generation version of the game you own FOR FREE. I said free upgrades for life, and I meant it!

Still, you love these games from your childhood, why replace them with originals? Well…

* REASON #1: PROFIT. Although I believe $1 to be the most fair price point, the new games will allow for $0, $1, $5 or $10 price points per play. These will become viable ways to pay for your tier! (You run the risk of losing business to lower priced competitors, but that’s business, baby.)

* REASON #2: TICKETS & PRIZES. The most requested feature ever will be added — the ability to install (if you buy the package for it) a ticket booth that hands out prizes of your own design! A great way to promote your business and encourage repeated arcade plays! Your tickets will be unique to your arcade, and cannot be spent at a competitor’s place. The module that gives out tickets and redeems them for prizes will be on sale soon from the arcade’s shop wall. (It’s not free, but it’ll be much cheaper than an arcade game itelf.)

* REASON #3: OPEN SOURCE. What!? YES, open source game development tools! I am going to publish the framework that handles owner config, payment, player registration, high scores, and even ticket rewards! With this OpenArcade Framework, you can develop your OWN games that will be compatible with the ticket booth system, high score trackers, and all the other features you’ve come to love from Insert Coin Arcade.

You lose the original, infringing IP… but look at what you gain in return. A free game. More profit generating. Ticket granting. And a developer’s toolkit. It’s a fair trade.

“When will all this neat stuff be made available?”

The answer is “When It’s Done.” We’ll be working first on revamps to Skeeball and Whack-a-Mole, then releasing the Ticket System to go with them. The OpenArcade Framework will follow soon after, letting you develop your own games.

If you want to track progress, visit the Upcoming Projects room.

“You bastard! I paid $350 just last week for these, and now you’re dropping support?”
“You bastard! I wanted to buy more of these but put it off, and now I can’t get them!”
“You bastard! I don’t want original games, I want Nintendo classics!”

I wish I could please everybody, but I can’t. In this situation I have to do what’s best for myself, or there’d be no more games anyway, and the ones I had would go away when the lawyers came to feed regardless. This is survival. Plus, the new features of Second Generation are going to, I hope, make up for any losses.

For those of you who are nodding your head to all this and continuing to support Insert Coin Arcade… thank you. We can keep the SPIRIT of the greatest generation of gaming alive, without legal troubles, and with even more fun than before. The good times are AHEAD of us. Stay tuned, true believers!

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SiCKO

June 23, 2007
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Paramount Pictures International Brings TRANSFORMERS to Second Life

June 22, 2007

PRESS RELEASE

LONDON, June 21 /PRNewswire/ —

Q&A with Director Michael Bay, Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and the Cast From TRANSFORMERS Launches “Sector 7” TRANSFORMERS Experience Within Virtual World Second Life

In anticipation of the worldwide release of TRANSFORMERS, Paramount Pictures International will be launching “Sector 7”, an immersive 3-D experience within the fast-growing online community known as Second Life.

A live Q&A with the film’s director, Michael Bay, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and the cast from TRANSFORMERS will launch the experience to an invited global audience of press and fans.

In a first for an event of this profile, the Q&A will also be broadcast live as a video stream available for anybody to view both within Second Life and on the web.

Following the Q&A “Sector 7” will open to the public, giving each of Second Life’s 7 million residents the opportunity to:

  • Explore the high-security “Sector 7” underground facility featured in the movie and rebuilt within Second Life.
  • Collect the first of series of official TRANSFORMERS avatars being given away free to “Sector 7” visitors.
  • Interact with a wealth of rich-media production material including stills and video exclusives.
  • Discover a wide selection of other free avatar accessories, virtual merchandise and hidden ‘easter egg’ give-aways.

Paramount Pictures International is working with the creative marketing agency Picture Production Company (PPC) to create the TRANSFORMERS experience within Second Life.

Transformers will open in cinemas across the UK & Ireland on JULY 27th

Paramount Pictures (UK)

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Activist Big Game

June 20, 2007

by Onder Skall

The good folks over at Virtual Cultures are running a cool game in Atlanta:

June 27-July 1. Players venture forth do engage in activist quests throughout the city. Quests range from going on a site recon with homeless activists The Made Housers, exploring Atlanta in a wheelchair and reporting barriers to access, group tree hugs, wildflower seed bombs thrown into empty lots, serving as a guerilla crossing guard, collecting stories about Atlanta’s activist history, and a slew of others.

They’re looking for both participants and people to help run the game, but even if you’re not in the area and just curious about how they’re doing this swing by the ActionQuest website. I’d love to hear about people picking up on these ideas and running their own games in their own cities. Drop me a line if you do!