Archive for the ‘big money’ Category


IBM CodeStation – Sentinel 2.0

August 7, 2007

by Onder Skall

I’ve received an urgent transmission and need your help! Beware the pink pony-tailed menace!

BEGIN TRANSMISSION 1 (07.31.07). S.O.S. – S.O.S. – IBM CODESTATION is breached. Infiltrator appears to be horrible pink beast with devastating pony-tails. Our defender, SENTINEL, is defeated – broken in four and scattered across Second Life. [See attached movie.] You are our last hope. Find the four parts and rebuild SENTINEL. The black boxes will lead the way. Prizes and glory await all those who complete the challenge… END TRANSMISSION 1 (07.31.07).


Details after the jump!

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Weapons of Choice

July 15, 2007

[Originally published by me in New World Notes – small intro by Hamlet]

Unleashing the power of CCS high above the City of Lost Angels

Way back in its earliest beginnings, Second Life was conceived in part as a platform for game development. But as SL designers will eagerly tell you, hacking the code to support a playable system is a massive challenge. Accepting it are CCS and DSC, two robust gameplay engines already in use by many gamers in SL. NWN game correspondent Onder Skall breaks down the pros and cons of both in a compare and contrast accompanied by uniformly kickass screenshots. Whether you’re a gamer or game developer, it’s mandatory reading. Join Onder after the break.

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Playin’ Half-Life For Cash

July 13, 2007

by Onder Skall

An official press release (see below) announces the launching of where players can wager real money on their skills playing popular first person shooter games. You can wager up to $10 per match and you’re limited to depositing $150 per month into the system, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t figure out how to cheat the system. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t somebody out there making a living playing FPS through this site within six months.

Even without cheating it’s still better than gold farming.

Pro gamers, of course, join the pro leagues. If you’re curious about that sort of thing, check out Major League Gaming (MLG), the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL),  or the Global Gaming League (GGL). You can make a pretty good, honest living at it if you’re good enough.

Full press release after the jump.

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Danger Zone

June 19, 2007

Danger Zone - uh oh.  Danger Zone - SHARKS!

by Onder Skall

Rifkin Hasburg must be a saint, because if I were in his place, I’d have killed me by now. I’ve been stringing the poor guy along on this Danger Zone review for ages now. I’ve told him “oh yeah I’m going to get to that this week” or “oop sorry guess I’ll do it next week” for months. It’s a wonder he doesn’t have a “kill Onder Skall” group formed.

Alright, so lets (finally!) talk Danger Zone. It’s a winner-takes-all (minus the rake) bidding game for 2 – 8 players, and it’s really fun. The pictures above are from the first game we played with just four people, but we all hung out afterward and played a seven-player game that was even more fun.

Gameplay is easy to understand as soon as you’ve done it, but difficult to explain. There are five “rounds”, and during each round a cube is randomly drawn. After each cube is drawn you choose to “Stay” or “Run”. If you “Run”, you’re done for that round. If you “Stay”, another cube is drawn until the round ends.

With me so far? Good. Now here’s the trick: some of the cubes are good and give you “gems”. Whoever ends the game with the most wins the pot. Some of the cubes are BAD, however, and activate one of the traps. If the same trap comes up twice in a round everybody who stayed gets smashed/sliced/zapped/blasted/eaten, and loses all of the gems they got for that round. At that point the cubes all go back into the pool, the traps are reset, and the next round starts.

There are a few extra little things about how gems are divided up and how a pot of gems in the middle is handled, but that’s the general idea. If you’re still confused, don’t worry: as soon as you’ve played one round it all becomes crystal clear. The HUD is entirely optional and it really is as simple as mashing one of the two buttons on the table. The one feature people had the hardest time with was the point where, after they pay, they need to sit on the platform that has their name. Maybe the platforms need to blink or something.

Anyhow, huge huge fun. We got smashed by boulders, struck by lightning, slashed by spinning blades, blown up by dynamite, and eaten by sharks. Hillarious, fun animations and a deceptively simple interface with lots of strategy behind it makes this a game you’ll want to play over and over again. If you like Poker, you’ll love Danger Zone!


City Of Lost Angels Combat System Goes Open Source

May 10, 2007

by Onder Skall

This was originally published in the Herald.

Fight freely – community combat system combat system to be released in May

by Onder Skall, Gaming in SL desk


I’ve been billing the City of Lost Angels for awhile now as the “queen of SL RPGs”. It’s among the oldest, has the most unbelievably hardcore players, and has been tested as having the fastest and most lag-free RPG interface. The sim owner, Suzanna Soyinka, has been expanding the game by several sims. Tonight she dropped a major bombshell on me though: they’re making CoLA Combat System an open source project.

Got a dream for an RPG you want to run in SL? Now you won’t have to reinvent the wheel, and you won’t have to pay rent to have the privilege of using somebody else’s system.

Onder Skall: You are my goddamn hero today.
Suzanna Soyinka laughs
Suzanna Soyinka: Peoples games shouldn’t be about making a few people rich
Suzanna Soyinka: Not here
Suzanna Soyinka: Not in this world
Suzanna Soyinka: There are ways to support yourself here, through creativity and not selling other peoples concepts

Suzanna Soyinka: Oh also the sim of Primordealism has joined the CoLA/NoR RP chain, even moved their sim to due ease of the NoR Reliance sim.
Suzanna Soyinka: So we’re up to 7 continguous sims. With an 8th on the way
Onder Skall: available right now?
Suzanna Soyinka: Yes its there right now actually. Just not on the map, probably won’t be til tommorrow. Primordealism or Noumenon Roleplay as its called is a more dark fantasy based play area focused on faeries and elves and demons in a quasi modernistic steampunkish atmosphere.
Suzanna Soyinka: We’re working with the admin of that sim, Super Calamari to implement it as a parallel realm that supports our supernatural races and will be expending the CCS system to integrate them into the game more fully with more defined race and class choices for that style of character.

Press release follows:

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Dr. Dobb’s Journal and Life 2.0

May 2, 2007

by Onder Skall

NOTE: this article was actually written several weeks ago and sent in to the Herald. It got lost in the shuffle and never saw the light of day. For ongoing coverage of the Life 2.0 event, see Metaversed.

When I had first heard of the Dr. Dobbs Life 2.0 event (through channels I’ve since forgotten) the details were pretty sketchy. We knew it was going to be in-world, and roughly what it was about (the journal is about hardcore code-crunching, after all), but there was nothing really beyond that. A perusal of the “Life 2.0” website shed some light on the matter:

[…] John Jainschigg, Director of Online Technology for Dr. Dobb’s Journal, announced Dr. Dobb’s Life 2.0, a new initiative aimed at providing software developers with a resource for events, training, and business development within the Second Life virtual world.

According to the program summary the hardcore basics of LSL and building in SL will be covered April 28/29, followed by a series of two-hour seminars over the next few days on topics like “SL as Platform” and “SL is Not a Game/SL is All Games”. Still, there was a serious lack of names here. I went to the island, took a look around, and found it to be a vacant work-in-progress. What’s going on here? (Side note: turns out I’m just a little early – they’ll be almost done building the place by the end of the week.)

After about five minutes another green dot appeared on the mini-map and I chased it down. Maybe they knew something. As it turned out this was Rissa Maidstone, an independent consultant helping to put the place together. She contacted John Jainschigg (John Zhaoying in SL) who quickly joined us, and the three of us settled in for a chat. What is this event meant to accomplish? Who is it for? Is this going to be a one-off event, or is Dobb’s going to make more than just another corporate brochure site?

The fact is, I’ve really lost touch with Dr. Dobb’s Journal. I hung up my programmer hat years ago when life pulled me in another direction, and only had a distant recollection of having owned C++ manuals that they produced. They were, and continue to be, the ultimate resource for software developers serious about staying on the cutting edge. They were the first to print Richard Stallman’s “GNU Manifesto“, were all over the introduction of Linux, and recently explored how to prepare for the so-called “Vista Killer”, SLED10 Linux. You don’t get any more bleeding edge than these guys.

As it turns out, these days, this is just the tip of the iceberg for them.

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March 29, 2007

GigagamezFrom GigaGamez, via Kotaku, via Alice:

John Carmack Offers to Advise on NASA’s Proposed MMO

The ironic thing about finding this article via such a convoluted path is that it was written by Wagner James Au of New World Notes. You’d think I’d have found it via his blog. Ah well. Anyhow, the point is: NASA has money to sink into a 3-space promo, and John Carmack (programmer of Quake and Doom) recommends they not reinvent the wheel. Here’s the hot quote:

“[I] do support efforts to enhance math/science/engineering education, and I could imagine something interesting coming out of it if they were willing to focus on game-like scenario and actions, rather than trying to be some sort of generic Second Life sort of environment.”

Sounds like just the sort of thing that Millions Of Us or Electric Sheep or River Runs Red should be chasing down. Time to hustle boys!