38 Studios News Bits

Lots of random bits of information out there about 38 Studios over the past week or so. Some of us were out at CES and met with various people, which produced several interviews and features around the web. Of note, and probably the only real new piece for those who have been paying attention to the company, is that our codename is out: Copernicus. It has nothing to do with the game itself, as it is just a codename, but it’s out there now. Anyway, on to the links… Continue Reading »

MMO Development Lesson #26

Make cancellation easy. Seriously, don’t make it difficult in the least. The worst thing you can possibly do is make someone call to cancel their subscription. It may yield you an extra month of their subscription money since people are generally lazy, but it will leave such a horrible taste in their mouth that they will NEVER come back. Ever. Feel free to ask for brief (key word #1), voluntary (key word #2) feedback, maybe a series of check boxes that they can select for why they quit. But, make it a simple, easy to understand, quick, painless process. If you do, the player will be infinitely more likely to come back if and when they get the itch.

Tales from the Tavern: Volume IV

Our little MMO community at the Nerfbat Forums continues to kick butt and take names. We’ve had a few new members join us over the past week, and a lot of great discussion has taken place. We’re now at 2181 total posts, 165 topics, and 202 members. Since I’m not one to actually give much of a darn about consistency, this post comes on a different day and with a different number of posts featured than normal (alright, there is no normal). Enjoy the round-up. Continue Reading »

Is Innovation Unwelcome?

What a frightening subject to even bring up: Innovation. One of my big questions related to innovation is whether it is even welcome in gaming anymore. Do publishers want it? Do developers want it? Do players want it? The answer to all of those is, “yes and no.” We believe we want it, but do we really want it? Innovation is a word in the same category as Immersion; you can’t really define it in such a way that it satisfies everyone, and you can’t always identify it when you see it. Continue Reading »

Anyone Playing Pirates of the Burning Sea?

If so, what server? I’ve made my obligatory “Captain Morgan” clone, a hot chick, and a character I might actually play. All are on Blackbeard right now, but I’ll play wherever. My first impressions are the same as my old beta impressions: good game, reminds me of old school Pirates! The main drawback is pacing, which can be slow. Sailing is far too slow, especially when the wind is against you (I understand why, but it doesn’t make it fun). But, I think I’m going to have a good time as a merchant of opportunity, and I’ll continue to hope that they make ship combat faster (note to self: email friends at SOE and maybe they’ll talk to Flying Lab).

Boston Post Mortem | January 2008

The January 2008 Boston Post Mortem will be Wednesday, January 16 at The Skellig in Waltham. This game developer meeting will be sponsored by CIDC, which means free appetizers and a single free beverage for those who go. There will be 8 speakers talking about various topics ranging from why Portal is the most perfect game ever to the finer points of contracting. More information can be found at the Boston Post Mortem site.

Whether ‘Tis Nobler in the Mind to Pay

Are subscription MMOs a dying breed? Dana at WarCry and Akela at Massively have some comments. With more and more free-to-play massively multiplayer games coming to the market, will players continue to pay monthly subscriptions? Yes. Show me a free game with as much support as World of Warcraft in the North American market and I may change my tune, but I believe players will continue to pay for that level of service for some time to come. Continue Reading »

The Illegal Danish

“Van Kraken attempts to steal the mystical Danish from the Illegal Danish while Basutei & Rasi seek out the cause of the portal disruption.” This is the premise of Myndflame’s Illegal Danish: Super Snacks. It, combined with its sequel, is perhaps the most impressive piece of machinima in mmo history. It’s 20 minutes of great writing, wonderful editing, good voiceovers, nice music, and total hilarity. After you watch the first one, check out the recently-released sequel: Illegal Danish 2: Escape from Orgrimmar.

Tales from the Tavern: Volume III

The grand reopening of the Nerfbat Forums has been going quite well so far. We’re now up to 182 members, 160 topics, and 2094 posts. The new default style is Swanky, which is more visually pleasing than the original (but still looks nothing like this site). It’s about time for a new Tales from the Tavern post, so here are the latest hot topics from our MMO discussion forums. Continue Reading »

Question: Guitar Hero 3/Rock Band Controller

I got Guitar Hero 3 for Christmas without a guitar. I had the previous two for PS2 and got this on for the Xbox 360. I also have Rock Band for the 360. I found out much to my dismay that my Rock Band guitar is not compatible with Guitar Hero 3. After some investigation, it appears to be intentional on Activision/RedOctane’s part since Harmonix made the GH guitars work for Rock Band. Does anyone know if there’s a way to fix this? If not, Guitar Hero 3 is on its way back to GameStop and I’m getting BioShock or Mass Effect.