Thursday, August 31, 2006

IS SL growing as WoW begins to shrink?

A long and contentious article by Mark Wallace of

Now, before reading it remind yourself that, as the author admits, comparing SL to WoW is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. But the exact premise of his argument is that SL may be getting bigger while WoW starts to go into a lull.

This is sort of supported by the sort of models that the two games prefer to use when looking at themselves, SL sees itself as being closer in form to a communications type network, as more people join, more people join, whereas WoW is usually looked at onthe conventional 'rapid climb/ peak / drop/ plateau and decline' style of model that, well, most businesses use.

Worth a read, worth thinking over later, and worth bearing in mind when people start throwng subs numbers about as away of 'proving' that game A is better than game B.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stop Press! Hims Play Hers In Online game shock horror probe!

Heavy, Heavy Sarcasm intended, btw

Just read this article by Sean Twist in the LFP which has left me going "Huh? WTF?" on so many levels it's amusing.

I'll start with the obvious. "Where's the rest of the article, guy"??? It's like you've had this one great thought for something to write in your column and then wandered off to go back ingame and shimmy some. (Having played an ent in SWG for 2+ yuears I just know that's not the case, lol).

So... this guy offered you his gun? Was this meant to be symbolic? Am I just too dumb to get the whole 'dude with gun and chick with norks' thing?

Damn, Sean, I really, really don't like ragging on somebody who is just doing their job but that article is possibly one of the lamest SWG pieces I've read since the one that came out just after launch where the writer was whining about 'all there is to do in Galaxies is sit in a field and make pots...'

GAH!! What's your point? Is it really just that you had no idea that people play other genders in RPG's? Do you think ALL the players in BF2 are ALL guys? And anywahy,what's the issue here? Transgender RP is even an issue? For chrissakes... there's people in that game are playing different species.


(And oh you can bet your badgermuffing beard that I'm creating a new toon today... screeny to follow)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do you got class or is you skilled?

Damien at ZenOfDesign kicked off a debate about clas / skill systems in response to an article by Thomas Mortensen at MMORPG. You have to read the ZoD thread first for half of what follows to make the slightest bit of sense, and even then you're going to disagree as people (players) seem to want to be EITHER class or skill based.

Anyway, it's sparked off a postathon by every dev/commentator/blogger who has an opinion to opine, and it's great :)

Brenlo (Bixiebopper) writes: "It’s all about choice. So is one system any better than the other? Not in my opinion, folks just have preferences. Besides, it’s what happens after your character is defined that really counts."

Raph Koster is on the class/skill debate too.. naturally :) he comes down on both sides of the fence:

"The question is, as always, what is the appropriate mix for the job. If you are making a game centered around teams, with clear singular objectives and one core system and mechanic, and nothing much else in the mix, then yes, of course, go with classes. Anything else would be a bit strange.

But if you’re making a virtual world with more than one thing to do, more than one game system, then they’ll make less sense. As soon as you have parallel game systems that don’t really overlap in their objectives, you’ll need to account for the fact that someone might be a hockey goalie and a herringbone stitcher. And the more of these you add to the mix, the less sense classes will make."

Well, this is MY blog space, so even though I feel as intimidated as heck by having so many big names in one entry, I gots my own opinions on class/skill systems:

"Neither classes nor skill based systems ’suck’ in and of themselves. It depends on what the player is expecting to be able to do within the game structure and how well the game design allows them to do that that results in a perception of suckiness.

For instance, I roll a combat toon in a class based system and find that I can’t, for example, heal others. Does the class system suck, or does the problem lie in my choice of build?

In a skill based system, I chose to invest on, say, defensive skills and heals to the stage where I can only do a little damage in combat but am effectively unkillable. Again, does the system suck or my choice of build? Obviously somebody who dislikes def stackers will have one PoV, the def stacker will have another.

A skill based system that allows a player to build a good low level (in terms of effectiveness, not necessarily combat level) toon with a borad but shallow range of abilities allows the player to experience more of the options that the game allows before choosing to specialise on one particular field.

Obviously the best example I can give of this is SWG where it was possible to take all the novice professions (thinly masked classes) and be a huntin’, shootin’ dancin’ medic who could do a little crafting with the resources he harvested. As your character developed you could then choose to drop the skills you didn’t need, or even have to sacrifice some that you’d have liked to have kept ie, at Master Ranger / Master Rifles it was not possible to have a large self heal as you couldn’t keep any of your medic skills.

You could of course drop the master box of one of the profs and invest in medic but then your effectiveness as a hunter would be impacted. (Which of course takes me onto my other favourite hobbyhorse, choices and consequences. I’ll save that for another day ;) )

A well structured class system will allow the player to have, for example in the EQ ranger subclass, effective specialist combat skills and sufficient self buffs and heals which are consistent/coherent with the professions descriptors and player expectations. You will, of course, have to depend on other players for the skills and abilities that fall outside your chosen class.

As I said, Idon’t think either system necessarily sucks, depending on it’s implementation. I do agree that a class system is generally easier to introduce to a player as you can point them at a defined archetype and say “that’s a paladin, that’s a pirate” and they’ll understand what can and can’t be done by that class within the game context. On the other hand, a free ranging skill based system allows for the sort of dynamic mix that you do find in real life where people have a multitude of skills that they can apply in different situations and which vary in value depending on their appropriateness for that situation.

OK, I’ll stop there before this becomes a dissertation on Acquired and Ascribed Roles, Expectations and social token exchange… "

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Playerep Is Shaping Up

Playerep is a free service for online gamers to vote for the people they play with. Members can track their friends and teammates, and give feedback on their experiences.

They've just added a UI mod for WoW, so I'll be giving that a whirl shortly. Meanwhile am just adding my most played toons to the profile in a barefaced attempt to get some rating, lol.

Seriously though, give it a bash. This could be a really useful tool for guild masters or just players looking to form a group with folk who aren't ninjalooting cloudsong stealing gonzo poo.... ;)

Playerep sig for almagill as ken ath

Playerep sig for almagill as Atherlaine

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Rangers Credo

Back in the old days, early 05, when there were still rangers in the world, I wrote a post suggesting that they were in fact the true jedi (in a SW:G context). One ranger, Bethya, took that to heart and wrote a Rangers Benediction, I've lifted the text of my original credo from the benediction as, sadly, the forums seem to have eaten the original post.

The Ranger is at one with the worlds,
taking from it only what is necessary and wasting nothing.

The Ranger seeks good for all life around him,
knowing that nature is our provider and our partner.

The Ranger seeks no glory
but dwells with the unseen and neglected.

The Ranger always thinks first;
rash action brings swift justice on all.

The Ranger is a compass
and a pathfinder for the lost.

Ranger is not a profession,
It is a lifestyle.

Are YOU HoT?

No, you filthy minder tosser. Are you the Hero of Tatooine?

SWG have, once again, rejuvinated this quest series. For better? For worse? Well, let me recap...

I did the original revamp of the Hot quest on TC (the original original HoT having been broke since before I started playing) and it was *fun*. My toon was an up and coming ranger and it was great to actually be able to, wait for this... *use the skills that were UNIQUE to my profession*.

As soon as it went Live (after about two weeks on TC, we used to cook 'em slow back then) I got my whole guild and out alts out and about, leading them through the squill cave, tracking the spawns, solving the BH's riddle, all good fun. And we got our 'ickle rings and tings.

The next few months were a laugh riot of tells and messages in planet chat with people looking for a ranger to "spawn teh mixture farmer" or "find meh teh pilot king" /boggle But it was easy money and I could happily charge a half mill for an hours tracking because of that player thought it was overpriced there was another two or three waiting.

I did notice it was getting harder to find the blighters, but, well, lifes like that. Then post NGE I had no tracking and was busy scouring Tat for Val/Jabba thugs to kill for Legacy.

So, we get the new HoT stuff on TC. I missed them at first as we don't get freaking notes of what's IN a publish for checking, doh. But yeah, there they were.... For one reason or another I wasn't ingame much so didn't test them or give feedback before they went to Live (like there was much chance with them flashing publishes to test for a few days now a days).

I'm doing htem with one of my newblish toons and, oh BOY are they boring. Static spawns? Pirates in a bunker with a bucketload of placeholders to kill before the leader finally spawns? Camping the wilderness for the moisture farmer? (Hah, being HoT is now a matter of being first to log on after a server reset and pouncing the buggers before anyone else gets to steal your cloudsong).

Yeah, back in the day it was sooo different.

There was this hermit, wandering the wastes. It was a chance encounter, a real adventure.... now? It's a tick box list of locations and a lot of sitting waiting. And I'm sorry, but sitting in a bunker staring at an empty chair is NOT gameplay dammit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You stole my *£$&"*$ing cloudsong..

I'm going to have to invest in incontinence pants or a bucket or something...

You Stole My Cloudsong

Warning! NSFW. Contains LANGUAGE. 

And the next time some *£$*"(("£$er says that SW:G is like WoW I'm going to find where they live, park a &£*" off huge truck outside their house and play that track in a loop thru *£$* off huge speakers...

yeah, that's what am gonna do :)



Apparently cloudsong is an item in DAOC and my comment above re WoW players was taken by some as a bit of a slur on their goodly nature. I of course immediately, wholly and humbly apologise for any offence caused. I mean, it's not as though you'd find some tauren shaman going totally emo over a spell book eh?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Be Alert... (insert tasteless joke here)

"I had an interesting experience this weekend. My
oldest daughter (she’s 9) was playing an online game (not one of ours
and not WoW) and someone asked her how old she was. As I had taught her
she immediately put this person on the ignore list, reported them via
an in-game command and came to me and let me know what had happened.
Since this had happened one previous time in this particular game (with
the exact same response from her) I immediately cancelled the account.
a parent with 4 kids ranging in age from 5 to 11. All 4 of them play
games. I actively game with my son (the 11 year old). My youngest 2
kids (ages 5 and 6) also play games (Disney’s ToonTown which I highly
recommend as a VERY SAFE game)."  Full article and link for feedback

I'm going to ask everyone to go to that link, read it (all of it, twice) and then give Smed some constructive feedback.

My concerns are that he may propose some sort of 'one report bad, two report banned' type of system which, as we all know, will be used as a griefing mechanism by the darlings who play.

Yes, there should be some degree of parental control over what games your kids play and what freedoms they are allowed when ingame and yes they should also be aware that there are some truly wicked people out there and they need to know what to do if an inappropriate approach is made.  But please oh please,  don't over react by training them to /ignore and /report each and every a/s/l enquiry they encounter. ESPECIALLY in any game where there's a social element.

Teach them that, ingame, they should only give out info on the character. Y'know, you're playing a wookiee and someone asks where you're from.... "Kashyyk" obviously.  Age? Well, wooks live a long, long time... , etc.  If, after all that, the person is still pestering for personal info then tell them you don't give out personal info. If they STILL push it, THEN /ig and /rep. And escalate it with a CSR if you can.

Heck, half the fun in online games is finding out where the puppetmasters are really from. I've 'met' folk from all over the world and it's great to learn that way. Gender? Age? Less of a concern as we're in a non-tangible environment and have no way of verifying what they say.  Being aware of when boundaries are being crossed is important tho, so email addies, myspace stuff, depending on context that's suspect.

But jumping like one of Pavlov's dogs as soon as somebody asks what age? Dodgy ground.

BOOM Throat Punch!

I laughed so hard at this I may be in the market for a new chair....


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Kitty Lawyer is IN.

By way of a tribute to a sometime special guest on SWGYaMB. If you have to ask you won't get it, lol.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

They're Back! (SWGwYaMB 50.5)

After a much deserved break Yivvits and MrBubble are back with a 'mini-podcast', brought to you by the power of paint fumes and that unsupressed NEED to rant....:

We are back! Well, almost. Building our new recording studio has been a fairly large project which took a little longer than expect. But, we are committed to the show and are eager to get back in the swing of things. Neither wet paint nor paint fumes will stop us! (Albeit, the fumes made us a little loopy) This week's show isn't really a normal episode for us. Hence, we are calling it Episode 50 and 1/2. We cover all sorts of things from truckers to the kitty lawyer to one of our favorite callers from Episode 50. Oh, we talk about Star Wars Galaxies a bit as well.

Enjoy the show, and keep an eye out for Episode 51 later this coming week. It's good to be back!

So, let's get this clear...

Just because somebody shows you the plans for a house and then asks if it *could* be built...

... it doesn't necessarily follow that it SHOULD be built, or that you should ignore your neighbours whenthey start saying "Uh, are you SURE about that?"

Just saying.

About nothing in particular, of course.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tiggs Writes....

...about Mom things.

We Diggs The Tiggs.

It was't Jeff, okay.

Jeff said it wasn't him. He said it this morning in a kind of cryptically round the houses way, and seeing as we all misunderstimated the contextuality of his verbalising, or was it prosification, he's now saying it loud and clear.

Or, putting it another way. "I didn't design it, stop saying I did, I didn't. It was some other guy, I just hung the doors and maybe painted round the edging..."

So, now that's all clear...

Them posts in full:

Reading Comprehension

If someone else (i.e. not you) designs a house and asks you to come look at their design, then it is not your design, no matter how long you look at it, no matter what you think of it. And you didn’t “come up with it” even if you like it.

If someone else asks if it is possible to build, and you say “Yes, that is possible,” then that is not the same as “pushing” or “selling” or “demanding that your design be built”.

No matter how many times they ask “Are you sure?” and no matter how many times you answer the question, and no matter even what you think of the design: it is not your design (keep up now, we just covered that) and even if it were your design, that’s not “pushing your design” but is, rather, answering a question.

If it is possible and you say it is not possible even though you know it is possible, then you are a filthy liar.

If they say “Ok, build that house” and you join a team of builders who all work hard to build the house then it is still not your design, you didn’t build it single-handedly, you didn’t shove it down anyone’s throat and it wasn’t your decision to build it.

If you make claims to the contrary then you are a filthy liar.

I’m not talking about anything in particular, I’m just sayin’.

Reading Comprehension


Now see, this is just the sort of thing I’ve been talking about. Ya get misunderstood, post a clarification, that get’s misunderstood, so you gotta post a clarification to that, and on and on forever. Better off just leaving the misunderstood thing out there and letting people assign their own meanings to it.

Don’t try to read so closely between the lines that you fail read the lines themselves.

All I’m saying here is: When I wrote “I looked at what this guy designed” it should never have been interpreted to mean “I designed that and everything else”.

But it was taken to mean just that. Seems a little crazy to me.

So I finally wrote that it shouldn’t have been taken that way (since it keeps getting trotted out and about) and now some folks are taking that to mean something other that just what it says.
C’mon now.

And from way back in November:

Friday, November 4

SWG was my first job in the game industry. I had played UO for a couple of years or so and knew Raph Koster in that internet sort of way: everyone that visited or posted on any message board anywhere on the internet knew Raph Koster.

Played EQ to level 35, got killed by the same frickin' sand giant three times in a row trying to recover my corpse two weeks after a bug caused me to lose all my gear before EQ CS had the tech to undelete items and man that was it for me.

So I made a "grey shard" using POL (written by Eric Swanson, who also works at SOE now ? how weird is that?) and did that for a few years.

Those were Good Times. Friday I'd post a "Wishlist" thread and people would reply with a hundred things they wanted added to the game. And Saturday and Sunday I'd add hundreds of things to the game. Production on a single small server is pretty nice. None of this "Oh, that'll take 2 months to deliver and will require two programmers, a designer and three artists."

A lot of .broadcast "Hey everyone, brace yourselves, I'm going to replace the magic system in 3?2?1"-sorts of moments. Frequently doing development on the server that people were actually playing on, while they are playing on it, and only using a local server for really significant changes.

In terms of administration, the people were a lot harder to manage than the game. Not just the players either, but the co-admin's: the folk that hosted the server, gm "staff", and whatnot. Janey emailed Raph describing a pretty ugly situation, and he'd responded with just some no-nonsense advice on how-to-run-a-mud, which she forwarded to me, and to which I replied, directly to him.

That led directly to establishing, in writing, just what exactly the scope of everyone's responsibilities were, what the rules were, how they would be enforced, and so on. Simple stuff, right? We had none of that and, duh, we ran into a lot of problems 'til we did.

This had nothing to do with his position in the game industry and everything to do with his experience with MUDs, and my lack of it, and his willingness to share info with a fellow enthusiast. Great learning experience, should I ever run a MUD again: Sony hires professionals to do that stuff.

But it also opened a dialog between the two of us and I s'pose put my crazyass game design ideas on his radar.

Anyway, hadn't talked to Raph in a while (because, well, things had been running pretty smoothly) so one day I emailed him and asked how he'd been. He said if I sent him a resume then he could tell me what he was working on.

So I sent him a resume. And they flew me down to Austin to meet the whole SWG team and interview for a systems design position, which I didn't get. Heh.

Couple months later they flew me back again for a worldbuilding position, which I did get.

Within a few months or so I was scripting systems. Then within a couple years, lead content designer for JtL. Then a few months ago, "live lead systems designer". My titles were growing and growing!

As of last week or so, now it's "Lead Game Play Designer". A step backwards in terms of character-count, but not actually a demotion, or even that big a change in responsibilities.

Mind, we have a Creative Director and that isn't me, and a Lead Designer and that isn't me either. They're both my bosses, even though my title's longer. And there's a whole plethora of producers and executives and executive producers above that.

So don't get the crazy notion that I'm "in charge" here. "The Man" is a many-headed beast called Management. I just try to help it make good decisions. With regard to game mechanics, it even lets me decide, sometimes.

So a few months ago The Man comes along and says "What can we do to make this the most fun game it can possibly be?"

It was the lead designer who holed-up in his office for a few days and then said, "Hey, come look at this."

There's no way we can do that.

There's no way we should do that.

Man that's fun.

The Man will never let us get away with doing that.

We can't do it.

We shouldn't do it.

Oh man that is fun.

When an executive producer sees something that is impossible to do, but which is too fun not to do, he makes a noise like "Hoooooooooph".

My job was to be the guy to say, "Yes we can do that." I had to say this about forty times a day for two months. Lead Designer said it too, of course, but no one believed him, because he's crazy. Obviously.

And they would only believe me for a few minutes at a time.

It's frustrating to see the posts about Raph rolling over in his grave, crying himself to sleep, seeing all his design thrown out the window, etc. The notion seems to be that Raph's game is slow-paced, deliberate, social, "worldy", and in no case ever "fun" vs. this change which tosses-out everything Koster-esque about Galaxies. Specifically, that 'removing the Raph' is what makes it fun.

First off, Star Wars Galaxies is already a whole lot of fun for a whole lot of people. And it was very successful.

And Fast Action Combat and the introduction of classes based on iconic Star Wars character archtypes doesn't toss-out everything Koster-esque about Galaxies. Far from it.

The social elements of Galaxies' design remain, and for good reason. MMOs must be MMOs and not just big single-player games that everyone just happens to play all at once. We wouldn't have gotten things like player cities, entertainers and so on without Raph, and I wouldn't want Galaxies to be without them. Simply removing them wouldn't make the game more fun anyway.

There's a lot of cool in Galaxies. We're making all of it easier to see, easier to get to.

Honestly, I doubt I even have the capacity to design a game that is completely un-Raph like. Who do you think taught me this stuff? Over the course of years. Here's how you get X. Here's why you want X.

Yeh, I think I'm good 'nuff to see the 'why' and come up with 'Well if that's why, then we could do Z instead', but at that point it's a quibble over implementation detail, not design philosophy. I don't agree with Raph on every point about every thing, we're pretty much aligned in terms of high level game design.

For example 'Socialization requires downtime' is something Raph might say that I might not agree with. But 'MMO's require socialization, otherwise what's the point?' is not something we'd disagree about.

Many people have been influential in my personal development as a game designer and I've learned an awful lot on my own, but nothing and no other single person comes anywhere close the influence that Raph Koster has had on, in terms of game design from soup-to-nuts, what things I think about, if not in fact what I think about those things.

So I think these sorts of remarks are a little inaccurate, a tiny bit irksome, pretty unfair.

Now, fwiw, I don't blame Jeff for the NGE. I'm appy to accept that he was just the contractor that told to do the implementation after saying it was possible. Just making that clear. In case anyone is under any false impression that this little backwater of the blogosphere is saying otherwise.

Friday, August 04, 2006

a propos of nothing at all.

Once there was a builder of houses. He was very proud of the houses he'd built and he just 'knew' what was possible and what wasn't.

One day a guy roles into the office with plans for a one legged platform house, decorated in purple and orange flock wallpaper and crimson cladding made from recycled socks. "Here, look at these designs, they're breathtaking, aren't they?" he says to the builder. The builder looks and agrees, his breath is certainly taken away by the whole staggering audacity of the concept.

"Could it be built?" asks the designer? "Well, yes..." says the builder, knowing that anything that can be conceived can be made, the only limitations being mere technicalities. He also knows that saying anything to the contrary would be a lie.

"Well, build it then..." says the designer and introduces the builder to a crack team of carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers. They all look at each other and say "Can this be built?" and then as one say "Heck sure it can!" and they set to work with a passion.

When the building is finished they hold a grand opening but to their dismay the Great Unwashed Masses scream out loud "It's a monstrosity! What were you thinking? Where are the doors? How did I get up to the platform? And what's with the flock wallpaper? It's so... garish...". A few voices in the crowd say "Well, if you squint your eyes up and look at it sideways it's kind of interesting" or "Hmm, I guess I could get used to it..." or even "Well, it's not what I'd call a house but I guess I could live in it for a while till we redecorate and remodel and rebuild..."

The builders all look at each other and at the designer. There is much shrugging and shuffling of feet and they start wandering off to do other jobs on other houses. But wherever they go, towering above them is the one legged platform house with the orange and purple wallpaper and red, red cladding.

The last anyone saw of them they were standing round pointing at each other and saying "He made the doors!" "Yeah, but you made the walls..." "Well the carpets were fitted nicely..." and the Designer was standing way of to one side shouting pointing at the Builder and shouting "But HE said it could be built..."

a propos of nothing, just saying.

More Mea Culpa.

What's going on at SOE? It's like they've suddenly discovered self-flagellation...

Brenlo Bixiebopper speaks: (oh come on!)

First a request, to those of you using this thread as your personal battleground, please take it to PM's.

So, I wanted to clarify that we did, here at SOE conceive and develop the NGE. We did so with the best of intentions, to try and make a better game. No blame or buck is being passed. =)

We can, and I am sure many of us will, debate for years on end whether this was a good idea. Personally, I believe the concept of the NGE was sound. Some smart guys had some good ideas to make the game better, Jeff being one of them, and they went for it. A bold move and honestly, I am happy to be a part of a company that is not afraid to try something different.

Where did we go wrong? Delivery, we failed in our timing and communication. That is where we let you down most, SWG faithful, and for that I truly apologize.

Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations - SOE

I'm just saying...

Jeff Freeman goes off on one but nicely, cos he's cuddly like that.

Good points there Dundee, about nothing in particular.

We've got a saying here, it goes "It wisnae me, ah didnae dae it, a bad boy came and did it...", which of course refers to nothing in particular either, but it's good to see what happens when people aren't constantly asking you to look at their houses and suggesting that just because they've got flock wallpaper *everyone* wants flock wallpaper already. ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

SWG:Remapped. The House Mix (unplugged)

Yivvits blogs:

"Chapter 2 is now live and with it comes another round at trying to address the targeting and keymapping problems in SWG. Overall I feel pretty good about these changes, but there are a few things that have become glaringly apparent.

Rather than streamlining the targeting/target lock system to more closely match pre-NGE, they have made a real mess – and the only reason I can discern is they refuse to accept that the NGE controls just don’t work with SWG. In their eyes, it would be a big no-no to revert something like targeting to the pre-NGE style. "

And there's the rub of it. People are REMAPPING their keyboards to try and get back to the preNGE state and the devs seem Hell bet on trying to implement ANYTHING but that.

Honestly, it's as if they've got preNGEphobia. "OMG, that's how they did things back in the olden days, before November 15th! We can't possibly allow anyone to go back to that.... we better reinvent some arsecake random keymapping that leaves existing players feeling like they are one of the Infinite Monkeys and new players going "d00d how do this workorz??""

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Smed Blog.

In a nice wee ramble about ChinaJoy (It's like E3, but bigger...) Smed blogs:

We have four diverse MMO titles in internal development, not counting the five MMOs we currently have live, or our partnership with Sigil for Vanguard.

Each of these new games is aimed at a very different market and all of them are in different genres. From our perspective, it’s time to shake things up a bit in the online gaming space. We’re aiming for very high production values that will bring us (and gamers) into completely new places. We’re bringing mercenaries, spies, super-heroes and a new whimsical world to life as I write this. We’re also concentrating on bringing each of these games to you on both the PC and the upcoming PlayStation 3.

With the exception of the DC Comics game we’re working on, each of these games is an original IP. Our teams in San Diego, Austin, Seattle and Taiwan are excited about working on game worlds that we’re developing ourselves. It’s often frustrating to work with third party IP. There’s a constant battle over what the right direction is for the game, and from our own recent experience, it’s not something we enjoy. It very often puts handcuffs on what we can and can’t do and, frankly speaking, it’s a lot harder to make great games when the IP holders don’t understand the online gaming market.

(My emphasis added)

SWG Chapter 2 Character Appearance Changes

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Now children, don' t smoke...

Late 70's PSA featuring R2 and C3PO.

"R2, you don't think I don't have a heart, do you?"