Walking in at the stroke of 10 with 10,000 other folks is an experience not to be missed. It's easy to see how lemmings go careening off cliffs once they're "in the flow" of the rush. But once through the doors, the assault on senses begins with flashing lights, bings, beeps, voices and more.
Day 2 of my GDC visit was a back-to-back rollercoaster ride of interviews with some of the more interesting developers on hand. Today's report is just a thumbnail sketch of the information I received from these interviews with more comprehensive write ups coming once I recover from GDC.
Strolling through the booths, I ran into this gem of a game in development by Canadian house, CubeForce Media. The game engine is a new ground-up engine specifically for this game. Developers touted the fact that the game is a dynamically changing one where players can totally determine what will happen in future updates. For
instance, depending on the outcome of a particular battle between player city-states, the next update will reflect the political climate change in favor of the winner. Aerrevan is a classless game where player choices truly do make a difference to your character's development. The NPC conversations are keyword-based so that players actually type responses and the answer is determined by the keywords inserted. Developers stressed, "We've written the beginning. Players will write the end. We want to bring RPG back to MMORPG." Stay tuned for more from the Aerrevan team.
Frogster International/Runes of Magic
My next stop was a visit to Frogster America's Runes of Magic team. I got a good look at Chapter 3 and the Demon Lord's lair. It's a good thing that I was shown this as I seriously doubt I'll ever see it with my weenie RoM character. :) Chapter 3 brings on board some seriously cool changes: GvG and Siege Wars with guilds collecting resources to create buildings, siege weapons, buffs and more. The created items are not persistent so each GvG battle will require a recollection and rebuilding of fortress defenses. The Demon Lord lair is an hive of ultra bad critters leading up to the big...er...man himself. The 12-player dungeon will -require- players to work together to defeat key bosses leading up to DL himself. The cool thing is that defeating the Demon Lord gives a random chance that a player will score his sword or various armor pieces. Now how cool is that!
I also had the chance to take a look at Frogster's just-announced Facebook game. The game is in its early stages of development and is designed to bring "casual" social game players into the full RoM experience by awarding special item keys that can only be used in the full game. The interface is instantly familiar to anyone who's played a FB game. There are quests to complete, PvP and guild activities, a marketplace, an inventory system and a custom avatar profile that can be created. The FB game is set to launch in quarter 2 of 2010.
Read on to find out about Gamers First stable of games, Black Prophecy/Gamigo and Aika/Allods!