BETA events and board games

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been really busy with my school work. But despite that, I have some interesting things to talk about. First off, I got a beta key for the new MMORPG that’s in testing now called Rift. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but hopefully after the next event I can tell you guys a little bit about it. Along with that, I got into an open beta for the browser based MMO called A Mystical Land. Anyone who is interesting in taking part in that one should check it out here. It looks pretty neat and its free to play with extra paid content. The graphics in the trailer remind me of a more cartoony WoW.

Along with all the excitement with the two betas, I’ve also been looking into ways to release games into the wild. Preferably, I’d like to be able to make a little bit of money off my designs, but its not a requirement. Just getting my name out there would also be really nice. My friends and I are putting together a small development studio to make small games, most of which will be free to play on the internet. I’m all looking at making some board and card games. Thanks to searching through all the information about good ways to release games, I found two things that I wanted to tell you guys about.

The first is Kongregate. The basic idea here is that developers can make a flash or unity based game (both run in browsers) and upload it to the site. Then, they gain a percentage of the ad revenue. I love this idea. It basically means that the players are rewarding the developers, simply by playing the game. The downside is that flash requires a developer license in order to use. The licenses can be quite expensive. I’m still keeping that available as an idea for if I ever get a license or or if they start supporting HTML5 development. I’m talking to them about the possibility of using HTML5 games for them, but until then, I ponder whether or not its worth it to get a flash license. To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of flash as the dominant game development language that it is. On the other hand, I just picked up the free version of Unity to start learning it, so I’ll probably talk about it in a few weeks, once I have gotten a good feel for it.

The second is The Game Crafter. Now this is a super neat idea. Basically, you design a board or card game, write the rules, design all the art and everything and then they print it so that its a real game. You can then sell it in their store, and they don’t charge a publishing fee until your game sells. If you’re interested in making a game or in buying games made on this site you can check that out here. One of my favorite things about this site is that if you’re a developer, you can buy your game at cost, rather than at retail. They specifically do this so you can give copies to your friends, have a copy for yourself and (my favorite part) sell the game yourself at cons and at local stores. This is very exciting for me since some of my friends are planning on opening a gaming store near my campus and have offered to carry any board or card games that I make.

I’m also working on beta tests and development for an expansion I’m making to an existing board game called Stoneage which was made in 2008 by Rio Grande Games. Stoneage is a really fun game but you can tell it was designed by an anthropologist and not a game designer. The expansion that I’m developing adds some difficulty but I’m in an interesting place where in order to actually do anything with this expansion other than play it with my friends, I need to contact that developers of Stoneage and pitch the idea to them and hope they like it. Well, once I’ve done all that balance testing here, I’ll see how I can do that.

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