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  links for 2007-10-19  
Posted 2007-10-19 by Tony Walsh
  links for 2007-10-14  
Posted 2007-10-14 by Tony Walsh
  ‘EVE Online’ Seeks Citizen Journalists  
Posted 2007-10-09 by Tony Walsh
Players of sci-fi MMO EVE Online have been invited to apply for in-world reporter jobs as part of the "News Clones" wing of EVE TV, a web-based broadcast by the makers of the game for its players. According to the official call-out, the EVE universe is too large to cover with EVE TV's original staff: "Stationing reporters and correspondents across the Galaxy means we can cover more events, investigate more stories, and offer a broader scope for news."

News Clones, a sort of citizen journalist team, will be unpaid, but will receive special social status and broadcast credits. Applicants need only to possess "decent" English skills and the ability to file stories on time... hardly a high standard in reporting, but given that EVE has already had success with its own in-house magazine and its (paid) fan contributors, it's likely some skilled News Clone reporters will emerge to cover EVE from the inside out.

Continue reading: ‘EVE Online’ Seeks Citizen Journalists
  Shakespearean Virtual World To Be… Or Not?  
Posted 2007-10-04 by Tony Walsh
Top virtual-worldist Edward Castronova reportedly scored $240k USD in funding last year to develop Arden, an MMO based on the works of William Shakespeare. This week, Castronova announced that the money's been spent, and the project will drift into limbo. Apparently, the Multiverse MMO engine was tried initially, but Castronova's team settled for the Neverwinter Nights engine instead. That's one very costly experiment for what amounts to a Shakespeare-themed, minimally-multi-player Dungeons and Dragons game, built with a mature tool-set requiring no custom assets or fancy scripting (although both definitely go a long way towards a robust Neverwinter world).

Continue reading: Shakespearean Virtual World To Be… Or Not?
  ‘EVE Online’ and ‘White Wolf’ Online Communities To Be Merged  
Posted 2007-10-04 by Tony Walsh
On the heels of last year's marriage of computer game developer CCP (maker of sci-fi MMOG EVE Online) and White Wolf (maker of tabletop RPG Vampire: The Masquerade) comes an announcement that communities following both companies will be deliberately cross-pollinated.

A campaign has been launched to introduce White Wolf fans to EVE Online with the hopes that both large communities will be interested in subscribing to the upcoming CCP-developed MMO based on White Wolf's World of Darkness universe. An EVE "corporation" (in-game team) was created specifically to attract White Wolf community members, but is open to all.

More information on the in-game corporation "White Wolf Enterprises" can be found on its official home page, which serves as a bit of a gateway for one fan base to acclimate to the other. I have no doubt that a significant portion of each game community will be interested in the other's back yard, giving CCP's pending World of Darkness game a healthy kick-start.
  links for 2007-10-04  
Posted 2007-10-04 by Tony Walsh
  links for 2007-09-26  
Posted 2007-09-26 by Tony Walsh
  links for 2007-09-24  
Posted 2007-09-24 by Tony Walsh
  Bungie Forges User-Created Content Path For ‘Halo 3’  
Posted 2007-09-22 by Tony Walsh
Bungie's upcoming Halo 3 multi-player shooter will not only support real-time collaborative level-building, but facilitate sharing of said levels amongst the game's players. Bungie's "Forge" object layout editor, provides eerily-similar functionality to "Garry's Mod" for Half-Life 2. With Forge, players modify Halo levels (solo or with friends) using interaction methods learned through game play, manipulating existing objects, creating new ones, and deleting what doesn't amuse. Forge-spawned maps can be played as Custom Games, or shared along with saved game-films, game variants, and screenshots.

Hey, it's no LittleBigPlanet, but Forge is bound to provide innumerable opportunities for emergent game play and potentially innovations in level-design. Not to mention extending Halo 3's shelf-life all the way to Halo 4. Just make sure you obey Microsoft's rules governing user-created content.

Incidentally, Bungie's first "Forge" map editor was created for its seminal Marathon series, which has a number of thematic and specific similarities to Halo.
  Meta Social Networks For Virtual Worlds  
Posted 2007-09-21 by Tony Walsh
In an age where online social networking services are a dime a dozen, two more have recently arisen from the primordial muck of the metaverse. Koinup aims to provide a social network for residents of "all virtual worlds," where users can meet, mingle, and share media. Ning-based Virtual Worlds Connect describes itself as "The community for professionals involved in virtual worlds." With genuine respect to the creators of these latest online two networking services, I don't see the need for either. Virtual worlds already facilitate social networks, and I've already sunk dozens of hours into forming in-world relationships. Neither Koinup nor Virtual Worlds Connect will import my relationship data from virtual worlds. Why join a network about networks if the networks aren't working together?

Aside from the lofty promises of the recently-announced Metaplace, virtual worlds don't seem to want to play nicely with third-party services, instead relying on users to kludge things together, like Rupture, which harvests profile data from participating World of Warcraft players. I just can't stomach the idea of re-friending my contacts every time a new social network comes along. Nothing personal, Koinup and Virtual Worlds Connect--we just weren't made for each other.
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