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  Why Facebook Is Losing Me  
Posted 2007-10-11 by Tony Walsh
Dear Facebook,
Since getting dumped on by piles of irrelevant requests and notifications seems to be your idea of a party, I'm afraid you might not be the kind of people I enjoy hanging out with.

I don't know if there's a way to turn off the stream of spam, and that's not entirely my problem. Each one of those irritating little messages should have a "STFU" button next to it. The absence of idiot-proof noise-filtering features seems to be a deliberate design choice: Why else would you join Facebook if not to be notified every time your "friend" wipes her nose?
  links for 2007-10-11  
Posted 2007-10-11 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
  Guy Parsons On Rock’n’Roll Storytelling  
Posted 2007-10-09 by Tony Walsh
Former Perplex City ops-team member Guy Parsons has posted a web version of a recent presentation entitled "Text, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll," wherein he engagingly argues that stories can become more participatory by injecting rock'n'roll--loosely defined in the context of his presentation as "jumping off the author's stage and diving headlong into the crowd..." -- a crowd Parsons knows (as do others in the ARG, live-game, and participatory fiction space) from first-hand experience is capable of "waiting to catch you with open arms" and co-authoring the experience.

I'd like to see more rock'n'roll in more forms of media, but I don't think that sort of mashup is necessarily a superior form of culture. I'm a bit tired of futurists telling us how one-way media is "dead," but I think Parson's barking up the right tree in explaining why participatory culture is an attractive and satisfying option for engaging contemporary audiences.
  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 2007-09-26  
Posted 2007-09-26 by Tony Walsh
  Embrace the Chaos  
Posted 2007-09-24 by Tony Walsh
Brooke Thompson sent in a heads-up on Embrace the Chaos, a 1-day seminar by the intrepid "Unfiction" Alternate Reality Game player community intended to get marketers up to speed on this constantly-evolving game genre. The result will hopefully be better commercial ARGs. According to Brooke, proceeds from the event will support Unfiction (a fantastic player and developer resource) and ARGfest, an annual ARG meetup.

Topics to be covered at Embrace the Chaos include:
  • Alternate Reality Game 101: what they are, who plays them, why to use them in marketing
  • Design for Marketing media
  • Design for Marketing Products
  • Metrics: How to measure results
  • Risk: How to manage
  • One minute case studies submitted to the experts from the audience
Get informed on November 2, 8:30am (bleh!) to 5pm at the Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall in NYC. No doubt the best discussions will be over booze after 5pm. Wish I could be there.
  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.
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'

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in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool

Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy? get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock

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