Note: FilePlanet is no longer being updated and is in the process of being archived.

Home / FileBlog Home / Archives

FileBlog Archive

09/02/2007 - 09/08/2007

Top Secret Contest: The World's First Community-Designed MMO

September 07, 2007


Can not wait for TF2. CAN NOT WAIT. Way back in February I interviewed David Perry to talk about "Top Secret," with is both a game ... a contest ... and one of the most interesting experiments going on in gaming. "Nothing has ever been done on this scale before," he told me back then. "The planning has been complicated."

I'm happy to report that it's all coming together. The Top Secret project has a website, forums, and thousands of artists and programmers cranking out content and ideas. I admit; I was skeptical at first, but I'm really stunned at what the community is putting together. It's an exciting time! The best part is that one winning development team will get a full development contract to produce the final game, published by Acclaim.

I'm happy to announce that our own ModCenter is now affiliated with the Top Secret project. Anyone who wants to enter the contest should form a team and manage their project on ModCenter, giving them access to ModCenter's wiki, bug-tracking, task management, and other tools.

Rawr!
Some possible Top Secret art, developed by the community

So can the community at large really come together to design the ultimate online game? Only time will tell, but one thing's for certain -- this is definitely one of the coolest projects going on in gaming today.

Visit ModCenter for Information on the Contest!

      -Fargo
Posted by at 4:06 PM PDT
Edited on: September 07, 2007 4:13 PM PDT
Permalink

ModCenter Debuts: Powerful Tools for Serious Dev Teams

September 06, 2007


Can not wait for TF2. CAN NOT WAIT. Astute readers may have already checked out the site during our open beta testing period, but this week we're cutting the ribbon and officially welcoming a new site into the IGN / GameSpy network:

Check out ModCenter!

Although GameSpy and IGN have always supported mod makers with web hosting on our Planet sites and promotion/distribution of the finished product on FilePlanet.com, until now there's never been a place on our network focused on the actual craft of developing games. Whether it's a small team creating a simple game modification, a large team creating an ambitious total conversion, or an indie developer creating the next great original title, everybody who makes games needs to communicate, find help, securely share materials, and track projects and bugs.

ModCenter.com features extensive tools for game development teams
Developers! Head over to ModCenter to see
how the new site can help you build your next big game.

What we've done with ModCenter is we've licensed the SourceForge toolset and built it into a site specifically dedicated to the game development community. You can start a project and get the gears turning with ModCenter's tools:

  • Customizable bug-tracking
  • Secure server space for source code, models, maps, textures, etc.
  • Customizable project Wiki to organize your ideas (public and private)
  • Team-specific discussion forums tied into the bug tracker and other site features
  • Ability to update and edit project and tracker details via email
  • A file release system in association with FilePlanet for additional promotion
I think one of the most valuable things about ModCenter is that you'll be working on your project together with a community of like-minded people also building games. Stuck on something? Somebody in the forums might be able to help. Need some textures made? Somebody on the site might be looking to beef out his or her portfolio. Moreover, when you're finished, you've got the support of the IGN network to help release and promote your title.

But, community aside, ModCenter is simply a great tool. You bet your ass that professional developers work with tools to help them manage things like bug lists and task assignment -- any game development team with more than one or two people is going to need the same. That's where ModCenter comes in. I'm glad to welcome it into the network.

Visit ModCenter and Start Building Games!

      -Fargo
Posted by at 9:43 AM PDT
Edited on: September 06, 2007 9:45 AM PDT
Permalink

Casual Gaming On the Job

September 05, 2007


Can not wait for TF2. CAN NOT WAIT. The survey comes from casual gaming powerhouse PopCap, so you have to consider the source. But if the numbers ring true, then about half of all office workers surveyed play casual games during the business day -- and not during break time. This GameDaily story reports on the numbers, to wit:

  • 53 percent said they play at work at least once a day
  • 79 percent said they play at work several times a week
  • 84 percent said they play casual games at work for between 15 and 60 minutes each day, on average.
  • 11 percent said they played casual games at work for an hour or more each day.
That's a hell of a lot of work NOT getting done. It starts to get funny when you compare the demographics: apparently, the higher you are up the corporate ladder, the more time you spend Bejeweling or Minesweeping. Even during meetings and conference calls. Now I know why nobody ever listens to me on the speakerphone.

There are plenty of good reasons to game at work. 84% of survey respondents said playing games helped them relax and feel "less stressed out" (apparently they're not as wigged out by the burning Bookworm tiles as I am). 52% felt more confident and focused ("I want a raise! Nobody in this department tops my Solitaire win ratio here, nobody!"). And 72% play to "improve their mental state," which works for me. ("My boss just reamed me out for slacking, but it's nothing that a quick game of Tower Defense won't cure.")

Here at GameSpy, part of my job is playing games. So I often argue that doing actual work would be like slacking off... but my boss never buys it.

      -Fargo
Posted by at 10:29 AM PDT
Edited on: September 05, 2007 10:39 AM PDT
Permalink

Free Games! Free lunch?

September 04, 2007


Can not wait for TF2. CAN NOT WAIT.
UPDATE !!
Ubisoft has closed the free games promotion for the time being. If you haven't already activated your free game install, it won't work. We'll have more news on these games if and when they become available again! Here's the official word from Ubi:
The Ubisoft Labor Day promotion for US residents only making the PC games Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Far Cry, and Rayman Raving Rabbids available for ad-supported freeplay has now closed. Thank you for your interest in the program. For more information about these and other Ubisoft titles, please visit http://www.ubi.com.
My original post follows:

Just before the weekend kicked off, Ubisoft quietly launched a series of titles that -- I can almost guarantee -- will shake up the games business. You can now play the full versions of Far Cry (single-player), Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and Rayman: Raving Rabbids for FREE on your PC. [Download links removed]

The stuff of nightmares
Live in Fear.

Of course there's no such thing as a free lunch. The games are supported by advertising -- visible in the menus or during the loading time between levels. There are even short video ads. (If there was such a thing as a free lunch, it would probably taste a lot like McDonalds -- one of the major sponsors you'll see as you play the games.) Because the games are paid for by advertising, you can only play them if you're in the U.S. for the time being and you'll have to keep a live 'net connection (no word yet on whether or not ads will roll out for other regions). Don't want ads wrecking your Far Cry experience? Just buy the game for $10 bucks. Either way is a good deal; How you want to play is up to you.

The Bigger Picture
Ubisoft is being relatively quiet about its new experiment in game distribution, but I think these games will have a big impact. And not just because the free version of Far Cry was downloaded over 80,000 times in one weekend. For years game developers and publishers have wrestled with what to do with 'back-catalog' games. (Warren Spector had a great rant back at GDC 2005 that still sticks with me). There's no aftermarket for games: after a few weeks on the shelf, they slide into a bargain bin, and then disappear from stores altogether. It's not like the movie industry, where international releases, pay-per-view, premium cable, DVD-releases, rental, and network television premieres all contribute to a film's bottom line well after its heyday in the box office.

But Ubisoft is trying to change the game. And they're bringing out the big guns! Prince of Persia: Sands of Time may be four years old, but it was one of the best titles of the last console generation and the graphics hold up great today. Similarly, Far Cry was one of the best PC games of 2004 and still looks (and plays) spectacular. These are Ubisoft's biggest names and best franchises, the bread-and-butter of the company. By turning them into ad-supported products, they're brought back into the spotlight (great for driving up hype for sequels). But more importantly, they start bringing in some revenue again. Depending on how popular the ad-supported versions are, Ubisoft can start raking in ad sales.

As gamers, you and I don't really care about how and where Ubisoft makes some cash. But we DO care that games like this can continue to make money. If publishers can count on more revenue from each product, they can afford to be more creative and take more risks. This is a good thing all around -- another way to get us out of the current rut of sequels and licenses. Gamers who can't afford to buy tons of games can enjoy big hits for free, and publishers are able to count on more revenue per title.

What happens next? The industry is waiting to see what's going to happen with Ubisoft's experiment, but afterwards, you're likely to see more and more of yesterday's big titles made available as free downloads. This could be the start of something big.

      -Fargo
Posted by at 10:54 AM PDT
Edited on: September 05, 2007 2:05 PM PDT
Permalink

FileBlog Weekly Archives

10/24/2010 - 10/30/2010
10/17/2010 - 10/23/2010
10/10/2010 - 10/16/2010
10/03/2010 - 10/09/2010
09/26/2010 - 10/02/2010
09/19/2010 - 09/25/2010
09/12/2010 - 09/18/2010
09/05/2010 - 09/11/2010
08/22/2010 - 08/28/2010
08/08/2010 - 08/14/2010
08/01/2010 - 08/07/2010
07/25/2010 - 07/31/2010
07/18/2010 - 07/24/2010
07/11/2010 - 07/17/2010
07/04/2010 - 07/10/2010
06/27/2010 - 07/03/2010
06/20/2010 - 06/26/2010
06/13/2010 - 06/19/2010
06/06/2010 - 06/12/2010
05/30/2010 - 06/05/2010
05/23/2010 - 05/29/2010
05/16/2010 - 05/22/2010
05/09/2010 - 05/15/2010
05/02/2010 - 05/08/2010
04/25/2010 - 05/01/2010
04/18/2010 - 04/24/2010
04/11/2010 - 04/17/2010
04/04/2010 - 04/10/2010
03/21/2010 - 03/27/2010
03/14/2010 - 03/20/2010
03/07/2010 - 03/13/2010
02/28/2010 - 03/06/2010
02/21/2010 - 02/27/2010
02/14/2010 - 02/20/2010
02/07/2010 - 02/13/2010
01/31/2010 - 02/06/2010
01/24/2010 - 01/30/2010
01/10/2010 - 01/16/2010
01/03/2010 - 01/09/2010
12/27/2009 - 01/02/2010
12/20/2009 - 12/26/2009
12/13/2009 - 12/19/2009
12/06/2009 - 12/12/2009
11/22/2009 - 11/28/2009
11/15/2009 - 11/21/2009
11/08/2009 - 11/14/2009
11/01/2009 - 11/07/2009
10/25/2009 - 10/31/2009
10/18/2009 - 10/24/2009
10/11/2009 - 10/17/2009
10/04/2009 - 10/10/2009
09/27/2009 - 10/03/2009
09/20/2009 - 09/26/2009
09/13/2009 - 09/19/2009
09/06/2009 - 09/12/2009
08/30/2009 - 09/05/2009
08/16/2009 - 08/22/2009
08/09/2009 - 08/15/2009
07/26/2009 - 08/01/2009
07/19/2009 - 07/25/2009
07/12/2009 - 07/18/2009
07/05/2009 - 07/11/2009
06/28/2009 - 07/04/2009
06/21/2009 - 06/27/2009
06/14/2009 - 06/20/2009
06/07/2009 - 06/13/2009
05/31/2009 - 06/06/2009
05/24/2009 - 05/30/2009
05/17/2009 - 05/23/2009
05/10/2009 - 05/16/2009
05/03/2009 - 05/09/2009
04/26/2009 - 05/02/2009
04/19/2009 - 04/25/2009
04/12/2009 - 04/18/2009
04/05/2009 - 04/11/2009
03/29/2009 - 04/04/2009
03/22/2009 - 03/28/2009
03/15/2009 - 03/21/2009
03/08/2009 - 03/14/2009
03/01/2009 - 03/07/2009
02/22/2009 - 02/28/2009
02/15/2009 - 02/21/2009
02/08/2009 - 02/14/2009
02/01/2009 - 02/07/2009
01/25/2009 - 01/31/2009
01/18/2009 - 01/24/2009
01/11/2009 - 01/17/2009
01/04/2009 - 01/10/2009
12/28/2008 - 01/03/2009
12/21/2008 - 12/27/2008
12/14/2008 - 12/20/2008
12/07/2008 - 12/13/2008
11/30/2008 - 12/06/2008
11/23/2008 - 11/29/2008
11/16/2008 - 11/22/2008
11/09/2008 - 11/15/2008
11/02/2008 - 11/08/2008
10/26/2008 - 11/01/2008
10/19/2008 - 10/25/2008
10/05/2008 - 10/11/2008
09/28/2008 - 10/04/2008
09/14/2008 - 09/20/2008
09/07/2008 - 09/13/2008
08/10/2008 - 08/16/2008
08/03/2008 - 08/09/2008
07/27/2008 - 08/02/2008
07/06/2008 - 07/12/2008
06/29/2008 - 07/05/2008
06/22/2008 - 06/28/2008
06/15/2008 - 06/21/2008
06/08/2008 - 06/14/2008
05/25/2008 - 05/31/2008
05/11/2008 - 05/17/2008
05/04/2008 - 05/10/2008
04/20/2008 - 04/26/2008
04/06/2008 - 04/12/2008
03/16/2008 - 03/22/2008
03/09/2008 - 03/15/2008
02/24/2008 - 03/01/2008
02/03/2008 - 02/09/2008
01/06/2008 - 01/12/2008
12/30/2007 - 01/05/2008
10/28/2007 - 11/03/2007
10/21/2007 - 10/27/2007
10/14/2007 - 10/20/2007
09/30/2007 - 10/06/2007
09/23/2007 - 09/29/2007
09/16/2007 - 09/22/2007
09/09/2007 - 09/15/2007
09/02/2007 - 09/08/2007
08/26/2007 - 09/01/2007
08/19/2007 - 08/25/2007
08/12/2007 - 08/18/2007
08/05/2007 - 08/11/2007
07/29/2007 - 08/04/2007
07/22/2007 - 07/28/2007
07/15/2007 - 07/21/2007
07/08/2007 - 07/14/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/07/2007
06/24/2007 - 06/30/2007
06/17/2007 - 06/23/2007
06/10/2007 - 06/16/2007
06/03/2007 - 06/09/2007
05/27/2007 - 06/02/2007
05/20/2007 - 05/26/2007
05/13/2007 - 05/19/2007
05/06/2007 - 05/12/2007
04/29/2007 - 05/05/2007
04/22/2007 - 04/28/2007
04/15/2007 - 04/21/2007
04/08/2007 - 04/14/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/07/2007
03/25/2007 - 03/31/2007
03/18/2007 - 03/24/2007
03/11/2007 - 03/17/2007
03/04/2007 - 03/10/2007
02/25/2007 - 03/03/2007
02/18/2007 - 02/24/2007
02/11/2007 - 02/17/2007
02/04/2007 - 02/10/2007
01/28/2007 - 02/03/2007
01/21/2007 - 01/27/2007
01/14/2007 - 01/20/2007
01/07/2007 - 01/13/2007
12/31/2006 - 01/06/2007