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Items from the Mailbag – End of the Year, I Almost Forgot Edition December 30, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Mail Bag.
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December is almost gone and I have items in my mailbag I forgot to mention!  So without further ado, I give you:

Warp Plus

Spectrum at Crimson Leaf Games sent out a notice announcing Warp Plus, a sequel to and extension and modernization of MegaWars III. Bullet points:

  • Space exploration with planet colonization and ship to ship combat.
  • Play in a galaxy that can expand to over five million stars.
  • Work independently or as a member of a team.
  • Learn the game without being preyed upon by other players.
  • Compete on a level playing field.  Everyone has an opportunity to win including free players.
  • Levels of play allow for casual or hardcore players.
  • Every campaign is unique as the players actions decide the game outcome.

But, like MegaWars III, it needs players to gel and become a community to be a worthwhile game to play.

Trion Hacking

There was the obligatory note from Trion Worlds telling me that they may have been hacked and asking me to come change the password to my account.  Their solution to the hacking apparently involves making sure that everybody’s password was longer, and contained a capital letter, a number, and a special character.

Somehow I doubt the strength of individual account passwords was what got them hacked, though if it was, they have bigger problems than I care to imagine.

Tactical Carnage

Mike from the Tactical Carnage Gaming Community sent me an invite to become a “combat liaison” at his site, or to at least move my blog there, since he could offer me free hosting and I would get more exposure.

He did not explain what a combat liaison was, the site only listed StarCraft II and Counter-Strike as related games (that has been updated since), and judging from the ticker on the front page, he get fewer views in a week as I get in a day (and I do not get that many views in the grand scheme of things) so the “more exposure” seemed a bit dubious.  Plus I am never keen to put my content into the hands of some random stranger or change my URL, probably the most valuable asset on the blog.

Still, he was persistent, following up the next day wanting a response already, so I outlined the above and asked if he had ever, you know, actually read my blog, since it did not seem to fit in at all with his site.  I signed my response “Wilhelm SynCaine de Cayeux” to see if that would cause any confusion, but there was no follow up.  Ah well.

Storybricks

Namaste sent me a note letting me know that Storybricks would be going into beta.

I am just not sure I want to play with their story development tool so much as I want to see what really smart people can do with it.  Still, it might give me the opportunity to recreate my most reknown MUD mob ever, the one named “My Ex-Girlfriend,” an NPC that would follow me around and complain loudly about all my faults and shortcomings.

Windows Phone

Not technically a mailbag item, but as I was finishing up my Looking Back at 2011 post, I got a call on my cell phone (eh?) from an evangelist at Microsoft wanting to get me interested in developing games for the Windows Phone platform.  There were all sorts of incentives and Windows/XBox Live tie-ins and he was very excited about the whole thing.  He seemed a little sad when I had to tell him I did not develop games nor did I have any tangible experience on mobile platforms, Microsoft or otherwise.

I can only imagine that he got my phone number from a resume I submitted to Microsoft for a position with the TellMe group, which actually does things I have years and years of experience with, like VXML, speech recognition, and speech app tools, design, and implementation, all of which was pretty clear on my resume.  But I guess he just saw “phone stuff” and gave it a shot.

In hindsight, I should have pointed him at Lord British.

Angry Boys with Lettuce and Tomato

Raimy of BLT & Associates (their URL is BLTomato.com, so yes, that sort of BLT) wanted to tell me that HBO was making a Facebook game related to their show Angry Boys and that I should watch their Facebook page right here.

I don’t actually get HBO, I had never actually heard of Angry Boys until that email, and I am really about done with Facebook games.  But, you know, if you are into any of that, there it is.

See what a sandwich based URL will get you?

My Phone is Developmentally Disabled

I keep getting messages asking me to download, try out, or review various iPhone and Android apps.  There were literally a dozen in my December list.  The problem is that I do not have an iOS or Android device.  I have an el-cheapo LG phone that is mostly a phone with some texting capabilities and a Bejeweled knock-off game that came with it.  So, no, I will not be trying out your phone app.

And that is it.  Now it is time to go play Laser Tag, which was my daughter’s choice for a birthday activity with her friends.  Go figure.

Comments»

1. Paul - December 30, 2011

If Trion were smart, they stored the passwords in encrypted (and probably “salted”) form. This would mean the hackers could only compromise your account if your password were simple, since they could try all simple combinations against the encrypted form until one matched (assuming the hackers knew the encryption algorithm).

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2. Latrodanes - December 30, 2011

“Dust 514 makes sense I guess… CCP clearly has to focus… but with their customer base all on the PC, was going to a console game really the right move?”

No

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3. Telke - December 31, 2011

@Paul – yeah, the internet has gone over this stuff a hundred times in 2011, with all the different hacking scandals. Who knows what happened – at this point Trion is probably taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach to every security issue. I think they have a android/ios Authenticator app as well.

@Wilhelm – oh, man. putting the Microsoft people onto Lord British would’ve been hilarious.

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4. Out with the old year, in with the new. MMO predictions for 2012 « Welcome to Spinksville! - December 31, 2011

[...] didn’t make a great job of my predictions last year. TAGN has a super gaming roundup of 2011, covering what actually did [...]

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5. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - December 31, 2011

Hooray, Storybricks!

I am just not sure I want to play with their story development tool so much as I want to see what really smart people can do with it.

That’s fine. We expect that the number of people who want to write stories will be much smaller than the people who want to play them. Do stop by the beta sometime, as there should hopefully be a few good stories written by people to show off the system.

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