image kindly stolen from rockpapershotgun.com
I spent some time with the single-player demo of new dragon-based scrounge-’em-up Hoard
a few days ago. It was fairly good fun and an interesting concept: you get ahead not by destroying your opponents, but by collecting more loot than anyone else — which of course entails destroying your opponents as you battle for the best piles of gold. But I like that the mechanic is not directly about roasting your fellow dragoneers — you could imagine a round of Hoard in which no PvP combat took place at all. It would be no less competitive for it, though maybe a bit less fun. Unfortunately, Hoard looks to be a bit thin beyond the basics, which is too bad, as I see a deep vein to be mined here.
I’m interested in systems like these because the game I’m working on is based on a similar mechanic. Winning is not a matter of killing more enemies, conquering more territory, or being the last man standing. Instead, it’s a matter of accumulating a larger portion of the map’s finite resources before the end of the round. Continue reading
I’ll begin this blog with an ending: My friend Jim Rossignol writes this week (over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a site he co-founded) about the five-year spree of StateCorp, a player-run “corporation” in the massively multiplayer online space opera known as Eve Online. (Eve’s corporations would be known in most other games as guilds or clans.) Jim helped run StateCorp over the entire course of its life — for much of which time he was arguably its lifeblood, without which it would have broken up. I was a member for a couple of years near the beginning, and on and off throughout. Now, with the corporation “in the process of moth-balling and disbanding,” Jim looks back at what he calls “the lengthiest and most fulfilling gaming experience” of his life. Considering the impact it made on me, I can understand his effusiveness. Continue reading