July 2006

I Must Give Shout Outs To Muh Homies

TASS is authorized to announce that Matt Firor is no longer with EA Mythic. He headed up the development of DAOC as its producer through launch, first expansion, and thereafter.

When I mention the good people that I left behind at Mythic, Firor was on that list. He was very much involved in the nuts and bolts of game development, and had a very realistic attitude towards what was possible and fun.

Firor on the stress of balancing a live game: “Everybody that wants their character to be more powerful, raise their hands! (gleefully waves arms in air)”

Firor’s response to what he’d do with a dream $100 million MMO development budget: “Make four $25 million games.”

I know the Internet TRUTH BRIGADES are immediately streaming toward the Batforums with the tolling of doom for Mythic, but, like me, his move was more about location than anything else. Since marrying he was commuting on a daily basis from Hunt Valley, MD to Fairfax, VA. There’s only so much of that a wife will put up with.

But if you’re wanting to make an MMO studio in old Microprose territory, the number of people who’ve overseen a successful MMO launch can be counted on one hand. So all you folks with mad VC cash email him already.

Making The Universe Safe For The Balkans, One Hungarian At A Time!

This may well be the greatest game ever made.

Keeping the universe oppressed, but at least free of non-Romanian, green and terrified mongrels.

You know you’re in their world now from the very first sentence.

Romanii In Spatiu, or Romanians In Space (everything is in Romanian, \tab\tab\tab get used to it)

Apparently the bad guys in this game are Hungarians, the bad blood over the Vienna Accord seemingly extending to the far reaches of outer space. So if fighting the godless Magyars is your thing, sign up for the forum – because as we’ve learned from other adventures in Romanian games development, that’ll probably be the most amusing part.

Oh Brave New World, That Has Such Outsourcing Opportunities In It

Vietnam gets into the RMT farming act.

Chinh has gathered more than ten gamers so far, and they are divided into three groups to work at their online \’e2\’80\’98trade promotion centre\’e2\’80\’99 in three shifts, playing four hour shifts every day. Staff are paid VND20,000 per working hour.

\’e2\’80\’9cThe most important thing is that we have to find skilled gamers to develop stably. We are completing standards and optimising the production procedures. It is really difficult because we only have our own experience, which we garnered from game playing,\’e2\’80\’9d Chinh said.

He told his employees that gaming is a real job, with pressures and rules. Chinh said that playing games for fun and playing game to earn money are very different, and that many younger gamers who apply for a job don\’e2\’80\’99t understand this.

FYI VND20,000 = $1.25, about one tenth as much as I paid for pho noodles at lunch today. Yay for the global economy!

Kind Of Puts The Crowds At Brit Bank In Perspective

As seen on Terra Nova and Pacific Epoch, if you’re an MMO provider in China, for the love of Mao, don’t ever put up anything in your game that even looks remotely like a Japanese flag.

Evolution of a flash mob, in three easy steps!

Players created protest characters with names like:

Name of player: \’e5\’b9\’b2\’e6\-\’bb4\’e5\’b0\’8f\’e6\emdash\’a5\’e6\’9c\’ac (“Kill the little Japs”)
Name of guild:
\’e6\’8a\emdash\’e6\emdash\’a5\’e5\’90\’8c\’e7\’9b\’9f\’e4\’bc\’9a (“The Alliance to Resist Japan”)

Because, as we all know, the best way to protest the conduct of an MMO company is, as Delusion memorably put it,


In a followup, the provider, NetEase, wielded the Serene Banstick of Righteous Fury and sought to appeal to the mob’s sense of reason.

Patriotism is a form of respect, and it is a belief. Patriotism is the soul of our people, it is the soul of our nation. But we sincerely hope that everybody’s patriotic actions are rational . We hope and we believe that everybody can make rational expressions.

If only.

Finally, A Real Benchmark of Quality

While watching SciFi network (or more accurately, while it’s on in the background…)

Me: “Are you watching porn?”
Her: “No.”
Me: “I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen acting that bad outside of porn.”

Edit: Just in case you’re not clear on the horror, Variety actually posted a review, which I’m pretty sure is the only reviewer to sit through the movie. Send him a beer.