Dec 08

The Greatness of Browser Based MMORPG Games

It’s really amazing how far browsers have come since I was a kid. I know I am going to date myself here, but I remember when I was younger using Netscape Navigator to update my geocities homepage. Yikes! The offerings are a bit more robust these days, and it shows. It blows my mind that you can actually play full featured games within the browser now. It doesn’t end there though!

One of the most popular (and revolutionary) game genre to come out in the last 15 years is the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). Usually they require you to download anywhere between 6-35 gigabits of data, plus you need a system strong enough to handle the graphic workload. Not everyone can handle that. That’s why I am excited for browser based MMORPGs. The technology for this is only a few years old, but it’s so exciting!

Since the MMORPG is browser based, there is no need to download anything. You just go to the homepage, login, and voila! It’s instant gratification. What’s even better, is that they are fantastically portable. Since there is no need to download anything, you can play them ANYWHERE. You could play at home…from your hotel room….from a library….or FROM WORK without having to do anything extra. Just login and play! Imagine being able to slip into a game for a few minutes on your lunch break at work allowing you to de-stress. How about slipping away at a boring family function to get a little gaming in? All of this is possible because of browser based MMORPGs. Now get in there and game!

Dec 04

Game Tester Vs. Beta Tester

Game tester vs beta tester
Despite being similar in name, “Game tester” (sometimes referred to as “quality assurance tester”) and “beta tester” actually are two completely different jobs. The main difference is that game testers are paid. Another difference is that beta testers apply for the games they are interested in and must be selected, but game testers are hired by the game company. Game testers also do not have a choice on which games they work. When a game is released as a beta, a small group of game testers have already spent thousands of collective hours testing the game to get it ready for the beta. It can be a thankless job.

Game tester job description
A game tester’s primary job is to find and record bugs in the programming. Game testers also act as the game’s first users and report on playability and recommend improvements.
As a game tester, other job responsibilities include:
• playing games in as many ways as possible
• testing different versions of a game at various stages of development
• ensure the game performs as the designer intended
• compare the game against competitors
• keep detailed notes on game problems and suggest improvements
• try to determine what is causing the problem
• try to recreate the problem and record the steps taken to recreate
• check accessibility options (ie. Colorblind, deaf, physical impairment)
• check for spelling/grammar mistakes
• enter bug reports into the quality management system
• adhere to strict deadlines.
• follow the direction of management without deviation

Game testers often work long hours at inconvenient times (such as evenings, weekends and holidays) to ensure they meet strict deadlines. This intensifies as a game’s release nears.
Compensation
Game testers are paid at a hourly rate between $8-$20/hr, typically at the lower end of that spectrum. Game testers usually are not offered benefits at the same level of the salaried employees. The job is not glamorous. You really need to love games and want to be a part of the team to make it worth your while. The main benefit is that by becoming a game tester get your foot in the door of the video game industry, which tends to promote from within. The job gets you in front of every aspect of a game’s development cycle and offers a unique chance to see the various jobs in action. If you have the ambition and the skills, you very well could use game testing as a springboard to a much more “glamorous” position.

Nov 25

Rise of Mythos Review

Rise of Mythos Browser Game

Release Date: 2013
Latest Version: 1.2
Play Now
Only in the US
Platform Online

Rise of Mythos is a free online (browser-based) Trading Card Game (TCG) published by Gamefuse.  All you need is to login into the game page either creating an account or through facebook account. You will be given some options such as desert area, windy area, Jungle etc. that you can choose to play in.  Throughout the game you will be instructed how to play with a pop-up dialogue box, that is really vague. You’ll understand how to play a card at the end of your tutorial, but the rest you’ll have to figure out on your own.

In this game you build a deck of creatures from your available pool and try to strategize what combination is most effective to battle your own adversary, but the actual game play doesn’t play out like a typical TCG. Instead, the game features a grid overlaid on top of a 2D world. You will discover around four different lanes. When you activate a card, you choose one of the available lanes to place that creature, and then one of the first three spaces in that lane which serve as starting spaces.

The game is won once you get the creatures with a number lane beyond the enemy forces and leaving the enemy hero open for attack. Once the hero’s lifepool is zero, they’re beat.

Play Now

Play Now
Jul 14

Need Help Building Your Clash of Clan Fortress?

Picture of a Clash of Clan player's base.

Boom! This Member needs some but have no fear, this blog post is here!

Darn it again, I just got raided! Ever said this? I know I have. But then again, I had to learn the hard way: place this here and that there, etc. However I no longer have to do such things. Thanks to the boys at Clash of Clans Builder, I can now check out already designed bases and list them by their ranking. Once I have found a good enough base, I can quickly see a schematic of how to position my pieces so as to copy the base before me. And just like that, you now have access to the best bases in the game.

Oh but before I let you go, here is a good tip. Make sure you select your respective Clan Castle level. I can neither confirm nor deny that this ninja spent the time designing his base only to find out later that he didn’t have enough parts/resources. Yep, wrong level. So before you start the tedious task of re-arranging you pieces, make sure your on the right level.

Finally, for all you Free Game Ninja fans out there, if you haven’t downloaded the game yet, I highly recommend you do so and once you have built a clan castle, come find our own Free Game Ninjas clan and get a free dragon while your at it. Our clan name is: Ninja Bushido.

Catch you on the flip side.

Jul 08

The Evolution of Free Online Games

The Beginning of Games

In the early 2000′s “Flash Based” free games ruled the roost by broadcasting the cheesy little gamelets like penguin slides and stick golf (okay, okay, considered cheesy now, but epic then) to those who were hungry for a quick game experience with no strings attached. Easy to produce, flash based games could

Evolution of Free Online Games

How far we have come since the 1981 Mario to the 2008 version.

be pumped out by the thousands with little to no startup costs. With such minimal requirements, it was easy for the individual programmer to sit down over a weekend and create a complete collection of games that even the most mild mannered of baboons could zombify to. And believe me, back then, I did.

But like most areas of the gaming industry, even flash games started to quarrel like two one-legged men in a butt kicking contest and so the average consumer jumped from game to game looking for a better or more graphically challenging form of entertainment. With opportunity knocking on the door, in stepped the behemoth we all know and love: Facebook.

In Enters the Evil Presence of Facebook Gaming

While Facebook was introduced to the masses in 2004, it wasn’t until 2009 that they entered the foray of gaming. With titles like Barn Buddy and Happy Farm, players grew crops, watered their plants, and even pulled weeds. Too bad my mom couldn’t have convinced me these types of chores were fun. But it wasn’t until Zynga’s FarmVille hit town that the Facebook gaming industry took off. And like a plague sweeping through the crops, Zynga crushed the competition, not by using greater graphics (far from it actually) but by creating the most unholiest of tactics; the invasion of our news feeds. Ever see “Julie just found a Gopher in FarmVille?” or some other status like that? Well with such things invading our feeds, it can only be expected that us curious nellies would investigate what the heck Julie was doing with a gopher on facebook. Realizing that the people of the Facebook world were hungry for this type of product, gaming companies poured time and energy into creating the “next” Farmville and now our invite feed is chock full of requests from friends. Not complaining because…well…its still a free game right?
But just like the flash world, facebook too has become saturated in what can be called an obese industry. Also, just like the flash games, facebook games are also limited in the amount of sophistication they can use. Ever tied to the whimsical decisions of their master, facebook, the online gaming industry needed a new platform to drive sales. Why not go back to the original intent of online gaming and self host?

Modern Online Gaming as We Know It

No longer bound by the facebook shackles, small companies were able to develop well conceived games there were more open to change and included better graphics than that of facebook games. No longer did the little guy have to follow the law of Facebook and could therefore create the true game that they had intended. However, like all large groups of minnows attract larger fish, so to did the big gaming behemoths. Seeing the success that small game companies were having with their self-hosted online gaming, behemoths like EA and Westwood jumped onboard. Within no time games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, Command and Conquer Tiberium Alliance, and Wartune started showing up giving players big name opportunities with large budgets and endless gaming opportunity.

So with self hosting online games taking major steam, where will free online gaming opportunities go next? Write your comments below and let us know what you think.

Jul 06

No Such Thing as a Free Game?

Oh, so you say this is a free game?

Is there such a thing as a free game?

Nowadays we gamers constantly find “free game” opportunities that, if you are like me, seem too good to be true. Why would game companies like EA or Gamesoft even consider giving us a “free game experience” when we have already proven to them that we are capable of throwing oodles of cash at them for their other platform based projects? Have they lost their financial minds or is there an ulterior motive?

In most cases, online games can actually be free. You sign up with just your email address and the next thing you know, you are knee deep in ogre guts and pixy dust. However there are two strategies that game companies mainly use so as to feed their starving programmers and designers, cause remember even EA has to feed their programmers some stale bread…..sometimes.

The first is in the sales of “extras.” Ever played a game that offers extra game cash, jewels, better weapons, etc for the cost of real cash? For example in Clash of Clans you can pay to receive gems that can speed up production, or suffice for missing cash. In most cases this is very profitable because lets face it, we gamers are impatient and want to wield that mighty butt kicking axe and reek havoc and so $5 dollars later you become the biggest bad boy on the block. While I have never paid for the extras (after all I am the master free game ninja), talking on forums and in game play I have found that a major majority of players do go this route. Lucrative, but it is you choice whether or not to keep the game free.

The second strategy lies in commercials, and advertisements. Ever see a video or ad pop up before you start playing? This is because companies that want to sell to people like you, know that video games hold the key in getting your attention. Therefore, the game itself stands as an effective means to promote other products targeted at our market.

So as you can see, these free online games are actually free to play. You may have the opportunity to heighten your game experience by purchasing upgrades or may have to sit through a commercial but lets face it, its a small price to pay for such entertaining games at your disposal.