I am making a video game

I am in the process of making a video game. There are a few things I should clarify right off the bat:

  1. This is not an AAA title, it is just myself and a couple other people.
  2. It is going to be in the MMORPG genre.
  3. It is not meant to compete with any other game, including Ultima Online.

Now that those points are out of the way, here are some tidbits of information.

No Instruction Manual

The game, for all intents and purposes, will not have an instruction manual. The introduction sequence is designed in such a way to get you started. Everything else you have to learn for yourself or from others. The game is all about exploration and discovery. Whether you share those discoveries or horde them for your own benefit is up to you.

Your Own Journey

It is my goal that you should be able to make an impact on the game world, however big or small. You could discover something that will affect every other player in the game. Or you are one member of a group doing amazing things. Or you could just wander along your own quiet path. To that end, there will be unique items, abilities and more that a single player can find or create. You could end up doing things that no other player has any idea how it was done unless you tell them.

At Your Own Pace

Earlier I stated this game is not meant to compete with any other. That is sort of true and false. The goal is a player could spend a couple minutes a day or week to progress. But if you want to spend hours doing things, then you can. It will always be available on your smartphone if you have some downtime during the day and want to do something real quick. You could label it a “casual” game, but I don’t want to because of the negative baggage that brings. Maybe it could be put as: you get out of it what you put into it, but just a little can get you a lot? ………..next section please……..

You said smartphone……..is this another Clash of Clans clone?

Yes! Actually, no. It is nothing like Clash of Clans. Or Bejeweled. Or Minecraft. Or Pokemon Go. Or Candy Crush. There must be something sort of like it out there but I am not aware of any. It is going to be a MMORPG and you can access it on your phone. That is all I’m saying at this time.

Non-Conforming Ideas

There are going to be things about this game that no other game has done (to my knowledge). I already mentioned one: no manual. In fact the game may not even have a name. While updates and expansions will be done, there may be no details on what was added. The core philosophy is for players to discover everything. Your game screen or HUD may have things on it that other players have no idea about! I can already imagine all the problems and accusations of cheating arising from this. It is going to be a lot of fun.

So…………how do you make money?

The current plan (subject to change of course) is free to play with micro-transactions. I know, I know. “JC, I was with you until this part.” The reality is to produce a video game, especially a continually updated MMORPG with such ambitious plans, it needs to generate revenue. I can promise you that the way this game generates money is not going to be anything like you’ve seen before. I’ve already outlined some radical ideas about how this game will work. One of them (THIS IS NOT A PROMISE) may even be a hard limit on how much a player can spend per month, such as $20. If you know of any other game developer in history that has stated they had an idea to limit how much a player can spend on their game, I would like someone to send me that link. Basically, you have to trust me on this.

Launch Date Plz

This game is currently in the design phase and I’m in the process of hiring talent for it. I estimate (ALSO NOT A PROMISE) it will take about 6-8 weeks to code. My goal is to launch (not beta launch or “early access”) early next year around February-March 2017. I want to stress again that this is a tiny team making an independent game. The designs are ambitious but the implementation needs to be practical.

How does this affect your UO time?

This is not meant to replace the games I play, including Ultima Online. The goal is to turn this into my new job. If this is a success then it will allow me to do more in the UO community. My life currently revolves around my full time job. I would like nothing more than to go back to how things were ~10 years ago. But the cold hard reality is people need to make money and I have expenses to pay every month. A successful business will free me up to invest more time and resources into hobbies such as UOGuide.

Keep an eye out for more information. Be sure to follow me @jcthebuilder on Twitter.

Have a Nice day.

6th Annual UWF Halloween Maze

Lady Lavender, Governor of Yew, is putting on the annual Halloween Maze event sponsored by the United We Fight guild. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 11 at 9pm EST. The goal is to navigate through multiple houses using teleporters to reach the keep roof.

Gates will be open in Luna, New Haven, and West Britain Bank shortly before the event begins. Here are some tips to help your navigate the maze:

  • You can pass through the Iron Maidens and Guillotines by double-clicking them twice
  • Teleporters can be tucked between walls, under goza mats, rugs, or furniture
  • Turn your sound on so you can hear when you step on a teleporter
  • Leave your mounts at home and turn off always run

Hope to see you there!

Amnesty for Banned UO Accounts

It seems all the UO newsletters this year include an interesting paragraph near the bottom. It reads:

If you have an account that was terminated by CS over a year ago and would like to have it back please contact support (http://uo.com/support-welcome/) and give them the details and identify the account as yours, depending on the termination we will remove the restriction from your account so you may open it again.

If you know someone who was banned for a relatively minor infraction, it would be a good idea to let them know they could have their account restored.

In other news EM Bennu added some screenshots of the event the other night to his Facebook page. Go take a look while you wait for the event video!

Event Focus Group

The event focus group was a big success! I hope this will give the developers ideas on how they can collect feedback from UO players in the future. Here is a rundown of the big questions and responses:

How many years have you been playing UO?

Most players answered they started before the Age of Shadows, at least 80%. This shows that the current player base is very old and been around a long time. It also shows that newer people have not been staying around.

Typically, how many days of the week do you play UO?

Lots of people said 7 days. Probably 80% are playing 4 days or more a week which when combined with the length of how long people have played UO shows a very dedicated player base.

Where do you get your event news?

The big surprise here was how many answered UO.com. It is apparently very important that the calendar on the official website is updated and accurate. It would also be nice if there was a way for players to get their events posted on their. The format could also use improvement with some kind of filter by shard.

How many EM events have you attended this year?

For such a dedicated player base, it was surprising to me that most people only attended half the events. Very few people answered they attended them all. When you combine this question and the next one it points to people not being very into the existing story line.

Do you come to EM events only to get the item drops?

A solid 70% or more said no, which was very surprising. You always hear “people only go to events for the drops”. Well just look at the number of people who said no. Perhaps a lot of the players who only come for drops did not come to this focus group (which does not make sense since a drop was given away here). In any case, a sizable number of players care about the story that goes on.

Which UO city do you identify with or call home?

The standouts were Britain, Skara Brae, and Trinsic. This was not real surprise that some cities are favored a lot more than others.

Did you vote in the last city governor election?  Do you know the name of your city governor?

Voting was about 50/50 and naming your governor was more in the no category. As has been established in earlier questions, these numbers point to a lack of interest in the governor system in general. You could already tell by how poor attendance is at the monthly governor meeting. This needs to be worked on.

Should something be done about Greater Dragons?

The very few that answered no were probably joking. This is an ongoing issue that is reducing the overall event experience. Something should be done about it.

For each of the following story titles, rate your interest from 1 to 10 [worst to best]:

  • The Revival of the Shadowlords – 7 or 8
  • The Calamity of the Lost Lands – 5
  • The Gargoyle Invasion – 7 or 8
  • The Burning of Luna – 10
  • The Overthrow of King Blackthorn – 9 or 10

Besides Overthrown Blackthorn, the other four titles I came up with real quick. This is definitely a question that could have been thought out better. The “Burning of Luna” poisoned the responses because everyone would love to see that. When asked which story people wanted the most out of all those about 50% said Luna, 20% said Gargoyle Invasion and 20% said Blackthorn Overthrow. If you took out the Luna question, Blackthorn Overthrow would probably be the most selected.

Video of the entire focus group with all the questions:

Keep checking back for more event information and articles!

Have a Nice day.

My Roleplaying Strategy Outlined

Hello everyone,

If you don’t have the time to listen to me ramble on for 30 minutes about what I’ve done and trying to do in regards to roleplaying, this is the article for you! Unless you are a slow reader, here is the two minute version on what has happened and what I hope will happen over the coming months.

Timeline of Events Before Today

  1.  I (JC the Builder) am elected governor of Moonglow on the promise of making Britannia great again.
  2. At the June governor’s meeting I give a grand speech about the sorry state of Britannia (which will be detailed in a future news post, sorry!). At the end of the meeting King Blackthorn threatens my life for overstepping my authority.
  3. I don’t attend the July governor’s meeting directly. Instead I have a representative hand King Blackthorn a communication crystal which he promptly smashes as soon as he hears me on the other end. He is attempting to silence me! Several governors are openly hostile towards Blackthorn. Zynia, governor of Vesper, even walks out mid-meeting in disgust.
  4. I (purposefully) don’t attend the August governor meeting at all. The other governor’s ask where I am but no one has any answers.  King Blackthorn is very indecisive on what to do and keeps asking the governors. He ends up hijacking the entire meeting and leaves no time for anyone else to speak. He leaves abruptly with all the governors scratching their heads on what just happened.

blackthorn-leaves-abruptly

That leads up to today and the governor’s meeting happening tomorrow for September. At that meeting I had planned on attending and practically declaring my intentions to usurp Blackthorn. However, with the recent real life death of Tiffany Moon, governor of Cove, I think it is more appropriate to hold off a bit. Instead I will be in attendance for very low key.

When I became governor months ago this was not at all what I had in mind. It has occurred organically over the last few months. Who better to blame for all our troubles than the current king? It is not my intention to become the next king, only to de-throne the current one.

I hope you all will join with me for what could be the greatest storyline Atlantic has ever seen. During the month of October I want to hold different events, such as a clandestine meeting of the city governors, to further this idea. It will all lead up to the October governors meeting where the fireworks will truly begin.

Please check back here regularly for more information. Have a Nice day.

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