Archive for July, 2008

A peek at 38 Studios ‘Copernicus’ Concept Art

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, posted by skg

from the It’s not ready for Primetime dept.

Nothing ‘in-game’ yet, but a short review with Thom Ang – Director of Art for 38 Studios by the team at Allakhazam.

“Thom, who was very recently hired and thrown into the 38 Studios frying pan, took charge from early on and made it clear that he wanted to talk about the concept art that they had to show us. One of the first topics of our conversation was “Idealized Reality”, which is going to be the official art standard or rather ‘calling card’ of 38 studios. The vision is that a game enthusiast will be able to look at a screenshot or video and be able to tell that it’s a 38 Studios game. They certainly seem as if they all have a very clear idea about the direction of the art: this game is going to be visually stunning.”

38 Studios is helmed by Brett Close and based in Boston, Mass.

Gamezone interviews Interzone on Futebol

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, posted by skg

from the Boys from Brazil dept.

In a nice little review of some of the development issues related to making a Massive Soccer title like Futebol, Gamezone talks with the Interzone team :

“Question: Soccer, or football, is a rapidly moving game that requires instant field recognition and reaction from the players. Any sort of lag can adversely affect the game conditions. How do you plan on reducing that potential game-killer?

Jeff: This is a terrific question to start off with Michael! This is actually one of the earliest obstacles we faced when developing our MMO Interzone Futebol. As you said, this can be a potential game-killer and I humbly suspect that it is the main reason that true massively multiplayer online sports games have not been developed.

The first measure we took against lag was choosing the right engine. We believed this problem would be significantly reduced if we were to use a mature and well-developed engine. After reviewing different engines, we decided to use the BigWorld engine. We have developers that are experienced with it and BigWorld is very responsive and supportive toward us.”

Interzone is putting the finishing touches on their online sports title, Futebol, which is being released for testing in Brazil later this year.


Meteor Games’ Donna Williams talks to Twin Skies Navigator

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008, posted by skg

from the Music to our Ears dept.

Donna Williams stepped down from her sky throne to talk with Twin Skies Navigator yesterday about the Meteor Games ‘in development’ BigWorld powered title.

Donna Williams : “The original plan changed quite dramatically from our rather humble initial ideas. We always wanted to make an MMO crossed with a community, but we didn’t think we could pull off 3D. Originally we were aiming to make something in flash, like Dofus, but after looking around at the other free to play and subscription games out there it became pretty apparent that flash just wasn’t going to cut it. We were so impressed with the BigWorld engine, it really opened up so many new opportunities for us and the guys are great to work with. When we started we didn’t think we would be growing so fast, we now have 49 staff and are still hiring. That’s pretty insane for a company that has been around for less than a year! It’s a bit nerve wracking, but so much fun to see everything really come together.”

Donna Williams and Adam Powell were the seed talents behind Neopets which remains today one of the largest population-driven web titles ever developed. Head on over to Twin Skies Navigator to check out the full article.

INTERVIEW : Interzone Futebol

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008, posted by skg

from the Can we Play it yet? dept.

Jeff Lyndon, Interzone’s VP of China Operations, steps up to the plate at an interview over at IncGamers. Or maybe not a plate – maybe a goal line. Or takes position at a corner.

“Any other activities in-game that don’t have a connection to soccer?

Yes, although the world is centered on futebol we want players to be able to enjoy the game world even if they don’t play futebol. Most features will link back to futebol in some way, but you can just be a fan and enjoy yourself in the social world without ever entering a stadium.

What are the MMO aspects of your game? A persistent universe, character?

Interzone Futebol is a full multiplayer online game with persistent characters, progression and a full 3D world for you to explore. Outside the stadium you’ll find dance clubs, cafes, and shops to explore and have fun in. We are even putting lots of little secrets things for you to discover as you explore and party in the beach side neighborhood of Ipanema.”

More of the interview here.

Stargate Worlds Combat preview

Monday, July 28th, 2008, posted by skg

from the It’s all happening at Comic Con dept.

Jon Wood – managing editor over at MMORPG.com gives a short narration of the Stargate Worlds combat experience he had today over at Comic Con (also, a video). Stargate Worlds is trying something a bit novel for MMOs – a hybrid, cover based tactical combat system, a generation or so past the rock/ paper/ scissors combat sequencing of other MMOs. Comic Con is the place to be with your IP, and this will be a noisy week of follow-up for a lot of previously-under-wraps titles.

Tutorial and UI first-look for Stargate Worlds over at Ten Ton

Monday, July 28th, 2008, posted by skg

from the I can’t believe its not Butter dept.

The guys over at Ten Ton Hammer have yet another exclusive look at the Stargate property coming out of Arizona from the Firesky guys – Stargate Worlds. In this video, Dan Elggren shows off some of the early in-game tutorial and UI customization available to players of the game. With a 2009 release mentioned, this is one of the higher-profile Bigworld games in the US for next year.

摩根士丹利:网易还有50%以上的上涨空间 / Morgan Stanley believes Netease shares undervalued

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008, posted by leig

From http://tech.163.com/08/0722/19/4HFT9J53000915BF.html dept.

Quick Comment: Morgan Stanley Research “50%+ share price upside potential”"We believe NetEase is undervalued: We reiterate our OW-V rating on NetEase, with a DCF-based fair value of US$34.8, implying 50%+ share price upside potential.”

网易科技讯 北京时间7月22日消息 大摩今日发表报告称,网易推出的在线游戏《天下贰》可能成为又一部惊人之作。
在经过一年的重新开发后,6月网易再次推出了免费网游《天下贰》,2个月内服务器数量将从最初的15台增加到23台。该游戏的最高同时在线用户数已经达到9万-10万(据我们估计,通常每台服务器只能容纳约4000-4500人)。
值得注意的是,搜狐在发布《天龙八部》后股价上涨了近2倍,而巨人网络只运营了2款游戏,市值将达到30亿美元。网易与这些公司相比,有以下几点优势:首先,《天下贰》采用了免费模式,每用户收入(ARPU)不受限制,降低了用户流失率;其次,4月《梦幻西游》的最高同时在线用户数曾达到创记录的210万,而第一季度最高同时在线用户数这有167万,要知道该游戏已经运营了4年多;第三,网易的净现金储备达到5亿美元,据我们观察,该公司正在积极寻求提供游戏授权的机会;第四,过去2年里网易已经4次回购股票。请注意,中国网络公司一旦回购了股票,他们的股价往往会大涨。
因此我们认为,网易股票价值被低估。我们重申对该股的“增持”评级,基于DCF(贴现现金流)计算的公平价值在34.8美元,意味着该股有50%以上的上升空间。
理由是:首先,基于我们对网易08年利润的预期,该股市盈率低于10倍;第二,与其他部门相比,中国网络游戏部门具有反周期性,能抵御经济的低迷。例如,领先的韩国网络游戏公司(NCSoft和NHN)的收入,并未受到韩国市场低迷的影响。