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Art, Code, and WoW

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Once again, last night, my ten minutes turned into three and a half hours.

I finished the art that we'll need for the prototype match-three game. Once that was done I was finally able to dive into some code. Once you figure out how TorqueScript works, and the order of things, it's very easy to get something up and running. I was able to create a grid image, display it, and create an empty tile map and lay it over the grid. This tile map would house the game objects. I need to learn a little about simsets and simgroups before I can move forward. We should have something up and running by this weekend. I also opened Visio and created a diagram of how the match logic would work.

Unfortunately, Thursdays and Fridays, my ten minutes may actually be only ten minutes. I'll probably spend that time updating the wiki documentation to reflect the design changes. Those are raid nights in World of Warcraft. Those are pretty much the only times I play WoW anymore. But that leaves Saturday and Sunday open for development.

Speaking of World of Warcraft, the design of that game has intrigued me. Before World of Warcraft, Everquest held the highest membership with about 500,000. World of Warcraft eclipsed the five million mark several months ago, and may even have hit the six million member mark. I've seen estimates for 2006 at nine to ten million members. This is quite an accomplishment and suggests the designers have created a very compelling and rich game. But, if you navigate the forums, or listen to guild chat, or general chat in the game, all you hear are complaints about design decisions, yet no one leaves. They just complain. So, is it the game that keeps the players, or the community? Is the game the reason people can't stop playing, or is the people they meet in the game? I can only answer for myself. If I didn't have the friends that I've made in my guild, I wouldn't even log on to raid anymore. That being said, I've tried to quit before, and did for a few months at a time, but I always came back and game-play possibilities were what coaxed me back. A new patch; more features; things I wanted to accomplish. Maybe it's a mixture of both community and the game. Perhaps the people complaining just want everything and want it now. Who knows? Whatever it is, it appears to be working in Blizzard's favor.
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Everquest has been dwarfed by many asian mmorpgs for years. I think the keep to WoW capturing such a big player base was blizzards establish reputation with asian gamers (e.g. star craft and diablo1/2)

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On the topic of WoW, I think that it's

A) The game is made by Blizzard, which many people adore for their reputation, and thus they don't leave.
B) It's in the world of Warcraft, where a lot of people played countless hours on the RTS.
C) Media, Press keeps saying this game rocks, so people keep on playing because of it's rep.

It could be some people love the gameplay, or the community, but the above is what I would speculate.

I tried WoW by myself, and thought the gameplay was bleh.

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