Well, the big news for us is the upcoming Open Test. Since we
have announced the November 1st date for open testing, signups
have increased dramatically. We expect more than 800 people to
have signed up for Charter Citizenship by November 1st. We plan
to start with around 50 invited testers on the first so that we
can test the registration process. This select group will be chosen
from the most active members of the Imperial Wars community. Testers
must be able to download the game (the file is about 30 Mb) and
then open a test account, install and open their game client and
request a game start. Of course, all test accounts are free. The
November 1st deadline should be met, but we will delay it a few
days if need be to ensure a better start.
testers may go through the process several times to help us in
smoothing out this process, which is different from the never-ending,
persistent worlds. Entering into an Imperial Worlds game universe
involves choosing a player name, a character type to play and
a final score. Player selections are entered in a queue where
the server constantly searches for the 16 component characters
that will let it form a game. When it does, the players are notified
by email (or they can log into their game client) that a game
is ready and gives them their first deadline. Meanwhile, the server
creates a universe. This is not a simple process for the computer
as there a lot of things that go into setting it up.
we can successfully and easily register accounts and we have our
first games started and running smoothly, well start the
next hundred or so. If we need another incremental test group,
well choose them but we expect that within the month, tests
will be open to one and all.
One of the most challenging issues in releasing Imperial Wars
is the management of expectations. It is much easier to understand
a game that is like another game that you have played in the past.
Imperial Wars is very different to the other games currently popular
on the Internet. It is a game that has a beginning, middle, and
ending, unlike the better-known MMORPGs. It is turn-based
yet the turns have a sense of immediacy and take days to play.
It is an immersive game with but it breathes and allows players
to become engrossed in a science-fiction universe without giving
up their lives.
are many implications of a game like this that we discuss in our
forums. This discussion will definitely heat up in the weeks and
months ahead. We have spent a lot of time trying to tell people
what to expect so that we dont disappoint them or get people
into a game that does not fit their style of gaming. It is a huge
challenge to set the expectation for an unknown game.
have avoided the hype andgeneral
PR that is normally associated with the opening of a game so that
we dont attract players who are really looking for a session
type game like Unreal Tournament or a persistent world game like
Everquest. Wed like the chance to get it right and build
a core of people who will help us show players the other kinds
of games that Internet has to offer; games that are just as interesting
and perhaps for many, even more so.
Future of Gaming is the Past- Feature Article by Colin Murcray
ago, before computer games existed as anything but money hungry
arcade games, the role-playing game began emerging as the lower
cost and more flexible alternative to the costly arcades. [more]
FEATURE: THE STARMAP
Each issue of the newsletter will contain an element of the
game explained in greater detail. This month's feature is the
FOR YOUR FAVORITE NEWSLETTER NAME
month we asked for your input on naming this newsletter. This
month we'd like you to vote
for your favorite newsletter name
E-mail your vote to the editor at Colin@intelgames.com
2002 Hugo Award Winners were announced in September.
are as follows:
Gods, Neil Gaiman
Times at Fairmont High", Vernor Vinge
Is the Absence of God", Ted Chiang
Dog Said Bow-Wow", Michael Swanwick
Art of Chesley Bonestell, Ron Miller & Frederick C. Durant
III, with Melvin H. Schuetz
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Charles N. Brown, ed.
Online, Mark R. Kelly, editor/webmaster
Dave Langford, ed.
the IRC Imperial Senate
channel is open 24x7 for your IWARS use. However, we have weekly
chats planned too.
can connect directly to the Imperial Senate chat room or get
the information on how to connect your own chat client by clicking
on this link or going to http://iwars.org/IRC/index.html.