Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gaming Trends

Pictured above is Lucky Space, a new Facebook game that claims to be for the 'core' players out there. As the picture shows you'll be building and managing a lot on your little asteroid from home. You start off with just that little hub building in the middle and then branch off. Resources in the game include food, ore, crystium, and research. The infamous, follow the quests and level up gameplay of social gaming (with some saying MMOs as well) is present. There are certain tasks players are given and by finishing these tasks a specific reward is given back. This isn't anything new but it's the driving force behind the game as players continue to level up by accomplishing set quests or goals. I'm only at level 15 so I can't say for certain if this is the true Facebook game for 'core' (let's say enthusiastic gamers) but I can tell you it's highly fun to continue to expand and flourish on this little rock (gameplay is said to be inspired off of the Sim City and Civilization games).

Now I've also been playing another free to play browser game but instead of it consisting on Facebook, this game has its own site. Castle Empire Online, a free to play browser game, is from the makers of the Settlers games and is published by Ubisoft. You're tasked to build an empire from a very small town center with resources of settlers, fish, firwood, stone, tools and many many more. As you progress and accomplish your set goals, levels start raising and you start to unlock more and more buildings such as a pivotal barracks and provision's house (a building that converts resources). You progress through the game, after the tutorial quests have been completed, by attacking nearby bandit camps on the map which will ultimately allow you to capture a sector thus expanding your empire (and more importantly allowing you more resource spaces/deposits), granted you fell the bandit leader who controlled such sector.

To call these two games similar is a disservice to the person you're telling that to, they are vastly different (mainly Lucky Space revolves around energy use/time duration and friends while Castle Empire Online revolves around intelligent management of resources with the occasional help from friends). However they both are full fledged free to play browser games. Like Dragon Age Legends, all you need is a computer that can run flash and a current web browser like Firefox or Chrome, you can play anywhere with any computer pretty much. This is pretty huge considering the only games you could play in your browser before were practically simple arcade games which did not have a cloud based system so you couldn't continue where you left off on another computer or day and time. Get ready to see full fledged graphically intense games in your browser in the future and will they too be free to play, (along with the micro-transactions that will help the developers/publishers stay afloat), as we see all so many developers/publishers deciding on at the moment?