Monthly Archives: February 2013

Game of Thrones Ascent Review: A Facebook Game Set In The World of A Song Of Ice And Fire


Game of Thrones Ascent (developer Disruptor Beam) is the newest video game set in the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire, a recommended and extremely popular book series by George R.R. Martin. Game Of Thrones Ascent has been developed as a game for Facebook even though later in its life it might be converted to other systems. This however – contrary to popular belief – has not lowered its quality or made it a pay-to-win game. At the moment Ascent is still in beta phase.

Ascent is similar to other medieval browsergames like Grepolis or Tribal Wars: your goal is to build a city and destroy your opponents. You will able to add buildings such as a smithy, a sept, a market, and these can also be improved to increase efficienty. The game does not require you to wait immense amounts of time before certain actions are completed. Sure, sometimes you’ll have to wait some time, but it’s far better than in many other games in which you’ll buy speed-up items just because you’re irritated by the time that is left. This is definitely an improvement.

The game hosts a story similar to A Game of Thrones with some minor adjustments along the way, the story itself is cool and you’re really being involved in it as a random noble. You’ll be confronted with quests and you will need to make choices – what’s more important for you? The realm, your family, the olds gods, or the new? The choices you make have an impact on future happenings. Your quests will usually be completed by your Sworn Swords, units you can hire which have their own talent trees in which you will be able to invest points after they have ranked up. Your Sworn Swords can specialise in trade, intrigue, or brute force. They can then complete quests with actions such as “attack, swindle, steal, spy, harass” and so on.

A Sworn Sword working for me

A Sworn Sword working for me

You will be able to check your rank as a noble at the leaderboards. There’s also the option to create alliances, add/help friends, send messages, gain achievements and buy items in the shop with real money. All these systems work fine and you’re always confronted with a nice UI and every now and then a beautiful piece of artwork. The music isn’t bad either!

Questing

Questing

I really enjoyed playing Game of Thrones Ascent and I’ll not stop playing it soon. It’s a fresh and improved version over other similar games and most definitely not your average cheap Facebook game. A huge thumbs up for Disruptor Beam! On you go now, to defeat the challenges in Westeros!

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Allods Online Russia opens up subscription-based server


The originally Russian MMORPG Allods Online made an intesting move some time ago. The Russian variant of the free-to-play fantasy MMORPG launched a subscription-based server. Anyone playing on this server will not be able to “enjoy” the cash shop and thus players become relient on their skills again and not on the amount of money they have.

The European/American variant of the game isn’t planning to do anything similar at the moment although their playerbase has diminished severely after multiple confrontations with the playerbase concerning the cash shop. The new server has been welcomed with primarily positive feedback. Interesting to see how this will turn out.

 

Incredible Game of Thrones ensemble music videos


These two are definitely worth checking out! Spoilers for season 1 and 2 included.

Credits to the author which is Grable424, nice work dude!

 

Funding Game Development Through Player Donations?


Suppose you’re an independent developer. You barely have enough money to pay your artists and programmers. They do some basic work and love doing so. But since you only have a small team, only a small amount of work can be done and sooner or later your game’s players start to get bored because new content isn’t being implemented fast enough. What do you do?

Mortal Online‘s developers (the recently gone free-to-play MMORPG) decided to launch a player donations program. Every now and then a donation goal will be given (the latest donation goal is improved visuals and more) and players will be given the option to donate funds directly into the development of the game. So this is separate from your regular subscription, which will also pay for numerous other expenses. This enables the team to hire outside programmers/artists and thus increase the speed of content updates. Donators will also benefit from numerous feats not available to non-donators. The top donator of the month will be allowed to interview the CEO of Starvault, Mortal’s developer/publisher.

What’s your opinion on funding game development through player donations?