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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

GAME ON: RIDDLE CITY RANSOM

(Another featured game for SL-E3-- background here.)

Developer Satchmo Prototype on his team's game:

Friendster meets Puzzle Pirates. It's a grid-wide, multi-level game about social networking, with puzzles and riddles to solve along the way. It was inspired by an ancient oral tale of Samurai who travelled distant lands and would exchange riddles when they met. The story unfolds May 16 at www.riddlecityransom.com.

Satchmo Prototype on Riddle City Ransom's key features:

We are creating a number of puzzle games for multiple, themed builds designed to advance the plot of the game. Second Life's scripting and building tools are excellent for rapid development. You don't need a career in OpenGL or DirectX to create fun games in immersive environments.

Another key game element is that players must meet with many other players in order to complete all but the last stage of the game. We've used LSL to develop scripts that allow players to identify each other, making gameplay pervasive. Gamplay continues while enjoying other activities; at a club, one might run into fellow players and briefly make an exchange while still enjoying the party. Players will meet a variety of new people and make new friends while participating in a gridwide riddle and puzzle challenge. Player-hosted events are a critical aspect of completing the game, as those who utilize swarm tactics are likely to complete it first.

Satchmo Prototype on the biggest challenges in creating Riddle City Ransom:

A major concern is that players must wear scripted objects that contain history of the game play. Since persistent storage of script variables, and thus gameplay data, is uncertain... we have developed an external database for storing a copy of all user data. In case a sim crashes or a user somehow loses his progress, data can be restored from the external server using XML-RPC. We hope this will make gameplay more enjoyable and eliminate any frustration on the player's part.

Our builds will contain scripted objects so of course there is the normal concern for lag and rez time. We mitigated that a little by not including any "twitch'em" game elements in our design.

Riddle City Ransom team: Satchmo Prototype, DNA Prototype, Digi Vox.

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