DRM-free online game store GoG.com is now gone.com:
Dear GOG users,
We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really
keep GOG.com the way it is. We've debated on it for quite some time and,
unfortunately, we've decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its
We're very grateful for all support we've received from all of you in
the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of
us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and
wonderful history of PC gaming.
This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing
down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges
On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow
everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow
us on Twitter
All the best, GOG.com Team
Their Twitter stream says:
The official statement from GOG's management about
the situation will be announced soon. We'll have more details about
Speculation is that it's a publicity stunt and they'll be back soon, possibly under a new name. If that turns out to be true, then it's... Worst. Publicity. Stunt. Ever.
Update: Smelling more like a stunt by the minute.
Yes, as others have noticed, that there at 0:13 just before the fade is Baldur's Gate. If they release the Infinity Engine games, I will welcome them back with open arms. Then punch them in the face. Then give them my money. Then probably punch them in the face again.
About a year ago, when I frequently found myself working through the night doing system maintenance, I signed up for three online games: Billy vs. Snakeman, Tribal Wars, and some fantasy role-playing game whose name escapes me.
Within a few weeks I abandoned two of them. Tribal Wars because it's a zero-sum game: Beyond a certain point you can only advance by destroying other players and ruining their day. And the forgotten FRPG because it was kind of dull - not only did you not have to worry about being wiped out by other players, you hardly even had contact with them.
Billy (as it is known) I am still playing daily after a year.
Sounds like it's got some interesting concepts, but it's also open to some outright griefing.
It's also difficult to reconcile the paradox system with gradual advancement. Sure, you can work like a beaver, getting various tickets and gaining access to more/better cards and pieces... or maybe you can just time-loop stuff irrationally, create as many paradoxes as possible, and wait for the Big Shiny events to occur. You're not really trying to play the normal part of the game, so negative events that get in the way don't bother you much there... and since you point out the design philosophy of BvS ("you never lose more than a day or two of progress"), it's unlikely that Big Shiny will be counterbalanced by Big Stinky. And if it's doing odd things to the game world, eh, so much the better...
Now multiply that by dozens of players. Suddenly the odd events you envision are CONSTANTLY going off. Players will be lucky to get from Town A to Town B without having one or the other warp across the game world while they're in mid-transit.
Trying to put together beneficial combos will be of limited utility, especially at the world level; the higher chance that it's useful, the higher chance that some high-level player will play a random crappy Foul just to knock the interesting stuff off the map.
It sounds like the sort of game I wouldn't mind sitting down and playing as a board game, but playing it with random internet asshats? Griefproofing it would be awful hard.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wednesday, September 08 2010 01:14 PM (pWQz4)
Your points are well-taken, but I probably need to clarify a couple of things here.
Just as there are three levels of play, there are three sets of cards. Each player has a deck that they build up over time, each city has its own deck, and the world at large has a deck.
Normally, each deck can only have one of each card; I'm considering allowing trading of duplicates, but you won't be able to put found (as opposed to time-looped) duplicates into play.
Now, the normal run-of-the-mill player cards only affect you personally. City cards affect the city, but there's only one of each card per city, so they're a lot harder to come by.
And there's only one of each world card for the entire world, so getting your hands on a full hand of world cards is really, really hard. Well, supposed to be, anyway.
So it takes a lot of effort to manipulate the world as a whole, and one you've done it, the hand you used to do it is discarded and you have to cycle through all the remaining cards in your deck, reshuffle, and then try to draw another such hand before you can try again. And the more players active at that level, the scarcer world cards become, and the more wheeling-and-dealing you need to do to actually assemble a workable hand.
Also, it's intended that the world cards have a greater impact on higher-level play. A World Foul that switches the season (for example) from Summer to Winter might only give Book 1 players a +1 Turn penalty for travel and leave them otherwise unaffected; Book 2 players (the ones running cities) find themselves suddenly facing a whole different set of production bonuses and penalties; and Book 3 players find all their Fire cards at half effect and their Frost cards doubled.
Another thing is that to play a successful foil or foul, you have to beat the opponent's hand. So you actually have to have a strong hand to even attempt it; if you lose, your end up foiled yourself, or in the case of a foul, your hand gets forcibly discarded. There are ways to exploit that too - if you have a bad hand (deliberately or through random chance) and fail a foil, the penalty can actually improve your hand, but which cards and how many are affected is random, so you takes your chances.
And the other other thing is that time travel is also accomplished through cards - you need Clock, Time, or Eternity cards (depending on the scope of the action you're attempting) to do it - and the cards are discarded after use and can't be used again until you've run through your entire deck and reshuffled.
Overall you're quite right though; balance and gameplay are my main focus at this stage of the design. I definitely want to have a meta-game going on, but we can't have it messing up the regular game too much.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, September 08 2010 03:41 PM (PiXy!)
Q: If I draw a Clock and a 13 of Entropy, can I play the Clock to loop the Entropy? Will this actually net me negative entropy on regular challenges?
Since cards group, and Flux cards force inversion on adjacent lower-order Fluxes of the same suit, there is no unmodified hand that can result in negative entropy. With a looped E13, however, the two Entropy cards match and no inversion is forced, for a net benefit of 26, which means a net negative entropy on regular challenges during Books 1 and 2.
The downside is that all looped hands are classed as Temporal Anomalies and draw Paradox cards to your deck. This means your hand will be stable for at most 13 turns before a forced discard. (Looped teams are TAs too, but are stable until a Paradox specifically breaks the team.)
To truly mess things up, though, you need to draw a Time card and the 13 of Chaos to a Book 3 hand, loop the Chaos, and perform an Inverse World Foul. Done correctly, this will leave every Book 1 and 2 player outside your own state trapped in a Negentropic Paradox Loop until the end of the current cycle.
I'm working on a design for an online game. Think of it as Contract Bridge crossed with Go crossed with Mornington Crescent. It's called Cities.
The mid-game (what I called Book 2 above) is largely involved with forming contiguous territories on the world map - and preventing other groups of players from doing the same. That's where the similarity to Go comes in.
However (a) it's played on a hex grid that actually expands over the course of the game, (b) the largest territory any single player can build by themselves is only three tiles, so it's all about co-operation, (c) you need the players in Book 1 (the Mornington Crescent part) to provide you with the potential to make any moves, (d) the players in Book 3 (the Contract Bridge part) can change the nature of the lower game levels from one day to the next, (e) there are computer players coming in from the six sides of the map to mess things up, and (f) there's time travel involved.
So it's not exactly like Go.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, September 06 2010 12:31 PM (PiXy!)
If you're even half serious about this, sign me up for the beta.
Posted by: Artee at Tuesday, September 07 2010 04:47 PM (+J3Nt)
My motto here is Not beta, just broken. We're going to launch straight into the game, and if anything goes wrong, I'll blame it on those rascally Book 3 players.
Soon as I find a decent graph database to run the transit network.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, September 07 2010 11:32 PM (PiXy!)