Busy Week

Wow, another amazing week! I have been busy working on a number of things. Here is a quick update.

MMMO Server

The majority of my work has been developing a single server platform for all my Virtual Worlds and MMO games. I am slowly working through the core features and how they will work together. My goal is to create a single server for HTML5, Steam and Mobile. For those interested I am using: Node.js and PlayFab. Brackets is my preferred editor.

 More concepts for rooms to explore in Box Critters

More concepts for rooms to explore in Box Critters

Box Critters

Started working with a group of talented 3D Artists and Animators this week. My goal is to bring the critters to life. I expect to share more in a couple weeks. 3,500 people have pre-registered their nicknames in the first 30 days. If you would like to pre-register your name please visit: http://boxcritters.com

 Exploring the art style and theme

Exploring the art style and theme

Unnamed Snail Tank MMO

I have partnered with the team that created Battle Bears to create my Snail Tank MMO. The idea is pretty simple. Your a snail with a tank cannon. Players will collect items, equip their snail and battle.

Time to get back to work!

A couple years ago I started Hyper Hippo a game studio in Kelowna, British Columbia Canada. Through a series of endless twists and turns the studio created more than 80 games in the last 5 years. Many of the games failed, but we learned a lot! We learned how to test, we learned how to validate, we learned about the mobile market and we learned how to listen to our the fans.

I am disappointed with the recent announcement from Disney about the closing of Club Penguin. I do not see a need to close Club Penguin. I understand that Flash is being retired, but the Web is not dead. With a couple clicks the current Flash World could become a stand-alone Desktop Application. Look to Minecraft. I am a designer, designers solve problems.

Two worlds collide!

For years I have been struggling to create a new Virtual World that would live up to the success of Club Penguin. I have watched a generation of players move from the web browser to the mobile device. I have learned that mobile is very different then the desktop. Yet both are key to the success of a modern Virtual World.

Time to be honest. When I heard the pitch for Hyper Hippo's AdVenture Capitalist, I thought it was a joke. How could a game about squeezing lemons and progress bars be fun? I was wrong. Very wrong. AdVenture Capitalist has more than 20 million downloads and continues to generate a couple million dollars a year. A quick glance at the Apple Charts and AdVenture Capitalist is one of the top 25 games downloaded. AdVenture Capitalist continues to surprise me and Hyper Hippo has become a leader in Idle Clicker games.

The secret to Idle Clickers is that they are popular with the "core" game audience. This is the same audience that plays MMOs like World of Warcraft and Virtual Worlds like Club Penguin. When you distill an Idle Clicker you will see an deep gameplay that drives Completion (collect stars, complete all missions), Power (leveling up, getting powerful gear) and a strong pull to see what you missed.

I am a leader in Virtual Worlds and Hyper Hippo is a leader in Idle Clicker games. It is time to create an Idle Virtual World.

But how will it work?

I don't know.

Back in January I decided to get back to work. My goal is to create a number of Virtual Worlds, MMOs and Idle Games that explore this idea. Each will focus on a unique set of features and social communities. Yet, they will all share a common server and development pipeline.

Here is a list of the worlds that I am working on:

Box Critters - This is a Virtual World similar to Club Penguin. You will create a character, explore the world, collect items and meet new friends. The economy will be different. You will collect coins and items with an idle generator. Help create this world and reserve your nickname. Visit: http://boxcritters.com

Unnamed MMORPG-Lite - Many years ago I ran a BBS Door game called Legend of the Red Dragon. I have always wanted to create a simple MMORPG where you create a hero, go on adventures, collect loot and save the village. This game has been fun to develop, and I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Unnamed Snail Tank MMO - For years I have had an idea of Snail Tanks. Hey I'm RocketSnail! This is a little word where you create a snail and battle with your friends. I have partnered with another studio to develop this game and expect to begin testing on Steam in a couple months.

2017 looks like an exciting year, and I look forward to sharing my new worlds with you. Got questions, tweet me on Twitter @rocketsnail

Create your own Virtual World

Based on your comments a couple people have asked for a more advanced tutorial on how to "Create your own Virtual World". I would recommend reading the  ElectroServer Manual. This online manual includes everything you need to know to create a multiplayer game or a virtual world with Flash. I would also recommend reading ActionScript for Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds. This book includes the blueprint for creating your own virtual world.

Create your own Virtual World – Step2

Welcome to second step for creating your own Virtual World. Last week we created our character, this week we will create the background for our room. My goal is to show you how to create a very simple virtual world with Flash. Step 2 – Rooms

Every virtual world has a collection of rooms.

I prefer rooms that do not scroll and allow players to see the horizon. The horizon allows the players to see the entire world, and encourages the player to explore. When creating a room consider the following:

  • Keep the center of the room open so players can move around.

  • Keep players away from the edges.

Considering we are creating a virtual world for Rubber Ducks a bathtub would make an excellent room

 RubberDuck-Room1

RubberDuck-Room1

Let’s get to work!

Your room includes three key movie clips:

  • Background - The artwork behind your characters

  • Foreground - The artwork in front of your characters

  • Block - The area characters cannot walk

  1. Open Flash and create a new file.

  2. Create an empty Movie Clip and name it "background"

  3. Now position the "background" on your stage (0,0)

  4. Start drawing your background!

  5. Create another empty Movie Clip and name it "foreground"

  6. Now position the "foreground" on your stage (0,0)

  7. Start drawing your foreground!

  8. Create another empty Movie Clip and name it "block"

  9. Now position the "block" on your stage (0,0)

  10. Start drawing where your characters CANNOT walk.

Next week: We will use Actionscript to load the room and the character.

Create your own Virtual World - Step1

After thousands of requests asking "How did you create Penguin Chat?". I have decided to publish a series of posts on how to create a simple little virtual world. Here is a list of skills and tools that you will need to create a virtual world:

  • Adobe Flash

  • A Programmer (Actionscript)

  • An Artist/Animator

  • A Server (We will discuss this later)

  • Time

Step 1 - Characters

I start every world with the character. The character is what the player will become, and interact with every day. Your character must delight the player. Here are some ideas for selecting a character:

  • Keep your characters simple.

  • Select a character that can be both a boy or girl.

  • Leave room for the player's imagination.

For this series, I plan to create a virtual world based on Rubber Ducks.

 RubberDuck-Character1

RubberDuck-Character1

Let's get to work!

  1. Open Flash and create a new file.

  2. Create an empty Movie Clip with 8 frames.

  3. Start drawing!

  4. Each frame is the direction your character is facing. Frame1: South, Frame2: Southwest, Frame3: West, Frame4: Northwest, Frame5: North, Frame6: Northeast, Frame7: East, Frame8: Southeast

  5. It is very important that your character stands on the (0,0) position. This is where their feet should touch the ground.

  6. Now position the Movie Clip on your stage (0,0)

  7. Give your Movie Clip the instance name: "character"

Trick: Frames 2-4 can be flipped to create frames 6-8

Feel free to post your questions, next week we will create the World!

Rsnail and the Red Dragon

Lord WinterWow, it's almost been 15 years since I launched my first bulletin board system (BBS) to run the popular door game Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD). Legend of the Red Dragon was a text-based role-play game where multiple players play to advance their skills, and eventually kill the red dragon. Around the fall of 1995, I decided to create a winter version of LORD. This version included new text, monsters and events. The winter version appeared on many other bulletin boards, and much to my surprise a couple people actually sent the suggested $2.00 donation. I never cashed the cheques, they remain in my office today.