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Stargate Worlds Beta Begins Oct. 15th 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the work-in-progress dept.
Kotaku reports that the closed beta for Stargate Worlds, an MMO based on the popular Stargate television shows, will begin on October 15th. Registration is open at the game's website. Gamespy has some new screenshots available, and a Youtube channel has been opened for videos about the game. We discussed the early plans for Stargate Worlds a couple years ago.
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Stargate Worlds Beta Begins Oct. 15th

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  • by bconway (63464) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:14AM (#25254069) Homepage

    MMOs require a significant time investment, and most people don't play more than one at a time. To grow a healthy population and to attract people away from other games, you need to offer something novel. Taking yet another Sci-Fi property (that's already been done to death) and throwing it into an MMO is a sure-fire way to fail.

    • by Ostracus (1354233) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:56AM (#25254241) Journal

      "MMOs require a significant time investment, and most people don't play more than one at a time. "

      Take one failing economy and add a dash of living with one's parents and suddenly people have plenty of time.

    • by Arngautr (745196) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:58AM (#25254249)
      Indeed
    • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @06:44AM (#25255087) Journal

      Actually, there are quite a few of us praying for a good SF MMO. I don't even care much about franchise, personally, just give me something battery-, clip- or belt-fed already. That market segment is way under-represented. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against high fantasy setups either, but that market segment is already catered for.

      Arguably, excessively catered for. I mean, if you look at the current MMO player base, about 99% is fantasy, and about 1% is SF or modern day. If you look at TV viewer estimates, the numbers are almost reversed. Unless someone can argue convincingly that the same people who like SF more on TV, somehow prefer high fantasy in a game, there must be a _lot_ of untapped potential market.

      And if you think about it, it's not even that much competition they have in that segment. The problem of the SF genre so far was that it was half-arsely done. E.g., AO was launched as a festering pile of shit (read the Something Awful reviews, and know that they barely scratch the surface of how bad it was.) E.g., SWG had exactly one saving grace: its character development system. But otherwise an incompetent designer and an incompetent publisher ran it into the ground, and managed to turn the biggest franchise in history into a niche. I'd say "etc" at this point, but was there _anything_ else worth talking about in the SF MMO genre? I'm drawing blanks.

      (Yes, there is COH/COV, and fun game it is, but it's IMHO not really SF. It's its own genre.)

      Also about most people playing one game at a time, that is true, but that's only half the equation. The other half is that most people don't stay in a game for ever. Last I've seen a number, it was 6 months average for a MMO player. Then he leaves. (Of course, averages are averages. Some people barely play for a month, some hang around for 3 years, but the average is around 6 months.) You eventually have seen it all, eventually you get bored of doing the same thing repeatedly as endgame, and bugger off.

      Before someone jumps in to defend it: I'm not saying it's a bad game. It's just that (A) nobody can afford to make near-infinite content, so you keep doing new things for ever, and (B) people eventually get bored of doing the same thing every day. You'd get bored even of chocolate cake if that was all you ate, day after day.

      Basically the behemoth that is WoW is shedding bored players all the time, by the millions, and getting new players all the time. Same as any other MMO. And it also gets a big chunk of its old players back after a while, because they didn't find another game to their liking.

      Someone could make a damn good living by just offering all the ex-WoW-ers a new home. Of course, then it would have to not suck. That's where most have failed so far.

      The traditional model of doing a half-arsed effort and maybe patching it (to be even worse) later, is all but dead. WoW may not have been that original, but it took the time to polish the whole thing far beyond what anyone else had tried. (If they even tried at all, that is.) It set a new standard. Going back to a traditional half-arsed, launched-unfinished MMO, is like going from colour TV back to monochrome for a lot of us.

      So making that net that catches those falling off WoW, might take a lot more money and talent than it sounds. And apparently more than your average publisher feels like risking.

      But, still, at least theoretically it's possible. The "???" between "1. buy some license" and "3. profit!!!" is simply: "make a polished game, and don't shove it out the door a year too early." And I'd expect that eventually it will happen. Maybe it'll be Stargate or maybe something else, but eventually it will happen.

    • by SpacePunk (17960)

      In their defense, they are getting it out sooner than a Star Trek based game. I don't know if they have quite the following. When the trek based game comes out, it'll be ok for a short time, untill the trek fanboys die of old age.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @12:30PM (#25256357)

      I think the key word here is *novel*. You're seeing a new flood of MMOs, because publishers and developers are salivating all over themselves, seeing how WoW is raking in more cash yearly than some third-world countries. Obviously, they want a piece of the action too. Unfortunately, the MMO is a bit of a different beast than most games.

      1) The development costs are more significant. By definition, MMOs have to be very content-rich game. Moreover, you have the added technical complication of developing a server infrastructure along with your game.

      2) It's much harder to innovate in terms of gameplay. Fast action in an MMO is still damn near technically impossible with today's internet. Too many users simply don't have the low latency needed to compete in a twitch game. As such, most MMOs end up doing statistical combat. Point and click on a monster, and the server rolls the dice. The other problem is world persistence - you can't dramatically alter the state of the world without impacting every other player. As such, most MMO games simply punt on this. The player can't truly alter the state of the world, and so any actions ultimately feel futile.

      3) A pay-to-play model is a limiting factor. People play a fewer number of MMOs than traditional games because of the monthly fee. As such, the market space is more fiercely competitive in an already competitive industry. Gamers already playing with one game are highly unlikely to subscribe to another game. Additionally, many gamers are simply uncomfortable with the notion of paying for a game, and then *also* paying a monthly fee, and so won't be a part of the market regardless.

      4) MMOs require a minimum amount of user participation in order to remain commercially viable. Unless the game develops a certain amount of traction, the servers are likely to shut down. After that, the game becomes unplayable forever. Gamers are aware of this, and so are often wary of MMOs that seem questionable.

      We've already seen EA try and fail in this space. Earth and Beyond, The Sims Online, etc... Others have also had their share of failure: Asheron's Call 2, Auto Assault... These are not piddling startup companies or unknown properties here.

      I think we're heading for a large number of MMOs released in the near future, and an almost equally large number of MMO failures and closures about a year or two from now. After that, only the largest competitors will be left, along with a small number of innovators. And by then, most publishers will be scared to death of the MMO market.

    • by drsquare (530038)

      Taking yet another Sci-Fi property (that's already been done to death) and throwing it into an MMO is a sure-fire way to fail.

      You could say the same about WoW, taking yet another fantasy property that's already been done to death, and throwing it into an MMO.

  • Right... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:18AM (#25254095)

    "Step through the Stargate and join thousands online for a super-sized sci-fiaventure that will send you and your buddies around a galaxy dipped in liquid awesome." www.stargateworlds.com/about.html
    I'm not sure I want to be dipped in liquid awesome

    • That's a pretty lame line on their part. I guess marketing trying to prove they are "with it" when it's just a sad expression of the opposite.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I'd much rather be dipped in chocolate.
    • by JWSmythe (446288) *

          Have you ever tried her? I thought "liquid awesome" was a strange name for a stripper, but ...

          Oh, that's probably not what they mean.

          That was an awesome weekend though. At least I got first there early (and often).

         

    • by sketerpot (454020)
      Maybe they mean "liquid nitrogen". That happened in a particularly weird episode of Stargate, so it's more plausible. I don't think they've found the world of liquid awesome (P5X-881) yet.
  • Looks like ass (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DirtySouthAfrican (984664) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:20AM (#25254101) Homepage
    I realize this is beta, but this is definitely catering to a crowd that I can't identify with. I didn't expect this to be canon, but are those Ori footsoldiers with p90s? I wish whomever plays this hours of enjoyment, but it's a bit too Elder Scrolls for this die-hard SG fan. In the words of PA, it's not "for me"
    • Re:Looks like ass (Score:4, Interesting)

      by johannesg (664142) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @02:23AM (#25254343)

      SG1 managed a fairly consistent look (it looked a lot like Canada, except with medieval villages ;-) ), so I'm a little surprised that none of the screenshots seem to reflect this. Maybe trees are just too boring?

      • by gmthor (1150907)
        Here is a little hint. Maybe SG1 looks like Canada because its was made there. All the forest in SG1 is the Stanley Park near Vancouver.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)

        SG1 managed a fairly consistent look (it looked a lot like Canada, except with medieval villages ;-) ), so I'm a little surprised that none of the screenshots seem to reflect this. Maybe trees are just too boring?

        That's a bug, not a feature. Even earth isn't anywhere near that consistent, and yet all planets in this galaxy and beyond look like Canada? There should be deserts and rain forests, great plains and high mountains, islands and reefs at the very least, if not even more exotic. So while not exactly canon I consider that a practical limitation just like convienently humans, goa'uld, jaffa, wraiths and so on all look humanoid, while the story is better than most you know it's so humans can play all the roles w

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hab136 (30884)

          Even earth isn't anywhere near that consistent, and yet all planets in this galaxy and beyond look like Canada? There should be deserts and rain forests, great plains and high mountains, islands and reefs at the very least, if not even more exotic.

          They did have deserts and such, but there were used sparingly. The explanation given - that the Ancients settled on planets that were nice (or were terraformed to be nice), and put the stargates and villages in hospitable locales - does make a lot of sense. The

        • They typically only explore a few miles from the local stargate. It would make sense to build the gate network with each end in roughly the same climate, so that travellers wouldn't experience too much of a temperature shock. Of course, there's nothing in the series to imply that they actually did this, since some endpoints come out in deserts and some in jungles...
          • by Bert64 (520050)

            Well, some of the stargates were in the storyline as having been moved for various reasons, most of the ones which were in roughly the same climate would have been where the ancients originally put them.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Actually, most of the galaxy does look like Canada. This planet is kind of a big zoo where we've gathered all the weirdest environments we could find. Canada is where the game keepers live.

      • by JWSmythe (446288) *

            That may have something to do with the studio being in Vancouver. :) Hmmm, and I'll be about 150 miles from the studio for the next few days for work. I wonder if anyone would notice if I took off for a few hours in the company rented car. :)

            I still wonder how they shoot the desert scenes in Vancouver. ahh, the magic of CGI.

        • by Culture20 (968837)

          I still wonder how they shoot the desert scenes in Vancouver. ahh, the magic of CGI.

          It is on the coast; there might be a few sand dunes that they keep reusing.

    • Hey, look everyone! Comic Book Guy posts on Slashdot!
    • by JWSmythe (446288) *

      I'm not sure what the screenshot is that you're mentioning (nor am I bothering to look), but from what I had seen before (months ago, when I signed up for the beta), it appeared that you could make your character as any Stargate character. Just like in the show where you'll see characters running around with enemy weapons (who doesn't intuitively know how to use a staff weapon accurately?), I'd guess that you can buy, trade, or steal pretty much anything you want.

      I gotta wonde

  • SG1 humour (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Secret Rabbit (914973) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @01:23AM (#25254113) Journal

    """
    Its existence is unconvincingly denied in most videos, and in one it is confirmed but the developer insists that flamethrower gameplay is not ready to be shown to the public. He says this while a monitor behind him displays all kinds of in-game flamethrower carnage.
    """

    It's nice to see that the self-ironic, etc humour that was in SG1 is alive and well among the staff that are developing the game. It gives me hope that this game will be a good one. Or at least go along some of the lines that the show did.

  • by Rich Tucholka. Pre-dates Stargate, and has more interesting effects
    when ya go through a gate (like roads through space with localized
    gravity and atmosphere, immediate draining of electrical batteries,
    et al).

  • I get dibs on being MacGyver! Sorry, but I called it. Someone else can take the nerdy professor, I bet the alien guy is going to go quick, so someone should call that.

    Did anyone else find it odd that the token black guy in that show was not only an alien, but he used what looked undeniably like... well... a spear? They could have been more insensitive about it, like giving him an afro, I guess.

    • by iNaya (1049686)
      Teal`C is not what I'd call a token black guy. He ensured SG1's survival in the first episode. A little bit more than token.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MikeFM (12491)

      Better then $200 plastic sneakers, baggy pants, droopy t-shirt, and some cheap gold chains. (At least that is how the black guys I see at Taco Bell look like mostly.) At least when black guys were shown as wild African men they were warriors - now what the hell are they supposed to be?

      I may be to white to understand but from my point of view I'll take some rippling muscles and a spear as my stereotype any day. Give whitey his light saber but Mr African Warrior man will kick his ass with nothing but a bit of

      • Well, I don't think it's too much to ask that in this day and age we realize that any stereotypes based on race are inherently extremely fucking stupid. It shouldn't be a choice between stereotypes. The spear-carrying stereotype isn't positive, it's a stereotype of uncivilized. Is the only place you encounter black men Taco Bell, or are you so brain dead that's the only place you notice them?

        Sorry for the venom, but your implication seems to be that black men are either "$200 plastic sneakers, baggy pant

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        "At least when black guys were shown as wild African men they were warriors - now what the hell are they supposed to be?"

        Pimps. They might look stupid but they still manage to pull it off better than white guys trying to imitate the look.

    • I call Thor, even if he looks worst then ET. At least he has one of the more powerful ships at the start.

      Also since history repeats, so do weapons, they just get energy generators.

      ~~~
      NoName

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      I get dibs on being MacGyver! Sorry, but I called it. Someone else can take the nerdy professor, I bet the alien guy is going to go quick, so someone should call that.

      Forget all of them, I call Samantha Carter so I can stare at a female behind while I'm harvesting naquadah/naquadria to craft my personal zat'nik'tel.

  • I find their web site hard to navigate.
    Any idea what their system requirements are?

    Thanx,

    angel'o'sphere

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kandenshi (832555)

      It appears that they don't have officially released specs as of yet. Their FAQ still isn't even 100% sure what platforms will be used. -_- PC is sure of course, but other than that...

      Currently the plan for Stargate Worlds is to release on the PC. However, we realize that there are MMO and Stargate fans on many platforms, and we would like to explore as many of these options as we can. Once we have confirmed which platforms will be supported we will make an announcement on this website.

      There's some speculative posts on the forum about what plausible system requirements there will be. The best info I can find is on the Stargate-Worlds wiki [stargateworldswiki.com]

      :

      Currently the public plan is to release Stargate Worlds only on the PC. However CME have indicated that they would like to release the game for other operating systems a

    • by LuxMaker (996734)
      The system requirements have yet to be determined, but you can get a pretty good idea what they are if you do a little research on the Unreal Tournament 3 engine.
      • by Dutch Gun (899105)

        but you can get a pretty good idea what they are if you do a little research on the Unreal Tournament 3 engine

        Well, you can perhaps get an idea of what technological features may be available, but minimum requirements is a little different. A lot of people attribute way too much of how a game looks and runs to the engine. System requirements are determined by the developer, not the engine - it's a matter of the poly, texture, and animation budgets they've allocated, and what minimum shader model they're requiring. Two different games both using the Unreal 3 engine could have *very* different runtime requirements

  • Most of those screenshots don't look much like Stargate at all. The look and feel of some of the city designs and terrain is all off. That's not what the forests outside Vancouver look like at all!

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