Journal I: Guild Wars

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Guild Wars

Once upon a time, many years ago, I journeyed to the land of Tyria for the first time.  Tyria was a land free of subscription based play and featured a unique content delivery system. Guild Wars was new, fun, and graphically impressive.

The recent stirrings of Guild War 2 news has me wondering, what has happened in Guild Wars since I left? Besides the three expansions (Factions, Nightfall, Eye of the North), does anyone still play this game?

Updating Guild Wars

Intrigued, I decided to download the client, install the game, and log in. I was then greeted with the the familiar load screen. Only this time, 24,408 files were in desperate need of download. Admission to Tyria was denied over my lunch hour. At least for today.

Guild Wars 2 Website is Smoking!

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Guild Wars 2After a period of great radio silence regarding the development of Guild Wars 2, the folks at ArenaNet are beginning to chatter once more. Over on the Guild Wars Official Wiki, ArenaNet head Mike O’Brien writes:

Hey all,

Last week I promised you’d get your first glimpse of Guild Wars 2 “very soon now”. That day is almost here.

I want to thank all our fans for their patience as we developed the game to the point where we can start talking about it publically. I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting this moment. You’ll soon understand how ambitious we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished during these past two years of development. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but from here on out we’ll be able to provide you with more regular updates.

Guild Wars 2 is going to be a huge leap beyond the original. We have the best team in the industry executing at the top of their game, and I’m very proud of what our team has accomplished so far. As I said last week, I’m confident that when you get your first look at what we’ve been working on, you’re going to love what you see. Stay tuned for an exciting week ahead.

Mike O’Brien 20:31, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Look to JohnnyBGamer.com for the latest in Guild Wars 2 news & information!

Distant Shore

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"Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore Seems I'm not alone at being alone Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home I'll send an s.o.s. to the world... I hope that someone gets my... Message in a bottle, yeah." - Sting and The Police

"Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore Seems I'm not alone at being alone Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home I'll send an s.o.s. to the world... I hope that someone gets my... Message in a bottle, yeah." - Sting and The Police

Press Start:

Makers of the top paid application of 2008, Koi Pond, The Blimp Pilots have again unleashed upon the world an experience that is hard to classify. Distant Shore allows users to walk along sandy beaches, collect shells, and communicate with those beyond the horizon.

My first message in a bottle.

My first message in a bottle.

Ideology/ Worldview:

Based upon the mercy of the user and his/her own viewpoint. Experience will vary from message to message.

Interaction/ Gameplay:

Tap your way along the beach. Collect 5 shells to obtain a bottle. Write a message and toss it into the sea. Replies will be received via mail turtle.

Collecting shells...

Collecting shells...

In the End:

I am intrigued. Distant Shore is a modern day experiment in communication. The app weighs its entire experience upon users across the globe. The messages that are received and sent could contain almost anything from questions to statements to random thoughts. One will never know what message lies inside the virtual bottle. I will note that The Blimp Pilots have set up a system to report offensive messages. The subjective nature of what is offensive and what is not will surely keep the developer busy policing bottles. In the end, the longevity of Distant Shore will be based upon its users and the messages that they send. A curiosity at $0.99, the price of admission is low enough to recommend engaging in this social experiment.

– DEFCON Score-

DEFCON 4 Not perfect but highly recommended

– Level of Impact –

Low: Little to no impact. Game is good for pickup and play.

The Creeps!

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The Creeps!

“I always feel like

Somebody’s watchin’ me…”

-Rockwell, Somebody’s Watching Me

Press Start:

As a child, bedtime always seemed to send a signal for my imagination to go into overdrive. With the lights turned off in my room, I remember the world suddenly becoming a very scary place.  Normal shadows and sounds quickly became monsters preying and lurking within the darkness. Super Squawk Software’s,  The Creeps, demonstrates that our imaginations did not lie. For indeed there were monsters trying to get to us; monsters even our parents could not help combat until now. The Creeps! is an imaginative tower defense app that allows players to protect an innocent child from the horrors of the night. Do you dare to combat the human imagination at its worst?

Ideology/ Worldview:

Monsters are real. No joke.

The Creeps! Gameplay Screenshot

Interaction/ Gameplay:

Boomerangs, glue, and laser turrets are but a few of the tower choices at your disposal against the creeps.  Strategic placement as well as tower choice determine the outcome of the battle.

In the End:

The Creeps! (link will open iTunes) is a fantastic addition to the App Store that revels in its unique art direction and imaginative game design. Priced at $2.99, The Creeps! deserves a spot on the iDevice in your life.

– DEFCON Score-DEFCON 5 Just buy it already

– Level of Impact –

Medium: Casual play. Does not require large chunks of time.