Saturday, February 28, 2009

imeem Soundtracks from the World of Warcraft

Recent months I've spent more time playing games than updating my blogs. One big attractive point of playing online games, especially the good ones, are the soundtracks. Other than Cabal Online and Granado Espada, the other online game with great soundtracks is the World of Warcraft.

Yeah, some would say that World of Warcraft (魔兽世界) offers even better soundtracks, simply for the many variety of music. Each home city, each scene, each dungeon, will have its own unique ambient music. Completing some quests, e.g. Lament of the Highborne, will also result in unique music being played.

Here's a playlist of some of the World of Warcraft music that I compiled from imeem. Have fun.

World of Warcraft
Here's the link to the Lament of the Highborne (track number 8) movie from Blizzard, for those WoW players who are interested. Quite touching.

Related Post
- Cabal Online and Granado Espada Soundtracks

Monday, February 23, 2009

Growing Online / Gaming Content Market in Singapore

Last year in August 2008, there was an article on Business Times about a Frost research estimating Singapore's online content market to see robust growth reaching US$23.82 million in 2008. It seems the figure is estimated to reach US$120million by 2013. Some more details about the Frost research can be found in this article.

I was pretty skeptical about the figures initially. However, these few days there were reports of Singapore developers earning big bucks with their online games. One such group of developers is the Tyler Projects who developed Battle Stations on Facebook. According to this Straits Times article they are cashing in monthly sales of over $50,000. Not bad for a group of relatively new games developers. It does appear that online gaming (whether via gaming clients or social networking platforms) is fueling online content growth.

The growth of gaming locally has attracted the attention of big boys as well. Another Straits Times article (20 Feb 09) noted that Japanese gaming giant Koei has decided to hire 30 to 60 more staff for Singapore office. I think they had pretty good experience developing the 'Romance of the Three Kingdom Online' in Singapore. What is weird is that the Romance of Three Kingdom Online is not available to the Singapore gamer.

Other than the gaming developers, there are also more exhibitions planned for Singapore. Aside from the annual Games Convention Asia, there is also the Games XPO 2009 scheduled for July 2009 (see article). With all these activities, no wonder even the 9 years old kids are dabbling with games development (see article about 9 years old iPhone apps developer).

Seems like the August 2008 article is quite reliable after all. Maybe I should think about quitting my job to be a games developer, lolz.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pet Society in Facebook

With so many applications in Facebook, one is often spoilt for choices. Recently I found an interesting apps 'Pet Society' by Playfish. The game is pretty simple, where the player raised a pet, and let the pet engages in various activities e.g. visiting friends, running races...etc. There is also the interactive part where the player could decorate the house of the pets with wall papers, furniture...etc.

Below is a screenshot of the 'Pet Society'. The three bars on the right denotes 'health', 'happiness', and cleanliness. Feeding the pet with food will raise the health bar. Playing with the pets by engaging in various activities could raise the happiness bar. Cleaning the pet with the soap given by the apps will help with the cleanliness bar of the pet. The upper left corner shows the number of coins and the centre top bar shows the level / 'paw points' (i.e. experience) of the pet. Raising levels for the pet will give the pet more rooms, and the house of the pet will also look bigger on the overall map. It is better to save the game (the disk icon located at upper right) before exiting 'Pet Society'.

Coins form an essential part of the 'Pet Society' and the player needs to participate in activities to earn the coins. Some of the ways include
  • visiting friends to 'hug', 'tell a joke', 'kiss' (but not fighting though) etc which results in 20 coins per visit per day
  • winning bet races, or participating in these races could also earn the pet coins. During races, pick up the banana skins for more coins! (screen shot below)
  • or else the player could also play the frisbee, ball, or skipping ropes given by the apps with the pet for coins and trophies. Getting trophies is another way of earning coins
  • merely logging in everyday means the 'Pet Society' application will give a 'lottery' prize per day to give between 50 and 500 coins
  • walk among the trees and the pet could randomly get 2 coins (another screen shot below). If the player logs out of the game and logs in again, the 'trees giving coins' function is reset
  • clean the pet or your friends' pets when the health bar is low, will also result in coins
  • place the mouse cursor (not soup bar or brush) on your pet and press it while moving the cursor up and down, will also result in coins
Pets Racing at the Stadium

Pet getting coins radomly from the trees

List of trophies that the pet can get

Other than the stadium (for races), there are many shops for the pet to visit. There are the furniture and DIY shops for the pet to purchase household items. Some of the items could be animated for effects when the player clicks on it, e.g. the radio, TV set, lava lamp etc. There is also the food shop to buy various foods for the pet. The items could be given to other pets as gifts, or be sold for coins. If the player is tired of the pet's looks, it can be changed at the Stylist shop. Clothes and Luxury shops sell different items like clothes, rings, accessories, etc. If the player wants to visit pets of other people (non-friends), the player could go to the cafe and see the other pets. More shops are added as the developers enhanced the Pet Society apps.

Depending on the occasions, there could be 'special' items for sale. For example Valentine Day related items (flowers, bears, heart shaped decos) are on sale currently. During the Lunar New Year 2-3 weeks back, another set of items were on sale in the shops. Playfish is somewhat diligent in producing new items each week. There are also 3 different categories of mystery boxes which may give special items not found in the shops to the pets.

These are but brief description of the game. While this is essentially a social casual game with minimal depth, it is nonetheless a somewhat addictive game. Log in at the forum to see what other fans think about it, and get a pet yourself to try it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist 2 - April 2009

Read the news that Fullmetal Alchemist 2 will debut in Japan on 5th April 2009.

There is some doubt whether this is a re-make or is it a sequel, with story carrying on from the movie. Nonetheless you can take a look at the trailer from this website:

There is also a second version of the trailer circulating around in the Internet but I've not obtain a copy yet. The 1st run of Fullmetal Alchemist is great, and hopefully this would be a sequel and not re-make.