Monday, October 31, 2011

Eye on the Blog: “Beginner’s Easy Guide” to Zombie Games

With the popularity of zombies and zombie games, it’s no surprise this Halloween season that Linden Lab did a “Beginner’s Easy Guide” to zombie games on the Grid. They highlighted three different games with three levels of complexity, “select the one that matches how much time you have to kill (bad pun intended).” They gave “The Dead Zone” as an example of a Zombie shoot-em-up that was fairly simple for those with less than an hour to play, join the group, grab the free gun, then go into mouselook and start shooting.

For those whom wanted something a little deeper for several hours of gaming fun, the Lab mentioned “Urban Zombie,” an abandoned city filled with “haunted alleys and dark passageways” where the undead lie in wait. This game is a little more detailed, involving getting and wearing a HUD, which keeps track of your score, as well as experience points, quests, and missions. There’s also a free gun available. After that, you can head out into the streets. For more serious players, there is armor and other items up for sale.

For the truly serious zombie slayers, aka the “zombie maniacs” as the blog called them, there were places “that will immerse you deeper into the combat gameplay.” The Linden article described game in this third category, “Bloodbath and Beyond,” which could be described as a Medieval Fantasy MORPG. In this sim, “you fight zombies, skeletons and elves, complete quests for prizes and rewards, drink potions to rejuvenate, and much more. Play with friends and even level up.“

Before playing, residents are asked to spend about 20 minutes or so reading the rules, background story, and other information. Then join the group, wear an appropriate outfit (the Linden blog showed a picture of a revealing Fantasy outfit for women fighters), then get the starter pack with a HUD and a longbow & sword (no guns allowed in the Medieval area). The HUD also keeps track of your score, and the highest ones are publicly displayed, so along with the guts comes glory.

Although the blog article showed a variety of action games in Second Life, not everyone was overly impressed. Hamlet Au, although he called it “a good resource guide,” he commented it “reminds me how much Second Life’s Development tools need to improve.” Simple games from Facebook could be downloaded in less than a minute, he argued, and more detailed video games could be downloaded via “Steam” in as little as five minutes, “Hopefully this is just the kind of time-consuming pain that Linden Lab CEO and game development veteran Rod Humble is now working hard to improve.”

Despite the lag and the bugs, these are still good games, and an example of the fun one can have on the Grid. But, there is room for improvement.

Sources: Linden Blog, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

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