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Game Neverending.
October 24, 2002 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Game Neverending. There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play. The game is in alpha right now, but it has managed to take over my free time. There is not a clear goal or purpose in the game, other than to keep experiencing and making. I can't figure out what has hooked me in.
posted by jonah (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another game where "the play's the thing" is Nomic.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:37 AM on October 24, 2002


GNE looks fab. Seems to be a bit of a delay on the signups, though. Unless they just didn't like the sound of me.
posted by ceiriog at 8:44 AM on October 24, 2002


There can be a delay of a couple days to more than a week to get your log in. Mine took a few days and my girlfriend's took about a week and a half. It's fun to watch the evolution of the game in alpha too. They recently opened a discussion forum for new ideas for the game.
posted by jonah at 8:49 AM on October 24, 2002


I think this is being developed by a Mefi member: Stewart Butterfield, of sylloge, and of the brilliant 2k web competition.

And their company, Ludicorp, (which looks very cool) is hiring.
posted by Pinwheel at 8:50 AM on October 24, 2002


I signed up, but the email I got told me that I might have to wait weeks before I received an official invitation to play. Could you go into more detail regarding what the game is about and how it works, jonah? There's very little, if any information about the game on the page.
posted by picea at 8:51 AM on October 24, 2002


Nomic does rock. The philosophy majors at our school had a game going for several years. (One of our profs invented the game)

How to play Nomic
posted by leotrotsky at 8:57 AM on October 24, 2002


Damn you, Jonah!! You've let out the secret of Game Neverending.

First rule of Game Neverending, you do not talk about Game Neverending.
posted by Starchile at 8:58 AM on October 24, 2002


The point of Game Neverending is to walk around and pick up pieces of paper. No, really.

I think it's an experiment whereby a researcher tries to determine the feasibility of building a succesful online game from the killer combination of a great user interface and the ability to do absolutely nothing worthwhile at all.
posted by websavvy at 9:02 AM on October 24, 2002


It's a browser based game where you go from location to location trying to get more experience, a good karma rating, staying happy and being energetic. You can interact with the other players in various ways, give them stuff, take stuff from them, chat with them, make friends and acquaintances. Exploring the map and finding things to do is basically what you do. I liked it for a few days, but then it got slightly monotonous. I am planning on giving it another try soon to see what the new developments are.
posted by riffola at 9:04 AM on October 24, 2002


Damn you, Jonah!! You've let out the secret of Game Neverending.

First rule of Game Neverending, you do not talk about Game Neverending.


Amen, Starchile. I was all set to log back into the GNE after a few days away. Now I'm afraid the place is gonna be too crowded. Yes, I'm that petty and selfish.

It's an addicting game, and it's only in alpha testing. I can't imagine what it'll do to my free time if and when it launches for real, with all the hinted-at bells and whistles.
posted by GreyWingnut at 9:37 AM on October 24, 2002


Yeah, I was wondering about that rule, but I figured since they are metering the number of new members it wouldn't be too bad. I made level 12 last night and was too giddy to hold back anymore.

It really is about exploring, finding stuff, making things like Spam (the 'meat' not the email) and selling the stuff you make or find. There's some realy creativity in the items and the names the use. Plus, the people who play seem like a pretty cool group.
posted by jonah at 10:18 AM on October 24, 2002


On the Mac, it only works in Netscape 7 or Mozilla 1+, neither of which I have or want to install (it specifically says IE and Opera are NOT supported). Can any alpha users comment on future plans (perceived, or real info, doesn't matter)?
posted by JollyWanker at 10:22 AM on October 24, 2002


I signed up in mid-September, and still haven't received an invite. So much for "a few weeks".
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 10:29 AM on October 24, 2002


On the Mac, it only works in Netscape 7 or Mozilla 1+, neither of which I have or want to install

if you're a mac user, i would seriously reconsider not installing mozilla. opera is great and all(i guess) but as far as i'm concerned, mozilla is the best browser for OS X.

mozilla runs great on OS X and i would assume on OS 9 as well(but i haven't booted into OS 9 for a number of months)... faster page render times, full jscript control, more standard complient than any other browser out there(except maybe opera, but i don't use opera so i'm not sure), etc etc.

as for GNE... lately i've been able to pull myself away, but when i play, i play for 3-4 hours at a time and don't really care about gaining levels and such. it's a top-notch game.
posted by PugAchev at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2002


Stencilton looks like a cross between eWorld and Moebius
posted by jazon at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2002


I think it's an experiment whereby a researcher tries to determine the feasibility of building a succesful online game from the killer combination of a great user interface and the ability to do absolutely nothing worthwhile at all.

Wait, when did we start talking about Sims Online?
posted by mkultra at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2002


It's a browser based game where you go from location to location trying to get more experience, a good karma rating, staying happy and being energetic. You can interact with the other players in various ways, give them stuff, take stuff from them, chat with them, make friends and acquaintances.

i guess this is the obvious comment, but anyway - isn't this a pale imitation of real life? is the idea that you can practice real life without the energetic bit and with a nice computer between you and other pieces of meat?
posted by pavlova at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2002


Not unless your real life involves shooting a wombat gun so that you can make a cow that you release in order to increase your karma and experience.
posted by jonah at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2002


Free green paper to people who convert to the Camologist religion. Camism is in.
posted by camworld at 11:25 AM on October 24, 2002


When my game data is loading, it always kinda locks at "character data", loading MB after MB (with me being on 56k). Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong or do I have to get into the trouble of mailing their "customer" service?
posted by zerofoks at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2002


As it looks like many of us won't be seeing the game for a long while, is there any chance someone can post a few screenshots? The animal guns sound like fun.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2002


It's a browser based game where you go from location to location trying to get more experience, a good karma rating, staying happy and being energetic. You can interact with the other players in various ways, give them stuff, take stuff from them, chat with them, make friends and acquaintances. Exploring the map and finding things to do is basically what you do.

This sounds exactly like the MUDS I used to play in... Only that was text based and it encouraged me to use my imagination a lot.
posted by illusionaire at 12:21 PM on October 24, 2002


sites about games are supposed to have screenshots...
posted by lotsofno at 12:39 PM on October 24, 2002


Thanks for the link jonah — surprised that it didn't get beaten down since there's not much to look at for people who don't already have accounts. (Also, there are a few other MeFi membersworking on the project.)


What we have now is just a prototype — we needed to build something because the whole game is far too complex to design without having built something concrete. Also, we want to make sure that the kind of real-time multiuser interaction we wanted to provide was possible in the browser and get some feedback on the concept from people we don't already know. The prototype will be trashed at some point -- it is not something we will continue to develop.

Riffola: a few days was all we ever expected anyone to play the prototype. Building something that is completely open-ended (what we are doing now, for the big game) is too much work to prototype. I'm not sure how successful the prototype is at giving people an idea of what to expect in the big game, but hopefully it's a start.

Nomic fans: Nomic, or at least the was one of the inspirations (though I don't think that shows through much at this point.)

illusionaire: it is a little more like a MOO than a MUD, but that is one of the core ideas. And there is plenty of room for imagination still, because ...

> sites about games are supposed to have screenshots...

This isn't really that type of game: it's all in the browser, so the focus is not on art or sound design. Also, we don't really want screenshots of the prototype around, since it is only an interim "look" and will be replaced soon. Screenshots from the real game will be posted, but probably not for another 4 months or so.

Big Fat Tycoon (and anyone else who hasn't received an invite yet): the queue extends for the last 10 days currently — if you signed up before Oct 10thyou should have received an invite by now -- you might have made a typo in your email address (about 10% of people seem to do that) though it might also have been a mail config problem (our mail server when down for a day a few weeks ago, but we are pretty sure we re-sent invites to all those affected). Send me an email (anything at sylloge.com will work) and I'll look into it for you.
posted by sylloge at 1:00 PM on October 24, 2002


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the game ends: users die, and then their game is over.

IMHO, if you waste a significant portion of your limited playtime in the game of life playing less intricate, more limited games such as this one, you have played poorly.
posted by zekinskia at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2002


MeFites, you don't want to do it. I am Stewart's spleen.
posted by pedantic at 1:56 PM on October 24, 2002


What are these lofty, soul-enriching games you recommend, zekinskia?
posted by picea at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2002


sylloge, thanks for clarifying that we weren't supposed to be playing it indefinitely. I felt disloyal because I'd become a little bored with making paper. It's cool in prototype, the game's potential is amazing.
posted by nramsey at 4:31 PM on October 24, 2002


All hail the Camologists. We will rule the Game Neverending.
posted by camworld at 5:54 PM on October 24, 2002


And for everyone that doesn't have time for a game that takes over your life, try www.progressquest.com -- it's more fun the less time you spend on it.
posted by krisjohn at 6:46 PM on October 24, 2002


Looks like somebody's been reading this book.
posted by sennoma at 7:05 PM on October 24, 2002


Aah MUDs, them was the days. It's a pity Telnet has become so unfashionable and lame, because text-based MUDs really were the shit. MajorMud, in particular, seemed to have the perfect balance between effort and rewards. It was insanely addictive. It took so much effort to get to the next level, and when you did the gameplay improved JUST enough to make it worthwhile, but you always wanted more! And there really never was an "end" to the game (unless you got killed), the fun was in the playing.

I'd love to see a game on the scale of MajorMud brought back to life on the web, rather than left hiding on obscure Worldgroup BBSs. Best gameplay:bandwith ratio I've ever known.
posted by Jimbob at 8:48 PM on October 24, 2002


oh, you infinite jesters...
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2002


sylloge: I like the game, It was fun while everything felt new, I understand that it's an alpha preview therefore there's only so much you can do. As I had mentioned earlier in-game, I think it's a good game, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished version.
posted by riffola at 10:03 AM on October 25, 2002


I, for one, welcome our new Camologist overlords.

Good luck on what you're doing sylloge. We're about due for the "next big thing" in online games. Hopefully you're on the cusp of that.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:32 AM on October 25, 2002


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