A Tale In The Desert

I know there are a number of you MMORPG freaks on here so I thought you might be interested to know that A Tale In The Desert launched today. So far it seems to be going pretty good. I hear they have about 1500 subscribers so far and have had times with as many as 1300 on at the same time with no real problems. Not bad for a bunch of indies.

I’m not interested in the game, but I hope they make it. Anybody have an idea on how many subscribers they need to make a profit?

Basically the same reaction as Mark; it’s not for me, but I hope they make it.

How would anyone here have any idea how many subscribers it would take for any game to make a profit?

Not sure. Less than most is the best I can come up with, hehe.

Started messing around with it today. I can see how this wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but so far I’m intrigued.

The goals in the game are fairly well defined and you really do have to work with others to achieve some of them. And there no running around killing snakes for 20 hours so you can reach that next level.

Don’t know enough about it yet to post more info, but I’m going to stay with it for a while.

Do they plan to charge a monthly fee? If so, what is it? I can’t find any information about cost on their website.

Do they plan to charge a monthly fee? If so, what is it? I can’t find any information about cost on their website.[/quote]

Free client, first month (or 24 hours of gameplay, whichever comes first) for free, and $13.95 a month after that.

How would anyone here have any idea how many subscribers it would take for any game to make a profit?[/quote]

I don’t know – maybe someone who’s interviewed the team behind the game, someone in the industry who’s talked to them, etc. It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities, you know. I interviewed Mark Jacobs at Mythic before DAoC launched and he told me what they considered to be their break-even number for subscribers. Imagine that.

Do they actually say that anywhere on the site? I don’t understand why so many people don’t provide clear information about how to buy their game or how much it costs. Especially as an indie - they need every sale they can get, so why make it difficult for people? It’s not even in their FAQ. [size=2]I’ll go smack them with a friendly wet noodle now.[/size]

No, I read it in some GameSpy article.

I can understand what you mean about the site though, it needs some changes. There should be something on the front page (other than a small news post) saying the game is available for free and a big button to click on to download it.

They also need a real support section. I’ve been trying since early this morning to get it up and running (having problems connecting to the server for some reason) but there’s no technical FAQ or even a technical forum. I couldn’t even find an email address. I finally went to the IRC channel, which was really hoppin, for help. Now, I know how to use IRC, and I know how one is supposed to act when requesting help, but it took 45 minutes before someone even responded to me with “Ask a guide.” Apparently he missed the part where I said I couldn’t get into the game.

Ahh well, it’s still not working for me.

Well, Voltaic and I have been playing for the last couple days and are having a problem stopping. Normally I’m not a real fan of MMORPGs but I’m having an absolute ball with this one. So far the people in the community are great, haven’t run into any jerks yet. Seems like everyone really works together to get stuff done.

The idea of “grabbing some grass, putting it on the ground to dry it out and getting straw and then getting some mud so you can make bricks” make sound extremely dull to some people, but there is a strange sense of accomplishment when you get something done, no matter how minor.

Anyway, I strongly suggest people check it out, if only for the free trial period. Look for Gmicek or Voltman and we’ll do everything we can to help out.

I am so hooked on this game. Damn.

Stroker’s inventory includes jugs and wood. Tee hee. Reminds me of tonight’s episode of 24.

I wonder if Distro gave the loot he stole to Cobra Commander?

Ok, at the risk of sounding like a complete troglodyte, is there any fighting in the game? From the little bit I’ve seen, it just looks like a job simulator. I’m interested enough to be curious, but I won’t remain that way if the fun amounts to standing around waiting for grapes to ripen. :(

There’s no fighting in the game.
You can find some extra details here:

http://www.gamespydaily.com/news/fullstory.asp?id=4727

According to internal numbers the game had 3,500 registered accounts as of Monday in the U.S. Not sure how that translates to paying customers because no one has gone past the trial yet.

After playing a little more, I noticed some interesting design decisions that, in theory, should appease both the hardcore and casual gamer.

The game is largely about learning skills and applying them to building a great society. However, most of the technologies are locked away at one of the several universities in the game, and must be reseached to be unlocked. Reaseach is done by donating materials to the university. However, it takes more material than any one person could gather/create. So you literally have hundreds of hardcore gamers frantically gathering wood, harvesting flax, mining ore, etc. and donating their gains to the University so they can unlock those new technologies. Once the techs are unlocked, they are usable by anyone. The casual gamer can simply learn them for a modest price at one of the many schools on the map.

This is also a very hard game to understand. While I assume the developers wanted a little mystery, there are far too many people wandering around in the game wondering what it is they should be doing. You can start out on a path to achieving one of the seven disciplines, but the tech tree is so complicated, you often don’t know the best way to get where you need to go. BUT, many players in the game have been extremely helpful. Ask a question and it usually gets answered.

Another thing I like is how everything in the game is player created. The tech level of the culture is still pretty low, but little workshops now dot the riverbanks and some guildhouses have been built here and there. No great monuments yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Another thought… The players who have built these guild houses, have started raising livestock, etc… they must have been in the beta. Not that I care that someone is more advanced than I am, but they already understand the tech tree and environment well, and as I said earlier, the documentation is lacking. We’ll see if the developers can continue to add new content to suprise the players.

I do love the idea of laws being passed and immediately implemented into the game on the fly. I guess eGenesis can patch the game without having to shut the servers down (you’ll occasionally see a messagebox pop up in the corner saying “Patching 1 file”).

Anyway, sorry for the ramble, but this game really has me thinking.

For whatever reason, it seems most MMORPG developers don’t believe in complete, accurate documentation. So good luck…