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Glitch MMO

Discussion in 'Talk Gaming' started by Tom, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Just heard about this new MMO called Glitch:

    It has an unusual character design and world scenery, and an interesting sense of humor. The quest descriptions contain lots of puns and references to literature and pop culture. It's free to play and is currently in BETA stage.

    The YouTube trailer videos are very, very strange


  2. My sister loves this game.
  3. it does look good i've applied to sign up
  4. look very very cool!
  5. Their FAQ answers sum up the game pretty well:

    Why is it called Glitch?
    "Glitch" is both the name of the game and its fundamental concept: the yin and the yang, the fundamental force, the alpha and omega, the path, the way, and most of all: the happy accidents of unfettered creativity. In Glitch, things don't always make sense at first. But that's where the fun starts.

    What does it look like?
    We comb the internet every single day looking for fresh and original visual styles. The look varies as you travel around the world, from psychedelia to surrealism, Japanese cutesie to hypersaturated pixel art, classic cartoon to contemporary mixed media. We love awesome illustration and animation and part of our mission is to find the best of the best and bring it to a wider audience.

  6. They also have humorous and witty blog entries. This one was describing the total reset before the game is released to the public.

    Last Reset: Winding Back the Clock

    The ultimate reset is upon us. Before the next test, players will be losing all of their Urthly possessions and accomplishments, left with nothing but the clothes on their back. (Well, really it’s a bit more nuanced than that: details in the forum.) And they have some interesting theories on what this post-reset world will be like: some say a Mad Max style apocalyptic wasteland, others say a coop-driven utopia. And a fair number are already putting their heads down, drawing out plans for optimizing their recovery time (“Mine, mine, mine!” or “Get your harvest on!”).

    But before we turn to soothsaying, lets take a look at why this reset is inspiring both anxiety and anticipation. We’re pretty sure it has something to do with everything the testers have accomplished while racing to the end of each test period. Thirsty for hard data? Well, since the last reset, you have collectively racked up an astounding 384,368 quests completed, 391,089 skills learned, 752,590 achievements earned and 1,900,015 streets visited.

    These numbers are mutable, and the counters will be whirring back to 0 any moment now. It’s almost a liberating thought. But the numbers that last, and the real reason we want to hug each and every Glitch we pass in the street, are these: 34,543,982 minutes played (since April 11th; there were a few tens of millions of minutes of testing time prior to that) and 181,012 friends added.

    That means that the 27,000+ Glitch testers who made it past the tutorial have played an average of 21 hours and 16 minutes (just in the last five months). And the reset can’t touch all the things they’ve done with friends, new and old. Every peat-digging alliance, every party in Hell, every purple flower extravaganza, and every cubimal orphanage will be written across Glitchen memories, just as the efforts of street-building aficionados will remain etched across the imaginations of the giants themselves.

    And what better reward for all this than to know the moment is fast approaching when you’ll never have to check if Glitch is open again.

    (p.s. The game is still open till early afternoon on Wednesday the 14th, San Francisco time: you still have a chance to get your final farewells in, as the Glitchen you are now.)
  7. umm will they reimburse the money we spent on the game for cloths?
  8. What do you mean? Clothing won't disappear if you spent credits on them. If there's an issue they've got an incredible support staff in Live Chat.
  9. okay thank you. so every thing starts new again on the October 14th?
  10. God I love the art. *-*

    Sooo good. -must play the game-
  11. Honestly, I think it looks stupid. :p
  12. @OllieOllie
    It may look stupid, but it has lovely art. <3
    #12 Martyn, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  13. No the BETA ended in September, right now the game is official so nothing is being reset.
  14. This game has a lot more creativity than most other RPGs. It's a totally different style so may take awhile for mainstream acceptance :p
  15. Aye! Arts alright yeah :)
    Just not my cup of tea I guess! :)
  16. Here is a pretty good review of the game:



    What ‘Glitch’ can teach us about being alive
    Jenn Frank · October 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm · Filed under Features, Reviews

    Derek and I have been spending an awful lot of time in Glitch, the free-to-play MMO that launched, finally, last month. (And when I saw “an awful lot of time,” I mean it. I’ve gained noticeable weight in the last three days. I’ve practically forgotten to keep eating, breathing, pooping, et cetera.)

    Gameplay is ostensibly based on, of all things, the theory of ‘infinite play’ as outlined in this ultra-slim work of philosophy. The real point of Glitch, then, is “to continue the game for continuing-the-game’s sake.” There are gods and cities and objectives, sure, but there is no win: there is only forward.

    In the earliest portions of Glitch, the dreaded ‘tutorial’ phase is scuttled in lieu of a long, unslodgy process of exploration. Your “Familiar”—he’s a google-eyed rock at the top of the screen, with occasional speech bubbles blooming from his sweet, mouthless little face—will give you small, achievable quest missions, which are less ‘go fetch’ and more ‘go discover!’ Your Familiar also helps you learn different “skills,” which open doors, in turn, to other skills. (When the Familiar is “studying,” his blank visage assumes a pair of reading glasses, adorably.)

    Your autodidacticism is always and invariably rewarded with a triumphant trill, maybe even a badge or trophy, but then there’s that terrible carrot—there’s always more. And here is the truth about Glitch: the tutorial never ends. Because you’re always learning. That’s the game. And this could make you feel tired, but instead, it makes you feel awake.

    But, but! Learning about what? Well. Your avatar has much to learn, say, about mining different rocks in search of certain elements. He might use those elements in all sorts of alchemical configurations, which he himself must discover (with or without the help of a user-edited Wiki, ahem). He might farm crops, clear-cut trees, cook, feed his piglets, buy a little house…! So Glitch combines the verdant charm of Harvest Moon with the hocus-pocus of Atelier Iris with the proceduralism of Cooking Mama. Worse yet, the game is every bit as infuriatingly addictive as some terrible Facebook time-suck, thanks to the constant momentum of unlocking-and-achieving. Other aspects—among them, Glitch’s coyly crass wordplay and emphasis on pasta sauces—are lifted directly from Kingdom of Loathing. And most horrendously of all, Glitch has a lot in common with Terraria, which is to say that it has well enough in common with Minecraft, which is to say that you’re royally boned if you’d ever planned to sleep again.

    Glitch is no action game, though. Despite its tight controls and ‘platforming’ potential, it is a game about gardening. And I mean this in the pleasantest sense, because real-life gardening is a type of endless level-grinding that yields literal fruits, so that grinding can become its own reward. This is admittedly a simple synopsis of the game—it is so much more than gardening!—because there is also, yes yes I haven’t forgotten, the ‘social-ness’ of the game, which I am only beginning to explore.

    And! There is even death! And when you die, passers-by can see a gravestone marking where you met your end, while you in the meantime are temporarily trapped in the bowels of Hell. To return topside, your avatar must crush a certain number of grapes underfoot. Really. And I know this all reads as a quirky aside, this whole bit about circumventing death itself, but it really isn’t. Here is my very favorite thing about Glitch’s idea of play: you won’t be punished. You don’t ‘drop’ all your hard-earned goods when you die. There is no lasting failure; quests are only left incomplete, waiting. Maybe certain creative acts demand an unseemly number of resources, but for the happy wanderer, the only thing separating him from his goal is Time. So there are no setbacks; again, there is only forward.

    And then, of course, there is that inexorable endlessness, a quality that Glitch shares with other MMOs, but also with life.

    Earlier this week, in our actual daily lives, Derek and I decided to look at an apartment together. Our decision hinged on a few shared priorities: affordability, of course, although we aren’t shy of spending the money, if that’s what it takes. Accessibility is another; is the apartment near a Blue Line train stop? A highway? Is it easy to get to a hardware store, a grocery? Would we each have enough space to work alone? (Because, while we have certain shared goals, we treasure time apart. We are good at different things, and very few of our hobbies intersect.) Is there an available practice space for a heavy metal band? (See also: Derek’s hobbies.) We looked at a beautiful building with a garden in back—the landlady, a middle-aged schoolteacher in a pop band of her own, was more roommate than landlady—but the building was so remote, located in a hard-to-get-to, run-down part of town. We passed on it. It broke my heart.

    Then, in Groddle Forest, Derek and I took our meager savings and purchased two small apartments in-world. Derek found two vacancies nestled side-by-side, located in a residential area just off a major thoroughfare. We each have space enough for our separate gardens and chickens. I marveled aloud at Derek’s in-game apartment-hunting skills. And then I teased him: “Don’t break up with me,” I told him, “because then you’ll run into my avatar when she’s going into her apartment with her groceries. It could be awkward for you.” (That happened to me once, with an old boyfriend, in life.)

    But also, not aloud, We will be OK, I thought.

    Then the parallels between Glitch and our real routines became more insidiously palpable. “Can we really make egg muffin sandwiches?” I asked Derek.

    “Well, we have English muffins,” Derek replied. “So check the fridge for turkey bacon. And see if there’s any cheese. And see how we’re doing on eggs. See what we need.”

    “Oh, no,” I groaned, “it’s all a video game.”

    And then I thought about how in Glitch I’m always rooting around for onions or bugging Derek for bubbles or butterfly milk while, in daily life, I’m always checking to see whether Green Grocer has shallots and mushrooms. Then, too, there is the sense of accomplishment I always feel, well before I actually ever get down to cookin’ something fancy. I stop and stare in wonder at what weird things I’ve managed to cram into a shopping bag. Because I don’t always find shallots; I am not always victorious.

    So in its quest to eliminate concrete, legitimate, stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks failure, Glitch has struck on something remarkable. By taking punishments away—by letting the player explore, free of negative repercussions—Glitch becomes nicer than life. It becomes real play, the kind of play that helps grown-ups rediscover what it feels like to again approach all things in earnest. What could you achieve if there were nothing to lose?

    “You see, I want this poem to be nicer than life,” Stephen Dunn wrote in a poem once. The poem goes on: “I want you to look at it / when anxiety zigzags your stomach / and the last tranquilizer is gone / and you need someone to tell you / I’ll be here when you want me / like the sound inside a shell.”

    The poet then describes “what poetry can do” (“make you beautiful”), but he really didn’t have to explain it, did he? We already know what real, playful poetry can do. Poetry teaches without teaching; it preaches without preaching. It re-trains the brain—as cognitive behavioral therapy might—to acknowledge our own constraints without really respecting the limits, to marvel at possibility, to be guileless and fearless.
  17. Interview with the creator of the game:

    Most massively multiplayer online games pull the majority of their inspiration from either Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. Is there a cultural touchstone for Glitch?

    I think there is, but we'd have to point to a lot of things, rather than just Lord of the Rings or something like that. Monty Python, Dr. Seuss, early Japanese games—a whole big variety of stuff.

    Scattershot influences make the game a little harder to pigeonhole.

    Glitch is pretty sui generis. It's really its own thing. I think that's an advantage for us, and it’s also a disadvantage because people have to kind of locate it in their conceptual section all by themselves.

    There's a trend in movies and games to name the product exactly what you're getting. Plants vs. Zombies.

    There are a number of people who have hooked onto that and made that the pun—anytime there's an error in the game or something goes wrong. I didn't realize the number of times it came up in the context of games, but [glitch] seems to be the go-to noun for things that are wrong in games.

    Are you embracing this decision to take on a difficult name?

    The backstory and the name give us a lot of latitude. The whole world is being imagined in the collective imagination of these 11 giants. It's a good pretext for the world changing styles as you move around. Which is something that we really wanted to do in an art-development sense. And also as an excuse for how absurd things are.

    Calling it Glitch and having that backstory means we're pretty free to do any of those things without having to worry about breaking these notions that somebody studied Tolkien and knows the particulars of how trolls should be, and stuff like that.

    You're also hoping to appeal to an audience who doesn't have those concerns.

    There are people who play in a really serious way, trying to find the optimum combination of skills to maximize the benefit they get in-game and from in-game activity. But they can do that without having to take themselves too seriously. You know they are free to join in the absurdity and the humor and whimsy, and not have to keep in character with their level 13 fire mage.

    Those tropes can be unwelcoming to other audiences.

    This is also an art style. It looks really different—hand-drawn and using traditional illustrations. There are no 3D models or anything like that, which we thought would be a time saver, but actually makes it a lot harder to upgrade. But it also makes it much more approachable. Sometimes the veneer makes people think it’s for kids. It's definitely for adults. Not X-rated. I just mean for grown-ups.

    Some of the quests in Glitch are spiked with juicy double entendres.

    When you make something for kids—specifically for kids—it can be much harder for adults to enjoy it. Some people do a great job on that stuff. The Simpsons has done a great job historically. And Pixar movies and stuff like that can operate on multiple levels. I feel like we do that, to a certain extent.

    But Glitch really isn't a kids’ game. I assume mostly adults will be playing.

    If you're playing a multiplayer game with other people, for many adults it’s not very much fun to play with kids. There are some very mature ones. But kids, obviously, tend to be less mature. They're not going to be as interesting to talk to.

    You could say that for a lot of adults.

    It's totally true.

    How do you encourage adults to behave in an interesting manner? In the old days of online gaming there were people who dedicated themselves to role-play. Do you have to code something into your game to corral players in that direction?

    No, we try to leave it pretty open. That's part of not taking too seriously—being called Glitchand being all absurd. All of those aspects really help a lot. At the same time, I think the people who are getting the most out of the game and doing the most to ensure that other people get a lot out of the game are the ones who are developing these personas.

    Any specific examples?

    There's a player named Don Draper who has already added verisimilitude to the rest of the world because he's using a Mad Men character's name. But in the game he's a big-time Purp dealer. Purp is short for purple flower, which is one of the herbs you can grow in the herb garden. It is mildly hallucinogenic. He plays that up like he's a big-time drug dealer. He's cultivating that and giving it to people and trying to get them hooked and stuff. He's having a lot of fun doing it and he's definitely creating a lot of fun for other players as well.

    There's room for creative entrepreneurship.

    Early on one of the richer players formed a bank and created their own currency. There's a skill in the game called Penpersonship, and you can use it to create notes. And they would guarantee their notes with in-game currency and they would validate them by using time stamps and stuff like that.

    Seems like there are opportunities for mischief too.

    Really early on we introduced tree poison. And immediately somebody formed a lumber company and went around poisoning all the trees in public areas. Because once trees are dead, you can chop them down and get planks.

    They knew, totally, when they did this it was going to piss a lot of people off. But it sparked a lot of emergent play. Suddenly there was a tree protection group using in-game chat channels to coordinate and run around with tree-poison antidote, following behind the poisoners.

    These stories remind me of the stories that come out of EVE Online.

    I was just saying that the other day. EVE is my favorite game to read about. Now, I can't play it. It's too hard. It is too involved and everyone's too serious. But reading the stories about what goes on in the game is awesome. I love it.

    What kind of stories are you hoping for in Glitch?

    My favorite description of Glitch is what one player said: “A massively multiplayer online environment in which you gather resources and learn skills so as to devise ever more creative ways in which to do nice things for each other.†It's the potlatch. People are getting really rich so they can put on a great feast for all their friends. And what a great feast means evolves over time.

    Your contribution is to expose people to beautiful art.

    One of the privileges of working on this is that we raised a lot of money, and this is a big ambitious project; and we get to spend more money on illustration then anyone but really big magazines. Our budget for illustration is big. And it’s nice. Because I like illustrators and admire their work. And we get to support them.

    Can you talk about specific artists and their contributions?

    The guy who designed the Dr. Seuss-y area in Glitch is Chris Leavens. He is an illustrator based in L.A. For people who know him—and he has a following in the illustration community—it's really distinctively his style.

    The woman who designed Uralia and the Iimenski Caverns where people go mining, her name is Zutto. She lives in Miass, Russia. So the names of the locations she designed all have Russian names. In fact, one of them is named for the street that she lives on.

    What were you going for with the look of the game's avatars?

    Do you know Reggie Watts? I guess he's a musician. I'm not sure if he's more musician or more artist. He has a song called “Fuck Shit Stack.†In the video for it they do some processing so that his head is really big and his body is small. We watched that and were like, “Oh, that's the perfect ratio.â€

    "It's not about how many points it costs you to do this."
    They're interesting-looking. Mine wound up looking like a depressed metal fan.

    We wanted something that was accessible, but not too cartoony. Definitely not huge boobs and tiny waists for the women and giant muscly arms for the guys. Because it’s just been done so many times.

    And they're way more distinctive than the bland social-game avatars.

    They all look so generic to me. They all look the same, I mean. You can't identify what the game is. And it’s obviously a really important aspect of creative expression for people.

    I am obliged, now, to ask about Keita Takahashi's contributions to Glitch.

    He has a lot of independence and is working on all kinds of stuff now for us. His English is much better now than it was two months ago when he first started. There's been deep immersion. He's not working on the core game mechanics—where we have spreadsheets rigged up to figure out how long something should take or how much it should cost. He's working on quests, UI, mini-games and, in general, being the spiritual guide and/or muse for the rest of the team.

    Anything exciting that he's come up with?

    One of the things he's working on is iOS games—mini-games. And just last week we released a developer site and there’s an open API. One of the things we're hoping is that people will make all kinds of games that tie into Glitch but that are playable on mobiles.

    I don't imagine that a design meeting with Takahashi is a typical PowerPoint affair.

    He has singlehandedly invented the animated GIF as the design spec. It's fucking hilarious. Someday we should publish the stuff that he does, because heavily Japanese-inflected English is funny enough to begin with. He's super-evocative and emotive, rather than game mechanic in a mechanical sense. It's not about how many points it costs you to do this. It's about the emotion that’s supposed to be drawing you in toward this, and the emotion that's supposed to come as a result.
  18. It is a pretty amazing thing, and it can suck away a lot of hours on simple activities, but I'm not sure how people get quite so involved in it as they do. I played a bit of the beta, went through a couple of resets and stuff, and while I liked it I always drifted off to something more interesting, like WoW or Minecraft or something.

    Still it wins hands down for the quality of the UI design and the slickness of its production. It is incredibly easy to use, and everything just seems to work so smoothly. I think that as web game designers we could learn an awful lot from the way it has approached things. The easy drag and drop, the way you can do all sorts of activities without even having to enter the game world, the published UIs, it's a really good example of where development should be right now.
  19. I couldn't agree more with your analysis. This game definitely has top notch UI and UX design; highly polished and yet not over the top. Speaking of drag and drop they recently just came out with the first round of beta testing on houses where you can drag and drop design it.

    Here's an official video they've made:

    Progress Report: March Testing Release

    We’ve been very quiet on the blog for the last few months mostly because we’ve been locked inside a poorly-lit factory under conditions which, frankly, would embarrass a 19th century sweatshop manager. (But, at least there were donuts.)

    But all the hard work is starting to pay off: large parts of the game have been redesigned, significant portions of those designs have already been built and the rest is not far behind. The changes are fairly radical in some respects but there’s been a lot of good old fashioned tweaking, polishing and massaging as well — it still has that same Glitchy essence.

    Today we’re did the first testing release of the new housing system. You can now add, remove, arrange, upgrade and change the style of furniture as well as change flooring, ceiling and wallpaper styles. There’s a demo video here and more details on how to test it in this forum post.

    Though many important components won’t be available till next month’s release — things like crafting furniture, expanding the house and building new floors, or cultivating and using imagination to increase the amount of land — you can get a good sense of what a basic house in the new system feels like. So, pick out a favorite armchair, display your proudest collectibles on a strategically-placed shelf, jump on a table and enjoy.
  20. It looks very cool, actually. : | I really like the art and from what I've seen in reviews and screens the GUI looks fun and easy to use, and it has a lot to do. If I had the time I'd check it out further, haha.

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