Okay, I think I need to explain that one. You see, in ye olde games of yore, when voice-overs were an impossibility due to technical restraints, video game characters talk with text boxes. So yes, my brain’s in video game mode today.


Once upon a time, this game kept people up all night

Anyways, I was surfing the web as usual – checking Facebook, commenting on blogs, reading stuff in TV Tropes, the usual beat – when I remembered to check the homepage of a game which I really, really liked. Funny thing is, it was only then I realized that it was a WordPress page, just like this blog.

So, what am I getting at? The game was quite a wonder, really. See, there’s this group of people, who are most probably not even neighbors, creating a game and distributing it online – and for free too. Sure, it’s not Final Fantasy-level of technical superiority – it’s made from the application RPG XP (if I’m not mistaken, that is), which means it’s all sprites – but as anyone who has dabbled with programming, it’s hard work. Then there’s the gameplay, the music, the artwork, the promotion – you’ll need a whole team for this, and you’ll need to be in touch with each other lest the project falls into development limbo. Years ago, it meant that everyone must be in the same place, in the same building. Nowadays, you can do it with one person in Manila and the other in Armenia. It might take weeks, months, years even – but that project, that game could be finished despite the amazing geographical distances between its developers. You could thank the Internet for that.

The Mirror Lied

Such a simple-looking game...that messed up with my head

When we talk of games and the Internet, it’s certain that ‘piracy’ would come to mind at one point or another. However, the games that could be downloaded from the Net aren’t always the illegal rips. Like the game with the WordPress page I mentioned above, the Internet could be used to circulate and promote these free indie games. Maybe the authors of these games simply want to build up their credentials and experience, or they want to bring a story to life in any medium within their means, but the thing is, the Internet helped them create and finish that game.

Indeed, the Internet has integrated itself nicely to the video game industry. Several games have come up with elaborate viral marketing campaigns, such as Halo’s ilovebees and Bioshock 2’s Something in the Sea (which are sadly over). In something that’s vaguely ironic (especially with the sense that Internet promotes piracy) and controversial, Ubisoft required the PC version of their hit game Assassin’s Creed II to have an internet connection in order to combat piracy. Unfortunately for them, the smart ones of the Internet has cracked through their defenses. And of course, who could ever forget MMORPGs? Ragnarok Online is still close to my heart. Also, the Internet becomes the place where the fans of said games gather to discuss, as well as the way for them to reach the developers.

There's Something in the Sea...

When the online goes live

Let’s see what hits the Internet next…