Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shadowrun Online: all kinds of interesting complexity

Okay, I admit it.  I have a bit of a Kickstarter addiction.  I love the idea...If you're not familiar and want the quick summary, it's an all-or-nothing social funding system...A project creator gets to both raise money and gauge interest for a proposed project before sinking valuable resources into full production development.

I've personally contributed to about a dozen projects, half of them in the Video Games of which is Shadowrun Online...This one caught my attention before I even looked at the mock-ups or prototype gameplay footage...What interests me here is the unexpected mash-up of business models...and it all started with the Kickstarter-based funding.

Although not unique, it's certainly still an emerging method.  So start with Kickstarter to ramp up your project, and then move on to the game model itself...It's a massive online multiplayer...Plenty of those, sure.  But they're planning to run on PCs, Macs, iPads (v2 or higher), and Android (Galaxy Tab 10.1 or better), in a Web Browser, and as a traditional stand-alone game client, with (softer) plans to support Linux.  To top it off, they're going for the ultimate in cross-platform by mixing media and including a campaign expansion for the Shadowrun 4th Edition tabletop game.

But wait!  There's more...

[dead image removed 2013.may.02]

As if it wasn't already complex enough, they're taking a hybrid approach to the ongoing "persistent" part of the gameplay.  Out of the gate, there's plans for a Free-to-Play model, with cashflow provided through micro-transactions for in-game items or premium subscriptions.  They're also planning for a Buy-to-Play model, where you buy the primary game, plus pay for additional modules with no ongoing subscription costs (similar to Guild Wars). You own the game for as long as the servers are still up & running. On servers that follow that model, you won't be able to use real money to buy items in-game.  The graphic on the side illustrates the differences...

That's biting off quite a bit.

So I hope Cliffhanger Productions gathers enough pledges to fund this project...I'll be really interested to see how this all plays out. Oh...And if you decide to back the project yourself, please, tell 'em TrackZero sent you so I can get the free tabletop miniature.


hoi, chummer

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

favorite malware message o' the day...

Just received this (with a little malware zip hanging on for the ride) and it made me laugh.

[some headers clipped]

Received-SPF: softfail ( best guess record for domain of transitioning does not designate as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Return-path: <>
Received: from [] by; Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:54:50 -0500

From: Logistics Express <>
To: me
Subject: You have urgent work
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:54:50 -0500

Hi, track

We got today a letter from tax dpeartment they writing that we have not paid all needed taxes. You must urgent clear this shit other way they are freeze our bank accuonts.

I have scanned the letter for you, you will find it in attach. Clear this situtaion and write me back.

Of course, the headers weren't visible...

But seriously, even without the headers, how does this kind of thing ever work?

Even if I ignore the bad grammar & spelling, and expect that most end users wouldn't check the headers & wonder why EmilyVulich@comcast would have sent a message as accountservices@ups through a channel that doesn't conform to the Sender Policy Framework...Okay, I get that there's only a handful of us that even know how to look at things like that...So ignoring all of that...why would I ever believe that an error paying taxes on my part would lead to UPS having their bank accounts frozen?

Good stuff. Thanks, Anonymous Malware Spammer, for the laugh.

this guy seems legit.