Press Releases

Full press releases sent in from various sources.

SketchUp Google Earth Plugin released

You know how I was talking about the whole "Google Earth as a virtual space" thing?... Well, this announcement might hammer that home just a tad bit.  There's now a Google Earth plugin for SketchUp that allows you to create 3D models and stick them right into Google Earth!  Nice. 

If you're not following what I'm talking about, or just don't care, I'll leave this issue alone for now.  I know it doesn't directly affect massively multiplayer game news right now so maybe it's somewhat off-topic.  However, it really "feels" like the tip of the proverbial iceberg here.  I'm not sure what other tech is out there to do some similar tasks, but this whole SketchUp/Google thing has me very interested in where all this stuff might lead.

So, if you'd like more information, or if you want to see examples of what this is all about, go do your own research from here.  I'll leave the topic alone for now, until I can find more connections to online gaming worlds and such... can't wait to see that start to pop up!  Shockwave 3D (or Virtools, etc.) plugins to use Google Earth data, anyone???  Please??)

Guild Wars Factions Shipping This Week

The next installment of the Guild Wars online game, Factions, has been shipped to retailers and will be going live on April 28.  I figured you'd all like to know about this in case you're interested in getting in on the Head Start Event available to those who pre-ordered the game.  A blurb:

Those who pre-ordered the game will be able to participate in the exclusive Guild Wars Factions Head Start Event beginning at 12:01 AM PDT/7:01 AM GMT on April 27, 2006. These lucky gamers will have access to the game for a total of 48 hours, including a full 24 hours before the game’s global release. During the first 24 hours of the Head Start Event, ArenaNet has planned an exclusive in-game event titled "Day of the Tengu," in which players will join one-day-only "Day of the Tengu" quests, and earn exclusive in-game rewards.

 The new features include goodies like guild scrimmages, alliance battles, ranked character titles and other stuff that I also don't know anything about.  Read the full press release after the jump...

Metaverse Roadmap Project Website Launched

This announcement doesn't have too do much with massively multiplayer games (of today) specifically, but I thought you folks might find the Metaverse Roadmap Project interesting.  I attended one of the three roundtables at GDC '06 put on by these folks and it was very intriguing... borderline science fiction, but interesting.  This project seeks to bring together research and forward thinkers to assemble a constantly-updated roadmap of progress towards an eventual "metaverse" of some sort.  Basically, mapping what we know now and following it to what it might mean for the future.

To get you in the mood, their new site starts out like this:

What happens when video games meet Web 2.0? When virtual worlds meet maps of the planet? When simulations get real and life and business go virtual? When your avatar becomes your blog, your desktop, and your email address?

What happens is the metaverse. ...

It was fairly difficult to grasp my head around the concept as I sat in on the GDC shindig, but not so much because it's all technologically insane (even though it's smart-people craziness to me) but more because I hadn't really taken the time to think through the issue before.  I've read a few books about "cyberspace" and all that -- embarrasingly the definitive one, Snow Crash is not one of them, but it sits right over there *points to my copy on the shelf* and I swear I'll get to it eventually -- and it's not always easy for me to make the jump to imagining how real it all might end up being in the future.  Now I'm not talking about Lawnmower Man becoming real, but the idea of such levels of connectedness online that the line between avatar and operator become very blurry.

I'm struggling to even discuss this issue here, since I just don't quite "get it" yet.  

I had a great dinner chat with one of the folks from said project and lots of very fun concepts came spewing from his brain.  One of them focusses on Google's purchase of the company that makes SketchUp.  Now, if you don't know what SketchUp is, go look at it for a minute and consider this... what if Google takes their Google Earth product and combines it with the technology of SketchUp to generate (I said "generate", not "create") what would ultimately be a 3D virtual space from their data from Earth!  Add to that some simple avatar options and couldn't we have an online "copy" of the real world built from actual satellite imagery and real locations? 

 Uh... whoa.  (You can imagine that said in Keanu-ese if ya want.)

I can think of all sorts of amazing implications of a navigable 3D Google Earth... not sure what value they all have, but it sure sounds neat from that core level!

Anyway... proceed down this path if any of that stuff interests you.  I'm considering opening up a MRP discussion forum here, but I'm not sure what use it would serve.  If you find that interesting, send me a note. 

Tinywarz update announcement

Vladimir from sent over this press release about some big updates to Tinywarz, including "practice planets" for players to hone their skills:

Aliens Invade Tinywarz!

An alien race calling itself the Sha'Kahr has invaded Tinywarz! New and experience players should be warned - these invaders use technology far superior to anything previously seen. While their current objective remains unknown, it should be noted that the aliens are extremely hostile and all players should use caution when dealing with these "visitors."

Also recently updated - Practice planets have been added to the game. These planets allow players to test out vehicle configurations or conduct duels; without risk of losing valuable units or crews.

TinyWarz is a massively multiplayer, turn-based, strategy-game where players battle each other and computer controlled bandits on distant worlds. In Tinywarz you can create an army, construct / customize units, assign crews, design bases, and battle to control planets. Watch your hired crews improve in combat and select special abilities for your command crew as they gain experience. Grow your army with salvaged units or buy them from other players through the in-game market.

Join the battle today at

Linden Lab Announces Fellowship Opportunity in Second Life

"Now Accepting Applications for a Semester Abroad in the Virtual World" is the tagline in a press release from Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life... hmmm.  They have announced their "first visual and performing arts fellowship to support creative innovation in Second Life."  They're looking to provide someone $4,000 to explore the game/virtual world/thing as a creative medium.  You can get more info about eligibility and fill out the application at If you're interested in the fellowship, I'd think the rest of that Eduction section of their site will also interest you a great deal.  Linden Lab has made a lot of progress over the years in finding unique ways to utilize their system.  Nice.

Space Civilizations has been Released

A quick announcement from ScTeam about the public beta release of Space Civilizations.  Since everyone's always clawing for info on free mmogs, I figured this story ought to break through to the front page.  Give it a whirl and lemme know how it goes, eh?

Space Civilizations is a turn-based massive multiplayer space strategy game, that is played with a very slim downloadable client. You share a galaxy with hundreds of players, some of them might turn out to be your enemies, others could be your allies. You need to explore the world around you, expand your empire, become more technologically advanced so that you can build better and faster ships that will give you the edge in epic battles.

Space Civilizations is FREE TO PLAY! Space Civilizations is clearly inspired by the hundreds of browser based games out there, but we did not want to add yet another one, but instead we took the basic idea to the next level, while leaving the shortcomings of existing games behind. If you are into online space strategy games, then Space Civilizations might offer you just what you have been looking for! Please visit

Unification Wars.

Ameh is requesting the publishing of this post about Unification Wars.  As is usual for my recent working binge, I haven't had a chance to play the game or even to look very far under the hood of the Web site.  I'm not sure if there's any risk involved here, but I'll encourage you to proceed under it.  As I've said many times in the past, I enjoy helping the nooks of our beloved genre to get some recognition, so here goes... slightly busted English and all.  Don't be a language snob and just give Ameh a chance, eh?

The saga of Galactic Conquest continue with Unification Wars when the United War Council(UWC) collapsed after the year 11,000 A.D - 1000 years. The universe was at peace, harmony and love for all the species under govern of UWC. By the nature of the universe some off the species with strong empire are greed for power and wealth overcome their peaceful nature. They begin to attack weak empires to fulfill their needs. This is just the beginning, we are the one that have continue the Saga so the universe become a safe place again.

Unification Wars is 2D Massively Multiplayer Online Game that brings lot of satisfaction to the players. The games give all the needs that players wanted. It have 2 version in HTML for basis GUI and JavaScript for more interactive GUI. Even it is just a text based game but the graphics are more than that. Recently Unification Wars just updated their game with new features. For me it is very addictive and challenging game. But the most important part for gamers is that this game is FREE for life without trial period limitation.

For whom that are interested I suggest that to have a sneek look at this game at Unification Wars for more proof!!

"Starpeace" free world has been reset

Got this news a while back and just dropped the ball... here's info from Darren Robertson (aka "puggy"), a developer (the developer?) of Starpeace.  I like helping little projects get traffic, so here ya go.  Here's a blurb Darren dropped about what's going on:

Zyrane, the Starpeace free world, has been reset. Zyrane has been running since march and has seen quite a few players. Initially run on my home server, in October it was moved to a dedicated server for better speed. The world can be accessed by running the "starpeace free" client which is ad supported.

Subscribers have access to more worlds using a non-ad client and there's a 7 day free trial for new users. Darren Robertson (aka puggy) Starpeace Developer

Good luck, guys! 

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