A Chat in the Desert

by walkerspaight on 07/01/06 at 12:51 pm


Cooperative gameplay, Egyptian-style

Andrew Tepper, pharaoh of Egypt (or at least of the massively multiplayer online world of A Tale in the Desert) has something say, and he wants you to listen. He also wants you to get in his game, and is re-opening free trial accounts to anyone who’s interested, even if you’ve already run through a trial in the past.

Apparently concerned about the large number of citizens who leave his virtual Egypt once they get through the early stages of the game, Tepper is holding "a significant chat" tomorrow on possible upcoming changes in the society-building VW, and he wants you to listen in.

"I’m considering one change for ATITD 3 that . . . would affectmonument building in our current Tale, and has a number of otherimplications," he writes in a recent email to current and formersubscribers. In the same email, Tepper lays out some of the challengesthat ATITD has faced in retaining subscribers, and posts someinteresting figures as well.

According to Tepper, fully half of everyone who dips their toes into his virtual Nile valley finish the six hours of "difficult" gameplay required to become a citizen of Egypt. But after that, the sandbox aspect of ATITD loses its grip, and almost 80 percent of citizens then leave the game. That’s left the game languishing along at maybe 10-20,000 subscribers, according to MMOG Chart.

Kudos to Tepper for his candor, but it remains to be seen what changes might keep citizens from emigrating. Tepper puts its down to the change from the highly directed gameplay of pre-citizenship to the open, undirected sandbox of post-citizenship. So will Egypt suddenly be filled with quests and NPCs? To find out, tune into Tepper’s chat tomorrow, January 8, at 1:00pm EST, at irc.sorcery.net, port 6667, channel #ATITD. And don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.

One Response to “A Chat in the Desert”

  1. Urizenus

    Jan 7th, 2006

    Interesting. Teppie has a small operation so it is hard to see him being able to add a lot of content. It’s a cool game if you can get past the grind of making bricks and walking throught the desert and having to look at all the eyesore monuments. I hope there is room in the biz for these kinds of boutique games.

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