History and Mythology: The Importance of Engaging Worlds in City-builders

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Throughout my life, I’ve sunk thousands and thousands of hours into city-building games. It started with Pharaoh, then Caesar III, Zeus, SimCity 3000, and on and on. These types of games have managed to capture my attention more than any other genre (MMO’s and their constant stream of updates, not withstanding). The Sierra/Impressions historical builders especially left their mark on me – I can still hear the music of Pharaoh in my head and can picture the purple-dotted fertile meadows of Zeus/Poseidon. Unfortunately with Impressions’ close in 2004 the stream of city-builders, even outside of the historical setting, ground to a halt.

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The Birth of a Genre: Procedural Death Labyrinth

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In the past few years, the roguelike genre has exploded with popularity. However some people dislike the prevalent use of the term “roguelike” to describe procedurally generated games with permadeath due to the genre’s long established traditions such as ASCII art and turn-based action. But as the genre gains popularity some work to bring a more appropriate term that suits all of the popular modern “roguelike-likes”.

But where did the term roguelike start?

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The 5 Stages of Game Burnout

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I’ve played Lord of the Rings: Online for nearly seven years now. That’s a long time to be playing any game. Back in 2011 just after the Anniversary event (the one many refer to as the Grindaversary), I experienced my first strong, true burnout from LOTRO. For a year afterwards I would log in occasionally and try to get back into the game but it was never the same. I finally started logging in again regularly with the release of Riders of Rohan. My playtime has been steadily increasing since then however with the release of Update 15 I’m beginning to feel the tell-tale signs of game burnout once again.

I know many others are feeling the same way about LOTRO and other games at the moment so I wanted to outline the stages of game burnout. These stages are especially prevalent if you are playing a time-intensive, long-term game like an MMO.

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