City of Eternals: Most Boring News Ever
Posted by Rosepixie on February 13, 2010
One of the newer games on Facebook is called City of Eternals. On the game’s website is a ticker that constantly updates with things that are happening in the game. This ticker is also on the on-screen-display when you play the game, but this is the version you see when you visit the website. These screenshots were taken more or less at random.
Here are some of my favorite entries:
“Satu was defeated by Wriggling Larva in Shadowy Worm Tunnels”
“Tony was defeated by Zombie in Hipnotique Hip Hop Room” (this one shows up twice)
“Tanya entered Commercial District”
“James entered My Home”
“Clifford sold 2 Tattered Hide to Theodore G.”
There were several updates about people redecorating their homes too, but I don’t seem to have gotten a screenshot of any (they were along the lines of “George redecorated My Home to Cool Ocean Blue”). The “event type 39” updates are a bug and, since this is a fairly new game, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that it’s being/been fixed. Bugs happen.
So, the reason to have tickers like this is to show potential players that the game is fun and that there are other people having lots of fun. Basically, to show them what cool things they could be doing if they were playing the game. It’s a great idea in theory. The problem is that this ticker fails pretty spectacularly at it.
What are the most boring things you do in a game (particularly in an MMO-style game)? Most people would say “travel and sell crap out of your inventory”. And yet, quite a few updates on the ticker relate to travel and for some reason even updates about people selling crap out of their inventory (how else would you describe “2 tattered hides”?) seem to show up sometimes. The updates about people defeating things, finishing missions and gaining levels are great. That’s what this should be filled with. And yet I see as many updates about people being defeated (dying) as about people succeeding! Seriously, the promise of dying a lot is NOT going to attract most people to your game.
New games need to work hard to attract new players, especially small games like City of Eternals, but this is not the way to do it. This ticker goes a lot farther towards showing the game is dull and not fun than it does towards showing that the game is fun and should be played. And the sad thing is, I really haven’t seen much else in the way of real marketing for this game. I have no idea where they’re advertising it, if they are at all, but it’s not where they should be. I guess it remains to be seen what comes out of oHai for this game’s marketing, but this is definitely not a good start!