I'm Sailing Away...

by Robert Cooper

Today, Chris brings up Runescape as an example of a Java app people actually use. I have to say, RS is pretty cool, and I do know some people that play it fairly regularly -- it is great for the non-hardcore-EQ-geek crowd to get their MUD on.

Another one I would like to point out, though is Puzzle Pirates. It is the MMO expression of the casual games phenomena and really quite clever. Not only is is written in Java, but Three Rings has open-sourced their game framework code and even have a pretty clever offering called Game Gardens which is rather like the Second Life of casual games -- create your networkable puzzle/board game and they will host it on their servers.


2006-10-13 11:21:16
Oh man...don't even get me started on Puzzle Pirates. That game has sucked up so much of my time as of late. It's great fun and 99% of the people on it are really nice and helpful. Not too many trolls at all. Arrrr.
The open-sourced game code is an added bonus indeed.
Chris Adamson
2006-10-15 05:15:00
Cooper... You sent me an interesting link by IM that shows subscribership by game, and shows that RuneScape recently passed Final Fantasy XI to become the #4 game by subscribership (behind World of Warcraft, Lineage, and Lineage II). That's really impressive, and a nice data point to refute Java critics with. Still, it's too bad mmogchart.com doesn't track the Asian games more closely for context: news.com.com.com.com claims Ragnarok Online has 25 million registered players, and Wikipedia says there are 50 million Maple Story players, both figures dwarfing WoW's 6 million.
2006-10-15 12:09:42
Yeah, the asian games are really a whole other world. Really WoW's big coup in the market isn't even their Western success -- though they would still have raised the bar to a new level with, I believe, about 2 million NAFTA/EU/AU/NZ subscribers. However, they have make inroads into the aisan markets too. Ragnarok is a big one that is almost unheard of over here. Still, though, WoW's utter pwnage of Lineage which was an ROK national obsession, is really huge. For all the discussion of East vs West games, WoW is really the first one that really crossed over.
Chris Adamson
2006-10-15 14:55:56

Well, I'll admit I only knew about Ragnarok Online because of the heavy push they made for the anime fans in the US (buying two page spreads in Newtype USA for example). I think it's also a fascinating generational/cultural touchstone to see private RO servers like Anima RO taking out ads on anime sites talking up in-game same-sex marriages as a feature (which is nice, though the sad truth is that Ragnarok's bonuses for marriage are pretty paltry in any case). Back to RuneScape though, it's such a relief to see that the big Java game is one of the top 3D contenders -- if the 2D Maple Story had been in Java, the trolls would say Java can't do 3D.

Between this and Think Free, is there a story about JVM-cached, lauch-from-web applications trumping CD installs, maybe something O'Reilly should pay more attention to (even if it isn't Ajax, which of course everything will be written in by this time next year)?