by Cody "Micajah" Bye
When it comes to hitting upon a gamer's addictive nature, a group of
developers from the United Kingdom may have landed upon an absolute
gold mine of an idea. Blending the addictiveness of a first person
shooter, an online gaming atmosphere, and real money, these
developers have created a skill-based online FPS called style="font-style: italic;">Kwari where
fragging for cash is the norm. Publicly announced a few weeks ago, style="font-style: italic;">Kwari
has jumped to the forefront in the gaming marketplace, due to its
intriguing business model and unique style of gameplay. To learn more
about the upcoming online FPS, Ten Ton Hammer's managing editor, Cody
"Micajah" Bye, sat down with Kwari
founder Eddie Gill to learn the finer points of capping
others to take their coin.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us a brief description of what style="font-style: italic;">Kwari is
about, what your plans are, that sort of thing? Just a general overview
so the fans can hear it straight from your mouth.
style="font-style: italic;">This is a screen
industrial themed area.
Eddie Gill: Kwari's
an unusual game, because it's a first person shooter
where gamers actually play for real money in a game of skill. It's a
game of skill, it's not a gambling game. Your objectives are not the
same in Kwari as they are in most games. You aren't trying to
necessarily win the map or win the game overall; your objective is to
win money progressively as you play through the game. We have a couple
of features that are pretty ground-breaking and the game centers around
One of the features is the "recipricator function." It's an extremely
simple function, but it dramatically changes how the game is played
compared to another shooter like Counterstike or Unreal. The way the
recipricator works is that every single hit - as far as the player is
concerned - is money in the bank. If you shoot another player, you win
money. And this is all happening in real time. If you imagine a typical
first-person shooter map, where players are firing at each other like
crazy, money is changing hands very, very rapidly. But it doesn't end
there. It's simply ground-breaking, because it manages how we generate
money and then how we give it away.
Another difference in Kwari
is that players don't receive money from
killing other gamers, rather they only get money when they hit them. We
actually use a player's death as a safety valve so when player isn't
constantly getting shot by the same person over and over again. Once
they die, they respawn somewhere else. If a player gets cornered, he'll
only have a couple shots before he dies and respawns, saving him from
losing too much money.
zero-sum game. All money that's put into the game is paid
back out to the players. With one exception, the Kwari business model
is centered around selling ammunition to the players. We have a series
of weapons that are free in the game, but we sell the bullets. It's
basically the equivalent of a pay-to-play type of game. It's imperative
to understand that all of the money that's generated inside the game is
paid back to the players.
Aside from generally shooting one another, money is collected through
an "accumulator function," which consists series of traps and money
purchases that are made in the actual game. For instance, players have
to buy health for a small contribution and they may run through a door
that engulfs the players in flame, which costs the player a micro-fine,
perhaps one cent. Players can win that money back by shooting crates,
but you could also win bigger prizes as well. We have money that's paid
out every hour, day, week, month, and then we have a huge overarching
prize that could be well-over a million dollars because style="font-style: italic;">Kwari is a
global financial world.
Players can win these prizes by collecting a series of keys. For
example, to win our big prize a player might have to collect the
appropriate number of keys - in this case 500 or 1000 keys - because we
want a sufficient time delay so that our accumulators can generate.
Obviously this is regulated by the game's process and we have a tight
control over these type of events, but it's intentional that the
players fund these prizes through the technology in the game. It's a
compelling reason to keep playing the game, especially if you don't
necessarily hit the keys you need on a particular cash out prize.
style="font-style: italic;">Every hit you score
on a person will win you money.
The game consists of three settings: a dock, an industrial area, and an
orbital setting. One "game" consists of the four maps; one 16 player
map from each of the three themes and a fourth map that's a 64
player countdown map. A player can join this cycle at any time. You dont have to start from the beginning of the cycle. Players shot at each other to earn money, and it takes multiple shots to kill an opponent. Each map (except the countdown map) also includes
an event that we call "storming the pill." Basically the time limit for
each map that you play through is six minutes long, and the pill
appears four minutes into each map. The pill always spawns in the same
position. The pill is funded by the accumulator, so any player can try
to grab the pill when it forms. It's an actual object that players can
carry, and the location of the pill is given away by the music in the
game. There is no music in our play areas until the pill is formed, and
at that point in time the music actually emanates from the pill itself
and gets louder as you get closer to the pill. If a player gets shot
and killed while holding the pill, he drops the object and any other
player can run in and pick it up. The player who holds the pill at the
end of the six minutes wins 50% of the jackpot, while the player who
held it the longest gets the other 50%. If a player happens to have
both titles, he wins 100% of the money.
The countdown map functions a bit differently, it's really the climax of
each game. It's an elimination where 64 players involved are whittled
down to one. The rules are very different in the countdown. It's a huge
map. Try to think of a car tire; it's a huge circular map where the
players play around the outside. In the center of the map - like the
hole in your car wheel - is a vault, On the outside of the vault are
huge, unbreakable windows and sets of doors. Once they're shot enough and die a coin (which is real
money) goes into the vault. As another player is eliminated, another
coin goes into the vault and so on. Very quickly, you'll see money
appearing inside the vault for you to collect. However, the vault doors
stay closed until there are only eight players left, then they open up
and the remaining players run into the vault and grab the coins. So
unlike a "last man standing" sort of scenario, it's a grab while you
can sort of situation. You may not be the best shooter out there, but
you can still come away with the most money. The real prime objective
is to be in the last eight and be the person to grab the most coins out
of the vault.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Kwari Game Page.