At the very end of every December we gather together to usher in a
brand new year with champagne, noisemakers, fireworks and, if we're
lucky, the traditional New Year's kiss. While the turn of the year may
represent nothing more than a shiny new calendar and a different set of
numbers to write on our checks (that is, if we used checks these days),
there's still something about the clean slate before us that seems
worth celebrating. The new year offers a time to reflect on what went
wrong with the old one, and to set things right where we can, or chalk
our experiences up to lessons learned when we can't. And so we make
promises to ourselves--we resolve to do things differently. We promise
to quit smoking, eath healthier, exercise more, or save more money.
Studies show that few resolutions survive past January 31. Of course,
perhaps that's because we resolve to do things that we think we should
do, but maybe not things that we're passionate about doing.
a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, has
tracked 700 people who made New Years resolutions. Only
managed to stick to what they had resolved. In his recently released
book, 59 Seconds, Wiseman sets out the href="http://59seconds.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/how-to-keep-your-new-years-resolution/">things
people can do to make success more likely. For starters, he
advises us to tell others about our resolutions--the pressure to
succeed makes us more likely to keep them. He also suggests that we
should avoid going with the crowd and making the usual resolutions
(that famous "lose 10 pounds") and, instead, make resolutions that
deeply matter to us.
In that spirit, we asked some of our developer friends and Ten Ton
Hammer staff members to share their personal resolutions as MMOG
developers, gamers and writers. Some of them are clever or funny,
others are sincere, but all of them give us food for thought as we
ponder what 2010 will bring to the gaming world. Read on!
Our friend Bill Roper, Executive Producer of href="http://tentonhammer.com/co">Champions Online,
has one simple resolution in mind--to play more games. Of course, that
simple promise may involve some serious multitasking.
from the superhero MMOG Champions Online
"This year, I resolve to play more games. Now, thats saying a lot
because I play a ton of games on PC, console, and
on tabletops. But
there are just so many games across so many genres, I feel that I need
to step it up to stay current. I know this means a level of sacrifice
on my part. Ill be spending less time watching DVDs, or hanging out at
the local watering hole. But I figure that I can also improve my
multitasking abilities in 2010.
"So this year Ill be combining my gaming, drinking, and movie watching
into meta-events. I foresee adult beverage-fueled raids while
watching District 9. I predict massive Madden
10 upsets while enjoying a
frosty brew with The Blind Side playing on
a second TV. Oh, this year
Im going to do it all, and Ill be the more complete gamer for it."
- Bill Roper, Executive Producer
The fine crew at Quest Online, developers of the
fantasy-based MMOG href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1841">Alganon,
took a much more practical (and collaborative) approach. We'll be
looking forward to seeing them deliver!
1) Fix all of the bugs affecting gameplay with focus on Connection,
Crash, and Quest Issues.
scene in Alganon.
2) Refine and expand the game focusing on the enhancement of the
Starter experience and Lore integration.
3) Increase the visibility of Alganon among all gamers.
- David Allen, Quest Online
President & Co-founder
4) Expand the lore of Alganon to include our players as key figures in
- Hue Henry, Alganon Director of
5) Continue working with our community members to strengthen and grow
the best new MMORPG community around.
- Jim "Tork" Younkin, Alganon
Community Manager and Evangelist
38 Studios deliver in 2010? We can't wait to find out.
As yet, we haven't heard much from
Studios, the development studio founded by Todd McFarlane,
Bob Salvatore, and Curt Schilling. And yet their project, codenamed
Copernicus, stayed on the periphery and held our interest throughout
2009. What will 2010 bring for 38 Studios? It's difficult to predict.
But CEO Curt Schilling had plenty to say about building a great team.
"My New Years resolution is to insure that at the end of 2010 38
Studios is more transparent and more engaged in providing a lifelong
home for employees wishing and wanting to remain with one company. You
dont build great teams, great companies by changing team composition
on a monthly or yearly basis.
"Providing a stable and consistent culture is one piece, along with
benefits and compensation that is the show dont tell part of
investing in your people I want this company to provide an awesome
place to live and work now, but also to present endless possibilities
for career advancement to anyone wishing to push themselves and their
work to levels other companies dont offer.
"I think we can do that by tapping into the immense potential the
education environment the New England area presents for current and
future members of 38 Studios. From MIT, to Harvard, to RISD and beyond
there are endless possibilities to live, learn and grow in this
industry, right here at home and I think that providing our people
avenues to explore those options while remaining a part of this company
will result in the ultimate win/win for the people, and the company."
- Curt Schilling, CEO/Founder
There's more from Runes
of Magic, Fallen Earth, CCP, Sleepy Giant, and the Ten Ton Hammer team.
Runes of Magic
of Magic is undoubtedly a free-to-play MMOG favorite among
the staff and community members here at Ten Ton Hammer.
Runewakers, developers of RoM, offered up a practical and ambitious
resolution. (But who will free them from their cubicles?)
"In 2010, Runes of Magic will be in over 20 countries and in 16
languages on an even higher level of quality. That means we need larger
teams to push out more high quality content at an even faster pace.
Looks like we will have to lock everyone to their cubicles. Bring on
- John & Tony Tang, Runewakers
Giant is dedicated to running persistent online games and their
MMOGs are nothing without community, and operating online
games and their communities is what href="http://sleepygiant.com">Sleepy Giant Entertainment
is all about. Their clients include Vogster, developers of CrimeCraft.
"With so many developers offering all these great resolutions I thought
you might like to hear from the operations and community side as
well. After all, we have the distinct honor of seeing that
many of these developer resolutions are, well managed. So, here are
the resolutions for Sleepy Giant in the New Year:
- Faster interwebs in the SG bunker. Being near the
nice, but the poor connection makes us prime AWP fodder.
- Better marketing. We are a pretty honest group of
here, so marketing ourselves has always been a problem (no offense,
marketing people!) Too many studios dont know we
exist. That really seems like something we should take care
of if we want to work with more studios.
- Always be thankful. With a lot of friends out of
resolve to be thankful for family, friends, health, employment, above
average monetization rates, solid QA, and servers that dont crash at
- And finally, we resolve to spend a little more time seeing
other teams are doing. 2009 was spent with nose to
grindstone. This upcoming year well be more active as
Those seem achievable, dont they?"
- Matthew Hannus, CEO, Sleepy Giant
"Chuck One" McCoy
The folks at
Earth collaborated on some New
Year's promiseswith a healthy dose of humor. A good sense of
humor always bodes well for a healthy and doable resolution, don't you
"I am of semi-sound mind and pudgy body. I therefore resolve to work on
both of those facts in the New Year. Away with Mountain Dew
and the super energy drink of the week. I will have a nice
soothing tea instead, and enjoy the fact that I don't have enough
caffeine in me to count as a combat drug. I will exercise muscles
besides the fingers involved in typing and mouse use. I will,
in fact, go for walks without the internet for a while.
"I will sleep the sleep of the just and try to stop dreaming in
1280x800. I will not contemplate forum posts to the point of
distraction. I will seek my calm center and not obsesses over the state
of my crafting queue, the bug list, or the state of my beard.
I will leave the Dark Cave of QA testing and see the sun once in a
while. I understand it is a bright ball of fire in the sky
and warms the soul as well as the skin. Wont that be
nice? These things I resolve and hope everyone else
has a wonderful year."
- Jeremiah "Chuck One" McCoy,
"I resolve to stop laughing maniacally at players who lose all their
chips in our casinos, even though the pain I have caused fills me with
- Michael Bacigalupo, scripter
"In 2010, I'm going to have to get my primary Fallen Earth character
of the Casino in New Flagstaff. I know that having drains out of the
economy are good for the game, but they don't have to come directly
from my character's pocketbook. He needs to get out, get some fresh
air, and start digging through the garbage.
"I also need to refine my pitch for that epic storyline featuring the
talking Prairie Chicken. This year they'll say yes. I just know it."
- James Lowe, content
5: Go to work on time.
4: Find time to play more games.
3: Quit smoking so much.
2: Graduate College.
1: Make sure not to delete the Fallen Earth Facebook page again
- Sombat Southivorarat, intern for Fallen Earth
angel in Spandex.
CCP (EVE Online, Dust 514)
CCP, developers of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve">EVE
Online, rarely fail to inject a little humor into many of
the things they do. Executive Producer Nathan Richardsson's simple, yet
eloquent, resolution left us stunned and amazed. Now we're wondering
whether CCP's next game will be an angel-themed superhero MMOG that
combines elements of Aion
and Champions Online.
(No, not really.)
Anhow, preach it, Nathan!
"Less beer, more Spandex."
- Nathan "CCP Oveur" Richardsson, Executive
We've got still more New Year's Resolutions from the Ten Ton Hammer team. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/78979/page/3">Check
alt="New Year's Resolution Banner"
And finally, we conclude with some New Year's resolutions from the
staff at Ten Ton Hammer. We're looking forward to an exciting year of
gaming and community, and we hope you'll come along with us as we cover
all the top MMOG titles (hundreds of them) and the biggest launches of
the coming decade.
"I resolve to actually play through to the end game. In
"See, a sad fact of people like us who cover games for a living--you
have to play them all, or how can you really comment with authority on
any of them? Add to that a family, a second job (ok, it's the
primary job, but I'm getting out of the army for good this year; that's
a separate resolution, heh) and you pretty much eat up a lot of your
free time. Thus, some of us who can't focus exclusively on
one or two titles get left in the lurch. We're a Jack of All
Trades, or Classes, Master of None. Not only does it
keep me largely unavailable (and unwanted!) for raiding, but in a lot
of cases it can keep me from hitting the freakin' level cap in the
first place. Add to that Boomjack's penchant for moving
servers every two weeks, and I end up with a hundred Lvl 50-somethings
spread out all over the Seventh Level of Hell's creation.
"I resolve to endgame an MMO. With or without Boomjack nearby
holding my hand.
"I also resolve to get over my CareBearishness and relearn PvP
Online has really given me a thirst for blood.
Well, not really the blood...it's the tears. Delicious,
delectable pubby tears. I will have them."
- Phil Comeau, Business Development
playin' around on me, you dawg? HUH?!"
"Last year I vowed (unsuccessfully I might add) to be MMOnogamous and
play nothing but WoW. Failing that, I am ready for a new resolution
this year! I vow and resolve to play every bleepin' pay-to-play MMO on
the market at some point this year. I will go back and reactivate old
accounts, I will try all of the new releases. Yes, I will go back to my
MMO-philandering ways. I know what you're saying: "There is no way he
can keep up that kind of pace, he'll surely drop dead of exhaustion."
Well I'm here for you people, and this is my weight to bear. I alone
must carry it. Wish me luck.
"Additionally, I'll resolve to do one of the following:
- Eat more vegetables
- Work out
- Be more patient with the jackholes of the world
- Get a gear score above 5K
"I'll let you pick which of those become reality."
- Jay "Medeor" Johnson, Contributing Writer
"One of the many potential pitfalls of working in games media is that
it becomes so ingrained in your system to critically analyze games as
you're playing that it can be difficult to simply log in for the
entertainment value alone, regardless of the specific title involved.
It's like you reach this point where an invisible switch flips in your
head and you stop seeing cool particle effects and digging on the
awesome flow of combat and start analyzing the design philosophy behind
the minimap being placed on the left or the right hand side of the
screen, or whether the inclusion of weather effects was a wise decision
if it increases the latency on low end machines.
"That said, one of my goals for this year is to remind myself of what
attracted me specifically to MMOGs in the first place. In other words,
taking the time to log in to a favorite game simply for the sake of
being social and having a blast with a close group of online friends
and reminding myself how awesome these games are when taken purely as a
form of entertainment. That's not to say I never play them that way
anymore, but more so that I could definitely stand to do so more often.
"My other resolution is to successfully campaign to see sock slots
added as a core equipment slot in all future MMOGs, regardless of
genre. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm really not!"
- Reuben "Sardu" Waters, Managing Editor, Community
"Each year people around the country decide it's time for a change--a
change in hairstyle, a change in habits, or a change in [insert X fad of
pen-and-paper thing not work out, there's always Dungeons &
the year here]. Some are successful. Some aren't. Others really, really
aren't and end up worse than they were the year before. In light of
this, I've decided it's time for me to make a change in my life, too.
"Believe it or not, writing about online games means you spend a lot of
time playing them. It also means that while Joe Schmuckatellie can hop
on his character and progress, we sometimes need to play the same
content over and over and over and...well, you get the picture. For me,
it means that I spend to much time playing online games. In light of
this revelation, I've decided to take drastic action and make a change.
This year, instead of spending all my time playing games online, I'm
going to do the responsible thing and cut back.
"I'm sure I'll need to find something to fill the empty void in my
heart so I don't die. I could fill it by spending more time with my
wife, playing with the dog, or picking up some new coding skills.
Should I? Probably. But I won't. You see, thanks to my resolution last
year to quit spending all my time playing pen-and-paper games (Dungeons
& Dragons), I've noticed that I never take any
time to play it. So this year, my New Year's resolution is to curb my
online gaming addiction and get another pen and paper Dungeons
& Dragons campaign going.
"I mean, seriously...how else am I suppose to find balance?"
- Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell, Contributing Writer
"This New Year I resolve to do nothing at all about a New Year's
resolution, mostly because of how happy I am with how things are going
in my WoW experience. I resolve this because I am so happy that I would
only ruin my happiness with the game by creating constraints and
additional goals. As such, I feel that the general relief from the lack
of a New Year's resolution provides me with additional stress relief to
go forth and slay more dragons, farm more purps, and horde more
gold...not that I'm not already riding around on dragons while slaying
other dragons while dragging along massive sacks of gold and laughing
manically. Perhaps a good resolution would be to buy a giant murloc
outfit for my dragon so it was a flying murloc dragon of doom and
- David "Xerin" Piner, Community Manager, href="http://tentonhammer.com/wow">World of Warcraft
What do you resolve to do in order to make the most out of your gaming
experience in 2010? Share your own New Year's Resolutions in our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=48864">forum.