August 27, 2010

Poisonville, beta bites

Play­boy is a brand rec­og­nized all over the world for its glam­ourous mag­a­zine and fash­ion prod­ucts. How­ev­er, they have start­ed a new gam­ing label, which is at least a step toward a younger demo­graph­ic. Their first game is now in the open beta test­ing phase and I’d say it’s far from being ready for this stage of devel­op­ment. They call it Poi­sonville which isn’t much of an imag­i­na­tive title for a game like this. In my opin­ion, there are already too many games that look and feel just like this already on the mar­ket. It’s an MMO where you play a man who just escaped from jail.
There are a num­ber of prob­lems with this game start­ing with the graph­ics. On high set­tings you at least have a decent look for the envi­ron­ment but this is pop up brows­er game so it does­n’t have the back­ing of a prop­er­ly built client, and with this much going on visu­al­ly, a client is need­ed. But, most peo­ple don’t want to down­load a client, so you run into a pick­le.  Not only are the graph­ics lack­ing, there is a large amount of clip­ping that lets you walk through much of the items in your envi­ron­ment.
Game­play is based on gang activ­i­ty and com­plet­ing objec­tives, like all the oth­er MMOs of its kind. Hav­ing all these oth­er peo­ple in the game though ends up get­ting you killed on your first mis­sion before you can even get to the objec­tive. As more play­ers show up, this will get worse. I recommed they close down the beta and do anoth­er month or two on devel­op­ing the look and feel before release of an open beta. Also, maybe equip new play­ers with a bet­ter weapon so they don’t get han­dled by the old­er play­ers once they start. But, I’m not on the dev team so I can’t make these deci­sions. I under­stand the desire to get the game out and show the world, but don’t show a half-assed ver­sion of the final prod­uct for a beta, it’s sup­posed to invite new play­ers, not turn them away.
I would­n’t sug­gest wast­ing your time on it but if you’d like to give it a try, we’d love to hear your com­ments. To Play­boy, stick to what you know, or bring in some knowl­edge­able alpha testers before releas­ing it to open beta. I would­n’t be proud of this as a project man­ag­er.


  1. thsoundman - August 28, 2010 10:37 am

    It’s sad that there are such a glut­tony of the “same game” out there today. There are some many games that fol­low the exact same for­mu­la as their predaces­sor and while this isn’t always bad if it’s exe­cut­ed well it rarely is. I’ve seen a num­ber of games that just flat failed at their attempt to do some­thing new or even the same. Turn­ing Point: Fall of Lib­er­ty was a prime exam­ple.

  2. AceOfNades69 - August 29, 2010 1:03 am

    Its usu­al­ly like the first cou­ple of the “same type” games are a suc­cess then after than it’s all garbage.

  3. Tigershark - August 29, 2010 2:37 am

    Def­i­nite­ly, the Grand Theft Auto series was a break­out, ground­break­ing, suc­cess. Games that build on this and add new twists are great too. The GTA series has had so many titles they were able to cov­er so many things in-house. How­ev­er, MMOs are becom­ing a cook­ie cut­ter for new games that change the maps and mis­sions. Maps, Missions…Ok. The orig­i­nal MMOs that pre­ced­ed Poi­sonville look even bet­ter in com­par­i­son to com­pared to this. And I thought Play­boy prod­ucts were sup­posed to look good. Like I said, hold on to it until it looks pre­sentable, closed beta, maybe, but open beta should be a release wor­thy game.


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