For those readers that have been with us since the beginning of the magazine, or have followed my twitter feed, they will know that as well as lead reviewer here at Thirteen1, I am also one of the senior developers for the mafia webgame, Omerta.
Over my years there, I have worked on many features and enhancements for the game, but recently we made the choice to change things up a little. We reopened a separate version of the game called ‘Deathmatch’. We had run this version in the past as a faster version of the main game, but it had been offline for a while after the launch of version 3.
When we decided it was to return, I took the opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do while developing for Omerta. I had always been interested in getting my hand on the design side of games development, but because some of my ideas were controversial, it would have been wrong to do it in the main games.
Deathmatch was different. And it’s for that reason that I am now running it.
Over the coming months, using my years of MMO gaming as a base, I will be working on designing and implementing some of the ideas I have had to the game. Obviously I won’t just be doing these blind, and all the ideas will be discussed with people that know the game inside out – the players themselves.
One example addition, which we’ve already tried in the game, was the running of random server events. These have taken the form of weekend long changes to the gameplay, from triple experience points, to more profit from certain features ,and even trying to make killing other players more attractive. We learnt from trying this that the players enjoy these random events, but some of the events didn’t work as well as others.
So from here on in, I will be doing this monthly feature in Thirteen1, talking about what I am working on for the game, anything I learn about the design side of development, and recounting any successes or failures.