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.