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. 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.

  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. 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.


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