MMO News: Hello Kitty and Buffy

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From the plethora of new games announcements comes the recent news of two MMOs – Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Online and Hello Kitty Online

From SanrioDigital and Typhoon Games comes the childrens’ orientated world of Hello Kitty Online. The game allows you to create your own customisable character by tweaking their hair, hair accessories, facial features, clothes, shoes, and handheld items. You begin your adventures in the 3D-rendered land of Flower Kingdom where the game boasts a simple and easy to learn interface.

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As with most MMOs, it appears you will spend your time levelling up by fighting monsters in designated adventuring areas. There are, however, a range of other activities to occupy your times with, such as; mining, fruit-picking, farming, cooking, tailoring, carpentry, and masonry.

The game also boasts other features such as player housing, pets and the ability to meet popular Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Pochacco, and Badtz-Maru.

Hello Kitty Online has just moved into its’ “Founders Beta”, which players can sign up for here.

It was announced at the Virtual World’s Conference in Los Angeles earlier this month that Multiverse would be working on a new MMO project – Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, amidst news that one of their other projects from creator Joss Whedon would be “delayed”, the space cowboy MMO, Firefly.

In the announcement it was stated that; “‘Buffy’ exemplifies a new era of game design, allowing consumers to play it either as a fully immersive 3D environment or as a Flash-based 2D game.”

In an interview with massively.com, Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer and Marketing Director for Multiverse said,

“What we’re doing with the Buffy game then is releasing it in stages. It will first be a flash-based virtual world, with the full Multiverse server behind it. Instead of using our 3D worldbrowser to start off with, we’ll just be using a flash client. It’s a 133k download, it’s very small. It fetches UI and assets dynamically, so it’s a very quick and easy experience. This launches instantly and just streams the content to you, and it all comes from the Multiverse servers.

So it will start as a 2D flash-based MMO where you can go on missions and interact with other players. This will extend even once we have the 3D client working, where you can both interact with players using the other point of view. We’re going to have these shared spaces where 2D and 3D people can interact. All of this will come out in phases, with staged gameplay coming out. We’re sort of blazing a path with this concept, and we’re really interested in what this might mean for players of the two versions.

We’re planning to have content that can only be done by 2D players, and content that can only be done by 3D players. It’ll be really interesting to see what the response is, and it begs the question of what we can put in front of those players. The easy thing is to say that it will be more casual in the 2D version of the game and more deep/casual/rich in the 3D version. Odds are that will be a good descriptor for how this pans out. It’ll be interesting to see, we’re really looking forward to the design challenge on this. How to make it really make sense.”

The full interview can be found here.

So it certainly seems to be a break from the MMO norm. Whether this will be a good or a bad thing, only time will tell.