On October 20th I’ll be participating in the Extra-Life Marathon, in my case for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. That means 24 hours of playing video games, and just to make it more interesting I’ve pledged to stream it all live on Twitch.tv and occasionally turn on my webcam so everyone can see the exact moment when I go crazy.
Donators are welcome to suggest games for me to play. Suggestions so far include Amnesia, Hello Kitty Island Adventure, and “that one tournament jousting quest in WoW”. My donators are jerks, and if you’re able I hope you’ll consider joining them. Be mean to Liore… for the kids! :)
There’s been a lot of talk lately of “enjoying the journey” in MMOs and spending time in a virtual world just wandering about and doing what feels right. So when I got an email yesterday from Tiny Speck’s Glitch reminding me of all the changes they’ve made in the game lately, I figured it was a sign and I should go check it out again.
I haven’t logged into Glitch in a year and in that time the game launched, unlaunched back into beta, and I believe they’re now getting ready to launch again. Glitch is, at its heart, a game about exploring, crafting, and selling. In the past I’ve jokingly described it as “EvE without the PvP” and to a certain extent it’s true. The world may be rendered in the style of a 2D platformer, but you never know what will be waiting for you on the next street, from jumping puzzles to a weird type of tree to a sloth.
A lot has changed in the last year. Players no longer own a specific address for their house but instead are each assigned a plot with an extendable yard. There’s furniture in the game now, and you can customize your house, yard, and a whole lot more. There are a myriad of new quests and events in the game that one can randomly stumble across, including a really neat homage to LIMBO and some tricky logic puzzles. A new mobile app lets players queue up skills to learn (offline, as with EvE) and see what friends are up to.
I would argue that house decorating, questing, and exploration are secondary to Glitch’s main emphasis, though, which is crafting and playing the market. I could fuss over building a second level on my house, but my time is better spent tending to a yard of spice trees which with some water and TLC will provide “Allspice” which I can grind into almost any spice which I can then use to make sauces which I can then combine with meat to make a high-end foodstuff that I can eat if I need to or sell on the marketplace (auction house).
I personally specialize in cooking and animal husbandry (soon my yard will be stocked with piggies, chickens, and butterflies, as well as trees and crops), but others are experts in potionmaking, herbalism, metalworking, and more. It’s definitely a case of do what feels fun.
Add in with all this a truly stellar player community. The Glitch public channels are full of friendly chatting and people offering help, and unlike certain other modern MMOs there is a great deal of emphasis from both the game design and the players on community, knowing your neighbours, and interacting. Players are encouraged to visit the houses of others and help tend their yards, and there are frequent collective efforts to replant trees or otherwise look after the world. Often the first thing I do in a game is turn off General Chat, but with Glitch I recommend that one of the first things you do is turn it on!
Glitch is free to play, although many of the customization options are only available with one of their subscriptions which start at $5 a month. It is not hardcore, and to be fair it’s probably not the kind of game that you’d play every day, but if you’re looking for a game that you can play with little time commitment and that rewards exploration, customization, crafting, and socializing Glitch is totally worth checking out.