Vintage RTS Games

Recently, the 3rd installment in the RTS game that has taken the whole world for its playground has been released. Command and Conquer 3 is now available commercially, and I would love to try it have my laptop been able to. Unfortunately, beloved as it may be, my laptop’s pretty ancient. I’ve had it for the past two years, and that converts to 27 in gadget years.

But, I was in the mood for global domination, so I installed two ancient RTS titles on my laptop last week. One of them’s The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth and the other’s Emperor: Battle for Dune.

Now, as great series, nay, stalwarts, in the genre of fantastic fiction, I love both Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and Herbert’s Arrakis. However, I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed with the two games, and I was trying to look beyond the graphics.

I love the veterancy system in LOTR: BFME. Sortof gives you a sense of continuity. I feel constrained, though, with its limited space for building infrastructure. The hero system’s cool in the sense that you can play the awesome LOTR characters from the book, but unlike the heroes in Warcraft III, you can’t really trust them to lead your troops all by themselves.  I think I’ll give this another try by playing LOTR: BFME 2, its sequel.

Emperor: Battle for Dune is disappointing. I’ve searched for this game for a long time, and it’s not available anymore in our friendly, neighborhood digital pirates. No one’s sharing this via torrents, too. I got lucky one time, and saw a torrent of it somewhere, but then, it took me MONTHS to finish downloading. Which just goes to show how many people have it.

For a rabid fanboi of Dune and RTS games, this is a big let down. The controls are wonky, the units aren’t that awesome, the maps are dull (well, the author made the desert planet of Arrakis seem hauntingly beautiful and terrifying, so why couldn’t the developers take a page from that book?), and the AI is annoying. The AI’s strategy seems to be Send Them As Soon As We Made Them, so, while you’re trying to build your base, the AI’s units just kept coming and coming, and as long as you have a defensive structure or a counter-unit waiting nearby, you’re well and good.

Anyway, I might remove these two games from my system sometime soon, and look for other vintage titles to try out. Or, maybe, I should just tear myself away from playing games, and get some actual work done. Yeah, that can do.


One Life Left

OMG. This is too good to let pass. Check out this really cool radio programs for gamers.

One Life Left – Britain’s Favorite Video Game Show. We’ll, Only Video Game Show.

the publicly-acclaimed programme uses videogames as a starting point for discussion, debate and pretty awful puns, and mixes videogame music with specially recorded mini-features from the OLL cast of secret games industry contributors.

Check it out, guys!

GONG! – casual mmo sports game craze sweeping over the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia

SiegeMalvar on GONG! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting here as often as I would like to, but see, I’ve been busy making these silly animated .gifs of my character in GONG!.

Hahaha. This has gotta be beyond vain. Before I started working for a games publishing company, I’ve been a big camwhore. Now, I’m getting obsessed even with my in-game personas! Hahaha…

If you’re playing GONG!, then you probably have seen my official GONG! character: SiegeMalvar. See, this is where my master’s degree in creative writing pays off; I came up with SiegeMalvar as my character’s name in GONG!.

Anyway, what we have here is my character doing some basic missions in Mission mode. Doing missions in GONG! actually helps you get as much as 5 stars in 15 minutes. 5 Full Stars can get you equipped from head to toe. Any GONG! newbies should seriously consider doing all the missions first before playing in actual matches. That’s if you are serious with GONG!. If you’re gonna take the game casually, then, by all means, GONG! for it and start challenging other players on the field.

More Job Opportunities in the Gaming Industry



Hello, everyone! As continues to grow bigger, better, and bolder this year, we are currently looking for people to fill the following positions:



For the Job Description and Qualifications of these positions, click on the link below:

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Soccer Mania!!!

As we draw nearer to our Open Beta stage for GONG!, everyone hear in the office is starting to get more and more excited. Which is why I’m sharing these awesome videos for you guys to enjoy as we all get in the mood. (First one’s a must see, then there’s more after the jump. Click the link to see ’em)

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Do You ForPlay?

Oooh. I just got news that the new issue of ForPlay magazine is coming out very, very soon.

See, this issue is very special for me. When I started working here in dme/mobiusgames, coming up with the this issue of ForPlay was one of my first duties. This includes, editing the players’ submissions, and generating content. And this was while we were doing Pwn Intended.

I guess I learned a lot about mobiusgames/dme as an organic system while coming up with this issue of ForPlay. I remember bothering everyone in their stations, asking them questions, taking notes of their stories, and processing those information into ideas, and eventually, into stories for the magazine.

One section that we decided not to include in this issue of ForPlay is a section I like to think of as “From the Files of the GSS“. It’s a section where I sensationalize the calls and stories that our games support services (hardworking lot, bless ’em) are subjected to on a daily basis. I want to patter it after the old program on tv called “Calvento Files” (no apologies for the old school reference; hahaha), which I think was a superb police beat show on primetime until its executive producer and host, Tony Calvento, got gunned down in a taxi cab.

Anyway, this issue of ForPlay magazine is an amazing collection of interesting stories and features. We made sure of that. This is a totally different, high-quality online gaming magazine that comes for free courtesy of I don’t want to be using my name around for clout, but come on, while our competitors’ community communiques are written by hacks armed with their online thesauruses, ForPlay is distinctly maintained and managed with the highest of standards, and expertise. Our publisher and marketing director knows magazines; he single-handedly brought several local showbiz and lifestyle magazines to their current prominence, and he’s using all of his experience and expertise in assuring you that ForPlay Magazine is the BEST ONLINE MAGAZINE READING EXPERIENCE you can imagine.

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Going… going… GONG!

Hello, everyone. I just want to share with you this piece I wrote months ago. Enjoy!


Last Saturday, I was invited to join a group of beta testers to try out this unreleased online casual game called GONG. Yes, I know, it was a Saturday night. But it’s a chance to play a game BEFORE it got out in the market. THAT, and they promised pizza. You know me. I’ll drop my pants for food. Kidding. I don’t do that. Not anymore, no.

Anyway, before we all get sidetracked, mobiusgames, publisher of this MMO game I’m really into now–Rakion— scheduled the beta testing for 5 to 7 in the evening. We were all ushered in into their area. Well, I was ushered in, having been one of the last beta testers to arrive.  It was my first time to sit as beta tester, and I was unfamiliar with the whole procedure. We had to answer a survey before, and after playing the game.

GONG, it turns out, is this really cute casual game where soccer matches are played in various fields. There’s a mode that lets one play on the streets of Brazil, and China. Oh, matches can be played in standard soccer fields too, but that’s about the only thing standard with this game. It’s soccer, but it’s… crazy. My Korean buddy Mhin introduced me to this PS2 soccer game called Winning Eleven (it’s to soccer what Fight Night is to boxing. Note to self: You are NOT going to be a soccer star in the near conceivable future.

Playing GONG isn’t as demanding as playing soccer. In GONG, there are two teams, and you run around the field stealing the ball from each other, and kicking the ball into the goal-that’s basically all the resemblance it has to soccer. I later found out GONG stands for “Goal Or No Goal” (and not “Gay or Not Gay”, a betting game my friend Caz and I play when our friend M brings along her boy of the moment).

GONG is like how a kid would have imagined soccer to be. All play, and no sweat. And that’s what makes it so much fun! First, you choose an avatar-each kid from the bleacher where you will choose your avatar has his or her own backstory, likes and dislikes, and strong points. Don’t worry too much on how your avatar initially looks like coz the item shop will eventually allow you to change your hair, your clothes, etc.

Oh, yeah, about that. In GONG, after you’ve earned enough credit from playing matches, you get to shop! The clothes are really spunky and cute. Having a beta tester account, I got access to the maximum amount of in-game gold used to buy stars which can then be used to purchase skills, clothes, luxury items, and play the lottery.

I abused the generosity granted to my beta tester account by buying tons of luxury items. First, I indulged in a complete Mole suit set which makes my character looked like-take a guess, anyone?-a mole. BTW, items get random bonus stats, which makes it more interesting, I think. So there I was, running around the field in my Mole suit, and I wondered why I couldn’t do the same in real life.

The actual mechanics of the soccer matches remind of the game Calvin and Hobbes from the comic strip play. You know, that one where they play this game and the rule is that they get to make a new rule every time a new rule takes in effect? It’s like that. Running around the field (or the street, or Brazil even!), you pick up gift boxes from where you get to stock up on strategies to distract your opponents with. There’s one where you call on your dog to chase the other players, or you call their mother to stop them from playing, and there’s one where you freeze them in a block of ice. The simplest one involves putting a banana peel on the floor-you just have to be careful coz you can slip on them on your way back, too.

During the beta testing, everyone was really into the game. I didn’t know anybody there, so I kept shifting teams, but most of them, who came with their buddies, were all standing in their seats, cheering, and jeering, each other. It’s like DotA, except your character doesn’t throw enormous balls of concentrated mana against blind, horned creatures that spin all over the place holding a sword. It’s actually better coz in GONG, you get to be a kid who pushes other kids in front of racing cars, and then you get to call their moms to stop them from playing. It gets really intense.

The matches are really short and fast paced, like, around ten minutes or so (and that’s divided into halves). Because of the time limit, the competition can get really, really, intense. Think Counterstrike when it first came out. I think there’s going to be a lot of high school kids who’re gonna skip lunch just so they can bet their milk money on GONG matches.

I guess it’s a pretty big prediction to make, that GONG is going to be a classic Pinoy multiplayer favorite along with Counterstrike and DotA. Maybe even bigger. Counterstrike and DotA are played on local area networks, while GONG is going to be played online. Better yet, GONG’s being launched simultaneously in the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia! Imagine all the intensity and all the highly-charged energy of internet cafés filled with pimply kids going against teams from Singapore and teams from Malaysia! Now that’s INTENSE.

Funny thing is, GONG is actually a casual game for all its intensity. Unlike MMORPGs where you sit all night hacking and slashing monsters to satisfy some Freudian need to wield around big two-handed swords, GONG is cute, wacky and casual. Play it whenever you want it, no pressure to commit yourself. But I bet you can’t stay for just one match. I suggest setting an alarm on your watch so you’ll know you’ve played long enough. One match will lead to another, and another, and another, until you realize you’ve played enough to afford a mole suit. And after that, you’d start setting your eye on that Hooded Sweater, and then another Hooded Sweater, but in a different color, and then on that new soccer ensemble. After all, who’s stopping you from having an entire walk-in closet full of Gong outfits?


Related GONG! Article: Mugenblue writes about his GONG! Experience.