Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Dwarfins - a community building breedable game

This week-end the game developers team Simul8 Studios has released a new community building game:"The Dwarfins". The game is based on the concept of SL breedables.

So far I haven't possessed a breedable in SL. But I was a proud owner of a tamagotchi twenty years ago and I liked the game concept a lot. The player had to take care of her/his virtual pet which could even be trained.  The creature went through different stages of growth, and it developed differently depending on the care the player provided. Better care resulted in an adult creature that was smarter, happier, and required less attention.

At the Dwarfins sim

The original SL game concept of breedables is very much in line with the tamagotchi game mechanics. There has however been an exciting enhancement by enabling creatures to have offspring. Based on mendelian genetics, traits from mothers and fathers is passed down to the children based on a reproducible rule set. Some children might even have rare or unique traits.

So far the concept of inheritable characteristics has been used for the visual nature of the breedables and for individual skills. For the Dwarfins the traits include skins, eyes, hair, different articles of clothing and last but not least weapons. Simul8 Studios added a new dimension to the gaming concept by adding community features to their breedable Dwarfins. Players are promised to fashion their own game play and hone their own skills by choosing the individual paths that their Dwarfins should take.

Existing and announced Dwarfins' skills

Accordingly the player has the choice to invest the Dwarfins energy into breeding or mining. The Dwarfins webite gives an introduction to the consequences by the choices of the players:
By choosing either "Mine" or "Read" the player can send the Dwarfin to practice mining or send them to study the craft of Dwarfin creation. Choosing "Mine" will add a small amount to the Dwarfin's mining abilities and they may just dig up something that either further increases their mining abilities or gives some other bonus (or it might just be an old boot). As well, choosing "Read" will advance their knowledge by a small amount. As Dwarfin's improve their mining and knowledge levels they increase their skill levels and may be able to create Dwarfins with unique traits. 
Additional Dwarfins skills are announced for the future: Gardening, Fishing, Hunting, and Fighting. I am especially curious to see how the fighting will effect the Dwarfin culture.

The Dwarfins game idea reminds me a lot of micro-management games with the objective to build and maintain a complex society system, such as Civilization, Caesar III, The Settlers, or Dawn of Discovery. The real time strategy elements of these games have fascinated generations of players. Dwarfins promises to bring the spirit of these games to Second Life.

Fantasy Dwarven Community Building Game

The game doesn't stop along the path to foster the Dwarfins' skills and knowledge. The Dwarfins will also find gold. The player has to decide when is the best moment to turn a Dwarfin in for a bonus that can be used in the Dwarfins' store. 

You should definitely check the game out. The Dwarfins are taking breedable games to a whole new level, giving experienced breeders a new challenge and newcomers an incentive to step in. I am looking forward to see how the Dwarfins create their own community, village or even a kingdom around themselves.

You can visit the Dwarfins at their own sim or at the RFL Xmas Expo 2. If you want to publish your personal experiences with Dwarfins on this blog, let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Dwarfageddon
    It's real
    Game Over
    *heavy sighs*
    Please keep this online for the communities...