When I was a kid, I played Dungeons and Dragons. A lot. Upon reading all the RPG magazines of the day (Dragon Magazine was by far my favorite) I would notice a pattern in the types of ads that were strewn across the back half of the periodical. Of course there were advertisements for off-the-wall role-playing games that no one has ever heard of, discount figurines and paints, but there was one that I couldn’t quite figure out… the play by mail game.
The play-by-mail scheme worked like this. You send in some money somewhere to subscribe to a particular game, and you mail in your character’s turn. The virtual Dungeon Master would respond by mail with the results, and you would mail in another turn. Some games would allow you to play a fee, and you had unlimited turns, but the majority of these games were pay-by-the-turn, and usually cost between $1 to $2 per turn. This was in the eighties, so everything was handled with regular good ol’ U.S. Postal Service, so a week or so would pass between turns. Not only could you play D&D, but CyberPunk, Middle Earth, and even Chess.
I never subscribed to any of these, but I figured that someone out there was, because there were so many ads for this type of game. This type of game would never work today, but what if everything were handled by email? What if there were a web portal where you could login, check your “game mail”, place your turn, and check the next day to see the results of your move? Wizards of the Coast is working on just such a game, called “The Goblin Game”.
Buoyed by the success of Magic Online, Wizards of the Coast is preparing to expand its foray into multiplayer digial gaming by offering a new web-based game. At last year’s PAX, representatives from Wizards of the Coast R&D offered a sneak peek at a new game code-named: “The Goblin Game.” Currently in internal testing, a public beta test of “The Goblin Game” is slated for later this year and will allow gamers from all over the world to try it out.
If anyone can pull this off, Wizards of the Coast can. They invented Magic the Gathering series, and have created a successful online portal for fans of the card battle game. A worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop role-playing game categories, Wizards of the Coast is continually striving to develop new and exciting challenges for game enthusiasts. “The Goblin Game” provides an exciting, online game environment while building on popular elements of strategy, fantasy and community present in current Wizards of the Coast products. Allowing for anywhere from 10 to 100 players at a time, “The Goblin Game” challenges each participant to grow their goblin tribe, join a powerful goblin faction, and ultimately win the game. Players can manage their goblins daily, uncovering new developments and give new direction to their tribe in this rapidly changing, often surprising environment. A typical game will last about 2 to 3 months with players crafting one strategic turn per day.