May 27th, 2005
|12:58 am - HOORAY FOR VIRTUAL MAGIC KINGDOM|
OH IT'S HERE IT'S HERE THE BETA OF DISNEY'S VIRTUAL MAGIC KINGDOM, THE PROGRAM AND GAME THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU REALLY ARE IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM HAVING FUN RUNNING AROUND EATING CHURROS, AVOIDING TRIPLE-WIDE STROLLERS, AND TAKING PICTURES OF BURNT-OUT LIGHTBULBS TO POST ON YOUR INTERWEB SITE DEDICATED TO POINTING OUT THE BURNT-OUT LIGHTBULBS
...only not really. For all the ways the letters M, M, O, R, P and G have been thrown around in conjunction with this project, it's really not. It's not a 3D world like Disney's ToonTown project (which is a brilliant turn-based 3D game, mind you, featuring excellent strategy, cute funny animal characters, a safe way to let kids yammer on in-game without running into anything uncouth yet letting the grown-ups cuss if they want to, and a wonderful look and feel, hampered only by lack of love from Disney Corporate.) It's more of an isometric sprite-based game along the lines of Puzzle Pirates or, dare I say, Habbo Hotel. And for the numbers they probably expect out of this project when it goes live, I'm not sure if the game world is gonna hold up.
But first things first. I was only able to play like 15 minutes tonight because the game closes at 1 AM Eastern. This is presumably the time they let their online babysitters ("Cast Members", natch) off work, and of course they can't run the thing 24/7 without adult supervision. I might get into trouble on the Jungle Cruise mini-game. The lands are single-loaded screens, each screen needing to be re-loaded every time you enter, and the focus on the game is more to earn credits (why not "Disney Dollars"? Or hell, even "whuffie"?) so you can buy furniture for your room and clothing and stuff. Apparently the big thing will be to play the mini-games with other folks and earn your credits, and also get codes when you visit the Real Live Parks and stuff. I dunno. It's cute but not very substantial in the beta.
I did, however, create a character.
You have many options, each one slowly-loading on my system, for your character's customization. I scrolled through a bunch of facial hair, out-of-place on a little kid character -- mustaches and little oye vato goatees -- until I got these bizarre eyebrows.
So I chose an appropriate name, which has to be approved by the Babysitters before everybody else sees it. The 'signature' quote is also beholden to the rules that only words approved by DVMK can be used in the game, so any word that's not on their whitelist can't be used. This means I couldn't say "I'm a good fella" here because both "fella" and, inexplicably enough, "good" had not been Approved. I didn't bother trying "I'm a raging bull" or "I'm a taxi driver from the mean streets of New York, where there are gangs."
I also got to choose a room of my own, which I conveniently neglected to take screenshots of. I could choose between a Frontierland Boot Hill thing, an Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party thing, a Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room thing, or a Undersea Nautilus thing. I chose the Undersea Nautilus thing. Then came time to name my room. "Underwater Lair" didn't work and neither did "Secret Lair" or Anything "Lair." "Captain's Quarters" was right out, as well as "Under Da Sea." Finally I banged on the keyboard and out came "Fancy Land" and what do you know, it worked.
So hi, I'm MartyScorc of Fancy Land. But only once my name gets approved. Until then, I'm Guest10328 of Fancy Land. Whatever.
I also played one or two rounds of the Jungle Cruise game, which had me navigate my little Jungle Cruise boat through several screens (not so slow to load, thankfully) with my arrow keys, and use the mouse to take "pictures" of the jungle critters who'd pop in and out. At the bottom there was a little Dr Livingston I Presume explorer who'd encourage me, but he sounded more Wilshire Boulevard than Equatorial Africa, oddly enough.
I also got to check out the shopping, with menus slowly loading each time I clicked on the shopkeepers. I found a pirate flag and put it in my room. Then the game said "OH NOS TIME FOR BED" and quit on me. Hrm.
I hope it's playable over the weekend, or else I shall have to reinstall City of Heroes and try my 5 free day promotional re-activation.
Let's get your pally up a few more levels in WoW instead, kk?