Retraction, or, maybe, clarification

When I said in my last post that I wouldn't be surprised if ngmoco:) ended We Rule, I realized I used a phrase that may mean more (or less) than I intended. It takes a lot to surprise me. What it takes to surprise me could easily give someone else a heart attack. When I say I wouldn't be surprised I mean simply, I recognize it's possible. And anything that's possible tends not to surprise me. I do not, however, expect We Rule to end any time soon.

I tend to understate because usually, but not always, it seems safer. Since “surprise” requires a different threshold for different people, I thought I would lay out a scale to indicate how surprised I would be should ngmoco:) end We Rule. In the left column is things that would surprise me less (that I would expect to happen before I would expect We Rule to end). On the right things that would surprise me more. In other words, the demise of We Rule in the near future would be, in my opinion, more likely than any of these.

More likely to happen

  • The Texas Rangers make it to a 3rd consecutive World Series
  • Mitt Romney wins the election
  • Congress lets the country slide into fiscal disaster (sorry, Janet, but you're probably not reading any more anyway)
  • Tony Romo has a winning record for the Cowboys in December
  • United Artists decides Daniel Craig is too old to play 007
  • Marijuana is legalized

Less likely to happen

  • Martians capture the Mars Rover and hold it ransom
  • Ralph Nader and Pat Robertson run for election on the same ticket
  • Tom Cruise wins an Academy Award
  • Not only is there a second coming but a third and fourth as well
  • Soccer becomes America's national sport
  • I changed my mind. Put legalized marijuana here

So there we have it. I hope it's clear now how likely I feel We Rule is to end in November. But, just in case, buy “We Rule: The Hidden Grimoire” from Amazon or iBooks right away so you can rack up as many points as possible before it goes. Carol just finished checking our bank statement and she isn't happy with me.

The game is still on

Just to update yesterday’s post:

I have been busy trying to promote the pilot for an animated series of Raising Amazon studios so I have not been looking beyond the surface of the game. My fault (which is American for mea culpa). I looked at the most recent ngmoco:) blog post which has given some players concern, and while it does say new content releases will be slowing down (or going away), it does say ngmoco:) is looking for new ways to encourage player participation (which probably means less expensive).

Yesterday’s post was based on direct correspondence, and ngmoco:) insists the game is not going away, just changing a lot.

Two enhancements to indicate they haven’t abandoned the game are the new unlocked realms to kingdom 2 (southeast and southwest) and drastically reduced mojo prices. The carafe is half what it used to be (9.99) and the flask is down from $5 to $3 and the vintage issue down from $40 to $25. ngmoco:) eliminated the real bulk buys, but buying three vintage bottles still brings 400 more mojo than the old $100 cask.

The new unlocked realms also give you another canvas to build your hell realm for the Raising Hell contest. Remember one player will get a free copy of the Grimoire and at least two more will get copies of Raising Hell.

I am not so naive that I would be completely surprised it the game suddenly disappeared tomorrow, but ngmoco:) has always been up front in the past, so I feel perfectly comfortable playing on and even buying more mojo.

In the meantime, please visit Amazon studios and follow the series. The more response I get (even if unfavorable) the more likely Amazon is to pay attention. And then I can quit promoting it so heavily and get back to my first love, this blog. I will be posting a short promo video later this week.

The Game is On

To all those worried fans out there, the official word from ngmoco:) is that We Rule is not going away any time soon, if ever. But a few elements of the game are being reviewed sometime after Thanksgiving. This may include events (which are meeting with mixed feelings by players), their facebook presence and even future contests.

I didn't ask why, I didn't need to ask. The market is flooded with social network games demanding that players pony up real cash to buy game items. I've watched a number crash and burn, but they keep coming out. In fact, I've had so many social network games that use game center wipe out all of my progress permanently, I don't bother to even experiment with them unless they run from their own network (such a plus+, or OpenFeint). Game developers have to focus their resources to attract the dwindling dollars out there.

Actually, the only social network game I play now is We Rule. If I'm going to spend money, this is the game I spend for. But even I have a limited budget.

Enjoy the events? Then you might want to blow some mojo on the next one to let ngmoco:) know you want to make it worth their while to keep it around. Don't care? Don't play. The company is evaluating community components of the game, and the best way to tell them is to spend (or withhold) money.

So how can you help ngmoco:) decide what to keep and what to ignore? Participate (or not). Participation, or lack of it, is the best feedback a company can receive. If enough players spend even a little money on events, management will most likely decide to keep it. If you like the facebook updates, like them and comment every time they post a new entry. If you like the contests, follow the facebook posts and enter the contest.

Okay, this isn't completely true. Sometimes someone high enough in management gets obsessed over something and all of the wisdom and marketing share in the world won't stop them. But if the door is open, you should let them know. In the meantime, keep playing and inviting new friends to play. The game should survive barring a total meltdown in Congress next years and complete collapse of the economy because a certain party can't compromise at the fiscal cliff.1 And if that happens, we'll all have to hock our devices and stop playing anyway.

1I'm not going to name the party because most readers will have already decided it's the party they won't be voting for in November.back

Welcome to hell

It’s out at last. For real. The novel you previewed on this site, Raising Hell on Amazon. (You can find it on iBooks and nook after Thanksgiving). Best of all, it’s only $1. (Make sure to rate it.)

I am holding back on the release for iBooks and nook because Amazon will offer the book in their lending library if I give them exclusive rights for 90 days. (And because I let iBooks have the Grimoire first).

What the hell is Raising Hell?

Suppose you were Lucifer and you had lowered hell to the ultimate depths of agony and inefficiency. Every menial task is delegated, leaving you to punish anyone who displeases you for the least provocation. If the Lord It All Over You thinks he got the best of you, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Suddenly an innocent soul arrives in hell. There’s no explanation, just an untraceable administrative error. Even worse, this soul refuses to suffer. In fact, he can’t wait to make hell the best place of everlasting damnation ever. The only way to rectify the situation is to corrupt him as quickly as possible. If that isn’t bad enough, soon after you send him on an assignment that will seal his fate, the Allmighty Pain shows up and demands his return.

The fun doesn’t end with the book. I have also posted a pilot and proposal for a half-hour animated version at Amazon studios. Download the script and tell Amazon you love it. Even if you don’t, but you appreciate all these posts, the rating would help a lot. (After all, you don’t have to specify what the ‘it’ that you love is.)

Submit your own art

But wait, there’s more fun! I am encouraging fans to get their hands dirty and contribute themselves. I am looking for artists who would like to contribute character sketches (and even short stories based on the characters) for fans. I will post the submissions on the website g.d.i. Monday, the site devoted to promote the book and series. If you have talent or know a friend that does, check out the submission guidelines.

Design your own hell

If I like your hell realm I will feature it not just in the Grimoire, but on the g.d.i. Monday web site to reach a larger audience. How cool is that? Not to mention the prizes.

To celebrate the book, I’m also bringing hell to We Rule with a design contest. Design a realm that is so hellish, one of the book’s characters can come to visit. Designs I love will be features on this blog and the Monday site with snapshots of Raising Hell characters (maybe characters you designed or inspired) visiting. I will also award a copy of The Hidden Grimoire to my favorite design and a copy of Raising Hell to at least two additional designers.

To enter, send a screenshot of your realm to the grimoire. Make sure to mention the contest in the subject field as well as your player name and real name. Contest deadline is September 30.

Last pitch

In the meantime, don’t forget to buy copies of Raising Hell for yourself and gift them to all of your Kindle using friends. It will make a great early stocking stuffer and even your friends will owe you big time for thinking of them.