January 27, 2006

Great Game on the Internet

I am totally addicted to a game I found on the internet. It's a massively multiplayer online role playing game. I know what you're thinking, only computer nerds that like dungeon and dragons play those types of things. Actually, I agree. But, this game is completely different! It's called UrbanDead (http://www.urbandead.com). Here's the setting, a huge city named Malton has been overrun with zombies. It's the survivors of the zombie apocalypse that now have to vanquish the zombies. You start the game as either a zombie or one of 3 types of survivor (civilian, military, scientist). The game is completely text based, save for a small grid that shows you where in the city you are located. During the game you wander around, either looking for zombies and humans to attack/kill. Or, perhaps you'd rather spend your time healing people that have been injured, it's completely up to you. So, let me give you an example. My character is named Ed Base and started as a civilian Fire Fighter. That means he started with an axe and a skill that made him better with his axe (by the way, a lot of people are scared of the word "skill" because it implies tons of confusing charts and percentages. This game only has 17 skills for survivors and 14 skills for zombies. This means that it's not confusing, believe me). So, I decided that my goal in this game would be to slaughter zombies. This is a good time to mention points. There are three types of points (again, this isn't really confusing, so don't be intimidated) called Action Points, Experience Points, and Hit Points (AP, XP, HP). Action points let you do stuff, whether it's move, talk, attack, go into buildings, leave buildings, anything. Doing something costs an AP. The only way to get AP is to wait, you automatically get an AP every half an hour for a maximum of 50 (this prevents wackos from playing this game for 24 hours a day). XP is what you get for healing people, attacking people, and generally doing important stuff in the game. Once you get 100 XP you get to buy another skill. HP is how much life you have before you die. You start with 50, and if you get down to 0 you die and wake up again later as a zombie. So, back to my character Ed Base. He wanders around and finds lone zombies, attacks them with his axe, and then hides in a barricaded building. Unfortunately for me, I get a little excited and sometimes run out of AP before I can get back into a building. That means I'm completely vulnerable for at least a half hour. Yeah, well, I normally end up dying during this period of innactivity and consequently I have ended up being a zombie several times. Luckily, there is a cure. Some people spend there time reviving zombies that want to be survivors again. So, anywho, now I've bought a total of 7 skills out of 17. Another great thing about this game is that there are no computer players. Everybody you see on the streets of Malton are actual people that are playing the game. Since the game is completely text-based even people with dial-up (like me) can play! Here's a screenshot (http://urbandead.com/screenshot.html) What's going on now in the game is a huge war known as Mall Tour '06. A huge horde of zombies (several thousand) are going from mall to mall attacking them and taking control of them. It is now coming to a climax at a mall known as Caiger Mall. I am one of 1,000 survivors in Caiger, all working together to defend it against the zombies. The game is as shallow and easy or as complicated and in-depth as you want to make it. It's possible to play and do great without getting really in depth because you can only play for about 15 minutes a day (AP). Now, for possibly the greatest part. There's this thing called the UrbanDead Wiki (http://wiki.urbandead.com). This is a huge encyclopedia of how to play the game, different organized groups, different skills, nifty tools, maps, and everything you need to play the game. The wor Wiki means that it can be edited by anyone, including you! So, now that I've told you about UrbanDead, I highly encourage you to go try it out. Even if you don't like it, just wander around and use up the 50 AP you start with and if you don't like it just end up out on the street. You'll die, end up a dead body, and just lay there, no need to ever return to the game. I highly encourage you to try it, maybe even come on over to Caiger Mall (but be sure to have free running. Don't know what that is? Check the Wiki!). Right, so that's my sales pitch, please please please try it! I'm going to go attack zombies now, bye!

Sock Monkey Status

Ok, so, yes, it's been forever since I've posted, so sue me. Here's my update on my sock monkey speech. I have officially given it at two tournaments with impressive results. Pacific Invitational is a huge 2 day tournament that had 30 people giving my type of speech. I made it to finals and ended up getting second place overall. Not bad for my first tournament ever! Ok, my second tournament was just last week and only had about 20 people doing my type of speech. Although the numbers were smaller, the competition was stiffer. I ended up getting third overall, losing to a speech about punctuation and one about the SAT's. So, sock monkeys are holding their own, getting tons of laughs, and will continue to play a prominent roll in the Oregon speech circuit. Wish me luck!