Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
arrowPress Releases
April 11, 2021
Games Press
View All     RSS

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Games Of 2020 - The Winners

March 9, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 21 Next


Submitted By: Jeremy Johnston

So let me tell you about my day.

I hopped on the bus, and pulled out my GEO. 5:02. Plenty of time. Touching the icon marked PvP, the GPS loaded up and checked the immediate area, but nobody even close to my level showed up. Just some low level kids in a car going the other way (What kind of terrible parents let them set their profile to public anyways?) and a small group getting breakfast in the restaurant on the corner. I've been playing for too long to even care about wiping the floor with the lowbies, but breakfast did sound like a good idea.

I touched the PvP button again to make sure I didn't find myself unexpectedly challenged and brought up the promotions overlay. Of course, the restaurant with that group we were rapidly pulling away from was on the list. Should have known, I guess. Too late for that, I wasn't going back for what was most likely a potion or some coupon for half off coffee. I hate coffee. Turning the screen counterclockwise to zoom out, I saw another location on the way to the event. Fast food wasn't really what I wanted, but the promotions were usually good.

I got off the bus a few stops early, knowing that the walking might level me just a little bit more before noon. I considered jogging, but the cardio bonus wasn't worth it. I strapped the GEO back to my belt. No need to waste the battery life, since most likely any recharge stations that actually happened to be working would be in use.

Halfway there, I felt the long singular buzz that meant I was being challenged by an NPC fighter. I held up the GEO and turned on camera mode. The view from the lens on the back appeared on the screen, and panning the camera around revealed a man in a robe holding a staff in between the cars parked across the street. I lowered the camera just to verify that he wasn't really there (You never know the lengths cosplayers will go to on a day like today) and decided that his minuscule percentage to drop anything I want combined with my hunger made the choice easy.

I got to the entrance and pulled my GEO back out. "5:39" chirped the kitty. "Good Morning!".

Looking at the line of patrons with the same idea as me, I disagreed. Still plenty of time, but did I want to waste that much of it here? It was at that point I realized that I hadn't checked the PvP in this area. I flipped on the switch, and realized that the girl two people in front of me, LayzerPennguin, was about my level. Perfect.

I sent her a challenge to a pets only matchup, since Blackwing seemed like he was on the verge of leveling. I saw her look down at her buzzing GEO (one long buzz indicating a challenge) and press a button. The fact that she only hit one button let me know the contents of the message before I got it. "Try Again Later, Challenge Denied". Getting Talcd is nothing new, although I wondered why she would mark herself ready for PvP just to lose experience Talcing me. As I contemplated that, the sound of buzzing filled the room. I felt a series of short buzzes that meant that apparently, 5:45 was polling time today.

I turned off PvP (wouldn't make that mistake twice) and took a moment to glance around the room. LayzerPennguin didn't even bother with hers as she was ordering her food, but twelve or thirteen others did. Good news for me, since the more people locally who entered, the bigger the region prize was. I answered the question about the color of my first bike, just in time to make it to the front of the line while the polls were closing.

I slide the GEO into the automated ordering machine and it gave me my options. The sausage burrito was already sold out, which was unfortunate, since the posters and stickers everywhere told me it was the breakfast item of the month, and came with the best chances of finding a rare item. I picked the bacon burrito instead, and after paying (cash, not GEO money), a mystery box appeared on the screen. I popped my GEO out of the machine and sat down for lunch. The mystery box ended up being a dollar off my subscription fee for that month. Not terrible by any means, but I'd definitely had better.

Ironically, that was also an accurate description of the burrito.

Once I was back on the bus, I tapped the globe that formed the O in the GEO logo, bringing me to the worldwide info screen. Turns out that black (which happened to be the color of my first bike) wasn't randomly chosen, and there was no way I could be my region's lottery winner that day.

Out of mild curiosity, I looked up the current worldwide connection numbers, seeing a flurry of fluctuating activity in the middle east. Made sense, since while it was still (too) early in the morning here, it would be early in the evening there. The bus went into a long tunnel, and I lost my connection to the GEO satellite, booting me back to the local screen.

I hit the button to switch back to the local detection functions. The GEO connected to someone a block or two away, who luckily had his GPS capabilities intact. Back in business. I used him to bring back up my PvP map, and to find a dueling partner. With how today's events had been going so far, I found it surprising I didn't get Talc'd. The alternating short-long-short buzz meant combat was about to begin. Finally.

xBlueGreenBluex's first mistake was accepting a pets only battle without sizing up both of our pet selections. (I admit I was so desperate to level up Blackwing that this paragraph could have easily started with "My first mistake") All of his pets, while extremely powerful in melee fights, had very limited range on their attacks. Sending Blackwing airborne allowed the timing window against for dodging melee attacks to become super loose.

Combining flying with my skill at timing dodges (When I first started I used to shake the GEO so hard my arms would be sore after a day of battling, but now I realize it's all in the wrist), I ended up gaining the "untouchable" bonus exp. I felt bad for winning so quickly in such an unfair match however, so I emailed him a pet potion to recover. It was definitely worth it, and Blackwing leveled up. Victory! I turned off PvP.

By the time the battle was over, I was almost at my destination. I prepared myself for the series of events to come by buying a few extra super potions and making sure my armor was in top condition. I double checked the camera, and it seemed to be in working order. Lastly, I switched to my second battery, just in case, and tested to make sure it had full charge. I was ready.

I stepped off the bus into the crowded mass of players. I had already bought my ticket into the amusement park beforehand, so I skipped the massive line and headed through the gate. As I walked through, my GEO buzzed letting me know I had been counted in attendance and received a ticket I could redeem for special gear. I glanced at the estimated number of PvP flagged players in the general area: 1680. My jaw dropped.

While exploring the theme park and checking out all of the high level battles, I came across a few hundred players gathered around a small group. Upon closer inspection, I didn't even need to pull out my local scanner to know who they were. Chad and John Welker, who ylou may recognize from the U.S. leaderboards. If you've looked any time in the past year, you would have seen them at the top. Their guild is the stuff of legends, and they are the reason. Highest level, highest gear, highest pets, highest everything. So good that they have already earned everything in the game for free, and have been able to make a good living solely off of GEO. And here I was, in their presence. Unbelievable.

Without a doubt, it was at that moment that I realized why everybody who had ever been to one of the monthly event had told me I needed to attend, even if I felt I had no chance of winning. Because as I was crowding the brothers Welker with everyone else, that was the moment the Bat Dragon appeared. I didn't realize what was happening at first because I had never felt that buzzing pattern before, but soon they were shouting orders. I pulled out my GEO, loaded the camera, aimed in the same general direction as everyone else, and there it was.

By now you've heard what happened with the Bat Dragon. It took us three hours to take it (and all of the other random spawning mobs) down, and the brothers eventually had to split up to the different halves of the theme park, since the Dragon would flee and regenerate when it was being attacked by 10,000 players or more. I followed John's group, and when the beast was finally slain, it was revealed that I was one of 846 players who survived without having to be resurrected. Which means I've reluctantly replaced my GEO's kitty with a special edition Lizard.

It was the single most amazing experience of my life, and the only thing that can top it is next month.

Saturday, April 11th, 2020
Location: TBD after bidding
Price: Location Admission + $200
Will you be there?

-Posted from Superrodan's GEO on 3/4/20

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 21 Next

Related Jobs

iD Tech
iD Tech — N/A, California, United States

Online STEAM Instructor/Mentor
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts — Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts (Virtual Production)
Airship Syndicate
Airship Syndicate — Austin, Texas, United States

Senior Character Artist
Sony PlayStation
Sony PlayStation — San Francisco, California, United States

Sr. Product Manager, Player Engagement & Social Experiences

Loading Comments

loader image