Funcom’s The Park Draws Near

ThePark_KeyArt_SmallerSlimmer-612x33727th October is when Funcom’s The Park drops and the company are promoting a little pre-order offer that might interest. There’s a 23% discount plus for The Secret World players there’s some extra incentive:

By Purchasing the game you will receive exclusive items in The Secret World when The Park launches later in October this year:

  • You will get the Chipmunk Killer outfit, which was worn by Steve Gardener as Atlantic Island Park’s mascot in 1979. He was known as Chad the Chipmunk and his gruesome murders are still talked about on Solomon Island to this day.
  • You also get The Woodcutter’s Legendary Talismans. This necklace was a gift to Lorraine from her late husband. It is a QL 10.9 Talisman, which comes in three version – one for tanks, one for healers and one for damage dealers. Each version has a unique ability.

Aussie expat Joel Bylos is behind The Park and if it’s half as good as The Secret World we expect it’ll go down well with players.

Flash Point 42: The Secret World / Joel Bylos Interview Special Edition

The Secret World Joel Bylos InterviewThis is a special edition devoted to our interview with The Secret World‘s Game Director, Joel Bylos. Episode 43 will be live tomorrow if TSW isn’t your thing, although it’s worth hearing a senior MMO designer’s ideas all the same. If you are into TSW then you’re in for a treat as Joel covers a lot of areas of the game and gives some hints on the future of the game. A big thanks to Joel for taking some of his valuable Sunday morning at a park with his family to speak to us.

Points of discussion:

– Joel’s journey from Australia to being game director at Funcom
– What being Game Director involves
– Question from The Angry Postman: promoting TSW outside the Alternate Reality Game niche
– Transparency of Funcom/TSW with the struggles over recent months
– Question from Ed Goldstein: scaling between zones
– Question from Belladawna: Does the new position mean Joel can outdrink Ragnar?
– Question from Belladawna: Plans for an official hi-res model viewer?
– Question from Hyperjumpgrandmaster: Making PvP more meaningful, open world PvP an option?
– Question from Voodoo Shark: plans for streamlining skills and mechanics?
– Question from Voodoo Shark: ongoing free trial offers?
– Any other teasers willing to be disclosed? (Yes – including a heavy hint on Issue #4’s auxiliary weapon)
– The impact of layoffs on the team and optimism for the future and bringing some people back
– Can the output of issues be maintained?
– Ability to change body-shape in the future?
– Lessons learnt from Age of Conan?
– Lessons learnt from other MMOs?
– Rift doing panda charity donations (and a lame joke from the host on funding a different type of panda)
– Comparing TSW, GW2 and WoW combat
– What’s a measure of success for TSW over the coming year?

Post your thoughts on the interview below – we’ll have a summary of Joel’s responses posted in 24 hours or so but nothing beats listening to the full thing – enjoy.

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Listen via iTunes or right here:

Funcom to TSW Players: We’re Here For The Long Haul

In case you hadn’t realised, the creators of The Secret Word, Funcom, have been through some hard times lately, including some pretty significant company restructuring.

That’s understandably got a lot of TSW players twitchy, particularly given that the next content update has been delayed to the 11th September.

One of Funcom’s community reps on the TSW forums, has jumped in to put a positive spin on things:


But seriously, I am sorry that there haven’t been as many dev and CM posts as usual. There’s some heavy restructuring going on right now, and we’re all just working to get settled.

I wanted to come in here and assure you that Funcom and it’s teams are incredibly committed to making sure that TSW keeps it’s steady content flow. While I do know that there has been a delay with the implementation of Issue 2 – Digging Deeper, this delay should not affect other Issues with new content or updates/bug fixes from continuing as planned. We hope to continually improve the game by listening to the community’s feedback!

In the words of the Illuminati (which is not to say that Funcom is Lumie-run):

You either do or get done, and we’re not done.

We’re in this fully, and we have no intentions of stopping any time soon.

Like any posts like these, you’re not going to get a lot of insight into the true state of the nation, but at face value it seems there’s a real commitment to keeping things happening. No-one wants that more than me. As I said in my review of the game, there’s a hell of a lot to like about this game – enough for me to fork out for a lifetime subscription.

At the very least it’s worth buying the game with its 30 days of game time and working out for yourself whether it’s a keeper. I know that if this game does go under, it proves that innovation in the MMO sphere isn’t being rewarded like it should. SOme would say the MMO model has been dead for a few years now, but I’m a little more optimistic than that.

What about you?