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.

It’s The End Of The World: TSW To Go F2P?

Regular readers will know that to a tee the team here who have played The Secret World love it. For the first time I think I have some more insight into why it’s so good: the sense of humour in the team behind it.

TSW’s Game Director Joel Bylos (link to our podcast interview with him here) has created part 1 of a video log, and I have to say it’s a hell of a lot of fun:

There’ll be lots of talk about the scene where Joel argues for the subscription fee to be dropped from TSW. To me it seems part of the humour and context of the piece rather than a very obvious int on a near-term move to Free-To-Play. It could also mean a period of time of free access for everyone to attract more players.. Finally, it could be the start of the move to F2P done in a funny way, but my money’s on one of the first two options.

Do you agree?

The Secret World Reticle Combat and More: Live Stream

Overnight Funcom ran a live stream for over an hour, showcasing a range of things. They opened with a demo of the reticle combat, which is still in beta but is slated for release in the 1.4 update and will be further improved from there.

There’s a lot of footage of the feature in action, and from what I’m seeing I’m liking it a lot and if you’re a fan of first person shooters you’ll probably see it as a big improvement as well. In between all the gameplay footage, Game Director Joel Bylos answers a bunch of community questions, so it’s well worth a watch. Here’s the stream via

Watch live video from mmorpgcom on TwitchTV

Do you like the reticle combat? Is it something you’ll definitely use?

Interview With The Secret World’s Joel Bylos: Ask Your Questions

Interview Joel BylosThis weekend we’re pretty excited to be spending some time one-on-one with The Secret World‘s newly minted Game Director, Joel Bylos.

Aside from being a friendly guy, Joel is also an expat aussie, so we’re here to both give him some homegrown hospitality whilst grilling him on everything TSW.

It’ll be an interview for our Flash Point podcast, and so we’d love questions from the TSW community to pose to Joel alongside our own.

So – if you’ve got a question, post it in the comments below and we’ll ask as many as we can, with a full shout-out to each person on the podcast. Hard / critical questions are fine but please keep it civilised.

Ask away!

Joel Bylos Appointed TSW’s Game Director

Hot off the Funcom PR presses is the announcement that The Secret World‘s Lead Content Designer has taken a step up to be Game Director.

Here’s the full announcement:

Funcom is excited to announce that Joel Bylos has taken the new position as Game Director on ‘The Secret World’,the company’s recently launched massively multiplayer online game (MMO). Mr. Bylos will work together with Creative Director Ragnar Tørnquist on expanding and enhancing the game through quality post-launch content. The team has already launched two major content updates in just over two months following launch, and focus going forward will be to expand the storyline, introduce entire new areas such as the upcoming New York raid, and much more.

Ragnar Tørnquist will continue in his role as Creative Director with even more focus on the overall setting and story for the game.

Mr. Bylos, who has been instrumental in shaping ‘The Secret World’ as Lead Content Designer’ throughout development, has extensive experience with developing post-launch content for MMOs. This includes serving as Lead Designer on the critically acclaimed ‘Rise of the Godslayer’ expansion pack for Funcom’s previous MMO launch ‘Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures’. Mr. Bylos will manage the development team together with Scott Junior, who continues in his position as Producer on the game.

“Being given the opportunity to lead the game into a bold, new future is definitely a dream come true for me,” says Joel Bylos, Game Director on ‘The Secret World’. “I am very proud of what we as a team have created with ‘The Secret World’, and it is truly a brilliant canvas that will allow us to create more groundbreaking MMO experiences for many years to come. ‘The Secret World’ is only really getting started, and with a game world that draws upon our own,real world, there is no limit to what sort of amazing stories we can tell and fantastic locations we can visit in the upcoming content updates.”

“Joel and I have worked together for many years, and I cannot think of anyone more suited to maintain the vision and lead the game going forward than him,” says Ragnar Tørnquist, Creative Director on ‘The Secret World’. “I look forward to continue working with Joel on bringing the game forward through many, exciting post-launch updates, and I especially look forward to spending more time expanding on what I truly enjoy the most about ‘The Secret World’: the story, characters and the setting itself.”

The development team is currently working on wrapping up ‘Issue #3: The Cat God’, the latest content update for ‘The Secret World’, and production on‘Issue #4’ is also well under way. This update puts players in the middle of a devastated New York City where they have to battle an enormous monster crawling up from the depths of the New York subway system and onto the streets of Times Square.

Aside from the news of the promotion, which seems a positive thing, the other interesting aspect is the Issue #3 and #4 mentions, although with no timelines. It’s always good to see the future updates laid out and hopefully we’re seeing a more settled team that will grow the game.

What’s your take on the announcement?