Skotos Tech Premieres New Online Games at Gen Con Game Fair
BERKELEY, CA, September 6, 2000 Skotos Tech, a new online game company, introduced its initial game line for 2001 and 2002 at the 33rd annual Gen Con Game Fair held August 10-13 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During the four-day convention nearly a thousand convention goers either signed up for Skotos' games or wrote proposals to create their own Skotos worlds.
Skotos Tech is an online storytelling community. Its interactive fiction games allow players to play roles within dynamic stories. These games support multiple players so that numerous people connected by the Internet can simultaneously interact with each other and with the creations of the games' authors.
Like the roleplaying games that are at the heart of Gen Con, Skotos Tech's games allow for adventures in a variety of genres: from the prehistoric past to the far future. The first Skotos game, 'Castle Marrach', is a story of fantasy, mystery, romance and intrigue. 'Golden Gate: 1849', a historical recreation, and 'Alvatia', a game combining fantasy roleplaying and feudal simulation, are also among Skotos Tech's first releases.
"Skotos is about a new way of telling stories," explains Christopher Allen, President of Skotos Tech. "We offer a theater for multiplayer interactive fiction. We provide a home for StoryPlayers, who enjoy playing in other peoples' worlds, and StoryBuilders, who enjoy creating worlds for them."
Skotos' games build on a long tradition of online interactive fiction games that includes classics of the genre like 'Zork' and 'Adventure'. A text-dominant interface allows players to type in commands and see responses; everything is done with words, just like in a book. However, for the first time in the text-dominant roleplaying genre, players can type intuitive commands -- approaching normal English grammar. A player can choose to "bow", as in most games, but he can also "bow to the king" or "bow to the first king" or "sarcastically bow to the king" or "bow to the king sarcastically".
The Skotos system also debuts a number of features which extend the capabilities of virtual worlds. Proximity allows for real spatial relationships; a player can lean on a wall, stand on a chair, or hide under a table. Consent protects players from harassment; they can choose who may enter their personal space and who may not. Gaits, stances, and gestures enable the rich expression of a social context; players can define how they stand, how they move, and how they interact with the environment around them.
Skotos' technology, in the form of the StoryBuilder Server, is a brand new architecture. Christoper Allen says, "The Skotos StoryBuilder Server is a third generation architecture; almost every MUD or MUSH available today is based on architectures from the late 80's or early 90's. The StoryBuilder Server features a brand new webcentric architecture for the twenty-first century." As a result, Skotos players can concentrate on the plot, character, and detail of the games they play -- all of the elements of a good story.
Skotos Tech's initial games, to be released in 2001 and 2002, include a mixture of original offerings and licensed games. The widely-acclaimed game systems that Skotos has licensed include:
'Lovecraft Country'. Based upon Chaosium's multiple award-winning Miskatonic Valley supplements. These books, inspired by famous horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, depict Massachusetts in the Jazz Age against the background of a dark and uncaring cosmos.
'Paranoia'. Another multiple award-winning roleplaying game, this one set in a darkly humorous future. Originally released (very appropriately) in 1984, Paranoia depicts a world where the Computer is all powerful and where human life is expendable -- but cloneable. Trust the Computer, but keep your laser handy.
'Og'. A humorous prehistoric roleplaying game of limited words published by Wingnut Games. Players struggle for survival before the dawn of history, while warring against ignorance, miscommunication, and misunderstanding.
Licensing agreements for additional roleplaying worlds are currently in process.
Skotos Tech is located in Berkeley, California. The first Skotos game, Castle Marrach, begins beta test in late September. More information, as well as a beta signup form for Castle Marrach, is available at Skotos' web site, www.skotos.net -- recently redesigned for the Gen Con launch.