A year ago, I experienced momentary glee when Quantum Mechanix Inc. (QMx) and Spark Plug Games announced Firefly Online, a multi-user strategic roleplaying game set in the Firefly ‘Verse. That moment was immediately followed by resigned distance. If the game actually got legs, it might be lackluster. If it was, in fact, good, it wouldn’t matter anyway – I didn’t have time for it. I had a 6 mo. old at the time and was three years out from World of Warcraft progression raiding, which had taught me that MMO’s turned into a second job of near 40 hours a week when you play them seriously. No matter how good the game turned out to be, there was no way I could let myself get involved.
This year, my emotions are again in turmoil thanks to SDCC. First I heard that all of the major cast members were going to reprise their roles for the game – even Wash (Alan Tudyk) and Book (Ron Glass), who were cruelly killed off in Serenity. Alan Tudyk, the actor who played Wash and has now become something of a voice-actor extraordinaire, is actually voicing multiple roles in the game. Also appearing, Niska.
That’s what initially engaged my attention again – the news that the cast would be involved, that those characters would be reprised. They would part of the gameplay, their stories continued in some way.
Then I saw the video of gameplay. It opens with Ron Glass narrating, “If I were a captain…” then montages numerous Browncoats talking about the type of character or ship they would generate with screenshots. There’s even a Sims-like aspect where they showed decorating the ship with posters, furniture, and rugs. Are you kidding me? (Before the World of Warcraft obsession, I was a total Sims addict.) Then Nathan Fillion shows up. And by then my eyes were watering. Seriously, there may have been tears.
So I’m starting to wonder if I can resist the pull of Firefly Online. And I’m not alone.
QMx and Spark Plug announced that the player networking system, aptly called The Cortex, was now live and invited people to register. And then their servers broke. Big time. The Firefly Online Facebook page gave this update on the topic:
We’re aware of the issue, the server is being swamped with 10s of thousands of hits every second. Apparently us Browncoats are generating more traffic than an Amazon sale.
They’re now in the process of relocating everything onto Amazon servers to take the traffic demands. So currently The Cortex appears to only be gathering intel, allowing wannabe players to register. However, registering before the end of August will pay off in a free Kepler as a starter ship in the game.
Word is that the game will also be available to play on iOS and Android, which greatly increases my ability to work it into nap times and the other minute spaces of “free” time I have.