Posts Tagged ‘ Kingdoms of Camelot

Kingdoms of Camelot Announces New Tournament of Might

Kingdoms of Camelot from Kabam (formerly known as Watercooler) announced a new Tournament of Might today, for those superplayers wishing to prove their superiority over their peers. Oddly, only players on domains 1, 159, & 161-170 are allowed to participate.

The contest begins Sept. 10 and ends Sept 14. The player with the highest total Might at the end of the contest period wins 1000 Gems. Kabam is encouraging players to sign up for the event on a Facebook event page. Five players chosen at random that indicate that they are attending will win 50 gems. So far, 2648 players have RSVP’d.

Kabam’s full announcement:

“Lords and Ladies,

King Arthur has sent a call across Camelot looking for the mightiest Lords and Ladies in the land to win his Tournament of Might! Grow your Might before the end of the Tournament, and you can win King Arthur’s favor. Increase your Might by constructing and upgrading Buildings, and training Troops. The Lord or Lady with the highest Might at the end of the Tournament will win 1000 Gems!

The Tournament will take place on Domains 1, 159 and 161-170 and will begin tomorrow night, September 10 12:01 AM PST, and ends September 14th 11:59 PM PST. No entry necessary, all players on the tournament Domains will be eligible.

In memory of one of our oldest and most active players, we are dedicating the Tournament on Arthur1 to Lady Fireshine who passed away early this week. Lady Fireshine, Chancellor of Strike of Perun on Arthur, was one of the most helpful, magnanimous, and community-building players we’ve had. She was a hugely valuable member of the community and will be greatly missed. If you would like to share your thoughts or memories please visit the In Memory of Fireshine page started by members of our community.

Good luck in the Tournament of Might, and may the best Lord or Lady win!

The Kingdoms of Camelot Team”

Kingdoms of Camelot Releases New Crests & More

A new Kingdoms of Camelot patch was released today, bringing a variety of updates and bug fixes. The revamped project speedup system and the new Knights of the Round Table crests are the two major additions.

Players can now get help from five alliance members and five Facebook friends, to speed up construction projects. Each friend that helps will speed up a project by 10 minutes or 10%, whichever is greater. So it sounds like with enough help, a project could be completed instantly!

The new crests are being dropped by Sir Percival, Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot. Developer Kabam (formerly known as Watercooler) states that these knights can be found in “the most dangerous wildernesses.”

The full patch notes, including other misc. bug fixes, are below:

New Updates to Kingdoms of Camelot! Revamped Build with Help, New Crests and more! Check out all the changes in the Patch Notes below.

Assisted Speedup!
“Build with Help” makes its triumphant return as Assisted Speedup, newly refocused to allow your friends and Alliance members to aid you in hastening your rise to glory! Up to five Facebook friends and five Alliance members can contribute to speeding up a project for up to 10 minutes or 10%, whichever is greater. As part of the new system, the only people who will be able to contribute to this are your Facebook friends and your Alliance members. The new system will also let you broadcast to your Alliance chat your request for help. There is a limit of sharing a message once every six hours per project, but you may post as many as you want per day.

New Crests Dropping!
Sir Percival, Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot have begun leaving their crests out for the boldest and bravest warriors in some of the most dangerous wildernesses, although when asked about their motives, the knights are evasive at best. The other knights, however, have begun leaving more of their crests, and should be slightly easier to locate now. Whatever could the Knights of the Round Table be up to?

Other changes
· Corrected an issue that was putting the wrong troops types/amounts in Mercenaries in Wilderness Defenses
· Fixed an issue that was not adjusting the Mercenary level while players had zero Gold
· Fixed a bug that was preventing players from claiming Traveling Faire rewards
· Fixed an issue that was occasionally preventing players from completing the first quest in the tutorial
· Revised store item descriptions to make their uses more clear
· Implemented a performance fix for older worlds

Interview: Kingdoms of Camelot Brings Hardcore Strategy to the Masses

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Kingdoms of Camelot is unique among social games in that it is not here to coddle its players. The game contains a lot of depth, and players are not discouraged from attacking one another. Far from it – war is a key tenet of the entire experience!

Most pundits insist that games on Facebook need to remain simple, but the team at Watercooler is clearly doing something right. Kingdoms of Camelot is still growing steadily, and is now enjoying nearly 4 million monthly active users.

We recently had the opportunity to pick the brain of Kingdoms of Camelot studio GM Wayne Chan about how they built a deeper social game, how Watercooler squashes bugs, and what’s next for KoC.

Social Game Central: For readers who aren’t familiar with Kingdoms of Camelot (who missed our excellent write-up), how would you explain the game to them? Is this a hardcore game for the Facebook crowd or a Facebook game for the hardcore crowd?

Wayne Chan: Kingdoms of Camelot is a Facebook game for players who are looking for a deeper, richer social gaming experience. As opposed to many of the lighter offerings on Facebook, the gameplay is more involved and strategic. It looks and feels like a real game. The game is a Medieval era strategy game, with players fighting against both barbarians and each other for control of the land. While the construction aspect is core to the game, we made sure that the game would also provide something for players to do with all the castles and troops they were building. What we wanted to do was create a game for those on Facebook who were bored or turned off by the more casual offerings out there. We’ve designed it for the Facebook crowd with a focus on a number of social elements, such as chat, banding with other players to form alliances, and competition through in-game events.

SGC: Kingdoms of Camelot is the only expansive role-playing game made by Watercooler (other titles include sports and quiz games), what inspired you create something so ambitious?

WC: The driving force behind our titles has always been tapping into passionate communities. We’ve built a number of very in-depth games such as Bracket Challenge, for NCAA basketball, Fantasy Football for the NFL, this year adding in great content from Sports Illustrated, as well as a number of other fantasy sports games. As we explored what other genres our users were passionate about, we found a large interest in strategy games, both within our own company and across our communities, and we felt it was a perfect extension of what we were already doing.

SGC: The game was a little daunting with all the depth available, even in the beginning. Were you ever afraid it would turn away a portion of gamers?

WC: We didn’t design the game to appeal to a mass audience; we designed it to attract a community of highly engaged players, and it has. Moreover, our core users actively share the experience with their friends, so the game is more viral than we originally expected. We think this speaks to the growing number of social players who want richer gaming experiences. We’re used to passionate users, especially with our sports apps, and while we were a little worried about this type of game overwhelming users at first we felt if we could ignite someone’s passion they would engage much longer than they would to a typical Facebook game that might be consumable in 5 minute intervals. We have a three year history of developing for Facebook and other social networks and we were confident that as long as we could build something that appealed to a core set of users, that they would feel compelled to share that experience with their friends.

SGC: How does a team like Watercooler handle bug fixes/glitches in a game of this scope? Is the work ever done?

WC: Our priority is always to make the highest quality, best user experience and to continue to grow and evolve the game over time. We are lucky that our users are so passionate about the game. With bug-fixing, the more information we can get from our users, the better. We prioritize bugs based on how severely they might impact enjoyment of the game and the number of users that are being affected. That’s important to us, because we have a lot of players who return frequently to the game on a daily basis. In a game with as many users as KofC, even minor bugs can seem huge to the few players affected by them, and we understand that all players want to have a game that runs smoothly at all times. One of our key metrics we watch carefully is user engagement and bug fixing is just a small part of the ongoing changes occurring weekly in game. We are always adding new features and complexity while at the same time looking to find ways to simplify the first time experience. With the dynamic environment and depth of this game, the work is never finished for the development team.

SGC: Are community members actively participating in the “beta” aspect of Kingdoms of Camelot? How much contact do you receive from players concerning fixes/other game issues?

WC: We receive thousands of e-mails from our community members on a daily basis. The more information we can get from our members on their problems, the easier their concerns become for us to solve. We also get lots of ideas for the game from our users and try to take some of those into account, while considering whether the suggestions will enhance or damage the game experience for existing/new players. We really love hearing from players, and really value their input.

SGC: Will there ever be a way to stop over-powered players from ransacking underpowered ones, or is it simply the point of the game to always be out there, with the risk of being attacked present?

WC: The risk of attack is something that distinguishes Kingdoms of Camelot from other Facebook games and makes it a much more compelling environment for our players. However, we’re also exploring options for advanced players and alliances to compete in ways that don’t involve developing players who may be caught in the crossfire. It’s important to keep in mind that even while the game has achieved popularity with long-time players, due to the very nature of Facebook, new players are discovering it every day, and we want them to have an enjoyable experience.

SGC: So, we’ve just started making our way through Kingdoms of Camelot, but what can players expect in the endgame? Once all your buildings are completed, where do you go from there?

WC: The current endgame is heavily focused on alliance combat and tournaments. While I don’t want to say too much about where we are going, you can definitely expect alliances to play a much larger role competitively and cooperatively, with players being rewarded for their participation in world changing events.

SGC: What separates Kingdoms of Camelot from similar MMO-RTS style games on Facebook, including Evony and a few others?

WC: There are a number of similar games out there, but what separates us from others is the focus on making sure key elements of the game have been designed from the ground up to integrate elements that have made Facebook successful. Each of these games borrows successful elements from the other, and we believe we’ve made a much more social experience that players will want to play with their Facebook friends.

SGC: What’s next for Kingdoms of Camelot? Are any new features currently being considered that we’ve yet to hear about definitively (full-screen mode, etc.)?

WC: The game is constantly evolving. We have players that are now playing into their seventh month and are still heavily engaged with the game and looking for more. We are going to fill that need! Look for barbarians to play a much larger role rather than simply being farms for players. Other features include the introduction of new buildings, new ways for alliances to interact with each other, and introducing an overarching storyline to each of the worlds that players can help shape through their actions.

SGC: With Kingdoms of Camelot a success, how long do you plan on supporting it (as your flagship game) before moving on to Kingdoms of Camelot II, some other game or whatever ambitious title is next from Watercooler?

WC: Kingdoms of Camelot will be supported as long as we have users that love our game and play on a regular basis. We’re looking to involve the community on a much more regular basis and plan to work a significant portion of the feedback into game features and upgrades. As far as other games, we have a number of other titles and major media announcements tied to our games that will be coming out shortly. Without saying too much — think World Cup! Our goal is to continue to building off of users passions in sports and beyond and to ignite new passions by creating the most engaging and rich games for our players.

SGC: Thanks for your insights, Wayne!

Up & Coming: Kingdoms of Camelot

By Cody Musser

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Watercooler describes their game, Kingdoms of Camelot, as the most advanced game on Facebook. After spending some time with the title, we’re beginning to agree that this might be more than just puffery. Kingdoms of Camelot is an intensely detailed and elaborate kingdom building simulation. However, as is often the case, elaborate details can come at the cost of intuitiveness and simplicity.

Kingdoms of Camelot starts players off selecting a Lord or Lady for their empire, vying to win the attention of King Arthur through building a worthy kingdom, and eventually, through the conquest of other kingdoms. New players start by creating their kingdom and lord, and then work their way through the introduction by Merlin. This tutorial helps players learn the basics, but doesn’t go into the game’s more advanced elements. When wondering what to do next, it’s best to simply complete the quests the game suggests. This makes KoC fairly linear, in the beginning. Our progress for the first few hours of play included quest, reward, quest, reward, quest… you get the idea.

This is the point where someone looking for a simple, easy title might turn away from Kingdoms of Camelot and not try to crack the shell to get the golden egg hidden within. Stick with the game through the confusing early moments and you can quickly discover the depth of what is essentially a full-featured strategy game.

The game itself is divided into various screens of view. You’ll be looking at either your city, the field surrounding it, the greater map with other kingdoms and points of conquest, or your court. Each of these views is filled with possible activities for you to complete. Inside your city you’ll build various important aspects of your kingdom to help outfit your soldiers and townspeople. These include the Barracks, Tavern, Market, Alchemy Lab and more. Outside your city in the field you’ll build Farms, Mines, Sawmills and similar structures. This can be a bit confusing, but it’s best to think of it like this: Inside the city you handle your people, and outside it you handle your resources.

The many resources gathered from your field are used for researching upgrades or building new structures. It’s impressive to think that almost every building you create in Kingdoms of Camelot will offer you some upgrades or research, and that absolutely everything is upgradable, from your Sawmills to your Castle, and even the City Wall.

The degree to which you’ll be focusing on the development of your kingdom and its upgrades might make Kingdoms of Camelot seem like a single-player game, but the social aspects of all Facebook games are naturally present here as well. You’ll have the opportunity to join or create an Alliance, which is essentially like a guild of players who become your greater teammates. You can always chat with either global players, or directly to your Alliance. You can send gifts to friends, and a premium currency, Gems, can be purchased through Paypal or by completing sponsored offers. This is all pretty common, but Kingdoms of Camelot might take things a little overboard when it comes to making Facebook wall posts about your building upgrades. When friends click on it, your creation will be sped up by one minute. A help of course, but this could lead to some pretty clogged feeds with updates occurring every couple minutes or so for active players in early parts of the game.

Even after days, players will probably feel like they’re still in KoC’s “beginner period.” Progress isn’t fast in Kingdoms of Camelot, and you won’t be able to attack or be attacked for a full four days after creating your kingdom. It’s in this first four days that most players will probably decide to stick with Kingdoms of Camelot, or drop it. In four days even the most diehard players won’t have scratched too deeply into the deeper experiences of the game. For this reason we’re going to keep playing, specifically because Kingdoms of Camelot has one important thing… potential. We’ll do our best to keep exploring the advanced features and segments, and relay to you how much more is actually hiding in the Mists of Avalon.

One thing is certain: Kingdom of Camelot has more in common with deeper PC strategy games than it does with Farmville. This depth has apparently struck a chord with a certain segment of the Facebook population – the game now has over 2.3 million monthly players, and is still growing steadily.