Myth Confirmed: Armor Games v3 is Underway!

The ArmorBusters Team

I’ve been lurking in the Armor Games Community forums a lot more than usual over the past few weeks, and have been seeing a lot of users posting rumors and questions about the next version of the Armor Games web site (our third overhaul of the site, known internally as “AG3″), asking whether it was actually real. One user even called it a myth, so as an avid MythBusters fan, I just had to pose the team for a photo and ”confirm” the myth that AG3 is absolutely underway.

The web development team, or “webdevs” (or “web n00bz” as John would call us ’cause he’s jealous of our secret club), is made up of three people, led by Larry “Why isn’t the Titanium in my leg magnetic?” Root, with myself, Ian “Cormyn” Douglas, and our newest team member, James “Mr Tea” Lee. Larry’s the guy on the left in the photo wearing James’ glasses to look more like Adam Savage, James is in the middle, and that’s me trying hard to keep a straight face while wearing a beret. James and I worked together at a previous job, and the whole AG family is excited to have him on board!

Back to AG3, yeah?

I’ve seen a lot of questions like “will AG3 do ____?” or “can you add this feature?” or “why can’t we do ____?” I obviously can’t cover every question here in a blog post, but you will hear more from me as we work on AG3, shape it to our vision, and incorporate ideas from our users. I would, however, like to give you a brief idea of what’s in store.

If Dan had to sum up AG3 in one word, it would be “Attainment.” We want our users to experience as much fun as possible interacting with the games, each other, earning achievements, and to share those activities and what they’ve attained with each other. We’ve been allowing users to unlock items inside games for the last 6-years, whether it was through hidden characters, in game emblems or other methods of attaining notoriety. In the future, attaining accomplishments in game or on the site will know be tied to your Profile so the whole world can see how great a gamer  and AG member you really are.

So, one of the biggest things we’re building is a new comment/feedback system, where you can share which games you’re currently playing, whether you’ve achieved a high score, and your achievements of course. Your friends can comment on those news bits, “like” them, and more. We’ll also have news feeds for each game so you can see who’s playing or leaving feedback, and so on. We’ll be building several layers of user connections, beyond just the “followers” system we currently use. More on that another time.

The biggest question I see in our forums, and on our feedback site, is what will happen to Armor Points. I can’t go into too much detail here because some of it hasn’t been completely discussed or worked out, but do know that it’s important to us that users don’t feel disappointed with our decisions. As we have more finalized details to share, you’ll hear from me.

Another feature that several users are asking for is a better search system, especially for usernames, which is definitely something we’re building. Some users have asked about forums, which we may exclude from the site during beta, but we’re still working out some of those ideas, too.

A lot of users ask about changing their usernames, which is being considered for AG3 but impossible for AG2, and we may allow users to upload custom armatar images to share with friends.

A user posted on my AG profile wall this afternoon asking when AG3 will be finished. Unfortunately, in the Internet world, if you give users a deadline, they hold you to it. :o ) Our current plan is to start inviting a limited number of users to use the beta site before the end of the year, and to launch the full site in 2011. As the beta progresses, we’ll send out more invitations. In the mean time, all user data and game data is already being migrated from our current site to the new site, so beta users will see current data right away.

On behalf of the webdev team, thanks for your patience. We’ve been working hard on AG3 to give you the best casual gaming experience, and look forward to sharing more details with you soon!

See you in the game,
Cormyn