Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Omerta history 2010

The roots
Everything began in early 2001. I was in 9th grade, played various online massively multiplayer games with friends, when one day realized that there is no game which would be perfect to me. I had only choice - to create one myself. After searching the web a few weeks i found out, that it is not so difficult to create an online web-browser based game, one must learn PHP and mySQL to create those.

The team
One of my friends also had the same feeling about online games. We started learning and creating the game. So the first Omerta game team was born - Laurynas MaliĊĦauskas (Malas) and Indrius Kairys (Indrionas).

The idea
Our main idea was to make an online massively multiplayer mafia game, where every single job had to be made by a real person. In that way people should make relationship like in the real life. What is more, it is always more interesting to make business with other people than with some NPCs.
Another thing which makes Omerta exclusive from all other games is that there is no censorship (except child pornography and advertisments) in the game. People can say whatever they want to each other, that way natural relationship are made, some people talk respectfully and are respected, other tend to offend everyone and consequently fight with everyone.

First versions
The very first version in 2001.02.14 had almost nothing. Just a registration/login, legal businesses and whacking. The frst few versions were played only by our classmates and the total registered players never exceeded 30. Almost everyone told us that our game will never evolve to something real. One of the most laughing ones was Mindaugas Zilionis a.k.a Katras, who is now one of our administration team members.

The official version
The first official version (v1.0) was released in 2007.04.04. Current black-red-white design was introduced, however due to major works moving from old to new design some of the game features were not working. Players called that round one of the worst in Omerta history. Despite that there were more than 150 active players and more than 400 registered players.
In this version of Omerta major work was done in the system of the game, it became faster, lighter and easier to maintain. What is more, we have started to develop a stand-alone admin application with code name "Bebras" ("Beaver" translated from Lithuanian). It's main target is to prevent cheating in Omerta.

This period brought a few important updates. The first one was the introduction of Help Desks, Moderators and Anti-cheaters. This update clearly stated, that the administrators will not be able to help their player accounts. Second big change was the introduction of Moonshine still and speakeasy bars.
Players waited for this new family business almost from the very begining of the Omerta. The moonshine stills profit depended on the quantity of lands the family had, so the city map became a little more important.
2007-2009 period was also pretty tough because of the problems we had with the servers. Some hackers tried to DDoS the servers, some other tried to search security holes in the game. However things which do not destroy us - makes us stronger.
2009 summer i got a call from our server administrator Dalius, he told me that some company is interested in integrating omerta into a bigger online project...

Pazintys.lt offered us a deal we could not reject. They gave us server for the game, they bought a big marketing campaign which included ads in facebook.com, balsas.lt, pazintys.lt, supervideo.lt and many more. The best part of the deal was, that they did not want to get our profit made from new users. This new deal raised our motivation to continue improving the great online game called Omerta.
After a few months of hard work and testing, Omerta and pazintys.lt became integrated projects and on 2009 March the round v1.8 started. Lots of new players added even more fun to the game. In this round the working Omerta Supporter accounts were introduced. They could buy 6 premium features - start by the nickname, less security codes, +1 additional bodyguard, 180 max AP limit, hotline message, vacation status and remove vacation status.
After the round end in 2009 late autumn we had the first profit from the game. It was not much, but still a great start. However pazintys.lt was bought by another bigger company and new challenges we just around the corner.

2010, epasas.lt
To be continued...

Friday, February 5, 2010

New: The Informer

Today i added a new premium feature called "The Informer" which will hopefully ease a little bit the use of new graphical Omerta city map.

The informer will help people to find other player businesses or extortions. This is extremely useful when you need to take over or arson targets businesses quickly.

After buying the feature in Omerta shop a new input field will appear above the city map next to the city map navigation. Just enter the targets name and click OK. If there are targets businesses in the visible area of the city map, its background will become red.

The cost of this great feature is only 20 credits for 30 days, so most players could enjoy it.

Hope you like the new feature and good luck in the game ;)