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Tale 5 Launch

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This Saturday: A Tale in the Desert 6 (and a word about our next game)‏

Citizens of Egypt,

In case you haven't seen it, The Game Archaeologist recently covered A Tale in the Desert. It's official - we're now "a classic:"

I'm writing to announce the grand opening of A Tale in the Desert VI. Our first Tale launched in February of 2003, and since that time we've become known for a unique mix of crafting and competitive-social gameplay that - almost nine years later - still hasn't been duplicated by any other online game. We'll start our next Tale:

Saturday, Dec 3, 2011 at Noon EST (GMT-0500)

If you've never experienced the beginning of a Tale - don't miss this chance. Early Tales are always fast-paced, as new technologies get unlocked, and new social groups form.

Four Monuments were completed in A Tale in the Desert V, so in addition to new Technologies, we'll have four Tests designed by our Oracles. The Test of Isis's Bounty will challenge you to explore Egypt's shores and waterways in boats. In the Throne of the Pharaoh you'll be working in teams to produce elaborate decorative thrones, showing off Egypt's craftsmanship. The Test of the Messanger is a cooperative puzzle in the Discipline of Worship. And finally, in Harmony's Test of Promotion you'll be figuring out which of your fellow Egyptians will soon advance in their Disciplines.

A few other odds and ends before I return to coding last-minute touches: As many of you know, New York University is studying A Tale in the Desert to learn about "Trust and Collaboration in Online Games." Many of you have helped out with the research by filling out surveys, and as a thank-you, an extra cornerstone was given. Those cornerstones will carry over into Tale VI. If you didn't get a chance to fill out a survey but would like to, see me in-game after launch and I'll make that happen.

Finally, a word about our next game, "Dragon's Tale," which is in Alpha testing. When I started designing A Tale in the Desert back in 2000, the big question in my mind was "what would a competitive MMORPG look like if there was no combat?" A Tale in the Desert was the result, and though our community is small, the game is known by nearly every game designer because we tried something so radical. Dragon's Tale brings radical game design to real-money gambling. It's the first online casino presented as an MMORPG. You won't find Craps, Blackjack or Roulette in Dragon's Tale, but you'll find 43 novel games, both luck-based and skill-based. I'll have more to say about Dragon's Tale in a future newsletter, and we'll have a special preview for ATITD players. Anyway, I'm looking forward to another amazing Tale in the Desert...

Dawn on the Nile, Teppy (Pharaoh)