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February 17, 2011 - by jacksonwest
SOCO Games is now out of business. This post is retained for posterity.
Counting down to the Game Developers Conference, we’ll be highlighting one game a day powered by Joyent technology. Partly for an excuse to play games at work, sure, but also because our customers have developed some really fun, cool titles!
The goal in Earth 2.0 is to save the human species from its own destruction after our first planet has become nearly uninhabitable. While a classic premise for a game fantasy, it's a reality that creator SOCO Games would rather avoid -- a portion of the money from player purchases are added to a fund which will then be distributed to organizations that players will be able to choose.
The game itself is a classic roleplaying game, with an energy-over-time brake built in to keep you from totally losing yourself (or, at least, your job). However, for more obsessive gamers, it bring a high level of character management detail -- sure, there's gear to buy and sell and fights to pick, but you can also become a mini-mogul by making smart investments that earn dividends.
Besides individual missions you can run using energy to increase your rank and unlock new game items, and battles that use up your stamina, there are overall mission objectives that include everything from winning 100 fights to earning $10,000 in-game from your investments. And of course, for those of us with an eye for fashion, you can earn avatar mods by progressing through the game and dominate other players in the all-important best-dressed category.
It's certainly a cool way for SOCO Games to differentiate themselves -- take a dystopic world and layering it with lots of gameplay depth, and then using the gameplay mechanics and business model to actively promote efforts to avoid an actual dystopia is a great approach that sets Earth 2.0 apart.