Shards of War Beta Launches

Bigpoint announced yesterday that the Shards of War beta has begun. Simply register over on the official site and you can dive into the game right away.

Bigpoint Celebrates Big Numbers

300 million is a big number by any measure. At the very least, it's enough to get me out of bed to buy a lottery ticket. But it's an especially big number when it comes to video games, and Bigpoint is celebrating their own little lottery win of sorts.

Battlestar Galactica Online: New Details Announced

Shortly after the Battlestar Galactica Online official teaser trailer was released at E3 last month, ZAM got in touch with publisher Bigpoint Games to learn more about the upcoming MMO in one of the most extensive Q&As to date. We were able to confirm several important facts about the free-to-play MMO from Bigpoint CTO Jan Wergin, including some behind-the-scenes production details (Ronald D. Moore and David Eick were both involved in the development process, among other Battlestar alumni like series composer Bear McCreary). However, when it came to specific gameplay details, Wergin remained relatively tight-lipped, promising that more info would be released at this year's Comic Con in San Diego (currently underway until July 25). In press release issued yesterday, Bigpoint summarizes a few of the Battlestar Galactica Online gameplay details being unveiled this weekend at the convention.

Bigpoint confirms that new players will have the opportunity to create a pilot belonging to either the Human or Cylon faction, capable of developing their character "into a skilled and experienced officer capable of using the most advanced combat systems and commanding the largest and most powerful ships," according to the release. Characters will be fully customizable and represented by an in-game avatar, earning experience points to gain higher ranks and new skills. The release also announces two mission types that will be available; "Story Missions" and "Assignments." Story missions drive the ongoing plot and are gradually unlocked as players progress through the ranks, rewarding them with XP, resources and ship systems. Players obtain daily Assignments missions by talking to important characters at their home fleets, or performing "Duties," which are part of Battlestar Galactica Online's achievement system.

Finally, Bigpoint announces new details about ship classes and ship customization. The MMO will feature several playable ship classes, divided into three "tiers," depending on the size of the ships and their role in the fleet. Tiers consist of small, medium and large, while roles are distinguished by Offensive, Defensive and Command classes. "Each ship class has a specific number of slots for Ship Systems, which are items that grant ships abilities and bonuses when installed," the release states. "There are four general categories of ship systems (Weapon, Hull, Engine and Computer) and three sizes (small, medium and large)." Players begin with small ships, but collect resources and gain XP to requisition larger vessels (multiple ships can also be obtained, allowing players to pilot different classes). "The different combinations of ship class and systems determine what a character can do in combat, and their skills determine how well they can do it, allowing for a huge variety of different playstyles and combat roles," the release states. "Each standard ship can be upgraded into an elite version of its class. The upgraded versions of each ship class will have additional system slots, stronger and more durable hulls, and visual customization options."

Battlestar Galactica Online will launch later this fall at Read the full press release after the jump, and check out ZAM's BSG Online portal site for more news and information.

BSG Online: In-Depth Q&A With Bigpoint Games

Gamers caught their first glimpse of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica Online (BSG Online) earlier this month at E3, when developer Bigpoint Games released the MMO's first teaser trailer and showcased some early, in-game footage. Inspired by the SyFy Channel's "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica TV series from producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, Bigpoint is developing the free-to-play, browser-based MMO with the Unity game engine. Since ZAM didn't have time to talk about BSG Online with the developers at E3, we decided to pursue a more comprehensive Q&A instead. This week we talk to Bigpoint Games CTO Jan Wergin from the company's headquarters in Germany, where it reigns supreme as the country's largest games portal (and one of the top three in the world).

In this interview we get a heap of detailed answers about the upcoming Battlestar Galactica MMO from Wergin, who says the free-to-play, browser based game couldn't be in better hands. Wergin confirms that series producers Moore and Eick were both involved in the MMO's development, and explains why some of the most cynical fans were impressed with Bigpoint's use of the Unity game engine. We learn more about the MMO's third-person "avatar mode" and the full range of PvP and PvE gameplay available for both "Human" and "Cylon" factions. Finally, Wergin describes BSG Online's micro-transaction revenue model (if you can buy it, you can earn it for free) and drops a few hints about more details that might be announced next month at Comic Con in San Diego. If you're a fan of Battlestar Galactica, this is one interview you don't want to miss; check out ZAM's full Q&A after the jump!