Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Curiosity killed Curiosity

Peter Molyneux is famous for games that sound brilliant on paper and then often turn out to be flawed in practice, like Black & White. Now recently he launched a project which is barely a game, but more of an art project: Curiosity is a mobile platform app in which players from all over the world together "mine" a huge cube, consisting of many layers of tiny cubes. The player who removes the last little cube "wins", and finds out what is in the center of the cube.

I understand the concept. I can see the "art" aspect of it. But unfortunately I can't try it out myself: Somebody forget to tell Molyneux that if you make a persistent online world for many thousands of players, even if that world only consists of a huge cube, you need serious server resources to run it. So the Curiosity servers are nearly always down. About a million people downloaded the app for iOS and Android, and the servers just can't handle that amount of interest. Curiosity killed Curiosity. There is some sort of meta-irony in here. I'm sure Peter Molyneux appreciates that.

Here's a great writeup on what should have been the technical challenges behind curiousity -

Sadly it almost sounds like he just got a grad student to make it using a fairly naive approach.
Not *that* great: he loses some credibility for thinking that the layers of a cube grow exponentially with distance from the centre.

But yeah, stupid idea poorly implemented.
Y U HATE B&W?? :(

But seriously, I must be the only player in the world that really, really enjoyed Black & White.

Not sure what to think about Curiosity. If all it wants to be is a weird experiment, I think it turned out pretty great, except for the stupid technical issues.

Anyway, I'm ready to be extremely disappointed of what's in the center.
I had fun with Black and White, but my computer at the time didn't like it much. Bad performance can really wreck an otherwise fun game.
They were down for me when I tried to "try" it last week.
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