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22 November 2006page first published

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Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian reports:

Gen Con is not, as one local radio described it, "the largest videogaming convention," but electronic gaming is well represented. The e-Games Arena - where various networked games may be played for the cost of a ticket - is a convention favorite. In addition, there were several small electronic game companies represented in the exhibit hall. One of the these, Octopi, was presenting its game PoxNora. It has a rather unique concept, being billed as a collectible fantasy online battle game. Actions center around cards - called "runes" - which, when activated, turn into movable figures on the field. These monsters, of which there are currently 250, include entities such as the Necromancer, Stone Colossus, Jakei Wolfrider and Ash Demon. Another 100 will be released by year's end, according to Dan Kopycienski, president of Octopi. The object of a game is generally to destroy an opponent's talisman or monument. On a larger scale, however, the objective is to advance and develop one's stable of creatures using the experience gained in battles.

Octopi President Dan Kopycienski at the Pox Nora booth

PoxNora has been "live" for three months and has 20,000 players. The game itself is entirely browser-based, and has been designed to work with Mac, Windows or Linux browsers. Players may participate free, but are unable to advance or develop their creatures beyond the basics. Those wishing to pursue the expanded options can purchase runes. A dollar equals 100 credits, which can in turn purchase about 25 runes (depending on power and abilities). No other purchases are required, and there is no monthly fee. Players can, of course, purchase more runes - or, there is an online trading and auction area. In-game items can enhance abilities and effects - whether individually or globally, such as a relic which grants all creatures additional bonuses on fire-based attacks. Creatures that are killed can be resurrected after a variable amount of time. The more powerful the creature, the longer it takes to re-spawn. Energy, or "Nora," from a slain creature can be used by another to increase its abilities.

PoxNora game screen

"Strategy is required to develop one's runes to maximize their abilities," Dan points out. "One can start out with two Stone Colossi, for example, and develop them in entirely different directions." There are plans to develop other games using the PoxNora engine.