Word Ace developer to bring Fleck to webOS | webOS Nation

Word Ace developer to bring Fleck to webOS

by Nathan Mylott Mon, 27 Dec 2010 2:20 am EST

The geniuses that brought us Word Ace and the Card Ace series have a new cross platform MMO coming to webOS, Facebook and other smartphones in the next few months. Self Aware Games’ new project is called Fleck. It is a cutesy, cartoony Facebook style game that is sort of like Farmville with zombies on real world locations. The game is currently in open beta and you can see it for yourself at Fleck.com. You will need a Facebook account and a sense of humor.

The gaming in Fleck feels like a Facebook game and even has a similar art style, but with one major difference: the entire game is played on a Google Map of the real world. You place a house on your home location, plant and harvest for profit, and decorate. Your home does not have to be at your actual home. There are some people whose home is in the bleacher seats at Fenway Park for instance. You can change what your character looks like too, although that feature has not been fully mplemented yet.

You can travel around to anywhere in the world and meet up with your friends at real locations. You can type in an address or simply a landmark name, such as ‘Empire State Building.’

 “With Fleck, we wanted to make something that was really about hanging out with friends in a place,” said Seppo Helava, co-founder and Lead Designer at Self Aware Games. “So the game elements, planting and harvesting, shooting zombies, etcetera, they're things to do with your friends, but the core thing about the game is to really get that sense that you're not just perusing someone's Facebook page, but that you can do that, and then go do stuff with them online in Fleck.”

Once you and your friends meet up at a location, you can dance a jig together, dig up a nearby grave to battle with zombies, go on a scavenger hunt or do some gardening. You can place a little sign post that serves as a discussion board for that location, such as the one I placed at Fenway Park to start some baseball discussion. When you do battle with zombies and take damage, you can restore your health at nearby real world restaurants. Everything is centered around the real world, so much so that when you walk to locations, your little avatar actually walks on the streets rather than just a straight line to the destination.

The developers have lofty plans for the future of Fleck, eventually incorporating more of the features you normally associate with the likes of Foursquare, Gowalla and Streetbrew.

“We're not positioning Fleck strictly as a game. The way we see it is as a geo-located social experience that happens have games in it. The goal, first and foremost, is to create a social experience,” Helava explained. “Fleck was originally designed to be a virtual world that was built around the mobile experience. Whether it's checking in to your favorite restaurant, uploading a mobile photo, or posting a geotagged tweet, all those will affect the world of Fleck.”

As usual, the game will be free to play but will use the ‘freemium’ business model; one type of currency that you earn in game and another that you have to buy with real world money. As always, the power ups and the best goods for sale are the ones you buy with real world money.

The game is not yet available on Facebook or any smartphone platform as it is still in development. It is only available to play on its own website. It will be at least a few months before it is released on webOS and other platforms.

The developers are seeking feedback and suggestions from beta testers, as evidenced by the fact that there is a comment form front and center on the gameplay screen. But even after launch, it will never be a static gaming experience. Like most social games, there will always be new things added.

“Fleck itself is still rapidly evolving. New features are getting added on a week-by-week basis, and if all goes well, frankly, it'll never be done,” said Helava.