Running Rubi-Ka – Part 1

I started to write this post two years ago when I stumbled across a hoard of screenshots in an old backup. It reveals some great behind the scenes info from the MMORPG Anarchy Online. I’m going to go ahead and post it now and hopefully finish up the rest at some point – I have tons more screenshots I can share. If you want to see it done, ping me on twitter @golex to give me some encouragement:


I was looking through some of my old web server backups for some ancient code I wrote, and I stumbled across a directory full of screenshots from my time in the Advisors of Rubi-Ka (ARK) program in the 2001 massively multiplayer game Anarchy Online. ARK was a group of volunteer Game Masters (GMs) that worked alongside the paid full time GMs hired by Funcom to support their game. ARK assisted them by handling basic petitions from players before further escalation, as well as running in-game events and doing additional bug hunting. Everyone in the group obviously loved the game and was happy to volunteer their time to help it in any way. It was modeled after the Guide program in EverQuest, before that was messily shut down.

I had shared these screenshots privately back in 2006 to some friends who were curious about the details and structure of a MMORPG backroom. The same way there are rumors and fervent curiosity in the cast-only areas of Disney World, people love to see this behind-the-scenes info. So here are all the shots, detailing the majority of my nearly 12 months as an ARK. Its been more than a decade since I first shared these, and nearly 14 years since I first started snapping the screenshots but I’ll do my best to recount what I remember in detail. Please excuse any minor inaccuracies!

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Ludum Dare 24

I participated in my first game jam a few weeks ago, Ludum Dare 24. The theme for this jam was evolution, and in less than 48 hours I submitted a game called Mutating Scales.

Mutating Scales Logo

I ended up using ShiVa as my engine, as I had the most experience with it and it could also export the final product to flash for easier reviewing. The core of the game was using a genetic algorithm to infer gameplay values for enemies and towers in a generic tower defense setting. Between each wave, the enemies automatically evolved while the player had to choose how they would evolve their towers to combat the next wave.

I was especially proud of creating most of the art programmatically by scaling, tinting and assembling the game objects from basic building pieces since the art work was definitely going to be my major weakness in working to complete the game in time.

I regret wrapping the interesting evolve mechanic in a tower defense game since that’s pretty rote, especially by game jam standards. I might revisit the genetic algorithm and throw it in a better setting with more interactive gameplay. For now, feel free to try it out and let me know what you think:

Mutating Scales (Source)


Thanks for visiting my little space on the web where I try to sum up my life and career into a few links. I appreciate your interest and hope you find what you are looking for!