Sep 1, 2016

So Long, Avengers Alliance

So, it's been announced. Marvel Avengers Alliance is going to live at a farm upstate. I turned in the last scripts almost a month ago, and since then I've been thinking back over the whole experience. I started working on Avengers Alliance in October 2010. Back then it was called Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.. Guess why they changed the name? (Actually it's not what you think. They wanted the game to support the Avengers movie. So even though the player was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., it became an Avengers game. Then when everyone loved Coulson in the Avengers movie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. reappeared as the show's title. Or at least that's the way I remember it.)

Nearly six years. That's the longest I've ever done any one thing. A close second is teaching at the University of Maine, and Avengers Alliance was actually what let me leave the university with reasonable confidence that I would be able to pay my mortgage. So I am nothing but grateful to the game, and to the rest of the team, and to Marvel/Disney, and to the 75 million or so players who were really the ones who made the whole thing work as well as it did.

Some numbers: During the course of Avengers Alliance, I wrote 24 chapter scripts and 36 SpecOps scripts, totaling something like 260 missions. Well over 100 characters have speaking roles. My aggregate script is 39,000 lines of dialogue. That's the equivalent of about 40 movie scripts -- or in game terms, about the same as Mass Effect 3 or Fallout 3.

In other words, a whole lot of story for a browser/mobile game. In that respect, I think Avengers Alliance wasn't just fun; it was genuinely ground-breaking. I'm proud to have been part of it.

The announcement of Alliance's end comes right as I'm starting a couple of new things. I'm about to start working on at least one other game, and will be talking more about them as things get finalized.

Also, as of August 29, I'm teaching at the University of Southern Maine. They want to start a game design program (specifically, they're calling it Gaming and Simulation Development) and they've asked me to help get it up and running. I never meant to go back to teaching when I left Orono, but this was too interesting an opportunity to pass up. So, that's how the circle works. I left university teaching to work mostly on games, and then the experience working on games led to another university teaching job.

And I'm still working on games.

And writing books.

And writing comics.

Life is great. I can't wait to see what comes next.

21 comments:

Fragata said...

Just thanks, thanks for all that 4 years wth my favorte super-heroes, bleing an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. xD

Unknown said...

Thank you for your work.

Michal Stopa said...

Thank you for your work, that give us so many good moments. Like everything good that too need to ends...

Maksim Krachenko said...

something better than MAA?? nothing else can be better than this game, please stop this madness , over 220.000.000 people playing , living , breathing, they love this game, ive loved every minute of this game, stories are great, wonderful mechanics, wonderful heroes . thats why we playing 4 years , every day , we dont wanna to loose it , please you can keep it and fight for it and try everything , you put hurt of it , we can loose MAA

Napoleon Gomez said...

Wow..i don't know what to say. I'm playing since 2013. Every single day, i played MAA. Anywhere, in any moment. I fought and fought until i managed to get all the heroes, win several adamantiums, and bursted in rage when not. Skipped class in college so i can rise to 1550. Once i win the adamantium in 1551. epic day. I remember the Angel Day, the Gold Bug, The Rocket JCJ, that glitches that made an experience. The OP characters, the brutal nerfs. Buying or winning every hero was a big moment for me. I knowed this people for so long. Watched them fought in the comics, and play with them in this game was amazing. I share this game with an incredible special person to me..we don't talk anymore, because of this game..damn, this is a part of me. Hard to say goodbye. Thanks for your work man. It was really amazing. You made my laugh, get excited, cry with the stories you wrote. I hope you get successful in your new projects! So farewell MAA!!

Cyrus Annihilator said...

Thank you very much for the awesome work you did.

Ground-breaking is really a good definition for MAA. It's the biggest Marvel game of the history. The game I played the most in my life.

I would love to see more stuff, because it's Marvel and there always be something else to add. But what I got was just amazing.

Thank you. Thank you very much!

NeverOddOreveN said...

Thank you for all your work! I will truly miss this game. I've been playing sine it was first released in 2010. My 5 year old son, who has a growing affinity for superheroes just started playing through my account as well.:-(

ivan said...

Please dont end the game. Stop updating it but dont close it please

Unknown said...

Thank you for an awesome ride. I've been playing since SO 2. My best memory may be this summer with my for year old daughter running to my pc every day so she can yell "shush duck"at Howard during the summer celebration.

Unknown said...

Thank you for an awesome ride. I've been playing since SO 2. My best memory may be this summer with my for year old daughter running to my pc every day so she can yell "shush duck"at Howard during the summer celebration.

Casey Wagner said...

All I want is it to be left open so we can finish getting everyone. It's the completion is in me, which is really contradictory...
It's gonna be odd... MAA has always been kinda my comfort game... Some days I'd just get the daily and that's it, others i'd dedicate hours, but it's been there for me to enjoy... It was with me all through high school... And now... I just can't believe it's going to be gone forever... It's hard...

Deacon S. Wellman said...

Hey Alex,

Thanks for your years of work. I played MAA through writing my car off, a cancer-scare and my father almost dying. It became a sort of chill-out space for me to relax with.

Partly, I'd like to say, it helped motivate me to study programming and I'm now able to do a reasonable effort in ASP.Net and with Java and Javascript projects.

Wayne Cochran said...

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

XeoByo said...

Thx for your hard work

I really like MAA story, especially some 'inside joke' from the text

and yeah, with the game end I can see that the story ending is kinda rushed

but at least it was completed, and I satisfied with the ending (eventhought it's 'cliffhanger') but it fell so good to be able to finish this 4 years old game

Best Regard

Agent XeoByo

Trebuchet said...

I completed my PhD in 2011, which was to me my benchmark for 'time sink' and 'distraction. I have to say that MAA was my greatest distraction after even that, my greatest time-sink. Thanks for everything; life was made so much more fun for all those years by your good work!

Tiozinho Babacofóbico said...

Obrigado pelo seu trabalho e sucesso nos próximos.

Michael W said...

Alex, I don't think you'll ever really understand the number of people you touched and positive effects you've had. This game got me through a lot of difficult life events, and as I've discovered in the past week, I am far from alone in that.

Godspeed, and thank you.

CsAtlantis said...

Thanks for the 4 years, there were some wonderful missions (though the first spec op was really hard to play before they reduced the difficulty)

Did you do the recruitment dialogue as well?

Brian Ibbott said...

Alex - thanks so much for all the fun you provided with Marvel Avengers Alliance. It's a game that was loved by many (as is evident by the player base and all the great comments posted here), and was supported by a massive community of fans, YouTube & Twitch streamers, podcasters and countless Facebook groups. It'll be missed, but I think we're all eager to see what's next down the pike for you!

TimeStreamerMoebius said...

Thank you for this amazing game! I played it every day all four years and with great pleasure.
However, there is a several unanswered questions and i hope, since the game is closing and there no spoilers anymore, that you can share some light on them.

The first question is literally the first mystery of the game itself -
- What was the origin of the Pulse?
The first season make great deal about it, with many hints about how important it was (with some great additions in Marvel XP) but with the eand of Syndicate storyline and the end of season 1 the storyline move to the Incursions and Fear Itself, and the Pulse seems to be completely forgotten. Even main villains from season 1, who joined SHIELD dont talk about it anymore.

The second question is about the Circle of Eight. The Circle was mentions since first chapters, so there was a lot of rumors and theories about them in the fanbase but they appear in the flesh only in season 2 creating more questions and theories about them. And later we we learned their goal - ressurect the Serpent...
But if they worship ancient asgardian god, why they look so asian? Their names, their weapons, masks and clothing - they so much Japanese-themed..
Are the Circle is truly was created only to serve Cul or it was intended for something else and they just assist Cul to create more chaos for Mikaboshi? someone else?


If you read this and answer for some of this questions it will bring a great joy for the fanbase (or what left of it after forums destruction)

ps. Oh and im sorry for my bad english.

Jonathan Villarreal said...

Alex, thank you so much for your story, it was amazing play MAA with your hard work, greetings from Mexico.