Stargate Worlds' minigames make casual hardcore

Cheyenne Mountain is trying something a little different in Stargate Worlds. Sure, there will be the regular routine of killing, looting, selling -- repeat. But the game design will also incorporate minigames not unlike the casual games you'd find on Yahoo! or AOL's web portals.

Cheyenne casual game designer Steve Williams has written up a longish developer blog about this unlikely marriage, in which he describes one of the minigames -- a hacking game. Okay, so that's not the most original casual game to slip into a more complex hardcore game -- most of us have played the Shock games. SGW's hack game sounds a bit different, though; it both confuses and helps the user with scrambled visuals and sonic cues as he or she searches for a hidden red wire to access.

More interesting than the specifics about the hack game, though, is the inside look at the process by which Williams and others develop "Hack" and other games like it. Williams also ponders in writing about how the presence of such games affects the traditional MMO experience. "What does it mean," he asks, "when you get uber loot from clipping a wire in less than 12 seconds?"