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A Tale in the Desert II: Progress Report

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

A Tale in the Desert and now A Tale in the Desert II have been on the MMORPG landscape for quite some time. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to have a lengthy discussion with the Pharaoh himself, Andrew Tepper and play the game for the first time since beta. In so doing, I discovered a much deeper game than I thought I would. Here are my impressions:

image Periodically, there is a test of the demi-pharaoh. This test takes all applicants and puts them into juries of seven. The seven people in each jury are given a set amount of time to converse, argue, discuss and pick the most worthy among themselves to advance to the next stage. If all seven cannot agree on one of their own to advance, no one advances. This whittling process continues until only one jury remains, and then if those people can agree on one of their own to advance – that person becomes the demi-pharaoh. The entire process does not make use of “character skill” or any other game play mechanics. It is totally up to the people at the keyboards. If even one player dissents on the eventual decision, no demi-pharaoh is proclaimed. Only one player has ever been exiled by a demi-pharaoh and that was an important player who had gotten very angry with others and set out to destroy much of the communal work they had spent so much time on. The selection process ensures that demi-pharaohs use their power for the good of society, rather than ill.

Still, I was curious what would happen if the previously reputable demi-pharaoh decided he wanted to exile the seven most important players in the game. Andrew Tepper acknowledged this would be a tragedy to the game’s society, but there would be no intervention. These are the perils players face to build their perfect society.

You can read the full article if you click here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


  • devilduckdevilduck duckville, NMPosts: 37Member

    ATITD2 is an interesting game and different.  The problem I have just starting out. is every question you ask the veterns is answered by "its in the wiki".  Yet when you go to the wiki often there is not a real explaination on how to do something. 


    For instance.  the first test in Architecture is to build a house(tent)  of course to build a simple tent you need to have canvas, linen, nails and wood.  getting wood is straight forward and the manufacture of canvas and linen are covered in the beginning island.  but to get nails you need iron and a nail mold.  to get iron you need an ore cart and mining.  to get the nail mold you need a cutable stone.  Nothing really explains how to do those things. 

    There are public mines you can use.  but that is not explained clearly

    ATITD is a nice change of pace, but to really increase its population it needs to be a little more friendly in the starting stages


  • EvilTurkeyEvilTurkey Otsego, MIPosts: 10Member

    I played in beta and found that very same problem. It is far too overwhelming to master every single aspect of a project by yourself; However, I believe this to just be a gimic to get one to seek the help of others. That does seem to go along with the goal of the game afterall, create a society. No man is an island, we're all travelers in the same desert.

  • MarvLMarvL Seattle, WAPosts: 1Member

    A single player can only block a Demi-Pharaoh preliminary round (7 player per group) by creating or allowing a tie to remain. The actual criteria is that whoever has the MOST votes in a round, advances, but nobody advances if there's a tie.

    I have a very different take on the Wiki. While it's true that there's no cookbook style manual, much of the point of the game lies in the discovery of exactly how stuff works. Flax genetics, for example, aren't explained ahead of time, but crossbreeding experiments have dramatically improved flax yield. Players use the wiki to describe the current state of their experiments. Likewise with cooking for stats.

    There is much about the game that engenders cooperative efforts. There are some 250 herbs that can be gathered, some of them quite rare, and there are 12 different ways to gather each herb. A considerable effort allowed the players to sort out the combinations, and one of the players put it all together in a database at

    I've been playing ATITD for a couple of years now, and while I know a lot about the game there are many technical puzzles that I haven't explored.

    The most astonishing thing about ATITD is how open-ended it is - and the wiki is merely a reflection of what has been established - what's being established - and solutions that are "good enough" for the moment.

  • DartjeDartje ZoetermeerPosts: 45Member

    The biggest disappointment for me was the total emptyness.

    Everywhere i looked i saw building, art, monuments, etc. But no people! I've spend hours alone on some godforsaken beach trying to build a house to house some indoor equipment. I finished it and i found out i was all alone... So i stopped and never looked back.

  • maurovzmaurovz Fay, ARPosts: 10Member
    true.. I was playing it last night.. it was fun when u are in the welcome island.. then you will never see a person... sad
  • Divinity104Divinity104 Nashville, TNPosts: 1Member

          As a seasoned player of ATITD 2 I would ike to say that those who say it's on the wiki do not represent us all. If you decide to try this game and cant get your question's answered you should ask around if anyone know's of a newbie guild we have many throughout our land and when you find one join it we have built these guild's just so we can help you get started out in the game. Once you are comfortable with the game it is your choice if you want to stay in the guild and help other's or if ya want to leave. One of these guild one I'm in myself is called Protege once on the mainland if you go to the region Nile Delta all you do is from the chariot stop is go south to the first bridge and head west across that bridge follow that road to the pond you will see it just before you get to that pond on the right will be the Protege guild hall just click on it and ask to join this guild. We are more then happy to help anyone who need's it. Also no guild should ask for anything other then some brick's and board's for entrance. Also dont let anyone tell you, you have to make their guild your primary guild. There are some who try to force you to make snap decision's but the better part of egypt doesnt agree with this practice. The reason why some ask for brick's and board's is to help make the guild bigger so it can hold more people and to build or expand a guild it take's brick's and board's.

       A few pointer's for getting around egypt once on the mainland are F3 bring's up a map of the region your in F4 is your compass showing n, s, e, w, on the map you will see all the school's and university's in that region also you will see the chariot.

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