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Step by climb

As always, one of the most fascinating things about the Internet is all the little subcommunities that spring up here and there. My latest discovery is Pyroto Mountain, which is a fascinating little web game unlike anything else I’ve seen. The framework is an escalating series of trivia questions, but it’s way more complex than that.

You start at level 0. It’s really easy to work up to level 6, but then when you try to answer another question you find out that you have to chat a little on the bulletin boards before you can try and climb any more. OK, so you go and post. Sometimes the game tells you that your posts are good — and sometimes it doesn’t. It has standards of spelling and punctuation. Eventually you get to go up some more.

At level 8 or so, you get access to a new bulletin board, and the conversation there is a little more interesting — it’s not the newbie board. You still have to post to get the OK to go much further. It turns out that there are 512 levels, and you pretty much have to cooperate to get to the top. People talk about completely mysterious stuff. You get more things to do at high levels. The boards are, in fact, player moderated… sufficiently high level players can kick posts off the boards.

Hey, and they can kick people in the teeth and force them back down a bunch of levels! There are politics. The rate at which you regain manna (it takes manna to do anything) slows. Side effect: you want to be more careful about your posts, because that costs manna too, and if you don’t post smart things you won’t get to keep climbing.

The trivia gets harder as you go, of course. I’m betting that towards the top, the questions will be specifically checked for ease of research. I hear that high level wizards get to make up questions, too.

The not very hidden agenda of the game is creating community. It seems to work pretty well. I’m kind of hooked.

12 Comments

  1. That’s really cool.

    It’s too bad that I appear to have entirely eradicated the portion of my brain responsible for winning games of Trivial Pursuit now that I have access to Google.

  2. Hm. One downside – the mountain loses a great deal of patience with me when my cow orkers stop by to chat.

  3. One interesting thing I just found. It said to go away for at least four hours. But it doens’t know hwo to tell time. I came back 6 hours later and still had 25 minutes to go. ^_^

  4. You have totally broken me.

    This was a BBS thing in the past. No, seriously. Back in the early 80s; Jennifer was on it as well and will be likewise broken by your discovery.

    Wow. I remember reams of printouts of trivia questions and … and well I don’t remember as much as I’d like to, because we’re talking about 20 years ago.

    Again, wow.

  5. Odd that I stumbled here after doing a random Google search on MultiMegaCorp and clicking on a link from there.

    I can’t believe I’ve been around Pyroto for almost two years now…

  6. Donna Donna

    So, what happened to Pyroto, anyway?

    I used to play constantly. Eventually, I left the game but out of curiosity I went back about a month ago—-and can’t seem to find the game anymore, just a “demonstration screen” of the login page I remember so well.

    Did the Mountain finally topple?

  7. Huh. It seems to have gone missing — I can’t find any reference as to why…

  8. Donna Donna

    Nor can I.

    I was hoping to find the reason here 🙂

    Ahh well…I guess I will have to look up some old email addresses and see if I can find someone who used to play and might know what happened…..

    *sidles off*

  9. Anne Anne

    FYI, Pyroto was closed down.
    Tim sold it to another guy.
    All he wanted was to make money.
    That didn’t work.
    He started MMC. I never played it.

    There are at least two spin-offs.
    They seem to be doing well.
    Can’t remember the names now.

  10. Grey Grey

    anyone know of anyother trivia level games like that? i just returned from overseas and at last can have unlimited access to the net again and was sad to see pyroto gone.
    any others you know of please let me know

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