We first wrote about Flash MMOG startup Ohai back in January. There wasn’t anything to look at, but the company had raised $6 million in funding and had assembled a small but impressive group of gaming technology executives.
Now they’re ready to launch their first game, City Of Eternals. The timing is perfect – the vampire themed game will attract the Twilight-crazy crowd of teenage girls and the boys that follow them around.
Move aside, Vampire Wars. City of Eternals is a real game.
This is a game that’s easy to begin playing. You log in via Facebook Connect or Twitter and you’re playing. No account creation. No need to even tell you you’re male or female – it already knows.
And since every player is logging in via Facebook or Twitter, there is also a real human being to look at behind the avatar. You can click on the player icon and see a picture and the first name of the player, and message them if their privacy rules allow it.
That will let users build real friendships, says founder and CEO Susan Wu. And those friendships are one thing that Ohai hopes will keep people playing over the long term. They want their users to engage with the game like World Of Warcraft aficionados do – every day for years and years.
So far it’s working. 10,000 private beta testers have been playing for two months now, and are averaging ten logins and 65 minutes of playing per day. “People are in love with the game,” said Wu.
Game play is a hybrid between familiar client-based MMOGs and more recent social games on facebook like Vampire Wars and FarmVille. Players perform missions and fight to gain experience and other assets, and they can buy virtual goods to make the game more fun. This is a strictly cash economy, says Wu. No ScamVille offers will be put in front of users.
Another feature of the game is that it’s embeddable anywhere since it’s built on Flash. You can play it on the City of Eternals website, or the soon to launch Facebook app page, or we could embed it here on TechCrunch. When you play you’ll have the same experience. And you’re friends will be right there with you.
They even have an iPhone version that they are testing internally, says VP Engineering Don Neufeld. It won’t be exactly the same experience as the Flash version, but people will be able to play the game and interact with friends.
The game is built on a backend platform that the company will reuse for future titles. They use their own API to move data to the front end user interface, so developers could theoretically build versions of the game for Silverlight, Android, etc.
Up next we’ll have a video and 500 invitation to give away so you can start playing immediately. In the meantime, here are some screenshots:
Update: video and invitations to the service.