Friday, July 25, 2008

Facebook App: Street Wars

Yes. The Facebook Application's Street Wars, or 古惑仔 ("Goo Waak Jai" in Cantonese). An text-based game application that makes everyone addictive, especially amongst those Cantonese-speaking people. So, what the heck does it mean??

古惑仔 is a term for member of underground society, or literally - "Black Society" (黑社会), or in short, triad. The term was originated from none other than Hong Kong, and was made popular through the Hong Kong sextet saga Young And Dangerous (《古惑仔》 in Chinese, of course). It literally means a scheming guy - scheming being a characteristic necessary for survival in Hong Kong underworld.

As in Facebook, the Street Wars application/game is a role playing game, where a player can:
- perform tasks and gang-fight in order to gain experience, level (from 1 to 35), and money
- buy properties in order to generate income
- buy items to enhance attack and defense strength (some items need money for maintenance)
- invite other friends to join so that they can become part of a gang. The more people a player has, the stronger the player become during gang-fight
- bank in the money into an underground bank

Since gang-fight is one of the money earning channel, naturally, if two are involved in a gang-fight, the winner gets to snatch away 5% of the opponent's cash. Nevertheless, to safe guard the money lost from gang-fight challenge by someone stronger, a player can choose to bank in the cash at the expense of 10% of the amount being banked in - the banked money could not be plundered from gang-fights. Or, a player can go ahead and attack until the health level drops to red level (there are 4 levels: green - healthy, yellow - lightly injured, red - severely injured (less than 20 hit points), and purple - coma (0 hit points)), then the player is not allowed to attack or be attacked.

As a player soars in his level, more advanced tasks (that can generate more money at the expense of gang members and attack/defense items), attack-enhancement and defense-enhancement items will be unlocked. Also, a player can upgrade 3 attribute ticks (out of 5, which is max hit points (+10), max task strength (+1), max attack strength (+1), attack damage (+1), and defense damage (+1)) As such, many players will try to gain as much experience as possible to advance into higher and higher levels.

One thing that make the game very addictive the the rate of refreshment of attributes. The income generated from properties will be automatically updated every hour. So, right on the 0-th minute, many players will log in to the game to ensure their money is safe-guarded from being lost to gang-fights, either by spending their cash buying items or more properties or save into the bank, or whack other players until they themselves are in the red health zone.

In addition, other attributes like hit points, attack strength, and task strength are updated every 5 minute (5pts, 1pt, and 1pt respectively). So, for every tick of the clock, players will hog into the server for some action. Many times this causes the application to lag while loading, or worse, hang. I for once yesterday could not log in to Facebook properly because of that!!

This game is indeed very popular amongst Hongkie Facebook users. How do I know? Just by the players' names and nicknames in my list of people for gang-fight target. The names are very Hongkongish i.e. Liu, Lam, Tse, Leung, Tsang, etc... And the nicknames are typed in with traditional Chinese characters (only in Hong Kong and Taiwan where traditional Chinese characters are still being used). Yes... nicknames for players with Level 11 and above can be customized into what the player wants (Level 1 through 10 nicknames are pre-assigned). I myself am trying to imitate being a Hongkie, by nicknaming myself 榴蓮地炒蟹集團老鼎爺! Hahaha!!! Just wanna clarify that the phrase "fried crab" is not intended as a pun for some Cantonese vulgar words. :-P

Our gang who are now playing this game in Facebook has become a bit crazy. Just by their nicknames, I can tell they "short-short dei":
攞你命3000
蛊惑佬
你老豆
叫聲大飛哥
挡我者。。。死
笑面虎
龍威

We also become crazy while being in the game:

[ Hitting a female player repeatedly until she fell into "coma" ]

As well as outside the game:

[ 5 of us happen to wear black T-shirts, look like members of triads that normally wear black, so decided to pose for a "beautiful handsome" picture... LOL! ]
One of us wore a T-shirt with a big traditional Chinese character, meaning "Dragon", a mythical creature amongst the Hong Kong society used to represent triads.

Yes. We are indeed addicted to it. Deeply addicted!!!

Hyperlink to the application: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=17326627347&ref=mf

5 comments:

~~wilson~~ said...

Altera 蛊惑仔...lol...

David Chan said...

Hahaha... Btw, I just realized from the Hall of Fame, that there are more than 35 levels. Currently there are people at level 39. Now I really don't know what the absolute maximum level is!!!

Aven said...

You all looks more like Man In Black to me in the photo. Maybe u will have initial Like J, K, L etc etc.. Heha..

gnap said...

Goo Wak Jai in Facebook, huh. there is an English version, in FB as well called MobWars. I was so addicted for a couple of wks that i lost some sleep at nite. Then, one fine day, i deleted the thing. I can't afford to be addicted for reasonS you possibly might know. hahaha :P

Jessica said...

Hey... sorry but i actually laugh out loud.... NO NO NO! The pictures are terrible.... U all look like peeing.... hahaha! Sorry ok. no offence....Well atleast u tried...