Original post by haikuintherain
If you seem to be stuck in terms of where to go next one good approach is to resolve your idea. That is, make it more detailed and specific. Answer yourself these questions: Are you going to limit people to one Avatar? Are there going to be NPCs? Are you going to allow sex? What kind of settings do you want? Hopefully you can continue with these yourself..
There is nothing more crucial in designing a game than having a clear concise vision of what it should become.
I think the answers to thos question would have to be yes, yes, yes, and some permanent computer-controlled locations for the NPCs to hang around at and ''quests/puzzles'' to happen, and some player-assigned areas for them to personalize.
This idea must have had long enough to percolate in my brain, because I woke up this morning with a bunch of ideas for it.
Avatars - each player gets to create one Avatar, chosing among few basic appearance options. Then as the game progresses they can earn/collect improvements like funky hair/eye/skin colors, tattoos, sexy clothing and hair styles, jewelry, and even bodily modifications like adding wings or changing sex. This means there would need to be an equippage screen where the player could dress their avatar up like a paper doll. The game staff could release new improvements every few weeks or months so there would always be new ones for players to persue.
Encouraging socializing - User lookups are essential, and should say what times of day the player is usually online and searchable for common interests, like a matchmaking system. And then there could be ''guilds'' (with message boards to give the communication more permanence and some heraldic symbols for their members) built around these common interests. Instant messaging and a buddy system should be built into the game so you would know which of your buddies were online at any given time. Physical locations in the game should each have public chatrooms associated with them and the ability to switch to a private chatroom.
There should be a trading post. The player should randomly find some objects, because having things they dont want gives them a reason to use the trading post. Similarly, in-game objects for which several pieces must be collected and assembeled would encourage use of the trading post. I would advise against having player-run shops because it''s too impersonal - if the players have to work together to make economic transactions they will socialize while they are at it.
Cybersex and nudity should probably be confined to non-public places in the game, like inn rooms and players'' houses. So people looking for cybersex could hang out in the inn''s public room - sounds suspiciously like real life doesn''t it?
I''ll write more later.