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HoppitMaster

Multi-domain hopping adventures

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Hello Game Developers, It's my first post to this forum, so hello everyone out there in game dev land. I'm developing an idea for web game, it's a multi-domain hopping adventure game which was always in my mind whilst playing around with Hypercard many years ago. Like quite a few thousand (maybe million) others, as soon as the web emerged on the scene, the thought of creating a hypertext adventure game sprang immediately to mind, however, like most of the people I know in game development, other things kind of got in the way of actually putting the plan into effect. However, as I now have some time on my hands, I started to draw up plans for creating an RPG game which will take the form of a series of simple HTML templates, which anyone can download freely and create a node to what I'm calling the GIANT (Gargantuan Internet Adventure Network). The website has only just started and I have not yet created any real resources, however, whilst the idea is absolutely simple, creating a network which sprawls organically over the web has thrown up a few obvious hurdles which I think I am close to solving. Firstly, as I'd like people to create nodes of the network, by downloading a template, publishing to a subdirectory of their own webspace - the first issue was, "OK, so how does the game hyperlink TO a new node?". The way I'm planning to solve this is to use a database on my server which keeps track of the newly published nodes on the network and by cross referencing against catagories, will suggest existing dead ends which are looking to link to a node of a similar catagory. ie. the publisher logs into a GIANT admin page and runs a search for dead ends, gets suggested potential nodes and can then add his or her gateway URL to a field which then emails this URL to the publisher of the existing node. The person then links TO the new node, logs in and confirms the link has been made - thus we have a mechanism for growing and adventure game across the web. Just wondered, I'm sure I can't be the first person in the world to attempt something like this, however, whilst researching RPG communities, I'm not finding much in the way of useful information or even similar ideas. So, perhaps I've been looking in the wrong place! Have any of you heard of anyone doing something similar? What do you think of the idea ? (you can it's naff if you like, I'm only doing this for fun and to forefill a long lived itch to attempt it) The website I've started is http://www.thehoppit.net There is definitely nothing clever happening in the code just yet, I simply wanted to keep it as simple as possible for two reasons - firstly, I didn't want to create a system which would require a large knowledge base of HTML skills from the people I want to join in ... and secondly, I wanted to keep the code as basic as possible to make it spider friendly. Anyway, wondered if anyone has any ideas? Obviously, this would be ever so simple to make as a database driven adventure game within a single domain, but that defeats the object really - part of the fun is simply that the player is actually surfing all over the world when they're playing ... and that offers two good reasons for people to contribute, traffic arrives at their website (and can potentially, hop out of the adventure to see where they've arrived ... and secondly, as far as page ranking goes, the amount of relevant links would help the contributers page rank. OK, well, I'll dash off now, Keep Funky, HoppitMaster

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Welcome to GameDev!

Unfortunately, I haven't heard about a system like this. It sounds interesting, especially if there were some sort of scavenger hunt element to it.

I have this design related question, however: What would you say the experience would be for any player going to these different websites? I ask because it seems to me the metaphor of "surfing as traveling" has actually died out as the 'net has become functional and more mundane. In the beginning, yes, there was a feeling of traveling to exotic places, and I think for kids this may still be true, but us old timers (with our dentures next to our mousepad [wink]) may not find the aesthetic of traveling / adventuring that you're looking to create simply by arriving at a new URL.

You said that having everything on one server kind of defeats the purpose. Does this mean that the concept of a huge, interlinked game world is a more important selling point than the actual game? Could you substitute just about any game and achieve your goals?

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Kingdom of Loathing
I have seen a few online games of this type, but most use something along the line of php, asp or jsp to mangae the world, movement and add more gameplay elements

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hi Wavinator,

Thanks for your response.

In answer to the question about whether the game being massive is more important than the game itself ... one of the purposes of the game will be to hop in at any gatway and navigate to a specific url (without typing it straight into the address ). If the game ever did take off, I'd write a specific browser with compass style navigation, battle/fighting widgets and no address bar ... he he, not very useful for any other purpose eh!)

You're quite right about that familiarity and functionality with the web has made the audience view the medium differently. But I wonder if people would still marvel at the sheer size of the web. For instance, every time I arrive at google, even though I'm more used to seeing the same number appearing in relation to indexed websites ... I'm always hugely impressed at the size of the web.

Sometimes, when I actually think of the internet and start thinking about how TCP/IP, packet switching ... HTML ... etc all work through a common protocol, I begin to think of the human race could be seen (by visiting aliens) as this rather odd creature, who doesn't co-operate under a hierachy ... like bees or termites ... but, it's the will to express ones individuality which fuels the need for co-operation on protocol.

Thanks very much for your thoughts,

Best Regards,

HoppitMaster

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Cheers for feedback KOL,

Yeah, many elements of the game would definitely be a lot easier if I was to use PHP/SQL, or ASP/javascript. It would also lead to a lot more fun with such things as passing session variables to allow online battles to happen when two players enter the same location. There's definitely a lot of virtue to doing it that way - but, it's almost of if doing it that way detracts from the essence of community.

Actually, it's a point Waviator makes very well ... we don't get the feeling that we are actually travelling around the world when we surf the web so much these days. Containing a virtual world within a server ... yep, fine ... but I'm just fascinated by the implications which could be achieved from making an adventure game by way of spawning the locations organically through threads, emails.

Rather difficult to figure everything out (as I've found out) ... but still, lots of fun to attempt imho :)

Thanks again for your post,

Best Regards,

HoppitMaster

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Guest Anonymous Poster
... just a thought, as reading my last post, I didn't make it very clear ... with regards to what I was saying about community. That's not exactly spot on - I mean, everybody meets up in forums and communities build up.

What I'm saying though ... is it's a bit like a group of friends meeting up in the community center, but never going round to each others houses?

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