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Essential Elements.

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1. Community of players.
2. Competition with non-AI controlled opponents.

Those 2 are almost corollaries for each other, but I think they still deserve separate listings.

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DavidRM
Samu Games

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Without a doubt, I'm with you on the communtiy side of things.
But one of my all time favorite MP internet game was MP battletech on Genie.
Unless you count the tactical aspect of moving units against each other and attacking each other's planets, all the conflict was resolved by the players attacking AI driven equipment.
No doubt P v P would have been much better (and it was often promised), but the game was a classic as it was.
However, since the public expectation for mutliplayer is p v p, what was once an improved feature may now be required.So I can see that.

[This message has been edited by DogRobber (edited October 26, 1999).]

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What are some elements that you would consider essential for online gameplay (regardless of game "type").

(I'm curious to see how many gameplay elements are universal.)

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I think that in either online or single player the important features are the same, its just some are easier to achieve in online games. (A NPC algorithm that is indistinguishable from a Player is as good as a Player when it comes to interaction) Unluckly we haven't atained that level yet so having other players interact is very very helpful since it means you don't need to have as many NPC chars that aren't quite as realistic.
As to what is needed I think it comes down to these:
-Surprise (Anything the player doesn't expect that is reasonable enough that afterwards they think I should have seen that coming)
-Goals (High score, Rare items/spells, High char stats, beating up the online bully, just something to try for)
-Problem Solving (from finding your way through a maze like level, to getting into a room with no doors, or figruing out which type of weapon is most effective against an enemy)
-Action (People want to be doing something all the time, obviously you can't quite do this in an RPG, but making someone wait 15 minutes to regain their mana would probably be going to far. And while ussually people think of action as combat, it could be conversation or stocking up on new weapons at a store or even exploring a section of forest)
-Interaction (people want to interact with others we are a social species. This doesn't no matter what only include other players, but also even well done NPC's can be interacted with, unluckly this is rarely seen, but you can find it sometimes.)

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DESIGN FANATIC
David Abresch
abre1657@blue.univnorthco.edu

[This message has been edited by Turtle (edited October 26, 1999).]

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