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MMOG vision

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http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=98598 Please read the above post, it''s quite good and the inspiration for this post. It made me realize what I want my MMOG(whenever I get around to making it) to be and you will probably need it to understand where I''m coming from on this. Revolution, not evolution. I want to see the power to change the world in the player''s actions, not some editor. I can go on quests all day. You can create new items. I could get all the items. I could slay all the baddies, then what? Someone will be kind enough to write another quest and I''ll go on it. It''s like current MMORPG''s are online RPG''s that never end but never change either. The next MMORPG should not be a MMORPG. The game should not be a place to interact with other avatars. It should be a world with a population, not an aggregate. We can''t all be Luke Skywalker and blow up the Death Star unless it''s a single player game but we could be on the mission to blow up the Death Star. I hope you''ve seen the new Star Wars so you''ll know what scene I''m talking about and will be able to visualize. Two Jedi knights are chasing an assassin and all three run into a crowded bar and must search. It''s a great and interesting story, one that would undoubtedly thrill the MMOG players, but what about the other people in the bar? I dare not suggest players play a MMOG just to do boring roles, I wouldn''t play it for one. Although, a Sim fan might enjoy being a bar owner. Back to the bar scene, who was the target? It was a politician, a Senator in the Galactic Senate, someone who makes laws concerning the whole Republic, and for a game example, probably a large portion of the game world. Imagine the impact. That''s what I mean by saying the power to change the world should come from actions, not map editors. The content of the game world should be generated, not created. (Though the editors should defnitely not be gotten rid of.) Not all cases need to be as dramatic. Imagine simply that a guild of pirates moves to a particular region. How does that affect the economy? Will there be political strife as the economic troubles grow? Will the threat be so great that you couldn''t swing a meterstick around without hitting a bounty hunter? I could be blowing smoke and there be one or many out there which do this and despite the small and insignificant humiliation I hope I am wrong and if I am, would somone please post a link because I would love to play in such a dynamic and living world. Finally, I believe it very necessary for players to have many possible roles, so many that multiple gameplay genres will need to be included in order to work like I have hopefully described.

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Your idea of a dynamic livng world is attractive.

Some people dare to propose such a world and let there fantasies explore the possibilities and power of impact such a world would allow.

Now, how do you create such a world?

I think some knowledge from different backgrounds is needed for this.

First off, you have to realize that what you actually want is a living, dynamic Society with lots of interdepended relations.

I think the way to go is probably to grow it "Growing artificial Societies" is a good term to put in your searchengine.

Another concept is 'emergence'. The key to create such a living society is to create it from the bottom-up. You have to know that a society actually emerges from the interactions of the people. It is not designed but it grows and becomes more complex through time. There is no master designer that created society.

So what you need to define as a designer is offer a world, offer needs for the player or possibilities to become more powerfull than the others, and some other things probably also.

You have to know what to offer in your world so that such a dynamic societies emerge from it. I do not think you have to create for instance the framework for the political or social structures, maybe it's possible to create them as a designer but they will never be as flexeble as a political structure that is created by the players themwelves. If a political structure is created by the player that the players have also the power to change the foundations of that political structure which would not be the case if you hardcode a political structure yourself, as a designer of the world.

I'm not controling this issue already as if I would want to otherwise I would certainly already be in production to create such a living dynamic world. But I'm trying to design one now. I'm trying to solve the difficulty of the complexity of current society by creating a game that is situated in very primitive societies like the tribal societies of indians.

Hope to hear from you,

[edited by - Marc De Mesel on June 10, 2002 7:31:12 AM]

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Actually, MarcDM and I have gone back and forth on this issue over the past week in this thread.

It's VERY lengthy but there's a lot of ground covered here about emergent gameplay.

- Jay

"Strictly speaking, there is no need to teach the student, because the student himself is Buddha, even though he may not be aware of it." - Shunryu Suzuki

Get Tranced!

[edited by - coderx75 on June 10, 2002 4:33:13 PM]

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Actully I think this is called real life. Every one of us can be seen as a brain using an avatar to dynamically change the world around them as they see fit. And those argue for permanent death in MMORPGs can''t complain eh? Sorry for so literal.

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I''m not trying to think of how to do it, but if you have ideas I''d love to hear it. This is just a direction I feel we should strive for.

TechnoHydra - Real Life v2.0, heck yeah! I do want it to be more like real life except for the magic and/or sci-fi technology.

MarcDM and coderx75, you touch on something I thought about earlier today, before going online and offering it to the public, the world needs to be up and running, so to speak, new players could become new actors or even take over NPCs

a new MMORPG is coming out, Star Wars Galaxies, it''s supposed to be huge, (what, 8x Everquest?) and I think the living world should really be that large or larger, but that''s a lot of data,
I have a plan to make it easier to store and retrieve that world data. For a lot of it, probably anything alive and animate, information on that will need to be stored explicitly, but buildings and landscapes would be done procedurally, is there such thing as a bezier plane? Anyway, it doesn''t matter how, it''s just I think that we oughta try to make the game world as large as possible, and to do that we need to make it cheaper, so we store more data in less space.

To go along with the procedural stuff(heck, maybe even the politics and economics could be initially created procedurally), it would be great when trying to create things with a certain look. Elves have their own style, and in sci-fi settings, each alien race should have their own kind of style, perhaps a base model, or a database, could be used, then, when creating buildings and ships procedurally, the elements could be applied consistently from that race''s database?

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