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Author Topic: Raph Gone Wild  (Read 44730 times)
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on: September 10, 2006, 07:30:29 PM

Raph Gone Wild

It's late on Friday, the final day of the Austin Games Conference. Everyone is tired, hung over, or, most likely, both. And yet, much work remains to be done. A small corps of the 101st Fighting F13 platoon cornered a well-known game designer in an obscure, mostly-empty room tucked safely away from the receding tumult of the convention at large.


From left to right, the fine and exhausted gentlemen pictured above are Yoru (with money hat), Raph Koster (trying to kill us with his mind), and Koboshi (unshaven).

What follows is the mostly-raw transcript of an hour-long interview that pretty much jumps all over the place in terms of subject matter. Discussed are the emerging market dynamics of MMOs/virtual spaces, procedural and handcrafted content, middleware, NPCs, beer, and a wide host of other topics.

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Reply #1 on: September 10, 2006, 07:48:04 PM

Oh we did end up having Amy's Ice Cream in the airport, it was delish.

Margalis
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Reply #2 on: September 10, 2006, 09:14:23 PM

Why didn't you grill him on Star Wars?!  evil

Good read. I agree with a lot of Raph says about Habbo Hotel, MySpace, SL, etc, although I have a different analysis. At some point the games industry is a games industry, not a generic product industry. And most devs are in the game industry because they want to make games. If you don't like making games there are jobs with better hours, better pay, etc.

MySpace is pretty popular. So is soap. And ice cream. And football. That doesn't tell me anything. It would sound pretty strange to say "sure, WOW has a lot of subs but look at how many people watch football! WAY MORE!"

Why don't game devs pay attention to Myspace and Habbo Hotel? Because MySpace is lame and Habbo Hotel is super duper gay. That's really the explanation. I don't want to make the next MySpace or Habbo Hotel. (Well, maybe MySpace so I could cash out then make something better)

Most game devs are interested in creating something more than "stuff people use" or "websites people visit." If game devs wanted to just make stuff people use they would be MS devs writing the next version of Word.

Most people in life are not out to maximize popularity and profit. The fact that product A is more popular or profitable than the product B you make is often irrelevant, because you just don't want to make product A. Paying closer attention to things like Habbo Hotel might increase popularity and maybe profitablily - but in the end you are making fucking Habbo Hotel.

I think it really is that simple. Who here wants to create the next SMB3 or WOW or Counterstrike or Street Fighter, and who here wants to create the next Habbo Hotel? I couldn't even say "I work on Habbo Hotel" without cracking up.

MySpace with apartment graphics may be really popular, but its MySpace with apartment graphics.

Edit: Most game devs want to work on something they can be proud of, something they might play themselves. Just like most writers write stories they personally find interesting. If people are geniunely inspired to work on MySpace with apartment graphics then more power to them I guess, most most game devs (or programmers in general for that matter) aren't interested. And I don't see why they would be.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 09:19:02 PM by Margalis »

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #3 on: September 10, 2006, 09:21:17 PM

Wow, long read. Also, did Raph lose weight?

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Reply #4 on: September 10, 2006, 09:33:29 PM

Wow, long read. Also, did Raph lose weight?

You're going to have to check his Glamour interview for that, dork.
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Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 10:01:30 PM

Quote
Raph: Yeah, I mean, it's so trivially easy to come up with alternate schemes.. So trivially easy, especially an MMO. Imagine a game, we'll call it the F13 game, the F13 desert island game, okay? So let's imagine you take all the F13 posters and you dump them onto desert islands. You have all the furry fans over there, and the Winger fans over there, and those few of us on the guitar thread over on this one and that kind of thing. And nobody ever levels up, but the islands level up. It'd be trivially easy!

How come I think an F13 desert island game would change from a coop style game to a horror-survival game in less than 2 days?
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Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 10:03:31 PM

There can be only one?

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Reply #7 on: September 10, 2006, 10:12:45 PM

wisdom

Thank you, Margalis.  You crystalized what I was thinking but hadn't quite put into words.  Everytime Raph starts going on about some non-game shit that makes a meager profit by showing banner ads to eleven million thirteen-year olds, my eyes just glaze over.  Fuck CokeMusic and MySpace, I like games.  If you want to make this other shit, go tell someone who gives a damn.

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Reply #8 on: September 10, 2006, 10:17:21 PM

That just means you're one of the dorky guys doomed to sit near the kitchen in the cafeteria rolling your funny shaped dice, WUA. :)

Margalis is right, of course. The industry just doesn't see it as "cool." That's the core issue.

But look -- I am a huge defender of games and their power, you know that. I am not saying ditch games. I am saying that we can invite more folks to sit at OUR table -- even the cheerleaders might like th funny dice if you explain it to them right.
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Reply #9 on: September 10, 2006, 10:53:25 PM

Are you guys arguing over "presentation" basically, or is there something more here?

[edit] Everyone's a "gamer". That much I know. Cheerleaders, dweebs, old people, young people. Doesn't matter. So I guess I'm with Raph here. Not everything has to be "funny dice".

Or rather, the funny dice don't always have to look like funny dice.

Quote
I think it really is that simple. Who here wants to create the next SMB3 or WOW or Counterstrike or Street Fighter, and who here wants to create the next Habbo Hotel? I couldn't even say "I work on Habbo Hotel" without cracking up.

But what if the "next Habbo Hotel" basically was CS or SF underneath, with only superficial changes that helped make them appeal to so called "non gamers"? Would it still crack you up?

« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 11:13:28 PM by Stray »
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Reply #10 on: September 10, 2006, 11:06:01 PM

I'm not sure why us "kids in the corner with the funny dice" should even care about inviting all the cool kids to our table. To go off of your analogy; Sure, if explained right, us D&D kids could get some of the cool kids to come play with us...but the kind of game they would want to play is not the kind of game we would want to play.

It's like the difference between "real gamers" and "Madden/Halotards."

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Reply #11 on: September 10, 2006, 11:23:57 PM

Lol, "real gamer".

So much hate :)

There are no cool kids, and there are no D&D kids. There's just kids. Who all basically like the same things, albeit with superficial preferences.

It's kind of like Ice Cream.

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Reply #12 on: September 10, 2006, 11:50:00 PM

Raph should drink Zombies. They're packed with rum and fruit, and they're called Zombies. If your business is video games, you can certainly order Zombies in a business meeting. Some recipes are pretty hard core. You'll earn the respect of your peers, and they won't snigger at you like they do when you order Piņas Colada.

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Reply #13 on: September 11, 2006, 02:55:26 AM

Holy crap, that was all over the place. Good read. Chaotic, but good.

Quote
you have to consider Cartoon Network, Lego and Kellogg's as being really major players in the video game publishing business. Which is really strange to think, right?

Gametap really blew my mind when I found out about it. I wondered how the hell they could possibly get the rights to, like, every game EVAR. Then I found out...yep, Ted Turner.

Quote
NPCs in a game like WoW clearly deserve the name quest dispensers

I've seen NPCs do some pretty nifty things there. Nothing too awesome, but I've followed them around Stormwind quite a bit, and...yeah. "Pretty nifty" is a good way to put it.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #14 on: September 11, 2006, 04:07:40 AM

See, I actually DO order White Russians, because I am secure in my masculinity!
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Reply #15 on: September 11, 2006, 05:47:28 AM

another raph intimate moment I missed... :/

well, I know I saw at least 7 if not more people from Pirates of the Carribean (Disney) walking around.  And funny there's zero info about it.  And funny too that one woman in the Communities session rant who went on about Hollywood and Joss Whedon who said there should be no leaks with a game.  That "big companies" wouldn't work the same way.

another anecdote: in the digital distribution session Warren Spector and David Eddery were on one side and a publisher I forgot from where (got it taped) and the head of Gametap, which is now Turner. 

point?  big media is here and will be coming in more in the days to come I bet.
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Reply #16 on: September 11, 2006, 06:07:23 AM

Thankfully, ignoring big media in gaming will be really frickin easy. It's not so easy in the movie and music fields.
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Reply #17 on: September 11, 2006, 07:21:00 AM

Thing about Pirates is that it was playable at E3.  I played it.  You didn't hear a word about it because it looked pretty awful.  More cartoony than WoW.  If you really want a pirate game, it looks like Burning Sea is going to be your best bet.  Carribbean looks like kids' stuff.

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Reply #18 on: September 11, 2006, 07:28:57 AM

Coming from the table top/LARP scene here, I think what Ralphs talking about is the same thing that happened with TT gaming.

Back in the 80's it was hard core gamers, then int he 90's you got white wolf and the 'story' style games, which attracted a differnt crowed, and you got a huge increase in game space (especially amongst women). Then later you had the social style larp explosion (differnt from boffer/lightningball larps) which tend to have gender parity or at least as close as you're likely to get. And with the larps is when I stated to see susie cheerleader, josie bookwrym and david powergamer all mingle together in a happy little pot, all because the gamespace sufficently changed to make it attractive to everyone.


god i hope that makes sense...
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Reply #19 on: September 11, 2006, 08:13:26 AM

I pretty much agree. It's not dumbing down, it's finding elements that appeal to a larger base. Levels and plusses and hit points are just means to a Skinner-type end reward, and those means only work for the extreme geek crowd. You can really see that when you get off-norm accounts of mainstream games like WoW, of the 12 year old girl that's level 5 becuase she goes around and pets the bunnies or whatever.

I did find it interesting that more people are wanting the sort of theme park experience with the games; they prefer games on rails versus extreme open-ended games. I know I do; I prefer games that tell a story to games that have you make your own story, by dumping you in a virtual world half naked with a rusty dagger. It's why I hated oblivion. I wonder if it's perhaps an offshoot of the rise of passive entertaniment, especially TV, or of me getting older. I used to prefer the open ended content, now I simply can't be bothered.

I do sort of wonder if the market will eventually provide for the window dressing need; Computers will eventually provide for the UO-style ecology and AI; we're moving more towards greater simulation and sooner or later things will converge. You'll have a whole set of sub-companies leasing out their engines, just like FPS was 10 years ago.. It will come with it's own window dressing and designers will be able to focus the manipulation instead of the creation. Maybe.

Also, I'd love a survival-horror with you all. I'm with big.gulp, he's been stocking shit for years.
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Reply #20 on: September 11, 2006, 09:13:15 AM

Science fiction fans may go all a-tingle now, because this thread had been "Brucedotted" so to speak.

http://blog.wired.com/sterling/index.blog?entry_id=1554440

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Reply #21 on: September 11, 2006, 09:31:44 AM

Good stuff!  Thanks for the brain droppings Raph.

I'm one of those who believes it is possible to add worldy type elements to a direct game experience rather than approach it in the reverse manner for this reason.  Sandbox games tend to have to try and build in so many subsystsems that very often there is no core game elements done well leaving them feeling very unfinished.  To take the park example, yes, you can conceivable do 100's of different things in a public park space, BUT, for more of them you have to bring outside materials b/c the park doesn't supply them.  So even if you park actually has a baseball diamond on it, most dont' make bats, ball, gloves and gear available to anyone who wants to use it..or even a dodgeball for that matter.

However, if you go to a specific purpose environment, say a theme park, all you need bring is your self to enjoy the offerings which can be varied (rides, shows, food, arcades, midways, water stuff) and each offering can be done well.

Granted Im not a programmer, but if your underlying design is build with enough hooks into it, why couldn't you keep adding more pieces after the fact.  Heck if SWG could add an entire space battle game system after the fact, why couldn't WoW/EQ2 add a naval battle game, or dogfighting dragons?  Or adding linked to housing areas you can decorate (actually EQ2 already has this).

And the more specific game systems you link up, the more "worldy" the overall product begins to feel anyway.  Even ToonTown has this approach of "keep adding mini games" and they work synergistically.

Granted sometimes I want to just "play" be it with lego's or pen and paper for that matter, but probably more often I want something a little more specific than that.  Trying to be all things to all people just never seems to work out as well, no matter what the market.

Xilren

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Reply #22 on: September 11, 2006, 10:43:51 AM

Well, look at your examples. Sure, you can add a hotel to Disneyland, but they can't let you stay on Main Street USA. You can add a waterpark alongside Disneyland, but you can't go boating around Nemo's sub (is that still there anyway?).

Say you wanted to add dogfighting dragons to EQ, something that we talked about monthly for as along as I can recall. None of EQ supports that sort of sky space. The size of zones relative to dragon speed are all wrong. So you can add a dragon arena, but you can't add dragon fights to all of EQ. It's all chopped up into small games, rather than being one world.
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Reply #23 on: September 11, 2006, 10:45:54 AM

Coming from the table top/LARP scene here, I think what Ralphs talking about is the same thing that happened with TT gaming.

Back in the 80's it was hard core gamers, then int he 90's you got white wolf and the 'story' style games, which attracted a differnt crowed, and you got a huge increase in game space (especially amongst women). Then later you had the social style larp explosion (differnt from boffer/lightningball larps) which tend to have gender parity or at least as close as you're likely to get. And with the larps is when I stated to see susie cheerleader, josie bookwrym and david powergamer all mingle together in a happy little pot, all because the gamespace sufficently changed to make it attractive to everyone.


god i hope that makes sense...

YES! Yes, thank you - that's what I took away from Raph's speech on Thursday, and it's something I very much agree with. In my experience, right now, Gamerdom is just beginning to get some broad social acceptance. I can go to a club - indeed, I did this on Friday, just after getting off the F13 'corporate jet' - and mention that I play and write about games. These days, people don't immediately burst into flames and flee. In fact, many of them can actually talk semi-coherantly (with the primary determining variant being amount of liquor already consumed) about upcoming and recently released games.

Further, look at the genre lifecycle article. I don't agree with ALL of it, but I do believe in the basic concept behind it. A genre forms, accretes a fanbase from the gaming public, this fanbase slowly masters existing games until a Genre King creates the ultimate balance between accessibility and depth, and then from there on out, the genre turns inwards, focusing (generally!) on more complex mechanics to satisfy its existing fanbase. The focus turns inwards and it eventually withers off as longterm fans succumb to MOTS (More Of The Same) exhaustion, finally being (usually) cannibalized or (in rare cases) reborn into a new genre. (An example of a rebirth that seems to be occurring is the adventure game genre, infused with bits of FPSes, stealthers, and 3D platformers.)

I see no reason why this trend can't happen to the computer game industry as a whole. Further, more audience = more money = (hopefully) more games = (hopefully) more variety of stuff to play. This is good for everyone.

Science fiction fans may go all a-tingle now, because this thread had been "Brucedotted" so to speak.

http://blog.wired.com/sterling/index.blog?entry_id=1554440

My reaction: Peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time! :-D

I'm one of those who believes it is possible to add worldy type elements to a direct game experience rather than approach it in the reverse manner for this reason.  Sandbox games tend to have to try and build in so many subsystsems that very often there is no core game elements done well leaving them feeling very unfinished.  To take the park example, yes, you can conceivable do 100's of different things in a public park space, BUT, for more of them you have to bring outside materials b/c the park doesn't supply them.  So even if you park actually has a baseball diamond on it, most dont' make bats, ball, gloves and gear available to anyone who wants to use it..or even a dodgeball for that matter.

However, if you go to a specific purpose environment, say a theme park, all you need bring is your self to enjoy the offerings which can be varied (rides, shows, food, arcades, midways, water stuff) and each offering can be done well.

Granted Im not a programmer, but if your underlying design is build with enough hooks into it, why couldn't you keep adding more pieces after the fact.  Heck if SWG could add an entire space battle game system after the fact, why couldn't WoW/EQ2 add a naval battle game, or dogfighting dragons?  Or adding linked to housing areas you can decorate (actually EQ2 already has this).

From my experience building software, the 11th-hour features are often the worst, particularly if they come out of left field. When you're building a product, you look for things that are universal across your design and build your architecture around those. A very simple example (that I ran into this year) would be assuming a given data item must be unique, as it's been unique for the last some-odd years you've been dealing with it; suddenly, some new feature must get shoehorned in, and that data item is no longer unique. Now you need to deal with all sorts of special-casing for that feature, whereever that data item is used or manipulated.

I think the issue right now with worldy stuff is that it often requires more computationally-intensive systems because they have to be inherently more general-purpose. Let's say you have a game level and you want to have a man fall down a shaft. Before the advent of physics systems, you just put in an animation or piece of code that moved the man down the shaft. And you did that everywhere in your game that men had to fall down shafts. Not bad if it only happens a few times, and in similar ways, since you can reuse animations/code. But now you want men to fall down stairs and inclined planes. Well, shit, now you need a different animation for all the different sets of stairs and planes, or else the falling will look wrong.

Enter physics systems. They cost a lot of cycles to do well - hence the advent of physics coprocessors that we're starting to see - but the effect is awesome, both from the player and developer perspectives. The developer can now just say "This man weighs 150kg and is positioned here." and then the man will fall down whatever he gets 'pushed' onto. The developer just needs to tell the physics engine to push the man, how hard, and where (e.g. Stairwell Dismount). The man will fall realistically. And we can also have cows, cars and all sorts of other things fall down shafts, and none of it has to get special-case animations or code written for it.

There's also core assumptions, like Raph was saying. Look at his WoW freeform housing example; the basic question, "Where would you put it?!", points to a core assumption that WoW has - that its landscape is static. If you just let people plop down houses everywhere, mob spawns would get squeezed out in a short time since the zones are relatively small compared to the population per square meter, and the entire zones are taken up with PoIs, questing areas, and mob spawns (most of which are employed via quests). You would need to create whole open areas for housing alone, and these areas would have a very different feel to the varied and interesting 'main zones'.

The compromise solution being an AO-style instanced apartment, which violates the 'freeform, place-anywhere' constraint, but fits in better with the WoW gamespace. It's a gamier solution, and it fits better in the gamier game.
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Reply #24 on: September 11, 2006, 10:46:11 AM

but you can't go boating around Nemo's sub (is that still there anyway?).

It's under renovations.  It's going to be a Finding Nemo themed ride.  Think it opens up next year.

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Reply #25 on: September 11, 2006, 11:26:19 AM

Well, look at your examples. Sure, you can add a hotel to Disneyland, but they can't let you stay on Main Street USA. You can add a waterpark alongside Disneyland, but you can't go boating around Nemo's sub (is that still there anyway?).

Say you wanted to add dogfighting dragons to EQ, something that we talked about monthly for as along as I can recall. None of EQ supports that sort of sky space. The size of zones relative to dragon speed are all wrong. So you can add a dragon arena, but you can't add dragon fights to all of EQ. It's all chopped up into small games, rather than being one world.

But that's my whole point; a series of linked small games starts to become a world so long as they consistently fit together.  I don't really care if you simply log the player out of EQ into a entirely different game engine for the dragon fights; it becomes an extention of the EQ world.   Just b/c you cannot ride your dragon and strafe the folks in the Desert of Ro doesn't mean that cannot be part of the same overall worldspace.  Which is what the SWG addition of space did.  The original ground game and the space game are really two seperate games sure; BUT, they are both part of the SWG game experience.  You can choose to play one, the other or both, but if you're not a SWG subscriber you can't play either.

By exteneding your game to actually be a series of linked games, don't you end up with the same options a world offers in terms of things to do?

BTW, the freedom to sail around Cpt Nemo's sub sounds nice, but does what that ability mean add in any signifcant way to your Magic Kingdom gameworld?  Besides, if that was such a wanted feature, Disney could just have replicated nemo's sub in their water park with boats able to sail around it.  They do this all the time with feature characters anyway (i.e. mickey can be in Animal Kindgom, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom all at the same time b/c they are discreet areas; but you wont see two Mickey's together in the same park to preserve the illusion that he's a unique being.

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Reply #26 on: September 11, 2006, 11:56:30 AM

Science fiction fans may go all a-tingle now, because this thread had been "Brucedotted" so to speak.

http://blog.wired.com/sterling/index.blog?entry_id=1554440

You know what's awesome about that? He finds how game designers talk in real life fascinating, which underscores what I was saying in some other nearby thread WRT Ryan S's "nobody cares". QED.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 11:58:30 AM by Righ »

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Reply #27 on: September 11, 2006, 12:41:39 PM

Say you wanted to add dogfighting dragons to EQ, something that we talked about monthly for as along as I can recall. None of EQ supports that sort of sky space. The size of zones relative to dragon speed are all wrong. So you can add a dragon arena, but you can't add dragon fights to all of EQ. It's all chopped up into small games, rather than being one world.

When I want to play golf, I go to a golf course, not the middle of Yosemite. When I want to play the slots, I go to a casino, not my local library. There are general use areas and specific use areas. I think you have to design your general use areas at the beginning with most activities in mind, however you should be able to add specific use areas whenever you want them. So, maybe not allow dragon dogfighting above your little hamlets (beware the thatched roofs), but maybe in an arena type setting (al la Harry Potter Quidditch pitch).

The question I always go back to is -- is there a compelling revenue stream that comes along with all this added utility? Is adding houses in a new zone going to pay for itself? Maybe not in new subs, but perhaps in mitigating some of the attrition? I don't know... it is likely in my mind that adding a dragon dogfighting pitch is not a trivial matter, and that will have to be paid for somehow. And before you carp that Blizz (as a surrogate for game dev company x making this fictitious game with dogfighting dragons) is making stupid money, remember that each new addition needs to show a positive NPV on its own merit. No company is going to shave its profit margin for some feature that is not going to pay for itself.

Zipper Zee - space noob
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Reply #28 on: September 11, 2006, 12:48:53 PM

That just means you're one of the dorky guys doomed to sit near the kitchen in the cafeteria rolling your funny shaped dice, WUA. :)

Margalis is right, of course. The industry just doesn't see it as "cool." That's the core issue.

But look -- I am a huge defender of games and their power, you know that. I am not saying ditch games. I am saying that we can invite more folks to sit at OUR table -- even the cheerleaders might like th funny dice if you explain it to them right.

What the hell do I care how many "cheerleaders" avail themselves of your game-like thing?  I'm a consumer, not an investor.

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Reply #29 on: September 11, 2006, 12:54:40 PM

That just means you're one of the dorky guys doomed to sit near the kitchen in the cafeteria rolling your funny shaped dice, WUA. :)

Margalis is right, of course. The industry just doesn't see it as "cool." That's the core issue.

But look -- I am a huge defender of games and their power, you know that. I am not saying ditch games. I am saying that we can invite more folks to sit at OUR table -- even the cheerleaders might like th funny dice if you explain it to them right.

What the hell do I care how many "cheerleaders" avail themselves of your game-like thing?  I'm a consumer, not an investor.

You don't care at all.

But this talk wasn't for the consumers, it was for the developers, publishers, and investors. :)
Raph
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Reply #30 on: September 11, 2006, 12:55:54 PM

I think you have to design your general use areas at the beginning with most activities in mind, however you should be able to add specific use areas whenever you want them.

That would be exactly my position as well. To rephrase, you woul dhave to design a worldy game for your general use areas, one with the hooks. That permits the addition of specific use areas whenever.
Lantyssa
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Reply #31 on: September 11, 2006, 01:19:45 PM

I love Amy's.  We have one in Houston near where I live.

(And I am partial to the name.)

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
Bunk
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Reply #32 on: September 11, 2006, 01:29:04 PM

That just means you're one of the dorky guys doomed to sit near the kitchen in the cafeteria rolling your funny shaped dice, WUA. :)

Margalis is right, of course. The industry just doesn't see it as "cool." That's the core issue.

But look -- I am a huge defender of games and their power, you know that. I am not saying ditch games. I am saying that we can invite more folks to sit at OUR table -- even the cheerleaders might like th funny dice if you explain it to them right.

What the hell do I care how many "cheerleaders" avail themselves of your game-like thing?  I'm a consumer, not an investor.

Sticking with the analogy of inviting more people to the cafeteria table - Let's say you have your group of dice rollers sitting in the corner playing d&d. A couple of the school's jocks wander by and notice the scantilly clad women on the covers of the books. They decide they want to see what it's all about. They don't go off to play their own game, no. Instead, they invite themselves in to the dice roller's game. Shortly after, they discover that the game doesn't actually have boobies, but it does offer them another avenue from which to push around the dice rollers.

So now the game company is happy, because there are a couple more customers out there to buy books. Too bad for the dice rollers, who are now stuck sharing their game with the same group of people they were trying to stay away from in real life.

Now everything I just said is completely silly when you look at it in real life, the dice rollers would just go play their own game somewhere else.. It's not so silly when you apply it to MMoGs though. It's already happened with UO and the griefers, any RP based shard ever made, any game that power gaming equates to accomplishment. It's no so easy to just up and find another game if we don't like the people we are sharing with.

As consumers, we are concerned about the companies trying to bring more and more people in to our niche. They're welcome to come, but we're going to have the mentality that it was our game first and we don't want them to ruin it for us.


*As an added thought, this is one reason I'm looking forward to seeing more smaller scale multiplayer games coming out. I'm hoping for continued growth in games along the lines of NWN, that let me pick and choose who I play with.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 01:32:16 PM by Bunk »

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Righ
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Teaching the world Google-fu one broken dream at a time.


Reply #33 on: September 11, 2006, 01:34:25 PM

But this talk wasn't for the consumers, it was for the developers, publishers, and investors. :)



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Slyfeind
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Reply #34 on: September 11, 2006, 02:44:36 PM

But that's my whole point; a series of linked small games starts to become a world so long as they consistently fit together.  I don't really care if you simply log the player out of EQ into a entirely different game engine for the dragon fights; it becomes an extention of the EQ world.   Just b/c you cannot ride your dragon and strafe the folks in the Desert of Ro doesn't mean that cannot be part of the same overall worldspace.  Which is what the SWG addition of space did.  The original ground game and the space game are really two seperate games sure; BUT, they are both part of the SWG game experience.  You can choose to play one, the other or both, but if you're not a SWG subscriber you can't play either.

Now that's interesting. It really sheds light on something I experienced while dorking around Gametap. I was playing Pong and Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog...and then when I started playing Myst III, the Gametap client minimized. I could see my desktop, and the Myst III client took over. Suddenly it wasn't as fun, because Myst III wasn't a part of Gametap. It was accessed through Gametap, but it wasn't really a part of it. The only thing that changed here is I could see my desktop; I saw behind the curtain. That's all. When I quit out of Myst III, I saw my desktop again, and then the Gametap client maximied...and I was back in my warm fuzzy Turner-induced happyfunland.

Half the time, when I enter an AO instance, I feel like I've actually entered the building. But sometimes I'll enter a high-tech skyscraper, and find myself in crystal caverns, and...immersion is broken again.

If I'm playing WoW, and I'm in the Warsong Gulch battleground, I don't think I'm anywhere near Kalimdor, much less the WoW world. It's a separate instance, floating out in space. Some dwarf in Ironforge teleported me there.

So yeah, you can have those dogfights over Ro...as long as the ground resembles Ro. You could stream in the data of what's happening there, and just display it on a flat virtual screen, wrapped around the terrain mesh. I'd go for that.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
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