Goodbye Tabula Rasa

I recently found out that Tabula Rasa was going to be shutting its doors after just one year on the market. In addition to this, Richard Garriott, whom largely is thought of as one of the major pioneers in MMORPG design, is leaving NCSoft as well. While this isn’t entirely surprising, the move is still rather amazing to me and quite sad to see it come to this. Continue reading “Goodbye Tabula Rasa”

Old School Rules for New School Views

I read a recent blog post somewhere recently (sorry I don’t remember where) that talked about the original vision of what MMOs were intended to be and the disappointment of where they are now. At heart of this dilemma are the constant need to do mind-numbing quests, the staticness of the world, and the never-ending grind. MMO design today relies upon these things and offers little to no innovation on a game to game basis. To me, the last big innovation in the MMO genre came with City of Heroes’ introduction of the mentoring system. Something that still hasn’t gotten widespread attention in MMOs.

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Spore: Cute & Creepy Pack

From a game design point of view, I understand why these parts packs are putting out, and realistically it is a good idea. These part packs first seen in Sims 2 as Stuff Packs are a merger between an expansion and pay for a part model that is becoming increasingly more popular. I actually quite liked the idea of it over in Sims 2. Quite often I liked the stuff packs more often than the expansions. What isn’t to like? I often just wanted the extra stuff, and was regularly ho-hum about the new features. I was really excited to see how the idea would translate to a game in which you could tell was built for the ground up for it. What could go wrong?

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Scope – The Breadth Fresher

For the first time in well over a year, my roommate and I went on a geocache. We really haven’t been into it since we went geocaching in Menominee last summer and ended up with dozens of ticks on us. Overall it was a fairly successful cache in that we didn’t end up with weird ass bugs on us. At the end of the run though, we walked through the park and found an overlook out over the valley that this park was situated on a hill nearby. Looking out on the valley, I sat and wondered what it would look like without all the roads, and farms, and buildings, and people. What it would be like if it were still wild.

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Girl Play Spaces

I am reading Pikachu’s Global Adventure right now at work (yes I have time ample time to read at work), and the beginning of it discusses Henry Jenkins’ whole spiel on games as virtual play spaces. Basically this says that games act in the way that the world used to for children, but no longer does due to the lack of space to house these natural activities. I don’t think Jenkins is wrong in this either.
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