In the spirit of my recent design thoughts, I’ve started to think of what features I would put into an MMO if I were the designer. This list is far from complete, however, I thought I’d give it a go:
Thinking back on Ultima Online this last Monday (as small a thought as that was in that particular article), made me want to reminisce with the game. Many call it the first MMO, but really it wasn’t, there were many before it. Certainly it went much bigger than others before it, being the first to go to 10,000 players per server, and still remains one of only two or three to have that distinguishing accomplishment. If you consider this game to be the start of the MMO genre, it may very well be one of the only games there, sorry WoW & EQ with your 3k servers, you don’t come close.
This article that I wrote last Saturday got me wondering on how you could make this type of event a video game. The inherent problem with any game which tackles a real life issue is that invariable anyone would eventually ask “Well what fun would that be?” The reason for this is that the base of every video game is that of having fun. When designers first think of ideas for games, they ask themselves how this would be fun. When developers test the game, they ask if it is fun. And if it isn’t, it is often trashed in favor of something that is.
You know as companies have gotten used to the internet with regards to games, the features in games for the internet have gotten progressively crappy. In the late 90s and even into the early 00s it was fairly standard to provide free content for the game on the website. This kept players coming back to the website on a regular basis so that not only were you keeping interest of your game up, but you could also advertise new products and expansions to them.