Archive for October 16th, 2009

“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

Grand Moff Tarkin

Grand Moff Tarkin, the Glare of Doom

(Picture shamelessly copied from the Wookieepedia article on Grand Moff Tarkin.)

Brian “Psychochild” Green thinks modern MMO design lacks adventure. I concur.  I can’t help but think that this is largely due to the developer impulse to control the game experience, rather than let the reins loose a bit and let the players be the content.  It’s wholly understandable, considering just how badly players can screw things up, but realistically, in a medium where audience choice is key to the experience (games), you must let players control the experience to some degree.

There’s no way around it if you’re actually making a game rather than a movie or Skinner box.  Games are interaction, experimentation and play.  We’ve lost that along with the adventure.

MMOs in particular need not spend time and effort trying to make groups of players go through a Pavlovian script, but rather, to leverage the inherent variability and instability that comes when you have people interacting as independent, yet interconnected, agents of change.  That’s part of the promise of these Multiplayer games, after all.

So, Luke, you scrappy little Force user with little more than dreams and prophecy to drive you, stop wasting your time with batches of ten womp rats.  Start flying a borrowed bit of middleware machinery, and craft a plan to demolish the triumphantly technological, carefully controlled Death Star that is modern MMO design.  Some of the clumsy few may die on the way through the trenches (R.I.P. Vanguard), but all it takes is one perfect shot to show that the Empire isn’t invincible.

The freedom of sentients everywhere depend on the actions of a brave few!

Death Star Under Construction

Death Star Under Construction

(Picture shamelessly pulled from the Wookieepedia article on the Death Star.)

Disclosure:  I am not in the SWTOR beta, and I don’t think it will be the Force I’m looking for.

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