Thursday, June 25, 2009

Surfing with the Alien: 6/25/09

Came across this today at Game Set Watch, a steampunk PS3.

There is an interesting post over on Kill Ten Rats comparing the MMO grind to rats running in a maze. The author points out that MMO devs do everything possible to make us spend as much time in the maze as possible. They want us to enjoy the maze, we only want the cheese at the end. There are suggestions about putting more puzzles in the maze to make it better. My suggestion would be to get rid of the cheese. I play MMOs to explore the world, talk to people and have cool adventures with them. My fondest memories are from dangerous forays into EQ or FFXI where the only goal was to see the next zone. I am constantly frustrated by the fact that I have to collect a bunch of cheese to go to a new place. Eventually I get tired of cheese and quit. Get rid of the cheese! If you want people to explore, make it interesting to explore and have plenty of cool social things for them to do.

Disturbing news from EA. There has been a “restructuring” involving Mythic and BioWare. It is not clear exactly what has happened but EA has a long history of buying good gaming companies and destroying them. I am thinking specifically of Bullfrog and Westwood here, and many more.

Jeff's Gameblog outlines something shockingly close to my brainstorming process for a new campaign. Although I prefer a more complex rule set like GURPS because it is easier to convert real world units into play mechanics. Also I like the normal distribution of die rolls so that my players decisions carry more weight than luck.

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