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March 16, 2005

Comments

Jonathan

Odd how things go in cycles.

The precursor of the MMORPG was the mud. Back in the early 1990s, the way your typical (lp)mud worked was.. you joined, you quested, your level increased, you 'completed', you became a wizard. Once you'd made it to wizard, you gained the ability to create your own areas on the mud (using a C-like psuedo object oriented language called LPC) and your own quests. The mud admin would then decide which areas/quests were of good enough quality to be integrated into the game.

Of course it's much simpler to write some text based descriptions and a bit of simple scripted interactivity than it is to generate a 3d world, but having people who have completed the game and so know it well then generate the content for it worked quite well.

Pete C

It would be very interesting if an MMO released an SDK ala Quake or Half Life 2. Letting players create loads of individual items might end up a chore for the devs to sort through and test for balance given how tricky it already is with MMOs.

However letting mod teams hand you a fully developed expansion (in return for recognition and compensation of course), or even just a full dungeon, would be a very interesting place to take an MMO. The only problem is if you reject their submission they can't really do anything with all their work so it goes to waste, and it's very rare that a mod is quite commercial quality. So maybe letting community members create individual items and characters is a better first step after all.

Er, thinking into my keyboard again and failing to reach conclusions. :) Some form of community-created MMO content would indeed be cool, I think it's just a little trickier to make work than with e.g. an FPS. Even EVE's player-set courier missions are a start though, anything that gives players more control of an MMOs challenge-set and direction gets my approval.

Seb Potter

Pete C, you might like to check out Second Life. Going further than the programmer-oriented solution of simply offering an SDK and letting coders go to town, player-created content is the entire focus of the game.

I can't vouch for how the good the game is, and I've heard from trusted sources that it's beset by performance issues, but the idea of player ownership isn't new in the MMO space.

Another that's just popped into my head is A Tale in the Desert, which is now on its second incarnation. There's an enormous amount of player-created content, and some expansive player-created environments to explore.

Raph

To varying degrees, everything from SWG to There at one end, to Second Life to Furcadia at the other, allows user-created adventures.

x-ray fluorescence

Hi,
I think it's much simpler to write some text based descriptions and a bit of simple scripted interactivity than it is to generate a 3d world...

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