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June 16, 2006



Ooh, fun stuff. Thanks for the PPT - means we can see the notes!

I like your concept of play-in vs play-out; think that explains it really nicely and the pun is entirely excusable.

I also, really, really, really like the whole "MMOG with defined arc" concept - the idea that these things SHOULD have a defined end. Seasons of a TV show; arcs of comic books; chapters of volumes of a novel; structure is such an immediate thing in drama - Dickens built all his serial publishing around a rigid structre as to where key moments fell. And the reason he did that was because he was publishing in serial format - you keep people interested that way.

So the idea of signing up to a "season" of a game - with no necessary onus to play forever - is really appealing. Each season of the Sopranos, by and large, stands alone, though obviously they work better together. Limited-duration Massives - or even limited-length subscriptions during which an arc of narrative will play out - might be a way of getting more players on board inside them, and also a different kind of player (I hesitate to use the "casual" word yet, though - I mean the people to whom defined commitment, rather than constant subscription, appeals).

Without any defined end, you can't have a defined narrative arc; you just end up with an ongoing sea of quests, constantly going on until you need a content download or expansion pack.

It's why the drama/dramatic thing you bring up didn't fit so well for me; the problem I think any WoW movie - just like any game movie - will run into is that the plot (what goes on in the game world) is easily translatable; the narrative (what the players do to advance the plot and what happens in the process of doing so) is much harder to translate. At least with a Massive brand, though, the narrative is obviously up-for-grabs - no-one's going to mind if we miss out the hunt for the yellow keycard, so to speak.

So I'm not sure that because something is dramatic it immediately translates to drama; similarly, I obviously don't think it's impossible. The skill of the dramatist, after all, is making you feel caught up in the action, rather than merely watching it.

Really good stuff, anyhow, thanks very much for posting the ppt. Looks like it's been a great event.


Always kinda tricky to extract the meaning out of a ppt without presentation..but I had several cool thoughts in my head when I read it.

realism virtually through tech. could very well pvpoown the cost of broadcasting live video first..

arf. Thanx for the look :D

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