[MUD-Dev] Player characters as a prey species

Dan Shiovitz dans at drizzle.com
Mon Jul 9 21:28:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Mon, 9 Jul 2001, J C Lawrence wrote:

>   The game always has the bigger hammer.  As such you are never
>   top dog over the world, instead the better player is variously
>   the bigger/juicier ant in the ant eater's cage.

> The basic problem with these assumptions is that from a player
> perspective they translate to:

>   They don't want me playing the game and will keep making it
>   harder and harder to play until I stop.

> The challenge is then to present it as a "How far can you get?"
> game?

>   It is implicit that you are going to eventually loose/die in an
>   arcade game.  The question is how long that will take and what
>   you can/will do ITMT.

> This would seem to be the primary problem with the prime-predator
> model as a game fundament.  Players like winning.  Setting them up
> to always lose is rarely popular. (Note: This is partly cultural,
> especially WRT north americans).

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned here before, but it's
probably worth checking out TechnoSphere

  http://www.technosphere.org.uk/ 

This is a virtual world where you create critters that run around,
killing each other and/or mating and/or grazing until they
die. Everybody dies -- if you're lucky it's from old age, if you're
not, it's from getting et or starving to death or something. There
is a high score list, with various categories (biggest creature,
most children, etc). People like it.

--
Dan Shiovitz :: dbs at cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW

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