[MUD-Dev] Working with Franchises (was Star Wars Galaxies: 1 char per server)

Damion Schubert damion at zenofdesign.com
Thu Jan 9 23:42:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Michael Tresca

> I fundamentally disagree.  Star Wars at some level is separated
> from science fantasy.  What is that distinction?  How much can the
> playerbase metagame before they dilute the setting?

I've seen countless MUDs on countless settings that all recreated
famous books.  Star Wars, Transformers, Anne McCaffrey, Xanth, you
name it, it's been done.  And in most of those games, the players
have accepted things like Transformers needing rest, or that Little
John reappears in 10 minutes if you kill him.
 
When Ultima came out, it had few of the things that made the single
player Ultimas great, because those single-player things were almost
impossible to do well in a massively multiplayer environment.  It
seems to have done quite well nonetheless.

> If everyone uses "l33t Jedi skillz" is it Star Wars anymore?  Not
> in my opinion.

As I recall, the most recent movie had about 200 jedi running around
in an arena.  The idea that there can be more than Luke is obviously
not absurd.

As I also recall, there are hundreds of crappy books, comic books,
cartoons and other media that stretch the Star Wars license.  People
forgave that some of them 'broke the rules', and some of them were
downright atrocious, because they craved more from that universe.
LucasArts, for its part, needs to realize that the genre rules
cannot be a slave to the fiction.  The fiction is much more
flexible.

A year ago, I was privileged to work as a contractor on Kalisto
Entertainment's "Highlander Online" (the company has since gone
under, so don't wait up for it).  If you think the Jedi problem is
tough, try working with a fiction where the most salient fiction
point is permadeath!  It took a great deal of careful thought on the
team's part to come up with an answer that does not tread on the
fiction, while still allowing players to maintain their societal
bonds.

A setting is a setting.  Visions are nice and all, but it's far too
easy to cling to high-minded thoughts such as 'the Star Wars
universe is too good for power-gamers.'  The players just want to
have fun, and they want to give Sony money to do it.

--d



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