[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Sun Apr 6 11:33:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


According to Threshold RPG:
> On 2 Apr 2003, at 14:12, Diamonds wrote:
 
>> My 2 cents is that games with 'winners' and 'loosers' are bad
>> games to make if you plan on making money.
 
> Then how do you explain sports games, chess, etc? Every single
> time someone plays, there is a very definite loser.

These games have also two very stringent features:

  - They have short and definite time frames. A basketball game
  lasts always the same time. A chess match is supposed to have 40
  moves in an hour and nobody drops out before the end. And the
  performance of others you don't even meet do not affect the
  duration of your game.

  - The games have leagues. Smallville (without superman, of course)
  doesn't play against the Lakers (except maybe once in their
  lifetime, just for fun because somebody in management makes a
  charity match for Luthor's laid off workers, or something). If you
  had always to play against NBA-level teams, you'd probably stop
  playing rather quickly.

None of these are applicable in *most* MOGs.

In MOG, by nature, you are playing for large timeframes, you cannot
pick your opponents, and it's most likely that other people will end
the game rather than you.

If you look at games that are competitive, and last long, look at
PBEMs (Play By EMail games). Galaxy for example.

In Galaxy, if, for some reason, you cannot sustain the pace of the
game (i.e. play as much as the other people), you usually drop of
the game.  Or you don't even start (the pace is already known, so
you know if you need to send 1 order/week or 2 orders/day).

You need to take a vacation mid-game? Forget it, or forget the game.

You lose? You don't wait until the game ends, you start in a
different Galaxy game.

People tolerate well failure if they think they can win, they think
they lost because of themselves or people they know (and not
external circumstances) and if failure doesn't prevent them from
playing.

If people don't think they'll ever win, and there is a clear and
objective goal, most will quickly stop playing.

If people log on, and discover that the game arbitrarily ended
(because uberguild01 has "won" late night), they aren't likely to
keep playing.

If people lose, and have to wait hours before playing again, they
will not tolerate paying for not being able to play.


If you want a competitive, winnable MOG, you must find a way across
these hurdles.

--
	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)

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