[MUD-Dev] pluggable MMOGs

Daniel James d at djames.org
Wed Apr 9 09:53:05 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003, Adam M <ceo at grexengine.com> wrote:

> Is anyone working on / thought about an MMOG based upon pluggable
> sub-games?

Puzzle Pirates' heart is its puzzle games, which are something like
pluggable. They come presently in three varieties: puzzles
challenges (swordfighting, drinking, played on land or at sea with
other players or NPPs), voyaging and sea battle puzzles (sailing,
bilge pumping, gunnery, etc.), and the crafting puzzles (vestigal,
right now).

Once we have the high-level economy and so forth in place and have
launched the game, one of the primary 'content' expansions will be
adding new puzzles. These will not necessarily be puzzles -- we
really want to get Poker into the game, for example. We also have
plans for 'Adventure Islands' which will be more like traditional
'dungeons', except that the challenges will be puzzlesque and
hopefully somewhat unique. There are also meta-games, like Sea
Races, which are won or lost through the collaboration of crews
doing the seafaring puzzles. We'll add sensible games into or
alongside the main track of gameplay whenever the opportunity arises
(assuming anyone subscribes, ahem).  Fortunately we are able to get
excellent code re-use, although obviously more easily for similar
games (our 'drop puzzle' toolkit is quite mature).

It is critical that we avoid your '64k crap film game' scenario, by
making the puzzles good, and by keeping to games that are both in
the spirit of PP and 'slot in' to the world (even if only as social
entertainment, e.g.  poker). So we don't have side-scrolly scramble
games hidden in there with mode7 car racing. Yet.

> By it's very nature, gameplay-as-content has a non-linear
> relationship between "effort to produce" and "time taken to
> consume". There are certainly many cases (e.g. Tetris) where even
> simple gameplay shows an exponential relationship to
> rate-of-consumption.

Tee hee.

BTW and with excuses for rambling on, if anyone's curious about PP I
would encourage you pop over the site and read the 'Letter from the
Captain' just posted. In particular it details our schedule
('Underpants + ? = Profits!') and our plans for the player-driven
economy, which probably merits its own thread, as it's based on
realtime (offline or online) per-player 'Labour'. Comments on or off
list welcome.

- Daniel

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