[MUD-Dev] pluggable MMOGs

Lee Sheldon lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com
Wed Apr 9 17:05:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

From: ceo

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

Disney's Virtual Kingdom (a project far more ambitious than
Toontown), was an MMO that I worked on proof of concept and design
docs for last summer.  We were tasked with exploiting a number of
seemingly disparate licenses with a potential wide variety of
gameplay from arts & crafts through sports games through basic
MMORPG loot and leveling (though players might not have recognized
this in the form it took), and much more.  First challenge was of
course to make sure we wouldn't need to create and service 50
separate game engines in a single product.  Next challenge was to
make sure the various "pluggable sub-games" all shared consistent
interfaces and game mechanics that fit into the world we were
creating.  Finally, all of the licenses needed to fit
-stylistically- into a coherent and consistent world.

To give you an idea of the complexity of the project, imagine a
world that encompassed Monsters Inc., Pirates of the Caribbean, ESPN
X-Games and Radio Disney all in a single gaming experience.  IMHO, I
think we came up with some pretty elegant solutions, and a number of
MMO innovations.  But we weren't allowed to share these in their
entirety with the developers Disney was looking to partner with, I
guess because someone up the chain of command was afraid they'd be
co-opted.  And of course as usual the suits were not prepared for
the time and cost involved.  Then Disney Interactive fell on hard
times, and the rest is history.

It was a fascinating project to work on though with people very
willing to think outside the box.  The only drawback at the time was
that content was limited by the young Disney demographic.  But I
still think many of the ideas we played around with would work fine
in MMOs for us older folks.


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