[MUD-Dev] FedExing

Ben Hawes cruise at casual-tempest.net
Mon Jan 19 11:15:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


It occurred to me that another reason FedEx-ing is so damn popular
in games is because of the literature from which we draw much of our
inspiration.

What is Frodo's quest apart from one giant FedEx (take this ring and
right-click (sorry, drop) it into Mount Doom)?

Much of fantasy literature's epic quests are "group of people
finding all-powerful artifact." With that sort of inspiration, no
wonder so many games end up the same.

But it doesn't have to be that way. The literature offers many more
ideas if we take the time to look. A more detailed examination of
Frodo's quest, for example, suggests a number of ideas. To get to
Mount Doom, they had to sneak past many enemies (too many to fight,
or a non-combat class). To do this, they needed to find a guide NPC.
However, as a further twist, the NPC is aggro, and requires constant
social skills to keep him, and prevent inter-party conflict with
your NPC bodyguard. It also requires skill and judgment as to how
far he can actually be trusted.

Extending this to the group/multiplayer context, completion of this
quest requires organisation and assistance from several other
players to organise a diversion and a critical moment. However,
organising the diversion has numerous combat and social sub-quests
for those players.

There are a multitude of excellent ideas waiting to be used within
the literature, as even a cursory examination of one book
demonstrates.

(apologies to all tolkien apologists, btw :P)

[ cruise / casual-tempest.net / transference.org ]
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