[MUD-Dev] Action Figures

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sat May 7 03:56:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Tom Gordon writes:
> John Buehler wrote:

>> Here's a suggestion for those who would like to present an
>> experience to players in a rather more lighthearted fashion than
>> the current experience of being a heroic individual who can get
>> violently killed while pursuing power and wealth:

>>  Give the players action figures in a virtual setting.


>> I've been trying to find a formula for lighthearted gaming in
>> virtual worlds such that people would play for the sheer joy of it
>> instead of taking it oh so seriously, and I think that the action
>> figure approach has some merit.  Note that I'm not going for "The
>> World of The Incredibles".  That retains a notion of people.  I want
>> the players playing with toys, not playing in the guise of
>> superheroes.

> We did some preliminary design work on this type of MMO
> environment back in 2002, but given we're not an MMO developer, we
> only got as far as the design stage Igame play, gameplay types,
> unit types, world design/interaction, server
> jumping/synching/linking, multiple access clients, that sort of
> thing). We did run up some sample images, and get a very simple
> prototype working in an engine, but when we approached various
> developers/publishers with the idea, none were interested.

> We've been sitting on the concept and detailed design documents
> for the past few years, waiting until we can raise the money
> ourselves to start proper development - as usual a very (very)
> slow process :)

Would you care to say more about the spirit of gameplay?  I'm
curious to know what kind of entertainment you and your team think
an action-figure-based game would be best suited to.  Who is the
audience?  What reasons, if any, did the developers and publishers
give you for their lack of interest?  Did you approach any
traditional toy or game companies?

There's a new competitor for Barbie called Bratz.  The manufacturer
might be interested in a virtual setting for girls to play with
their dolls.  Or Mattel might be interested in bringing Barbie to
the next level in response.  Or a failed competitor of both might be
interested in going virtual.

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