[MUD-Dev] Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population

Damion Schubert ubiq at austin.rr.com
Tue Jun 14 15:55:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


John Buehler wrote:

> And 'mini-game' is exactly the level at which I believe combat,
> crafting, politics, publishing, travel and any number of other
> forms of entertainment should be implemented.  They should each be
> completely engaging.  They SHOULD be time-consuming, and that time
> should be well-spent.  If I spent my time sitting in front of the
> computer waiting for the next crafting step to complete by
> watching a timer, then clearly it would be time-consuming, but
> certainly not time well-spent.

Mini-games for crafting comes up a lot on various fan-site boards as
well.  One thing that I would caution, though.  If, say, it takes a
game of tetris to craft something, then suddenly your craftsmen all
have to be tetris players, and there's no guaruntee that the people
who like crafting have that expertise or like that style of
gameplay.  Most craftsmen in these games right now are social hubs
who choose the role for that reason.

You could, in theory, simplify the minigame so that anyone could
beat it, but then you've just turned your crafting minigame into a
hoop to jump through, and no one wants that.

That's not to say that crafting shouldn't be more entertaining, nor
that minigames aren't the way to go.  However, you should ensure
that the game that you choose resonates well with your crafting
class.  Personally, as a Master Armorsmith, I didn't want a better
minigame.  If anything, I wanted fewer steps and hoops to craft my
armor.  I wanted a better meta-game - tracking down and collecting
resources, bartering with players, etc (and it's worth noting that
SWG may be the best on the commercial market in this regard).  The
actual act of crafting was, for me, merely the middle step.  The fun
was getting the goods, and then selling it.

--d
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