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

Ken Snider ksnider at flarn.com
Thu Jun 23 08:50:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Amanda Walker wrote:

> This still strikes me as a puzzle game, not a crafting game.  I
> would call "real" crafting a way to create a new object, where
> "new" means "new in design", not "new copy of standard template".

> For example, a "real" crafting system should let me create and/or
> uploading textures and geometry for objects.  Consider, oh,
> leather armor.  Quite easy to paint and ornament in real life,
> even without this causing any change in combat effectiveness (not
> counting camouflage).  Or tattoos.  Or shield and tabard designs.
> Or housing/ guild halls...

Interesting. This would open up content issues of course, someone
would have to police and approve these textures/tattoos/etc, as well
as contend with overall texture capacity. If you look at a
texture-intensive game such as Everquest II, you can easily consume
half a gigabyte of video RAM or more with textures. Not to mention,
like the sims, you run into issues with "ghetto"-ifying the game
with substandard quality imagery.

A Tale in the Desert managed to allow for a feeling of "creating",
without the puzzle element, *or* the issues above, by doing the

  1. The creation of "sculptures" made out of specific in-game
  items, but otherwise generally freeform

  2. allowing modifications to geometry for items not normally
  considered for such. For example, blades for certain items are
  created "by hand" with tools hammering out a piece of metal. The
  quality of the final product is based almost entirely on how well
  you, as a player, can blacksmith. I think this could be taken
  further, by adjusting the "random" element, if any, based on
  avatar skill level, as well.

  3. housing modifications, *including* geometry.

Would concepts like the above likely cross the boundary from
"puzzle" game, into "real", for you, without entering the pitfalls I
described above?

Ken Snider
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