I am withering away waiting for the next Guild Wars 2 beta event. I have dreams of a dagger-charged necromancer or elementalist that I can’t wait to realize. Yet, the gaming world seems to be darkening as the light of the last Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event is receding. I am trying to shake the feeling as best as I can with Steam sales, and the like. Then I hear what is going on in the news.
Except for the aforesaid exception, the MMO genre seems to be bleakening. With a gracious nod to Beau Hindman, I would say that this only seems to be the case for so-called “AAA” titles as F2P titles seem to flood across the land like a scute mob. Continue reading
I recently spent over an hour chatting with Brian “Psychochild” Green about his latest project, Storybricks. I had to be honest with him and explained that I just did not give Storybricks the time it deserved. I took a glance at it, didn’t “get” it, and moved on. Therefore, I wanted to give him a chance to help me understand just what exactly are they trying to do. I feel their biggest problem is that people are trying to relate it to anything else currently out there and falling short. It is easy to explain something by saying “It’s sort of like this.” but there is nothing sort of like this. Truth be told, they really have something new and interesting on their hands and it would be a terrible shame if this project failed due to nothing more than people not understanding it.
Who would I talk to if I was building an MMO on story? I’m not talking about a single-player story, even one as satisfying as Mass Effect, tacked in a phased/instanced manner on an MMO. I’m talking about making real stories that the whole server takes part in. Stories without a connect-the-dots type solution. Stories that I can create and share. Stories that I can mess up.
I would do what Namaste Entertainment did for their Storybricks tool and go to GenCon and talk to table-top roleplayers. (PAX too; afterall Tycho is of the old school.) Table-top roleplayers are used to that collaborative effort, imagination requirement, and undefined path to get through a good story. Video gamers, I would argue, especially conventional MMO fans, have been trained to receive story in a linear format more similar to books and movies. They just wouldn’t understand as quickly.
I had the pleasure of having an online demo with Namaste’s Kelly Heckman (Community Manager, who says I have some “design chops”) and blogosphere favorite Brian “Psychochild” Green (MMO Master, actual title) for their upcoming Storybricks tool and the first rays of light of their MMO that will use the tool. This is that story. Continue reading