A Challenge to Raph Koster

January 21, 2007

In one post you summarize the base precept that we should build MMOs of the future on. I’ll summarize it in three words. Player generated content (pgc).

You make a good start thinking about it and I almost hoped you really meant the following:

  • Areae will encourage cooperation, twinking, mentoring, and trading.
  • Areae will want players to actually grow much more powerful than the initial game state assumed
  • Areae will allow the gains of the past to be preserved
  • Areae will let you pursue a given path infinitely, rather than making you “switch careers,” because it keeps adding fractal detail
  • Areae will never make the barrier to entry higher because of all this stuff — in fact, ideally, it makes it lower
  • We will not spend all our time adding content Areae’s high end
  • Areae will not assume that the experience has a finite lifespan

Sounds pretty good to me, and it sounds like something you’d be interested in doing. It eliminates the drastic shift from the leveling game to the elder game, reducing grinding (mostly for newcomers who want to catch up) and can be worldy enough for you (the first bullet benefits both community and a player run economy). Then you finish with your opinion, “it’s rather hard to conceive of a game that can offer this.”

By using the words “it’s rather hard” you suggest that you haven’t conceived of a game that can do this. The big questions are first, do you mean that you haven’t conceived of a game can offer this yet? If the answer is yes, or you already have, will Areae be this game? Thankfully you suggest a basis for a game that can offer “this.” The basis is to make the act of creation into a game, so that the players feel like they are being entertained.

I started this blog to discuss that very thing, making the game such that by playing it you create more content for other players than you use up yourself and and that it can happen without the player intentionally trying or even noticing. My challenge is for you to try and think of ways to make creation a game, and I’ll try and explain why I think you should and how you might do it.

Pretty crazy? I know. Worth trying? Absolutely.