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Otherland MMO Announced

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the will-it-have-another-MMO-inside-it? dept.

Role Playing (Games) 142

Eurogamer breaks news that German games publisher DTP Entertainment will be making an MMORPG based on Tad Williams' Otherland series of books. As anyone who has read the books will know, this could be an interesting new spin on virtual worlds. Quoting: "For want of a better soundbite, let's call it the first cyberpunk MMO: a virtual world about virtual worlds, in which your avatar is an avatar, the NPCs play NPCs, and you explore a multiverse in which you might be in realistic historical surroundings one minute, and cartoon fantasy ones the next. Everything changes, even your own appearance, and nothing is even pretending to be real. ... You start the game as one of those consciousnesses in a place called the Land of the Lost, a nightmare scenario which you're trying to escape. You'll run, be killed, and reborn in a 'baby' state as a simple, low-rent sim (though we suspect the game won't be using that term, for obvious reasons) - a blank, featureless avatar that can be male, female or even neither."

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142 comments

Sounds interesting... (1)

CronicBurn (316845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224307)

I may have to pick up a book or to and get familiar with the story line.

Re:Sounds interesting... (3, Interesting)

Entiex (1376325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224365)

I may as well, any chance at playing a cyberpunk themed MMO thats actually good (As opposed to say, Neocron) is one that I don't want to miss. And if I play it, I want to know the lore. That and the whole concept of this world itself is making me want to pick up the books anyway.

Re:Sounds interesting... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224497)

The Otherland series is one of the best I've read in the virtual world genre. Not quite sure if it counts as full on cyberpunk though.

I've been waiting for someone to make an MMO from this series, it begs for it.

Re: Cyberpunk MMO (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224657)

Make sure to give both the books and the MMO the benefits of the doubt. I am prepared to accept if the publishers wind up with only a mediocre translation.

Re: Book or Four! (4, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224637)

I will be replying the daylights out of this thread since I really liked the series.

It is a tetrology of 4 books, all gorgeously detailed! I really liked that a crucial feature is two AFRICAN characters as lead heroes! One from a modern province, and one a classically trained Bushman.

Tad W. does a brilliant job of showing how the Old Bush Ways could provide crucial insight into our modern era.

I hate MMO's, but I'll probably have to get my own little corner of this one solely because of the books.

Re: Book or Four! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227303)

I really liked the books, but I think they will translate quite poorly to an MMO. Still, it's worth a look. And Tad W need to write more!

Re:Sounds interesting... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224837)

> let's call it the first cyberpunk MMO

Let's not. That would be The Matrix Online, which I need not point out was simultaneously the most "perfect" choice ever for an online avatar game while ending up a total flop.

Building encounters with a bunch of street thugs, level after level after level.

And not enough outfits, either. At least City of Heroes has a ton of sexy stuff you could wear on your girls, and it was all available at level 0.

It's interesting that Matrix Online had a way to "hack" things to gain extra powers. So did Star Wars: Galaxies, for that matter. But not real hacking of the game. No way, no how!

Re:Sounds interesting... (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225071)

Actually Anarchy Online had all that stuff a loooong long time ago (up to and including a scary overabundance of gender non-specific sexy clothes for your virtual crossdressing needs).

A pretty good MMO actually, for it's era...It's still around, and they've actually been pretty busy with expansions lately, but the core product is pretty dated. The major flaw of the game was twinking, imho, because everything was based on character stats, and there were ways to increase your stats dramatically out of proportion to your level...And since the pvp was level based, you could come across a guy who was the "same" level as you, who could squish you like a bug.

I think the most amusing one I ever saw was a guildie of mine who had a level 60 twink who could manifest a level 150 pet. That was his only skill, and yet it was more than enough...The 150 pet was more than tough enough to stand up to a few level 150 characters...At least for a while. What it did to people he could pvp with had to be seen to be imagined.

Re:Sounds interesting... (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225201)

Inbalanced pets have always been fun. Like training a Wyrm to be a pet in UO, a pet that could 1 shot anyone that did not have maxed HP. ohh the fun tabbing through a group killing them all with a fire ball.

Re:Sounds interesting... (2, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225823)

Be prepared to spend the next several months or possibly years on it. I read all the books back to back and found them in dire need of editing. Some posters will probably jump on me and claim it was all about depth, but there was quite a bit of fat in every one of those books. Things that took far too long to develop and had an insane level of verbosity. Just like this post is getting to be...

Re:Sounds interesting... (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226859)

Eh, you were being nice. I got about 2/3 of the way through the first book, to the point where the plot literally began to repeat itself almost verbatim from what had happened earlier, and shortly after the guy who was playing the Diablo-Hardcore-Mode MMO where you die once and you're gone forever died because of some weird portally bullshit, and I gave up. Nothing interesting happened in all those pages, only bare mentions of the "Otherland," whatever the fuck that ended up being... ug, it was horrible. Just like the MMO based on it is going to be.

Not interested (2, Funny)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224331)

Wake me up when a mutant is using hypnotic mind-control to make me believe I'm actually in the game. Until then I don't think this is going to be a particularly compelling MMORPG.

Re:Not interested (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224847)

Wake me up when a mutant is using hypnotic mind-control to make me believe I'm actually in the game. Until then I don't think this is going to be a particularly compelling MMORPG.

SPOILER TO FOLLOW


Hint to the mods, this is a reference to the books. You eventually find out a psychic mutant is the one responsible for getting the people stuck in the virtual worlds. As for whether it'll be a good MMO or not, well, hard to say. Its greatest strength looks to be its biggest weakness, that is, it's so open ended it's going to be hard to motivate the players.

But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (0, Redundant)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224351)

You forgot to answer the most important question.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224459)

You forgot to answer the most important question.

No, I think the summary answered that already. It implied that this should be sufficiently different enough from WoW that I could enjoy both games.

I played LotRO and it was feeling too much like WoW so I quit. Same with Warhammer. Buggier versions of WoW. I have high hopes for this as it sounds like the concept, classes & lore will be far enough away from WoW to provide me with entertainment.

This is going to shock and appall you but there can be multiple successful MMOs. You might think you need to invest all your time in one but I have often played multiple and enjoyed them.

You don't need to kill WoW to be successful, just try being original and a lot can happen! I only hope they don't cash out, release early, screw the users and just let it die after they've doubled production costs like so many others.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (4, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224767)

I think we need to have something cleared up. I keep seeing people refer to the "lore" of Otherland, but that kind of misses the point. Otherland doesn't really have "lore" in the same way that things like WoW, LoTR, Warhammer, or even StarTrek do. The basic premise of the book was that the internet has evolved to the point where everyone interfaces via a direct neural interface and it's experienced as a immersive 3d world with avatars etc., but that something weird is happening and some people are getting "stuck" in the virtual worlds. This is similar to the premise of .Hack, but very different in other ways. Anyway, there's really only 2 bits of "lore" I can think of from the books that could conceivably be brought across. The first would be the major antagonists from the book, which is a fat man and a skinny man that hunt the characters across the various virtual worlds (always wearing an avatar that matches them in some way, for instance the fat man as a toad and the skinny man as a praying mantis). The second item would be the use of certain gestures to perform various actions, such as moving fingers in a very specific pattern to open a portal to another world. It's important to note however that in the books when the characters get sucked into the virtual worlds and lose their ability to log out, the worlds also stop responding to the standard gestures.

Anyway, the important thing is, that for the purposes of something like this MMO, Otherland isn't really a single world with lore, rather it's more of a meta-world in which the players randomly get dropped into one of many worlds each with their own lore.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224901)

so there's no coherent universe, history, storyline? sounds like a really shallow book if that is true.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (4, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224999)

There is, but all that occurs outside of the virtual world this is going to be based on. The storyline is also not applicable, as in the books the main characters are investigating why people are getting trapped in the virtual world and once they themselves become trapped attempting to work their way out of it. As several others have already commented, the virtual world parts of the book are really very shallow because it's mostly about them attempting not to get killed long enough to make it to the next world. I would say it's comparable to trying to convert something like Portal into an MMO. There's a story there, and I don't think anyone would argue it's a pretty good story, but it's sort of a one shot thing. Sure the gameplay mechanic could be carried over, but the story itself is no good for an MMO setting. Likewise the over-arching story from the books, what made them good, is no good for an MMO setting.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225803)

The way you describe the getting stuck in worlds and having to change worlds reminds me of that movie with John Ritter where he buys Cable from the devil. He gets sucked in and tries to survive all the different channels going after the remote to escape.

Stay Tuned [imdb.com] is the name of it.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226297)

Holy crap, I have had dreams based on that movie, but could never remember the name of it! Thank you!

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (1)

NF6X (725054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228051)

The storyline is also not applicable, as in the books the main characters are investigating why people are getting trapped in the virtual world and once they themselves become trapped attempting to work their way out of it.

Hmm, that part of the story line sounds applicable to me. A virtual world that is very difficult to log out from sounds like a dream come true for a paid-subscription gaming company! :-)

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225155)

A whole series of books, rich in environments and their denizens, and rather deep.

Definitely not shallow, and not even a quick read.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225663)

They aren't trying to turn the plot into a game, just the concept of Otherland. It'll be either hit or miss, but if it hits it's going to be amazing. You'll really have a hard time grasping the depth of what they're trying to do if you haven't read to books already (which I highly recommend). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherland [wikipedia.org]

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (1)

DrystanKnight (1257362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225925)

Actually the are dozens of Lore inside the Otherlands. One Lore set is a Pelio-American/Mayan society that advanced so far as to outpace European encroachment, that is to say that the dominate power in the world is in fact a modern Mayaian empire. Another uses a modified OZ storyline where Scarecrow, Tin Man, And Lion are warlords and the Dorothy is a messiah like figure of myth (this lore then branching out to many other aspects of the areas) Otherland is a separate "internet" more like an "internet2" some inroads possible from the public but primarily a private venture, in fact, the purpose of the Otherland is to ***SPOILER*** let those in power download their minds into a world of their own creation. One person builds a kingdom of insects, another location is a "World house" where a library is like unto a country. Worlds imagined from OUR cultural experiences. So to say that Otherland has no lore is perhaps not accurate.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (2, Informative)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226919)

The basic premise of the book was that the internet has evolved to the point where a few people can interface via a VR interface and it's experienced as a immersive 3d world with avatars etc., but that something weird is happening and some people who are connecting to a very specific location, eventually dubbed Otherland, are getting "stuck" in the virtual worlds, even though they aren't using neural interfaces.

Fixed that for you. Did you even read the series? Your description is way off.

Otherland isn't really a single world with lore, rather it's more of a meta-world in which the players randomly get dropped into one of many worlds each with their own lore.

You're missing the most important bit - Otherland itself. Each "world" within Otherland has it's own masters who have ideas about what that world should be, and created it as such. The rest are mostly just fronts for something similar to the internet. It would be foolish not to include this concept - and perhaps some of the neat worlds that Tad Williams envisioned - in such a new MMO.

It should also be noted that the rest of the net is small by comparison to Otherland - which is the only place that people are actually creating *worlds* instead of just *sites*. I can't see why this wouldn't also be true.

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (2, Funny)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226053)

Wrong. The most important question is:

"Will it run Linux?"

Hmmmm.. no, sorry! It is:

"Will it run in Linux?".

Re:But will it be a WoW killer!?!?!? (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226485)

Or, will it run on linux, AND run linux?

Kinda like how in a few fantasy games they poke fun at themselves by having the characters play video games.

Brainstorming session gone wrong (1, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224363)

Boss: Okay guys, we have to come up with some better ideas for this new MMO.

Producer 1: I think we should go for the most realistic historical surroundings!

Producer 2: That's boring! How about a cartoon fantasy world?

Four hours later

Boss: You still haven't made a decision.

Producer 1: Oh yeah we have. We're gonna do both!

Boss (disheartened): Both?

Producer 2: Yeah! It'll be a completely open world, totally unfocused! A sandbox! The user makes the choices!

Producer 1: With open-endedness! And it'll be like...so, meta-

Boss: Oh, for fuck's sake. Just throw in a bunch of crap stolen from BladeRunner and call it 'cyberpunk', then it will sell.

Producer 1: You're the boss!

Re:Brainstorming session gone wrong (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224453)

I think I love you.

Re:Brainstorming session gone wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224515)

I think I love you.

But what are you so afraid of?

Re:Brainstorming session gone wrong (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224691)

So, you want a realistic, down-to-earth game... that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots?

Re:Brainstorming session gone wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226439)

Also, you should win prizes for playing it.

OMG! (2, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224367)

Oh my GOD, that is the most awesome news I've heard all week!

No, wait, the other thing. Yet another MMO, cause, you know. There's totally not enough of those around.

Wake me up when... eh, I'll wake up when I'm ready.

Re:OMG! (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224417)

MMOs are the money makers in today's gaming industry.

Who is to blame? Perhaps ourselves for saying "programming as a 'service', not as a product" so they decide to host games for a decent cost.

It is still a maturing market, and most MMOs customer support SUCKS, meaning the service itself isn't service. It's more like, programming for a server.

Re:OMG! (2, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224483)

MMOs were supposed to be The Future of The Internet 15 years ago. I am personally somewhat tired of them. And of hearing about a new one about to come out and how great it'll be, etc. It's kind of old news by now.

Reminds me of an Onion piece (4, Informative)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224403)

The onion did a piece on "World of World of Warcraft", where players play a character sitting in a lonely basement playing warcraft. The "your avatar is an avatar" part reminds me of that, though technically they imply different things... and actually that statement doesn't imply much...

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/warcraft_sequel_lets_gamers_play [theonion.com]

-Taylor

Re:Reminds me of an Onion piece (1)

BennyBigHair (636963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224665)

well i think it was supposed to imply that "this is like the matrix, but we can't say just say that"

Re:Reminds me of an Onion piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225113)

I'd say more like eXistenZ

Re:Reminds me of an Onion piece (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226479)

well i think it was supposed to imply that "this is like the matrix, but we can't say just say that"

That makes way more sense than the article summary.

It was a decent story (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224463)

Those were some good books, but the "it's all a dream" aspect of the setting can lead authors into self-indulgences. Essentially, there are no rules for the world. That was the major problem with it. Also, since "it's all a dream", a lot of the drama seemed false. The real characters were interesting but most of the time spent with the dream characters is just that many more pages of inconsequential stuff.

The "no rules for the world" quality would destroy an MMO. You can't just change the rules all the time or all the players will just hang out in the part with the most advantageous rules.

Re: Large Values of Dream (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224799)

Life's a Dream.

It is by Dream alone I set my life in motion. It is by the juice of green tea & absinthe that thoughts acquire speed, the teeth acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by Dream alone I set my life in motion.

Re:It was a decent story (1)

Timedout (985565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224903)

As with all fantasy the rules aren't concrete physical ones, but instead the rules of the "human experience." AKA: If the characters aren't realistic it doesn't work, and tha tis the only bound on fantasy.

Re:It was a decent story (1)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224983)

I read the Otherland books as well, and I really liked them. I didn't find the dream/VR stuff so inconsequential, because (in the book) they had real-life consequences in various ways (including death).

As for the game having 'no rules for the world', I wouldn't take this to mean there would be 'no rules', but really that there will be different 'worlds' or simulations that play by different rules that can be defined to fit that world's purpose, which is how things really went with in the book.

Each world in Otherland still had some common underlying elements. IIRC, these included geographical extents to each world, and some sort of stream/road/linear feature that linked entry/exit points between the worlds. The rules that governed each world were defined by the individual scientists/companies that designed and operated them (e.g., for research simulations, recreation, business, or whatever). Within each world, you had to play by those rules.

I think, if done well, this game will shape up to be something really cool.

Re:It was a decent story (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227143)

When there are no rules, the real-life consequences don't add suspense. There's always a magic way to escape any problem or difficulty. Part of the connection with the audience is lost when the author can just change the rules to save the characters.

The real characters seemed to care too much about the dream characters sometimes.

And then the real characters crossed the river and nothing that happened in the last 100 pages made any difference to the rest of the story.

Re:It was a decent story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225303)

Different zones, different rules.
The rules are there, and fixed, just local.

Re:It was a decent story (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226929)

Few will go use the zones with the hard rules. MMO players respond to risk/reward.

Re:It was a decent story (3, Informative)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227063)

It wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare. Then another one, and another one, and another one. Then you got separated from your friends. Then the devil seized control of the system and it got worse. No rest for the weary.

And then they charged your credit card.

I just hope this doesn't turn into another SL (1)

Da w00t (1789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224485)

It sounds rather neat, I may have to go start reading the books. I never played Second Life, mostly due to the entire island owned by the bloody furries. Nor did I play The Matrix: Online because it seemed so bland.

This, on the other hand sounds very interesting.

Re:I just hope this doesn't turn into another SL (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224571)

You must be kidding. Furry areas are a very small part of what there is in SL.

Not sure what you mean by "the whole island", if you mean the mainland, then certainly not.

Re:I just hope this doesn't turn into another SL (1)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224815)

i'd imagine he's referring to some large island undoubtedly "owned by furries"

Re:I just hope this doesn't turn into another SL (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225049)

Furry areas are a very small part of what there is in SL.

How do they compare to the flying penis areas?

Re:I just hope this doesn't turn into another SL (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225513)

Griefers seem to be getting tired or something. Lately I see much less of that sort of thing than there used to be.

Why Otherland? (1)

nietpiet (836036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224553)

So, any fans of the SF/Fantasy genre out there who can say why Otherland? Why not Steven Erikson's Malazan Empire? Robert Jordan's Wheel of (too much) time, Tolkien, or Terry Pratchett for that matter? What makes Otherland more suitable than the others?

Re:Why Otherland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224759)

Shadowrun, PLEASE! Even a rip-off would suffice. But I'm glad to see that someone is diverging into the cyberpunk realm for an MMO.

Re:Why Otherland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224777)

It's a meta-thing. The first novel of Otherland was describing MMORPGs fairly early (pre-Ultima Online), and bears a pretty close resemblance to Second Life (again, predating it by several years). It's a cyberpunk novel about MMORPGs, rather than a setting that's being adapted.

Re:Why Otherland? (2, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224821)

Because, unlike the other properties you list, Otherland is strongly focused around the kind of ultra-immersive MMO that some gamers have been slavering for since Bill Gibson coined the term 'cyberspace'. They're basically trying to take an extant virtual world, and create it in real life, without having to go through all the annoyance of sorting out what canon bits to put in.

...Which is why it's going to fail spectacularly. The novels are a decent read, but the 'cyberspace' aspects of it are as shallow and cliche as marketing blurbs.

Re:Why Otherland? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224827)

Otherland at least maybe fills a lesser used niche. We already have Tolkien (Lord of the Rings Online), and the others are still essentially standard fantasy settings.

MMOG's attempting to fill a sci-fi niche have been fewer and further between, and have (for the most part) been failures. Or at least they're not getting the subscriber base as fantasy MMORPGs.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the rumored WH40K MMORPG...and I wouldn't mind a good Shadowrun MMORPG. Or even a Dresden Files based MMORPG.

Re:Why Otherland? (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225595)

40K and Shadowrun are both great fictional settings, but I think they would make poor MMO's due to the permadeath issue. Permadeath is poison for MMO's, but absolutely necessary to keep the thematic feel of those settings.

Shadowrun, for example, loses a lot of steam when death is merely an inconvenience. What's the big deal about getting betrayed by your teammate when it just means you spend 5 minutes running back from the hospital? Yeah, Trauma Teams, sure, but that only goes so far before you have to accept that there's no getting up from getting an auto-shotgun unloaded into your face. If you can't be properly killed, it's just not Shadowrun.

And 40K? That's nothing but death. You're a scary motherfucker, Commissar, but when that Tyranid bites you in half, you're done - Emperor or no Emperor.

I don't look forward to the Fallout MMO for the same reason, despite being a huge fan of Fallout.

Re:Why Otherland? (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227175)

True, until a developer realizes that you can store progress on an account seperate from characters. Many faces, same soul. I know, I know, lots of problems, etc. I don't think any of those problems are insurmountable though.

Re:Why Otherland? (1)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224857)

well, why not Otherland, i haven't read any of it, or any of Steven Erikson's works, but the other three would fall into very similar worlds as most current MMOs. A relatively new world could be a very successful idea, or at the very least a good hook, for those who are bored with the current offerings.

Re:Why Otherland? (2, Informative)

jefu (53450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225241)

Otherland is set in the near future and the characters in the novel enter a set of virtual worlds in order to combat the bad guys. So you have not only possible play in a virtual "real world" but also play in any of a number of (related) virtual "virtual worlds".

Disclaimer: I read the first book in the series and decided not to go any further and in the first book the main characters are just getting going in the virtual worlds.

Re:Why Otherland? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226977)

Tolkien? There's a game called Lord of the Rings Online.

People say it's good and they think they should really play it sometime. But they keep playing WoW instead.

good article (1)

BennyBigHair (636963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224591)

after RingTFA, my questions are the same as the article writers: how is any of this stuff more than changing the name of common MMORPG elements? Like, you get "code" that "alters the fundemental reality of the world" from killing monsters, doing quests, trading, balhblah. Maybe I am being skeptical (along with the author of TFA), but it sounds a lot like other games where, say, you have to grind monsters to drop spell components, or gear, balhblah. I like the sounds of "leveling up" changing into "learning how to modify the code" but if it does the same thing in the end... That being said, the grapics look cool, and hopefully the wide range of areas actually feels like a wide range of areas, not just cyberglacier, cyberruins, cybervolcano, etc.

Ugh... (3, Insightful)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224639)

I'm not knocking the content since it sounds like a neat idea but maybe put up a story when they are farther than the "will be making" phase. Like when they hit the "have funding" and "are in development" phase. Otherwise this is less newsworthy than the pseudo-cancelled (pseudo because it was never truly started) Halo MMO.

I think I "will be making" the first Super Mario FPS. Maybe I should create and post an announcement so I can get on the front page of slashdot?

Re:Ugh... (1)

ned84 (1376481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228027)

They kinda are in development. They've found an engine, are pushing for 2010 release, they claim to be around 15% complete and the screenshots are looking pretty sweet... it's all in the article. All in all, i'd say they've made a fair bit more progress than your Mario FPS ;) I understand with MMOs you never know until they launch, but I for one find this plenty newsworthy.

Can you get out? (4, Funny)

taniwha (70410) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224651)

I mean the whole point of Otherland was that people got trapped there ... does that just mean they wont cancel your credit monthly if you quit?

Yet Another Windows-Only Title? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25224659)

Given the fast raise of OS X marketshare in colleges and universities, where the actual gamers are, I still find it incredibly short-sighted that companies continue to insist on making Windows-only games.

Dual-booting is not an option since Macs don't come pre-installed with Windows, and people don't want to pay for yet another OS, split their hard drive in two partitions, etc. We buy Macs to use OS X, there's no actual need to buy a "gaming OS" on top of all that.

Does Windows has a higher total marketshare? Yes, of course, but that also includes all the corporate desktops which will never be used for gaming.

Re:Yet Another Windows-Only Title? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225149)

Does Windows has a higher total marketshare? Yes, of course, but that also includes all the corporate desktops which will never be used for gaming.

Complain all you want Fanboy...but at least get the facts right...I used my corporate laptop for gaming all the time. ;P

Re:Yet Another Windows-Only Title? (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225979)

I knew this post would come up, the Mac fanboys always make at least one of these when anything vaguely referencing a new game is posted. The argument is always "it's gaining marketshare!" - yeah, call me when it has. If it would make them money, they would do it. Obviously the marketshare isn't there.

When Final Cut Pro and all the other Apple software runs on Windows, maybe that argument will have merit. When running a game that doesn't run on OSX means dual-booting a $100 OS, but running specialized Apple software means buying a $1000+ piece of hardware, it doesn't work so well.

Re:Yet Another Windows-Only Title? (0, Troll)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226137)

Look macophile, its bad enough we have to support your "different" platform in the corporate world now. Don't be wandering into the gaming world with your turtlenecks, lattes and copies of the communist manifesto. I am tired of mac users, between their sips of ethos water and radiohead tracks, preaching minority rights. YOU made the choice to buy an incompatible, overpriced, non upgradeable "appliance", not me. Whats next, complaining that you cant PC game on your tv or dishwasher?

Shouldn't you be focusing on your schoolwork anyway comrade, instead of thinking about games? How are you going to buy that next overpriced mac if you dont get into some sort of advertising, movie executive, or ceo of a web 2.0 company job?

Re:Yet Another Windows-Only Title? (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227363)

Sorry, but if they are going to be dividing their resources, I would rather them go towards making he game better rather than port it to another OS. Just because a game comes out for the PS3 and not the 360 doesn't mean I have to get angry, and a windows license is cheaper than a PS3 anyways.

Another significant problem is the only macs without integrated graphics cards are the mac pros, although the imacs are decent. The majority of increase in mac marketshare is in the laptop line, which isn't really suitable for anything newer than WoW.

no joke? (2, Insightful)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224835)

this series is one that has begged to made into a long rpg or mmo-something. it is very appropriate for this era and i think it could be exciting to play if there are as many worlds to it as the actual series.

what it must have is some aspect of a hidden "otherland" built into it... but not mentioned or even hinted at by the makers.

Re:no joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225697)

If you're just after an RPG without actually being MMO, try the .hack games on the PS2 ;P

odd... (1)

archen (447353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224933)

In a strange way, the slashdot summary actually sounds a lot like second life.

Virtual Second Life (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225427)

It sounds like a game about Second Life, where you get to play being Ordinal Malaprop or Cubey Terra, for people who don't have enough skill... I mean telemorphic ability... to be Ordinal Malaprop or Cubey Terra.

Uh Oh (2, Funny)

morgauo (1303341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224965)

haven't tried any MMOs, They look too addictive.

I won't play this
I really like the books.
I won't play this.
I won't play this
I won't play this.
I won't play this
I won't play this.
I really like the books.
I won't play this
I won't play this.
i really like the books.

i will play this.

So they say.... (1)

SoCalEd (842421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25224975)

You know how it is with these MMO designer types: "Confident, cocky, lazy, dead." My God. Why is that quote still taking up space in my head?

Finally!!! (1)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225043)

Now I can reconcile my urges to cross-dress and taunt male gamers with comments like "that made my vagina hurt," and my inherent shame of playing a female character in a role playing game. Asexual meets it halfway.

.hack anyone? (1)

reallyjoel (1262642) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225487)

"let's call it the first cyberpunk MMO: a virtual world about virtual worlds, in which your avatar is an avatar, the NPCs play NPCs.."

If that's the defintion of a cyberpunk MMO, then .hack beat them to it by a six years.

Re:.hack anyone? (1)

Debello (1030486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225639)

The first Otherland book was published in 1996, the first .hack franchise piece started in 2002. If chronology is a good means of inferring who beat who, then Tad Williams beat .hack.

Re:.hack anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25225835)

in fact I've seen in some place that .hack borrowed heavily from TW, however not being a .hack fan, I can not say.

The Books... (2, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25225977)

like many other SF/Fantasy series, Otherland started strong, but it became obvious in the second volume that the author hadn't thought it all through and just started making it up as he went along (ala George Lucas).

there should be an exception to copyright rules that would let someone step in under these circumstances and write the sequel that the initial story deserves.

as for the online game aspect, why should we expect it to be anything other than one more level grinding bore with pretty graphics? when it's gotten to where character classes have generic descriptions (tank, etc.) no matter what they are supposed to represent, all that's left is changing the pictures.

MMOs have become a lazy way to make games.

Just create Otherland (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226245)

No, don't make a game based on "Otherland". Create "Otherland".

Outside of the neural interfaces I think we have the computing power or cloud power to create an environment that is like Otherland. Personally, I would say Second Life is already there, but it's too focused on just being a better chat room IMHO.

They need to create a place where anything goes within a certain constraint of game physics / tools with a couple of core rules.

Take something like the old world MOOs where there are central places created by the main "company" and then allow players to build their own worlds attached somehow.

Sure you will have quality issues of some worlds / rooms being basic, but some will be awesome.

I'd even go so far as suggesting that you allow external servers to exist, etc...

You would of course have some issues with:
-violence, some people don't like it
-sex, including child versions there off
-age based access control to areas for the above
-plenty of other issues

Honestly, I don't think the people of this world, especially the US, are ready for such an open ended game. Far, far to many puritans and close minded people who want to push their nose into other peoples business. The Koreans or Japanese will probably come out with something like this first.

My .02$

I'm a citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227473)

ZOMFG! Where the hell is my T-Jack????!!!!
I'm gonna be ho dzang at killing stuff!

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