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Speaking With the Designer of an Indie MMO Project

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the quite-ambitious dept.

Games 104

PsxMeUP writes "Love is a persistent online first-person shooter that will let players build structures, permanently manipulate the environment and share resources — all in real-time. Action will be similar to a real-time strategy game as seen through the eyes of a grunt. The game is being completely designed by a man named Eskil Steenberg, and GameObserver had a chance to interview him. Steenberg talks about how all MMOs offer an egocentric experience where character growth is the most important aspect, and how he intends to change that. He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players, which basically trivializes accomplishments that have an impact on the entire server. 'If you imagine Civilization where you invent your stuff or build new stuff, imagine playing one of those characters on the ground doing that. And being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world,' Eskil explains, when asked what his game will be like. 'I want to scare people in a direction that is different from this sort of "me-centric" style of games. It feels that pretty much all games are going into that Diablo direction of collecting and building up my characters, and it's all very egocentric about creating your own powerful character,' he clarifies when asked how his game will be different from other MMOs. Love is well into development, and Steenberg has already posted some incredible gameplay demos. Levels, for instance, are all procedurally generated. The game also offers open-source tools, like UV editing — not a small feat considering the whole thing was designed by one man."

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104 comments

Owwwwwww! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041099)

My dick broke in half slashdot!

Re:Owwwwwww! (-1, Offtopic)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041143)

You will be moderate -1 troll in 5...4...3...2...1...
Have a nice day.

Re:Owwwwwww! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051019)

I enjoy the fact that both you and the FP troll were moderated the same.

Re:Owwwwwww! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29047205)

Next time relax your grip. I know a first post on /. is exciting, maybe next time you should just try to keep your hand off your junk.

Good luck! (3, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041123)

Sounds like the first Communist MMO! But more power to him, I just don't see how one guy is going to put out a game changer, these games tend to be "mecentric" for a reason. People want to see that last boss, kill that god, but not everyone is willing to put in 40 hours a week.

Re:Good luck! (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041343)

So it was communist when Blizzard made everyone turn in cloth to try and open the doors of Az-Nerub? (or whatever the hell it was, I wasn't playing then.)

His design would still work as long as the person who contributes the most gets the most. Think of it like the construction workers who work on the road. The guys who put in overtime get paid more, the people who don't help at all (me and you) don't get paid at all, but we all get to use the road when it's finished.

Re:Good luck! (1)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041399)

So it was communist when Blizzard made everyone turn in cloth to try and open the doors of Az-Nerub?

Gazuntite.

Re:Good luck! (1)

Thadd.Isolas (936888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041457)

Gesundheit.

Here let me fix that for you.

Re:Good luck! (1)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041527)

Gesundheit.

Here let me fix that for you.

Sure...if you want to use the latin.

Re:Good luck! (1)

Thadd.Isolas (936888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041699)

Re:Good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29043759)

So it was communist when Blizzard made everyone turn in cloth to try and open the doors of Az-Nerub?

Gazuntite.

Bless you!

Re:Good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041543)

Ahn'Qiraj.

Re:Good luck! (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041631)

The opening of the doors at Ahn'Qiraj was a real-time event (rather than just appearing after a patch). I figure that they did the collecting thing to space out the openings so they could deal with the inevitable realm server crashes one at a time rather than all at once.

Analogy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041851)

The guys who put in overtime get paid more, the people who don't help at all (me and you) don't get paid at all, but we all get to use the road when it's finished.

I damn well get to use the road seeing as my tax dollars paid for it. Not helping? I work 60 hours a week and pay a lot of taxes.

Re:Analogy? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042379)

You best be trollin. His analogy makes perfect sense, if you missed the point you are an idiot.

We all get to use public goods, the people who create them get an additional incentive to prevent the freeloader problem from causing everyone to say "someone else will do it".

Re:Good luck! (4, Interesting)

xappax (876447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041903)

I think he's re-envisioning the reward system and the meaning of "success" in his game. In a game like WoW, you're l33t if you managed to accumulate the most epic loot for yourself. Success in WoW is making your toon uber-powerful, or doing something that nobody else can.

In Love, it sounds like success is much more based around your personal relationships with other players - success is measured in how much respect and "props" you get from your fellow players. Players are competing not for shiny loot which they can hoard, but for the opportunity to help their peers and earn a good reputation.

Kind of reminds me of the warez scene, actually. Everyone is hyper-motivated and competitive about doing a good job, even though ultimately all they're doing is sharing with each other. It's competition to show who's the best at sharing.

Re:Good luck! (0, Troll)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29043445)

I don't know how many times I have to explain it, but your character on World of Warcraft is not a cartoon.

It's a character.

When people think 'toon' they think 'Looney Toons' like you're spending however many hours a week dropping anvils on people's heads and other cartoonish things. If you want to call it a toon, fine, but don't get emo or surprised when people who don't play make fun of you for doing so.

Re:Good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29043711)

I do play and I make fun of people calling their characters "toons." Also people who use "reroll" to make a new character, when there is no rolling for stats whatsoever.

Re:Good luck! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057469)

Not a fan of "toon", either, but avatar is just as bad if you think about it. Worse, even. An avatar is a physical manifestation of a god. Most "avatars" running around in WoW are, how shall we put this, children of a very lesser god.

Commander Data: Captain, it appears the gods of these avatars have IQs of approximately 90. See as this one runs up to a green pig and kills it, and the other avatar says, "Good job".

Re:Good luck! (4, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 4 years ago | (#29044009)

You realize the term toon has existed since the early days of MUDs, MOOs, and MUX's, right? I've yet to see someone get insulted for using it. I think you're a fibber.

Re:Good luck! (1)

Roman Mamedov (793802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29047613)

You realize the term toon has existed since the early days of MUDs, MOOs, and MUX's, right?

But still, currently it is used almost exclusively (by some) in the WoW crowd, while other MMO's players refer to their characters, well... as "characters", or maybe "avatars".

Re:Good luck! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049453)

Was in EVE yesterday, and a guy was talking about "this toon", and one of my friends uses it even to describe his D&D characters.

I think the term is relatively widespread in the gaming parlance.

I personally kind of hate the term though. =)

Re:Good luck! (1)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29053589)

I never heard the term until people started talking about their MMORPG characters. I was mucking a hell of a lot around 1994-1998 and nobody ever referred to their character as a "toon". It was always "my character" or "one of my alts" when referring to an alternate character. A character might have been a "toon" if they were intended to be a cartoon character who you might see in an American animated short or feature, but the general class of player characters was never called a "toon".

Seeing people refer to their avatars as "toons" is always a disconnect for me, especially when it's in a fairly realistic-looking game. I can only assume that Disney's "Toontown Online" was a lot of people's first MMORPG, and they got in the habit of calling their characters "toons" there.

It always sounds pretty stupid to me unless they are talking about their Toontown Online characters, because to me, "toon" was defined by the 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

Re:Good luck! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29044827)

You're a fool, kindly shut the fuck up.

Re:Good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29045349)

Toon as in carToon CHARACTER. Its a version of London gang slang. Rhyming intended, as that is what the slang is often derived from.

Re:Good luck! (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29053183)

I don't know how many times I have to explain it, but your character on World of Warcraft is not a cartoon. It's a character.

*sigh* And what's one of the definitions of "cartoon"? "3 : animated cartoon"[1] [merriam-webster.com] : "A motion picture that is made from a series of drawings, computer graphics, or photographs of inanimate objects (as puppets) and that simulates movement by slight progressive changes in each frame." [2] [merriam-webster.com]

Video games are a type of animation. A character or avatar in a video game can very much be called a "toon" by it's very definition. Just because you can't get over your association of "toon" with "Looney Toons" doesn't make the slang and term inappropriate. It just makes you look silly trying to claim such.

For further argument, cartoons are also not all of the classic "Looney Toon" style either. Regard many of the computer generated cartoons such as Final Fantasy or the recent Beowulf film. Certainly Cartoons, yet it's far from "Anvil dropping on people heads" fair.

It's your use of the word "toon" that needs to be modernized to the 21st century. I guess it's time for someone "explained" it to you.

Re:Good luck! (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29061437)

So... you're saying that the word 'toon' now means something different, rather than what it's traditionally meant, and that we should use your version? Aight.

The 2007 CG remake of Beowulf is certainly not a cartoon. The Merriam-Webster definition is so generic as to be useless; "photographs of inanimate objects (as puppets) and that simulates movement by slight progressive changes in each frame" includes any frame-based animation of ANY sort.

Re:Good luck! (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29061329)

I don't know how many times I have to explain it, but your character on World of Warcraft is not a cartoon.

Yeah, 'toon' always annoyed me too. It's part of the constant belittling of everything that many players engage in to hide their lack of self-esteem. Same with the 'X takes no skill', 'everythings easy' etc. It's the same mentality that makes the fat kid pay himself out for being fat. If he gets in first then somehow it hurts just a little less. It's also a snide way to insult - if you're bad and have no skill and yet you managed to beat someone else, they must be REALLY bad. It's sad to spend 60 hours a week doing something and then don't even have the self-confidence to say "actually, I did that pretty damn well" when they achieve something.

Maybe they don't value anything they have in *their* life, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't value anything in mine.

Re:Good luck! (2, Insightful)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041515)

> People want to see that last boss, kill that god, but not everyone is willing to put in 40 hours a week.

Procedural content wouldn't change that much. In fact, it would allow you to kill your personal final boss, not the same one everyone else has slain, and make you wait with twenty other people which are currently also waiting for it to respawn.

> these games tend to be "mecentric" for a reason.

Yes, but a different reason you cite. It is terribly hard to automatically generate content, which is actually diverse, interesting, consistent, good, and bug free, especially if it is in persistent world. But if you want a persistent world, procedural content is a must.

Re:Good luck! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29042179)

Sounds like the first Communist MMO! But more power to him, I just don't see how one guy is going to put out a game changer, these games tend to be "mecentric" for a reason. People want to see that last boss, kill that god, but not everyone is willing to put in 40 hours a week.

It depends on what you mean by "game changer". At it's most successful, it's not going to reinvent the standard MMOG, but it could very well find its own audience who wouldn't be interested in WoW, or play WoW not for the "mecentric" elements as much as the crafting or other social aspects of the game. Those players won't find such aspects to be very strong in WoW, but they might find them in Love. A Tale in the Desert is an example that has found a strong audience for itself without taking the online gaming market by storm. If Love is a game changer, it will be by showing how some gameplay ideas can work online, such ideas may be adopted by other games. For the most part, online game playing will be egocentric - the larger audience plays for escapist fantasy, and they want to "see that last boss". There's room for both, just as there is for action adventure movies and dramas. Also, I've played on small population servers ("The 4th Coming"), and have seen first hand that smaller populations foster a slight sense of community among the players. Also, his News page is terrific reading, which adds to my interest.

Re:Good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29042207)

DIE HUMAN DIE!!!

oooh wait thats the warcraft/eq/uo/hack-n-slash mmo crowd.

Those who like RPG style games that last more than 5 min or the next boss will actually like something like this. To build a world, build a history, promote from private to general, be the next greatest warrior and things like that has potential. If you build it they will come never fear. The hack-n-slashers will logon and then leave so day 1-100 (potenitally) will be ungodly numbers but after that numbers should settle down to a reasonable amount to keep it alive.

Love (5, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041203)

"Love is a persistent online first-person shooter ...", try explaining THAT to my girlfriend!

Re:Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041905)

There's nothing to explain if she's into bukakke

Re:Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29046883)

I did, and it got me laid. Thanks!

My ten year-old loves this idea (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041217)

I have no idea why my son is so excited about this particular game, but every month or so he keeps asking if it's out yet. We saw some of the demos and evidently it stuck with him. I think he likes the idea of being able to change the world.

Re:My ten year-old loves this idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29042109)

Drawing penises in notebooks can only be so fun.
I'm sure a lot of boys are looking forward to an MMO that lets them erect penis-towers!

Re:My ten year-old loves this idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29044783)

he probably does that because he loves his father's cock up his ass so much. PIPBoy3000 is a child molester AND a fag. at least if he was fucking his daughter he wouldn't be gay.

Re:My ten year-old loves this idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29047287)

He's only like that cause he walked on on you with his mom.

Re:My ten year-old loves this idea (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042519)

Maybe he is just in love with the look of the thing. I just watched the in-game video [stacken.kth.se] , and it's both weird looking and yet oddly attractive. A bit like playing in a Van Gogh.
The whole "build your own base/city" part sounded quite good to me too though

The best part of the video though is "oh! The sun is coming out! How nice" ;)

The problem is implementing his ideas (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041233)

being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world

How do you plan on achieving that? I've had a game idea like this for a while but I can't think of an excellent way to go about making small details effecting the outcome, except for market prices.

Re:The problem is implementing his ideas (1)

mangst (978895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041731)

I actually RTFA and the guy is very well spoken. He seems to know what he's talking about and seems to have realistic expectations. The screenshots aren't half bad either.

Re:The problem is implementing his ideas (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049325)

See a running stream that people cannot cross. Build a bridge. People can cross the stream now and you might just have created the main road to success for someone.

yeah but (2, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041321)

Even playing WoW often gets to be too much like work.

I can see how this might be a better approximation of real society or have better ideals or whatever than WoW etc, but WILL IT BE MORE FUN?

Honestly I dont care about the humanist validity of a game. I only want to play it if its an enjoyable and escapist experience. In fact deliberate unrealism is often more entertaining.

Do I want to have more "realistic life issues" thrown at me for pleasure? no. Its for that reason I already hate all reality TV shows.

Re:yeah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041935)

LOL, you think reality TV is anything like reality

Re:yeah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29042343)

It isn't? /sarcasm

Eric Blair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041341)

Love is a persistent online first-person shooter

Sounds more like Ministry of Love to me.

--
flag@whitehouse.gov

oh noes (1)

delete2kill (1449861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041357)

"..Levels, for instance, are all procedurally generated.." my processor just ran out the windows© with my IGP onboard

Re:oh noes (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042453)

Probably procedurally generated server side, lest we end up with "all totems in one spot" hacks and such.

I remember another game written by one man (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041363)

Derek Smart. BattleCruiser 3000AD

Production was always moving along and there were videos and screenshots of the game, but for the longest time there was simply no game for anyone except Mr. Smart to play.

Sadly to say, for all the people eagerly anticipating BattleCruiser 3000AD, the game sucked.

Let's hope Steenberg and his little game are headed in the right direction.

Re:I remember another game written by one man (2, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041693)

Rollercoaster tycoon was written by one person. Almost all of the code was written in assembly. It was one of the most fun games I've ever played.

Re:I remember another game written by one man (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041815)

Derek Smart! Derek Smart! Derek Smart!

Re:I remember another game written by one man (2)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042673)

Incidentally I argued yesterday with him (D.Smart) on the board for one of his two new games, and I must say he really lives up to his reputation : he is quite in love with himself and unable to accept the least criticism and remarks about bugs in his games. ("Don't make a judgment about my game by trying out the demo" was worth a good laugh though)

From what I've read, Steenberg does seem to have more skills and less attitude

Re:I remember another game written by one man (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049513)

>>Production was always moving along and there were videos and screenshots of the game, but for the longest time there was simply no game for anyone except Mr. Smart to play.

Why on earth do you think that people need programming teams to make things happen? A lot of solo programmers go the way of Derek Smart, much like how so many wannabe authors who are "working on their book" never get around to actually writing it/finishing it/polishing it.

A lot of talented programmers make stuff happen on their lonesome though. If you don't want to give props to John Carmack for being nearly the only programmer at ID during its heyday, then look at the solo projects he's done since then - they're pretty good. Or a boss that I used to work for (in the 1990s) at a military contractor (which made VR headsets) on his own time created a VR game which caused the company to branch out into commercial sector for the first time. I wrote CustomTF over a pretty intense weekend in 1999. If this guy is smart (not Mr. Smart smart) AND is able to self-motivate, it should be quite possible.

Re:I remember another game written by one man (1)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049881)

As your name implies, this is a bad analogy.

Derek Smart was screwed on BC3k by his publisher who dumped it out the door unfinished and broken. He filed a lawsuit against them for the rights to it and settled out of court. Smart is still in business making his own games more than 10 years later.

You don't have to like D.S. or his games, but serious gamers, indies, and solo devs have lots of respect for him.

Eskil Steenberg is a genius (4, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041377)

This guy is the upper league. I met him a few times at the Blender conference. He's on the OpenGL Standards Team and has forgotten more about coding than most of us will ever learn. Just watching him demonstrate his 3D tools is jawdropping. Listening to him when he talks about 3D and real-time multi-user networking is a feast. He's in the upper league of coding *and* in the upper league of taste and design. If anybody can pull something like this through it's him. Go and watch the demos if you don't believe me.

Re:Eskil Steenberg is a genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041561)

Thanks for the scoop on him. I stumbled across mention of Love day before yesterday when I was looking for info about Darwinia (both use procedural content generation.) Bookmarked Love to check out later and then today I see this article about an indie MMO pop up on slashdot and sure enough it's talking about Love.

Your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29043277)

Since you're asking for polite corrections, you might want to know that the words "English" and "German" should be capitalised.

Re:Eskil Steenberg is a genius (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29043799)

I concur. I've been a professional game designer for just over 5 years, and when I first saw Eskil's videos, I simply couldn't believe that Love was the work of a single person. The amount of skill and talent required to produce a game of that magnitude is staggering. To see it concentrated in one person is unheard of.

I was so amazed that I spent over an hour researching him, thinking that I would unearth some kind of collective behind him. Instead I just kept finding more proof of his genius. He's the real deal.

ATITD or Slave Labor (4, Interesting)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041529)

This kind of collaborative building effort was done in ATITD. (A Tale in the Desert.) It was really great, but an interesting thing happened...

Guild houses and other structures require LOTS of raw materials. Gathering these were very labor intensive. The 'less dominant' personalities were relegated to these tasks while the Type-A guys did fun things like detail-work and planning. There were players who literally logged in and spent hours making bricks or gathering straw. They'd hand these off the the guild leaders when they were done and start over.

The only reason this wasn't slave labor is that there was no coercion, it was just a class system based on your personality, your 'need to be accepted' and your willingness to do the grunt-work. The social dynamic of the whole thing was one of the most interesting parts of that game.

Re:ATITD or Slave Labor (2, Interesting)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042573)

I also played ATITD for a while. It's a shame that the pace and timeline of the game was so closely driven by Teppy as opposed to by the players. The Second Telling was more or less killed off by a combination of Teppy releasing Tests at too slow a pace and, of course, the release of WoW.

Up until then though, the large community efforts were impressive. Hundreds of people involved in digs (with some people making shovels for everyone, people cooking stamina food). The nearly region-long Acro lines, etc.

After I left, I tried to keep up with news on ATITD. Apparently the Second Telling took so long to progress in the end that Teppy made a bunch of changes to speed up the conclusion--sounding more like cutting his losses and wanting to just get started over again with the Third Telling.

Unfortunately the last time I checked in on the Third Telling the population was so low that the game just isn't the same anymore. There aren't enough people to form any of the large community events anymore that made the game so much more enjoyable.

(Though I have to admit, when it comes to repetitive behavior...I wore out the left mouse button on two high-end mice in less than 6 months of play there.)

Re:ATITD or Slave Labor (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 4 years ago | (#29047699)

I think the problem with ATITD is that there isn't any real competition. The only economy is based on helping "everyone else" achieve "some far-off goal", which, to the average player, is a crock of shit.

There's no incentive to profit from the inequal distribution of resources on the map; it's all very hold hands and love everyone. Which is great, but there isn't any room for conflict there.

MMO FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041553)

'oh Planetside wherefore art thou?

That was a fun game. Eskil Steenberg is right; there is much potential for a game that ISN'T about wealth or levels. PlanetSide had a low cap on character development; basically 4-6 weeks of causal play and you were done 'leveling'. After that the only dimension of growth remaining was player organization and politics.

Later Sony ruined the game by adding new 'skills' and new equipment that required level grinding via leeching. The players left. Most of them, anyhow. Had they made the environment modifiable (for instance,) instead of creating a grind for 'command skills' or crazy overpowered transformer suits, I'd probably still be there.

Before that, however, we players developed into amazingly well organized, trained and disciplined outfits. We planned our attacks, stormed on to the field, took our objective and moved on to the next target. I spent hours defending a hallway against the hoards and with my PlanetSide friends. It was a blast.

Maybe a MMO FPS can as much fun with only 200 on a server... That limit would be a benefit in two ways; it would prevent excessive lag and it would ensure enough people are participating in the 'scene' to be worthwhile. On the other hand part of the appeal of PlanetSide was that you had an entire world in which your outfit could deploy against a vast hoard of targets; there were no explicit limits on population.

There goes my idea... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29041837)

I was planning a much more mecentric version of a similar MMO and have sunk around 40 hours of my incompetent, newbie, and early student level talent into it. But since my ideas are being implemented... what do I do now? How do I come up with something 'creative' and useful in this world where so much shit is already being done and every idea I come up with ends up having other investors with more money, more time, and less vision? This world riddled with intellectual property is making me frustrated.

Re:There goes my idea... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29062173)

You can resign yourself to nothing you do being original, because there's nothing new under the sun. Once you do that (and it's a painful realisation) you can start working on seeing that even so, you can still do things that are *good*.

This. (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29041897)

"He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players, which basically trivializes accomplishments that have an impact on the entire server."

Is World of Warcraft. Every battleground, arena, or PvE instance is now a waiting line for your raid to get on the ride and come out looking like someone went crazy with a rubber stamp for progression. I swear standing around Org/Ironforge/Shat/Dal is like the scene of a bad photocopier accident some days.

Where the ME is me, the developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29042463)

I did not RTFA, but the idea I gathered from this, that I would like to build myself is an RTS /Civilization hybrid where the players are peons, and me, I am the grand master moving the troops around. OK, maybe there's a second god too, otherwise I have no one to play against.

Picture a bit of the Tribes commander position, but it would be a really detailed view and I could select a peon and yell at them via VOIP, or pick them up and throw them in the ocean for not following orders.

YEAHHHHH!!!!

I wouldn't call this an MMO (4, Insightful)

Arykor (966623) | more than 4 years ago | (#29042633)

He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players

The MM in MMO stands for Massively Multi-player! If the servers are limited to 200 registered players averaging 50-70 online most of the time (as stated in TFA), I wouldn't call it an MMO. I've played on wolf-et servers with more than 70 players.

Re:I wouldn't call this an MMO (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29043863)

Methinks the term is over/mis-used. If it is massively multiplayer, it MUST be online. There are no LAN games that are massive. If it is massively multiplayer... it must be multiplayer. The second M and the O are not needed.

If i say its an MFPS or MRPG, it should be understood that we're talking about a game that uses the internet to connect many players into a shared space.

Diablo *can* be played online, and *can* be played multiplayer. But it wasn't built around that. It's not massively multiplayer so, and it can be multiplayer on a LAN. We don't need the internet for it.

We can't play WoW on a LAN (i'm not counting private servers).

Re:I wouldn't call this an MMO (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29062747)

If the servers are limited to 200 registered players averaging 50-70 online most of the time (as stated in TFA), I wouldn't call it an MMO.

Agreed. It's a persistent-world multiplayer game. Although I'd love to know how he expects 200 players to average 50 online most of the time. Is he expecting people to play 6 hours a day?

I hope he succeeds (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29043209)

I sincerely hope he finds a way to become profitable and to find a way to keep the game play experience he wants players to have and still host more players... I doubt he can be profitable on just 200 registered players. If he can turn this into something he can make a living off of it will give me a lot of hope for aspiring developers out there. Lately it seems only people with millions in VC to burn get anywhere.

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29044703)

I doubt he can be profitable on just 200 registered players.

That's 200 players per server. My understanding is that he plans to run more than one server. I also hope he is successful; the video game industry needs more high-risk, low budget success stories.

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29048057)

Isn't "high-risk, low-budget" sort of an oxymoron?

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049651)

>>Isn't "high-risk, low-budget" sort of an oxymoron?

!oxymoron

It's 'redundant'.

Re:I hope he succeeds (0)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29049993)

No, it isn't. Something that is low-budget is also low-risk by definition.

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051683)

>>Something that is low-budget is also low-risk by definition.

Would WoW have been more or less likely to fail with 10% of the budget they had?

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29062785)

Would WoW have been more or less likely to fail with 10% of the budget they had?

risk = probability of failure * amount lost in case of failure.

Even if they were 5 times more likely to fail, the risk would have been lower.

definition of risk (2)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057541)

Just because no one is going to lose tens of millions of dollars in venture capital if Love fails doesn't automatically make it low-risk. Love is high risk for the developer, Eskil, who is spending several years of his life with no income to write a game that may or may not be successful. It is high-risk in the sense that it employs some unique game mechanics that haven't been copied from other large, successful games.

Re:definition of risk (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057927)

Well, those are all good points. Of course, from this perspective it isn't "low-budget" from the developer's view, as even though development is cheap compared to other games it represents a significant portion of his resources, making it relatively "high-budget." I think my original point that "high-risk, low-budget" is an oxymoron still stands, at least as a generalization.

Re:I hope he succeeds (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29062817)

I doubt he can be profitable on just 200 registered players.

Even though this is 200 players per server, I'd just like to say that a single-developer indie MMO could be profitable with 200 players:

200 players * $10 per month subscription * 12 months = $24000
cost of server capable of hosting a 200 player MMO for one year = $240
legal costs, banking costs, etc. = ~$1000
marketing costs = ~$2000

This leaves around $20000 to pay the dev's salary, which is reasonable enough if we assume he's only doing it part time. There's plenty of people who'd work full time for that.

Coop video interview/demonstration. (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29045019)

In this ep. of coop [revision3.com] . Quoting:

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 running time 10:33

He dropped by the week of GDC to give an extended demo of this 200-player, persistent, and uniquely beautiful game world in which players have complete control--even over the very landscape. Created with tools of his own making, including a 3D modeler and renderer, Love is an incredible example of just how far a solo project can go.

Re:Coop video interview/demonstration. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29057649)

In City of Heroes, we can now stack up (i.e. overlap) base decorations to create new objects.

People use desks and chests to create entire multifloor buildings, using them as "bricks", complete with hallways and multiple interior rooms and stairways.

In other words, supergroup bases are no longer just a "The Sims" variant, with you putting down pre-designed decorations (functional or otherwise). You can now create whole worlds, buildings, mountains even.

One giant supergroup has a whole, full-sized wrestling arena, complete with what looks to be at least a few thousand seats. Utterly astounding.

This kind of thing is going to be huge and the next step in the MMORPG "standard feature" evolution.

Procedural Sound (1)

URL Scruggs (1230074) | more than 4 years ago | (#29046343)

No evidence of any sound yet, I really hope he uses similar principles for generating audio as the game seems to for other content. I'm really looking forward to games taking up a more dynamic approach to audio, synthesis could be so much more fluid and immersive than samples. And this looks like the perfect opportunity for showing people it could work especially as visually its quite stylised, so people might not expect such a 'realistic' sound world.

This reminds me of Noctis V (1)

pinkj (521155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29046417)

I like the concept and the look of the game. I'd love to try it. But I'm very afraid of getting trapped into the Noctis V [anywherebb.com] waiting game with Love. Noctis IV is a great open ended space simulation "game" where you simply explore stars, planets and moons in a galaxy. it was released over 10 years ago and people are still charting and naming celestial bodies today. it run in DOS and fits on a floppy. and it was all done by one brilliant person: Alessandro Ghignola.

and so, when he showed some screen shots of the next release, Noctis V, we all flipped and waited eagerly for a beta or anything playable. that was 8 years ago.

Love looks really good, but my heart has already been broken in the past by another. so i'm not going to get my hopes up right now.

ATITD (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29046421)

'If you imagine Civilization where you invent your stuff or build new stuff, imagine playing one of those characters on the ground doing that. And being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world,' Eskil explains, when asked what his game will be like. 'I want to scare people in a direction that is different from this sort of "me-centric" style of games. It feels that pretty much all games are going into that Diablo direction of collecting and building up my characters, and it's all very egocentric about creating your own powerful character,'

Obviously he hasn't played A Tale in the Desert [atitd.com] .

War Points (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29046771)

I always favored War Points in PvP MUDs assigned by the other players. Sure you'd get douches, but its a good system if people respect the game.

Reminds me of Allegiance (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050105)

Don't know if any remember Allegiance [microsoft.com] . It was a space 3d combat game with resources and objectives and building units and the like, but one player was designated the commander, and he viewed the entire battle from a tactical perspective, ordering units to go do objectives much like in an RTS.... the players would get the orders he gave them as objective way points and the like, but it was up to them to actually pursue them (or not). And the commander could assign better resources (ships, missiles, etc) to people who carried out his orders better (or just on whatever criteria he wanted). It was not a persistent game in terms of continuing combat (though there was some kind of overall campaign scoreboard based on which factions won), but the RTS/Personal dual nature described here reminded me of that. I played and enjoyed it for awhile but moved on at some point. The game had a fairly steep learning curve and for new players to jump into the thick of it against people who had mastered the basics was intimidating. I gather it wasn't a financial success for Microsoft, who developed it, and some time back they open sourced the entire thing. There are still that support it, though haven't checked on it in a long time... [freeallegiance.org]

WURM Online (1)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29052049)

Reading the article i get the impression that this would be something new, the ability of making everything yourself from scratch. Note that this is my impression. Well it's not very new.

As stated by Marc_Hawke (130338) there's also A Tale in the Desert, haven't tried that myself though. But i've tried Wurm online which is a java based MMORPG where you can make everything yourself from scratch and manipulate the enviroment as you go. This for me got very tireing after some time chopping down trees and flattening the ground to make a road. And my tools got dull after some time aswell. Then without having neither a bunch of new tools nor a blacksmith anywhere close i was was up *****creek without a paddle.

I sincerely hope that this guy will be able to pull this off better than the guys in the WURM team. The idea is good buy very hard to execute while getting people to stay and play the game.
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