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The Gamebook Writers Who Nearly Invented the MMO

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the if-wishes-were-epic-mounts dept.

Role Playing (Games) 72

mr_sifter writes "In the 1980s, gamebooks were all the rage, and most geeks have read through a Fighting Fantasy novel or two. You might even have heard of Fabled Lands, arguably the most ambitious gamebooks ever — it was planned as a series of 12 books, each representing a different area of the world, and players could roam freely from book to book. It was completely non-linear, and unless you died, there was no way to finish. In 1996, the authors, Dave Morris and Jamie Thompson, hooked up with game developer Eidos and started work on what would have been a ground-breaking computer game version of their books — an MMO, in other words. Unfortunately, development hell awaited. This article tells the story of the game that could have been WoW before Warcraft."

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72 comments

WoW was not the first MMO. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31795560)

This article tells the story of the game that could have been WoW before Warcraft.

Gee, was WoW the first MMO? I think not.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (3, Informative)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795714)

It is always annoying that people regard World of Warcraft as the first MMORPG, considering it was basically Blizzards own version of Everquest which was out years before and Everquest was just a 3d version of Ultima Online with added group mechanics (tank, DPS, healing and crowd control). I guess what is ever remembered is not who did it first, but who first did it right.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796218)

Not to mention all of the MUDs around that helped pave the way for UO.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (2, Informative)

axjms (167179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796356)

Exactly! I always thought of MUD's as the very first MMOs with UO and Everquest simply being graphical MUD's. But perhaps there was something even before the MUD's and MOO's that I am unaware of.

I use to have a serious addiction to a MUD called Phantazm. I still remember the sound of my modem connecting in and then connecting to Phantazm via telnet. I swear to god it was like a rush of heroin. Those were the days.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796796)

Before the MUDs was D&D. That was the ultimate multiplayer game (although really it wasn't an MMO as you were limited to how many people you could gather together). But your only limit was imagination (and how big of a douche bag your DM was)

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

axjms (167179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796968)

Yeah, I was kind of limiting my thinking to the electronic realm, but you are right of course. D&D started it all. Interesting to read about some of the mail based games that people have written about below. Never had the patience for that sort of thing, and I didn't think I would have the self control to handle any of the slick graphical based MMO's. So I have been MMO "sober" for at least ten years.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797024)

Consider yourself lucky. Most of today's MMOs (WoW included) are complete shit designed to suck people in and then make them do repetitive tasks. I myself am an admitted victim, as I play Star Trek Online (which is a subpar game but I like it just for the space battles which at least somewhat satisfy my inner Trek nerd). I always wanted a Trek RPG but pictured a game where you were a ship that would go on dynamically generated missions and you could free roam the ship or switch to a tactical outside the ship view. Sadly, the game I had in mind was never fully realized.

I am a reformed FFXI, WoW, LOTRO, and Everquest 2 player, and will never go back to any of those games. They are all basically similar games with slightly different mechanics and different graphical wrappers surrounding the same bland gameplay. I wish we'd get a truly unique new RPG.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (4, Insightful)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797242)

Try Eve Online. It'll give you a new sense of what "bland gameplay" means.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797926)

Sorry, forgot to add that to my list. Yes, I'm a recovering EVE Online player too.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

NightRain (144349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798116)

Well it did that for me. After trying it, I can no longer go back to the bland sameness of the 10,000 WoW clones out there...

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

mindwhip (894744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803212)

If you find Eve boring you are doing it wrong.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797512)

Come try Mortal Online. It is still in beta, and has much to desire.. But the concepts that are fastly being improved upon are great in my book. Its a niche game, but I prefer that to 1.5million hopping 13yr olds.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797556)

Nice long thread and no one bothers to mention AOL's Neverwinter Nights or 3D0's Merdian 59.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

matt3k (751292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798028)

NWN was very fun but too expensive so I played Dark Sun Online on the TEN Network.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

Zen Hash (1619759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31803028)

NWN was very fun but too expensive so I played Dark Sun Online on the TEN Network.

Didn't TEN require a paid account at $20/mo to play AD&D: DSO? Although, that restriction was client side... heh

How much was NWN?

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798554)

All the word from the beta is that it's a complete disaster.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797646)

me, i prefer TLA's

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799602)

For a lot of these Gaming reporters, nothing exists before the year they were 5. So while Ultimate Online, Everquest, Tradewars, et cetera may have been the earliest MMOs, the reporters have never heard of them so they might as well not exist.

I also laugh when people say Resident Evil was the first survival-horror game. Not even close. "Haunted House" on the 1977 Atari 2600/VCS console was the first. But heaven forbid reporters do historical research as part of their job. To them, RE was the first.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797562)

From a technical standpoint after MUDs came Neverwinter Nights on AOL, considered the true first graphical MMORPG. Release Date? 1991, then 3D graphical MMORPGs, came in 1996 with Meridian 59. One big problem was number of concurrent users in a single area, which I believe Ultima Online was the first to try to tackle (shards) in 1997.

That said, if you do RTFA, it does say Asheron's Call and Everquest were released or about to be, but nobody at Eidos had ever heard of a MMORPG. They also go on to say the cartoony graphics and much of what their design turned up in World of Warcraft, and are lamenting that they basically had the idea for WoW before Blizzard did, and had they been able to go forward with it, they may have 60%+ of the market instead of Blizzard. I seriously doubt that would happen, just because Blizzard has an incredible track record, but you never know.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797768)

Even before NWN, Kesmai had developed MP Battletech for GEnie in the 1980's. An MMO that rivaled EVE in it's openness and complexity of it's strategic game.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#31810694)

Asheron's Call came a couple years after EQ. It was Microsoft's game and it sucked bad, real bad.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795716)

I think what they are getting at is that it would have been as big as WoW - bigger then Ultima Online or Meridian 59, simply because it HAD that rich background and culture to it. WoW is by no means the first MMO, but its because of its predecessors that it did so well. In all honesty, I think if WoW did not have Warcraft and Starcraft games preceding it (and Warhammer games, if you count those), and it was launched at the same time as LotR:Online, LotR would be the bigger of the two.

If this HAD taken off - it would have been big. Supposedly.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795736)

WoW is by no means the first MMO, but its because of its predecessors that it did so well.

Ultima Online had more stuff to draw on from its predecessors than WoW ever did, and it still ultimately lost out to WoW.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795806)

I liked UO back in the day.
I played it for a while and I remember I just found it soothing mining for a few hours or crafting things....

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796902)

Good thing you're talking about number of players familiar with the world, and not amount of material. Oh, wait....

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31809456)

Please, you think 95% of Warcraft 1 and 2 players knew, or cared, anything about the world beyond the absolute basics necessary to play?

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (2, Interesting)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795844)

I don't think this "fabled" game had the gumption. WoW was in a world already well known and well accepted amongst video games. It had a pedigree. Fighting fantasy not so. The few video games in that world, or even that genre, that have been released have been dismal failures (ie Deathtrap Dungeon on PC & Warlock of Firetop Mountain on DS)

As rich in backstory as a lot of games are, the game has to "not suck", which WoW got right, for the most part.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798864)

To be honest were all just guesing about a guess. It might have been big and yet the central gameplay mechanic around it or plenty of other imaginable problems and it fails. We will never know and I'm not sure why were are discussing hindsight 'what if's' about a game that was never made.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795772)

This article tells the story of the game that could have been WoW before Warcraft.

Gee, was WoW the first MMO? I think not.

I can name at least 4 other major MMO titles that were on the market before WoW:

Ultima Online - 1997
EverQuest - 1999
Horizons (Surprised to see it is still somewhat around) - 2003
City of Heroes - 2004 (APR-27 as opposed to WoW on 2004-11-13)

Then there is also that Meridian 59 that was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, and also Eternal Lands in 2003 (which was the first MMORPG I ever played. Got too grindy fast, so I think I gave it up after three months or so).

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795848)

And let's face it, MUDs have been around donkeys years. It was only a matter of time before someone created a graphical version. The idea was obvious enough, and the technological hurdles weren't that great. It just needed enough people with adequate internet connections to make the game viable.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795858)

Meridian 59 was up in 1995.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798796)

Indeed it was... I downloaded their 100+ meg installer (if memory serves me correctly) over a friggin modem. That was a royal PITA.Two times I had to start over because resume wasn't supported! ;)

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31795850)

First? No, and I don't believe anyone said that, or even implied that. It is, like it or not, the most popular and most successful MMORPG still being played.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796016)

WoW before Warcraft, not WoW before WoW. But even then, they are wrong. The first Warcraft was in 1994, and they are talking about starting development for this in 1996.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796042)

Not massive, I think I saw maybe 42 users max, but I was playing Avatar [heavyharmonies.com] in the 80s. And this was the second major version. Yes, only 15 floors, and everyone and their mother knew that, but it was cool before PCs were out of CGA.

Ha they had more processor and RAM, it would have scaled very well, I think...

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797352)

It must be the Apple definition of "first" - first, except for the ones that came before it.

Re:WoW was not the first MMO. (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 4 years ago | (#31810748)

Hah, network snipes on a Novell network.

hmm, but... (2, Insightful)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795618)

always antecedents. always second-guessing.
Nothing is (completely) new under the sun.
Hindsight is 20/20

Re:hmm, but... (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795730)

always antecedents. always second-guessing.
Nothing is (completely) new under the sun.
Hindsight is 20/20

Hindsight is 50/50: sometimes you learn something and sometimes you don't.

Re:hmm, but... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797016)

Hindsight is 20/20

Hindsight is 50/50: sometimes you learn something and sometimes you don't.

Well as long as we're mutilating old adages, Hindsight is 100/50: You always think you've learned something, but half the time you're wrong.

Re:hmm, but... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796000)

Hindsight is a lying bitch.

It confirms peoples biases, and people use it to see patterns which may not actually be meaningful.

Re:hmm, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31796182)

Hindsight is a lying bitch.

It confirms peoples biases, and people use it to see patterns which may not actually be meaningful.

Hmm, looking back at things, you may be right. But now I'm not sure if it's because you're right, or if it's just my bias agreeing with you. Oh, the dichotomy.

Minds think alike (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795654)

I remember a friend and I sharing Ultima II maps that we had created and talking about how cool it would be if we could connect and play the game at the same time...

(I know, I know, cool story bro)

First MMOs (4, Informative)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795662)

So they started to talk about an MMO in 1996? They already had MMOs on the market by then. Meridian 59 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:First MMOs (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795894)

Re:First MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31797164)

How the hell can you consider Mazewar an MMO? What was the peak number of users to ever play a game of Mazewar? For that matter, what was the peak number of users on ARPANET?

Re:First MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31799348)

But the answer is just as hilarious if you ask about modern MMOs.

Sure, maybe Orgri or Dalaran in Wow, during a big event in a real world holiday at about 8pm local time, is genuinely busy, and might have a few hundred people, albeit many of them are idle and are merely an audience.

But that's the exception. Most MMOs, most of the time, and especially when doing highly interactive stuff (ie, combat) are limited to small numbers of players. The largest raids in modern WoW are 25 man, I've played in bigger games of Quake.

Re:First MMOs (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31800024)

That's not even the first graphical MMO. Neverwinter Nights was released in 1991, which is the earliest i've heard of.

Welcome to 'Developer Dungeon'! (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795670)

Welcome to 'Developer Dungeon'!
Go North
You cannot go North.
Go South
You cannot go South.
Go West
You cannot go West.
Go East
You cannot go East.
Get me out of here
You cannot escape.

Re:Welcome to 'Developer Dungeon'! (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795824)

You've been eaten by a Grue.

Re:Welcome to 'Developer Dungeon'! (5, Funny)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795832)

It is pitch black. You are likely to have run out of money and had the lights shut off.

Re:Welcome to 'Developer Dungeon'! (1)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797518)

It's good that it's pitch black, because you'd take 1d6 if you could see the concept art.

Seriously horrible. Buy a new artist.

E.g. misshapen warrior hero walks along stone stairway with badly framed rocks leaning left. Warrior looks to right at nothing at all. Random hands seem to be sticking out of the earth to the bottom right, but warrior isn't going there anyhow, so who cares. Sheesh, my 4 year old can do a picture better.

Pic two: warrior with stubby sword leans backward and tries to stab a MST3K guy in a dress. Awesome way to capture the dynamism of an avocado rotting in the hot sun. Just fucking kill me now.

Obligatory Khan Reference... (1)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797062)

Spock: He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.

Which aspect would they have been first for? (3, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795702)

MUDS and other games that involve everyone playing in the same massive persistent world at the same time have been around since the 80's.

There were some graphical games with large persistent games with lots of players in the same world before 1996.

I'm not so sure about 3d games if that's the specific title they're talking about.

Re:Which aspect would they have been first for? (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796106)

Man, Slashdot is sooooo frikking wierd!

If you mastered command-line editing (like vi) you are an ancient pro of the arcane.

If you leveled up a seriously hot wizard via a text-only interface you're not even on the map.

Makes me want to smack some people with my acoustic coupler, I tell ya.

Oh man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31795868)

If I got money for everything I 'nearly invented' by having a cool idea that I just didn't follow and that became a patent or successful product later, I'd be multi-millionare... well so I became 'nearly' rich. lol

Btw. my first multi-player experience with 100 players plus in a persistent world was a text-based mud, too. Been slaying draggons and other bosses and doing quests all day long with my warrior using combos/special moves in team with some mates.
Not much different to playing WoW, except that it was text based. My brain generated the graphics though, which wasn't worse than current 3D games. :p

I lost interest, because games with graphics were easier consumable. Had to read so much stuff at uni that I really didn't want to read the pages of text of some mud anymore. A little quake session was just more relaxing. At some point I got addicted to my first MMORPG, Neocron in 2002 I think and some more followed ...

MMPBM (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795874)

There were several Massive Multiplayer games that didn't use computers at all.

I played one called Star Master for several years. It was run by an outfit called Schubel & Son which also ran a fantasy game (Tribes of Crane) and later did computerized PBM games.

Players created a species (limbs, senses, mental abilities, defenses), a planet (size, atmosphere), and government.

Each turn you filled out one or more turn sheets. It cost a few bucks to process each. One sheet might let you move one ship (or group of ships), conduct trade, conduct diplomacy, start a colony, etc.

Ships could discover other star systems and survey their planets. If your explorers encountered another player's forces, the game master could forward an index card with contact information.

It was typical 4xE, but with lots of colorful background information.

As I recall, things got to be dominated by griefers and deep-pocketed guys who submitted massive numbers of turn sheets.

After obsessing over the game for three years I sold my empire to a player who set up my colonies as sources of loot for his main race.

Re:MMPBM (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796502)

Last time I checked, these are still around. I was thinking of starting in on, recently.

However, when I went to the Flying Buffalo Website [flyingbuffalo.com] they distracted me with the new Japanese "Lost Worlds" gamebooks (which are sort of like the old Lost Worlds games books, except containing perverted pictures of cartoon girls in place of the rather dull "Man with Sword" or "Skeleton with Shield" I remembered from my childhood.).

Oh, don't go there! I don't want them to sell out of any more and have to order them from Hobby Link Japan again!

Re:MMPBM (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798680)

Indeed. Computer & Video Games mag in the UK had a PBM Space game back in the early 80's. You sent off your orders and waited a week or two then the results came back.

Is this like "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795926)

I owned several Choose your own adventure books when my age was single digit... were "Gamebooks" Similar to those? They were pretty cool :thumb:

Re:Is this like "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796256)

Yeah. I was a big fan of the Lone Wolf [wikipedia.org] series. Read all the way up through the Magnakai Series. I figured the story was over then since the Big Bad was finally defeated, so I stopped. After a few years I found a later book, and thought it was kind of dumb to have even more books. The character was already super powerful, and it just seemed like one sequel to far.

But to answer your question, yes, they were like Choose Your Own Adventure, only every so often you'd have to fight, and then "If you win, turn to section 53." If you lost, you were dead, and would have to restart, or cheat. Occasionally there'd be something like, "If you have the Sommerswerd turn to section 13, otherwise turn to 93." But they were mostly just fancy CYOABs.

Re:Is this like "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? (1)

PylonHead (61401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796790)

I had the first book in the Lone Wolf series when I was a kid. I've kept it around for many years, and I just played it last week with my 9 year old nephew.

He had as much fun with it as I did back in the day.

Re:Is this like "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? (1)

Endymion (12816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31797444)

I loved those books. I was quite surprised a year or so ago to find that not only have most of the books been preserved online as Project Aon [projectaon.org] , but someone actually ported the first couple books to the nintendo DS [projectaon.org] , with enforced gameplay, an inventory screen, managed battles, etc!

misleading /. title, and astoundingly good timing (4, Informative)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795972)

The author actually says in the article that Everquest and Asheron's Call were about or were already released (and by that measure, Meridian and Ultima Online must have been out already). He also says that he wrote this article because he was curious what happened to the game, which makes him a very gifted journalist for becoming curious just as 'An iPhone and iPad version of the Fabled Lands books is set for release this Summer" (picture caption on the 3rd page). Slashvertisement much?

Wait... Hold Up... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796304)

Read through a Fighting Fantasy "Novel." How does that work, exactly?

To simulate this experience:

Paragraph 1: You are standing in front of a large earthen mound. An eerie wailing comes from a tunnel leading down. If you choose to enter a tunnel, go to paragraph 53. If you'd rather explore the surrounding countryside, go to paragraph 37.

Paragraph 2: You sit down at the large oaken table, a winsome barmaid gives you a flirtatious look. "What'll it be, handsome?" If you'd like to sample the local mead, go to paragraph 13. If a nice glass of port is more to your liking go to paragraph 187. Or, if you'd rather inquire about getting some company for the evening, roll against against your LUCK. If you succeed go to paragraph 69, if you fail the barmaid calls out, "Klaus, this rough customer is hassling me!!!" Klaus is a large Ogre, prepare to fight.

OGRE SKILL 9 STAMINA 12

If you survive go to paragraph 215

Paragraph 3: The sorcerer tells his undead minions "throw him in the pit of despair!!!" There are too many of them, you have no chance. The pit itself is a dank hole full of the rotting remains of your fellow adventurers. Be thankful that a loose rib bone pierced your heart after you fell, sparing you a slow, miserable death!!!

West End Games' Torg (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31796308)

I never played it, but when the pencil and paper RPG Torg [wikipedia.org] came out, the publisher encouraged players to mail in the results of how their campaigns were proceeding, particularly how published adventures went. Based on this input, later editions would reflect these changes of the world. It was a cool idea, but I don't think it actually went anywhere in practice.

N[RIGGA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31796824)

MUDs (1)

incubbus13 (1631009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31798340)

Playing the Assassin's Creed series lately really brought home to me how MMO's are basically just MUDs.

Sure they have pretty graphics, but even the most sophisticated don't take the basic step of letting you have some body-control, like AC does.

In effect, in any kind of chat or roleplay or whatever, even in some of the MMO's in combat, it's just a MUD.

Text scrolls by, and all the sparkly effects and 17mp on-the-fly rendered graphics are just a frame to house the same old text game that geeks have been doing since the mid-70s.

There doesn't seem to be any real interest in expanding beyond the basic MUD paradigm, grind, grind, grind.

Assassin's Creed doesn't take it nearly far enough, but letting you have control of your arms/legs/etc is at least 1% of a step toward where the technology needs to go before it expands beyond what you could do with Pueblo and a MUD 20 years ago. Which is connect graphics (and/or HTML) to text.

I'm really surprised that there's such potential here, and MMO's have really been around for 10 years, solidly now. And have created entire new disciplines of economy, social science, etc. But there's really nothing being done to expand the scope of what you can do with them.

I just see such potential in this technology, and I guess it is disappointing to see it stagnate and to find out that once you filter out all the hype and advertising it's just a MUD. Under the hood, there's nothing. Dunno.

K.

misguided egoist, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31798542)

So, their gamebooks combined multiple worlds or scenarios by bridging multiple books. Now, how does this make it "massively multiplayer online", as in "MMO" you know.. It's not massively multiplayer (unless you get thousands of players together with thousands of books..) and it's certainly not online. They might've been nice RPG-lookalikes that you could play solitaire, but they certainly weren't MMO. Even the "multiple worlds/scenarios" has been covered widely by lots of games; GURPS is the arch-example from the paper-and-pen RPG side, it's aimed to cover all RPG scenarios with unified rules. Lord British's first Ultima game covered multiple worlds, from even multiple time periods, and that was in the 80's.

That means that the author is an egoist bastard who whinges on about his not-so-successful forgotten products, trying to get a minute of fame by claiming to having invented something someone else made hugely popular.

Glad this never came out (1)

p1ckk (1786702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31799412)

I was a big fan of the books, if this game had been made I doubt that I would have made it through school. Would have been a bigger time sink than civ and championship manager combined

Development Hell (1)

Naznarreb (1274908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31800880)

I almost cured cancer once. But had a tough time with the development cycle so the project was canceled.

Good memories! (1)

holiggan (522846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31807420)

Ahh Fighting Fantasy books! The books that got me into RPG, even before I knew what RPG ment...

I have very fond memories of reading them, playing them, even of getting out to buy a new one.

And what do you mean, "read a novel or two"?! I've finished, without cheating, at least 4 novels, although I had around 20 or something. Here in Portugal we didn't got all the 50+ books, but we got them translated to Portuguese, which for me was astounishing. No other books in Portuguese talked about wizards and sorcerers and trolls and combats and stuff like that. At least I wasn't aware of any at the time, which added to the charm of the FF books.

Nowadays, besides still having my 20+ Portuguese FF books, I have 5 or 6 of the new editions, in english, of a selected group of "classics". Oh and I have the 25th aniversary special edition of the "Warlock of Firetop Mountain", the first book of the series.

Ahh sweet, sweet memories... :)

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