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Disney Takes Aim at Movie Based MMOGs

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-savvy-mate dept.

Role Playing (Games) 67

eldavojohn writes "Disney has announced plans to launch more movie-based Massively Multiplayer Online Games. With plans already on the table for a "Pirates of the Caribbean" title, additional properties are apparently now under consideration for a similar treatment. They are aiming at teens more than the older crowd, and don't seem to be interested in fighting for players from World of Warcraft or Second Life." From the article: 'We plan to build more virtual worlds like "Pirates" based on a broad range of our properties,' Iger told attendees of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas ... 'You can imagine living in Buzz and Woody's toy universe,' he added, recalling Disney Pixar's computer animated hit feature film 'Toy Story'."

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This is hilarious (3, Insightful)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548992)

They really think they can make more money like this?
The only good "Disney" games are the Kingdom Hearts series (in my opinion)

For this, I predict a 100% failure, unless there are no subscription fees like in Guild Wars.

Re:This is hilarious (2, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549124)

When I took my niece to Lilo and Stitch in the theaters several years ago I thought that there was an opportunity for someone to make an interesting MMO based on something similar to this. My thought was that being able to 'create' a character from scratch and their choices would impact gameplay (say having 4 arms alows you to quad wield but you waste so many 'creation points' you can't have massive strength), in a science fiction setting with many (Vastly different) planets.

The problem is most companies are looking for a cash grab based on IP.

Re:This is hilarious (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560404)

> say having 4 arms alows you to quad wield

  • Hi! Welcome to Lilo and Stitch's World of Online Adventures!

    Fluffy Bunny says: Hi! I'm Fluffy Bunny! My real name is Butters, though. I was just lookin' here at this cute little rabbit hole. Where do you think it goes?

    You chug Rage powerup.
    You chug Rage powerup.
    You chug Rage powerup.
    You chug Rage powerup.
    You chug Rage powerup.
    **You quad-attack Fluffy Bunny for 47, 47, 47, 46 damage!**

    **Fluffy Bunny dies**

    Fluffy Bunny says: God **** it!

Re:This is hilarious (1)

WatchTheTramCarPleas (970756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549228)

I remember taking a survey on Square's website about a game where would team up with various disney and final fantasy characters. You would then go throughout various worlds doing something with hearts and have a special key sword. Of course my first instinct was to the extreme negative, so That is what I rated/said in the various questions. I get a chance to play Kingdom Hearts, who's premise was oddly familiar and smack my head in disbelief that such a game was actually good.

Re:This is hilarious (3, Informative)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552352)

The only good "Disney" games are the Kingdom Hearts series (in my opinion)

I guess you must be too young to remember all the 'classic' games published by Disney, such as...

These games where well received by critics and sold very well, besides all the fond memories they bring back. =) There was also a Gargoyles video game [wikipedia.org] some time ago, and I only vaguely recall enjoying it, and it had some interesting game play, but I cannot recall if it sold well.

Of course, people just hear 'Disney' and think 'kids' and probably expect lame, cheesy, and easy games, however, once upon a time, they had some pretty good fanfare and even set the bar for some game play. Though, having to keep it 'kid friendly', I would expect an MMO to be like Disney's other MMO ToonTown Online [wikipedia.org] , where the only chatting you can do is with pre-selected text, which would probably keep out plenty of people. However, I suspect that they might go for the 14-18 crowd, so chatting will be a normal thing, but game play will be a little bit easier or less 'grinding' and more social interaction.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:This is hilarious (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552862)

Well being 27 and starting gaming early in life, I do remember all those games, but they were ok, not great (imho)

Re:This is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17555694)

> The Lion King I disagree. Just played it through a couple of weeks ago and came across: - Frustrating gameplay (esp. that darn emu riding level) - Bad collision detection - Enemies just spawn in big numbers in later levels (panthers?) Nice graphics and soundtrack though.

Re:This is hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17556356)

Posting on Slashdot can be frustrating too :)

> The Lion King

I disagree. Just played it through a couple of weeks ago and came across:

- Frustrating gameplay (esp. that darn emu riding level)
- Bad collision detection
- Enemies just spawn in big numbers in later levels (panthers?)

Nice graphics and soundtrack though.

Re:This is hilarious (2, Interesting)

xiong.chiamiov (871823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17557696)

Mmm, two points.
1. Guild Wars is not an MMO. It is an RPG that allows you to play with other people, called a CORPG (co-op role-playing game)
2. The lack of a subscription fee is not what makes Guild Wars pwn; it's the bait. I refuse to pay monthly for games, and that's what got me to buy GW. However, it is all the other things that have made me stay. (ask if you really want a list)

Re:This is hilarious (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559534)

If they are aiming for the kid market, then they may be planning to run it more like Webkinz (http://www.webkinz.com/ [webkinz.com] ). This is a kid-safe, no subscription MMO of sorts. My 3 kids all love it. You buy one of the stuffed animals, then get a free year on the service. Just like other MMOs, you farm for money & spend it on virtual goods and play games with you online friends. Only difference here is you can't chat freely and the games are short and kid-oriented.

I could see Disney tying in time on the game to purchased toys or DVDs, at least in part.

The other smart thing they could do is create cross-movie interaction. Let your TOYS character go visit your friend's CARS character world.

Re:This is hilarious (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17588016)

The other smart thing they could do is create cross-movie interaction. Let your TOYS character go visit your friend's CARS character world.

Of course they would have to completely ignore the scales involved unless they want that to turn into a game of Frogger.

Puzzle Pirates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548998)

Frost Pist

Please Disney (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549036)

Please over-saturate this heavily over-done market as quickly as possible so that game developers might move on to making games that are actually entertaining instead of vain attempts to quickly garner monthly service fees from helplessly addicted users.

Re:Please Disney (2, Insightful)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550148)

I expect we'll eventually reach the point where all games are MMO or MMOlike. Simply because with MMO style games, developers and publishers don't have to worry about piracy. They know for a fact that 100% of their customer base not only paid for the game, but are doing so over and over again.

MMO piracy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550420)

with MMO style games, developers and publishers don't have to worry about piracy.
O RLY? [burningsea.com] Arr.

Re:MMO piracy (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17554594)

They may still be protecting us from global warming but the developers don't have to worry about it.

Re:Please Disney (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17554096)

well if they can still make a profit, it's obviously not that over saturated.

ilreguardless of what format the game is - people will get addicted, it's just life.

Re:Please Disney (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17554630)

ilreguardless
Good Lord, what type of mutant monster is that?

Re:Please Disney (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560832)

ilreguardless adj Without any guards due to the mind control spell "Imagined Pepperment Schnapps Queasiness", because the guards have run away, after it has worn off, and before they have had time to return to their posts. Pewbieville was ilreguardless for thirteen minutes after the deflected but nearly catastrophic attack by the Necromuffdevourers Consortium.

repeat of earlier flops (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549132)

It seems that every company that wants to get into the MMORPG game makes the same predictable mistakes. Thankfully, most of these never make it to the final "go live" moment. Some can limp along for a while but are nowhere near the leaders of the pack. It's just a waste of time when companies can't learn the mistakes they watch their competitors make.

In this case, it's making the fatal assumption that "great character-based story will make great MMO franchise." MMORPGs are about the players, not about a few trademarked names that served as the ensemble core of a story. To entertain the players, they must feel like the star of their personal story, and if the premise is about the key personalities in that world, there's a big disconnect there. Find mythical worlds which don't rely on the obvious few characters, where everyone has a chance at being great in an original way. The pre-authored content should be about the settings, the mythos, the backstories, not about the "main characters."

Example: don't make an MMORPG about Harry Potter's world. There's a huge castle, a wonderful surrounding countryside, four great built-in guilds, and more magic spells than you can shake a stick at (literally). But you're also going to have five thousand people who can't succeed without a ragged scar on their forehead in an entirely predictable way.

Example: don't make an MMORPG about Cap'n Jack Sparrow's world. There's a huge ship, a great collection of ports of call and legendary treasure to plunder. But you're also going to have five thousand people who can't succeed without swaggering around drunk on sun and rum in an entirely predictable way.

I could cut and paste a few more examples, but you could just look down the NetFlix Top 100 and the Amazon Top 100 for a lot of the ideas that are being discussed in MMORPG board rooms today.

Re:repeat of earlier flops (3, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549502)

It seems to me like a Pirates of the Caribbean MMORPG would just end up as a title tacked on to a game set in the era of the Spanish Main. There's not a whole lot of unique content or mythology in the movies, and therefore not many constraints. The possibilities are essentially the same as a MMO version of Sid Meier's Pirates!

Re:repeat of earlier flops (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549920)

It's been in the works for a while now (longer than Spore!), it's called "Pirates of the Burning Sea". Maybe they will hurry up and release the game, if there is some pirate MMO competition. http://www.burningsea.com/ [burningsea.com]

Re:repeat of earlier flops (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552914)

There's not a whole lot of unique content or mythology in the movies>

It may have been blind chance. But introducing supernatural elements into the traditional swashbuckler works very well in the films. It should work in a game. It did work for "Monkey Island" when that franchise was in its prime.

Re:repeat of earlier flops (2, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549584)

This is an excellent point.

I figure the same arguments are going to be dredged up about how Disney can't succeed in the MMO field:

1. The market is too crowded.

2. Disney won't make a successful MMO until the master "X" esoteric element of the genre (e.g. economy, novel server design, etc.)

3. It won't work because Disney is for kids, and so on.

The real limitations here aren't those above, and they aren't the story, exactly. The pretense of strong and powerful game world characters can do serious damage to an MMO where the "story", or whatever you might want to call the pretense for interaction, is based on a number of roughly equally powerful customers. if the universe permits power held by a single person to affect others disproportionately, then you will find it is very difficult to manage. SWG failed for this reason, the world was replete with common interactions with chracters who were only common in the universe of film and movies because of necessity--the only reason we followed R2-D2 and C3PO in the movies were because they were witness to events of great gravity. If they were just droids, they would make for a boring narrative. MMO's provide just the opposite. No one is the hero of the game, the game is in interaction and struggle by everyone. The whole notion of persistence on a world shows that one character CANNOt be the hero of his own story.

As for the three arguments presented above, they are all silly:

1. WoW came along when the market for MMO's was saturated with hundreds of thousands of EQ, AO, and DAOC customers. Before EQ, there were claims that UO customers could not be lured away. When it premiered, there were dozens of other 3D MMO's in development or released that were clamoring for marketshare. There is some truth to the notion that the market is squeezed more tightly now than in 2001, but the dymanics are the same. The presense of a crowded market does not always eliminate the prospect of success.

2. The "silver bullet" argument is one deployed most often by armchair MMO developers. Pick a facet of an MMO that most annoys/interests you and declare that without the perfection of this facet, that MMO is doomed. The dictum is as useless as it is arbitrary. UO had a non-functioning economy and still attracted and kept a huge player base, even in the face of EQ. EQ lacked PvP in any real sense and was derided for this but still managed to become wildly succesful. The real trick to success is that there isn't one trick. It helps to have great IP, recognizable to casual gamers and MMO players (WoW). It helps to have an innovative world (Eve). It helps to be first--or close enough (EQ). It also helps to be lucky. That is a huge factor in this industry but goes unsaid because no analyst would keep his job if he told the newspapers that X company cornered the widget market through sheer chance

3. Disney's IP. Microsoft loved to deride nintendo as being for aged 6-18, and the XBOX for more mature gamers--the logic goes that everyone gets older, and "we'll just take them when they turn 18." Oops. Turns out that Nintendo is microsoft's serious rival in the console world and that cartoons and adolescent friendly characters have some traction. look at the sales for kingdom hearts, for Zelda (even Windwaker). Nintendo and Disney know what the ciggarette companies have always known. Hook them when they are young, and they'll stick around for the rest of their lives. Don't count Disney out here.

So don't look at the standard reasons for rejection! Think about the problem and the real troubles will appear soon enough.

Re:repeat of earlier flops (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552640)

..five thousand people who can't succeed without a ragged scar on their forehead ... you're also going to have five thousand people ... swaggering around drunk on sun

Reminds me of this [elfonlyinn.net] .

And this [ctrlaltdel-online.com]

=)

Re:repeat of earlier flops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17553334)

I've been playing mmogs for over 10 years.

Single player games have enough of that *hero* stuff for me. I don't need it in my mmorpgs. Yes I want to feel like a hero but I don't want to save the world.

In Ultima Online, I simply wanted to make enough money to buy a house. That was the only thing that kept me playing.

In everquest 1, I spent most of three or four years being a cleric. A healer. In a way I wanted to be a hero, but only in small ways such as healing lower level players when they really needed it. I was never the type who wanted to beat the end game content because blah blah that would make me a hero? ..

Some people, and I would guess the Second Life folks fit this as well, simply want to play in another universe. Universes that come from books or movies already have some background for the game creators to work with. Popular books and movies give an idea of the potential players it might draw.

To be a wizard in Harry Potter's world would still be special. It wouldn't require a lightning bolt scar on everyone's head. All it requires is a difference experience. Let me be a wizard, let me struggle with the absurdity and insanity of a castle with ghosts around every turn and stairways that move and change. Let me duel others in battles of magic.

A small change in the rules of the book would bring out the ability for players to form small teams and play hmm quidditch? whatever the sport game is. (granted I think the game is kind of rediculous both in book form and the thought of playing it online but others might not feel so)

Give me mysteries to solve. I don't need to be a hero.

I used Harry Potter as an example simply because it was easy. You could pretty much apply it to every world of interest. Does that mean they'd make great games? Not really. It takes an extremely strong and dedicated team of developers to make a great game. Does that mean Disney might make something good? There's a chance. Who would have thought they'd make Kingdom Hearts?

Re:repeat of earlier flops (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17561766)

> To be a wizard in Harry Potter's world would still be special.
> It wouldn't require a lightning bolt scar on everyone's head.
> All it requires is a difference experience

As a minimax-er, I'm already drooling about whatever it takes to make sure I get the badass Darth Vader-esque wand to "choose" me. You know, the one with 2.3x the mana regen speed and 1.4x the mental control multiplier. Yes, it also has a high ego, making me fly into a rage, but once I spec for my own mental control prowess points, so I can pwn the want in ego battles, Hermione shall be mine!

Re:repeat of earlier flops (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17561690)

> Example: don't make an MMORPG about Harry Potter...you're also going to
> have five thousand people who can't succeed without a ragged scar on
> their forehead in an entirely predictable way

Nah, that's for teh l4m3rz. I'm thinking a 16 year old Hermyohmyione with the Dumblemelon slider all the way to Pumpkin.

Aiming at teens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549200)

Aiming at teens instead of the older crowd? I guess a lot of teenagers like the Kingdom Hearts series, but it seems like Disney games would be aimed at pre-teens and younger.

Kill Bill? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550470)

it seems like Disney games would be aimed at pre-teens and younger.

O RLY? Kill Bill was produced under a division of The Walt Disney Company, making it just as much a Disney movie as Lilo & Stitch.

Of course... (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549242)

Nobody wants players from Second Life. That's why they are playing Second Life in the first place.

Tron? (5, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549542)

You know, as much as I think a POTC MMORPG conversion would probably suck, Disney has the ultimate MMORPG ready to go... In their TRON universe.

The TRON2.0 game was pretty enjoyable, and Disney could build an entire universe around the premises in TRON and the later game without even trying. Even the game engine is ready to go. How much tweaking would it need to convert the Tron2.0 game into a MMORPG?

And if you could enter your world as a "User" or otherwise have your "Program" running around according to it's own script when you weren't in control, it would be pretty cool. Having your program search for interesting items / escape routes etc, and emailing you back in the real world when it found them, allowing you to control the game either from the command line or email and then using a full client when you wanted to roam around.

Probably the era of the MCP would be the ideal time.... As you recall, the MCP controlled all the NPCs while the programs were essentially independant reflections of their users... Better still if you could download a basic bitmap of your size/features as parameters, your program could even look like you... (Not that difficult to send along with co-ordinate information if well thought out).

And you could develop your "User" powers over time, gain access to Tanks, Recognisers and Lightcycles to move through a massive world inside the computer. Even set up your own hard drive file area to store them :) Gain more resources (primitives) and even design your own transport or accomodation.

As much as the thought of a Disney MMORPG bothers me, I (and I imagine other programmers) could probably really get into and enjoy something like this. Kinda like Second Life but with Neon... :)

GrpA.

Re:Tron? (1)

troff (529250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550416)

The first thing I thought on reading the headline was "call me back when there's a TRON MMOG... and not before". Let's be honest, whatever shortcomings an MMOG might have in modelling the physical world, how's there going to be any problem modelling a world like TRON's?

And if you could enter your world as a "User" or otherwise have your "Program" running around according to it's own script when you weren't in control, it would be pretty cool.
The first problem with that is the Jedi problem. Every Player and its freaking dog would want to be a User. I wanted to suggest that the User could be a reachable rank, but then there'll just be grinders doing that too. It's hard to balance against human nature. May I suggest - leave the User as something special.

For thematic balance's sake, may I instead suggest: have Players enter as Programs and Programs only.

Sure, for something that other MMOGs don't have (? disclaimer: I have almost no MMOG experience beyond old-school telnettable MUDs), have the Program be accompanied by an optional Player-scriptable Bit (or Byte, for the TRON 2.0ers). If the MMOG provides some kind of API for simple scripting...? How many programming geeks would THAT pull in? No, nothing that would allow grinding (or design the quests so's they can't be done by Bits?). What about something basically like C-Robots http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crobots [wikipedia.org] ?

Probably the era of the MCP would be the ideal time.... As you recall, the MCP controlled all the NPCs while the programs were essentially independant reflections of their users...


Again, beg pardon, but I'd like to disagree. A big complaint a lot of "Star Wars" fans have is that the games nearly-never stray outside the realm of the stuff in the movies. Look at SW's novels, comics, pen/paper RPG materials, videogames. There's the Republic Commando stuff, the New Jedi Order stuff, the new Legacy stuff. Penny Arcade, I believe, complained that all the flight-sims were just damn X-Wings and TIE fighters... why couldn't we fly against (even a moddable?) Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper?

The SW analogies are pretty appropriate (and I recently completed another seasonal SW binge). You read the wealth of books out there, get into the games and the Dark Horse comics... when you get back to the movies, you can't help but think "ah, but they developed THAT tiny point so well in THIS book"... TRON 2.0 game may not have been perfect, but it introduced a LOT of things that Lisberger and MacBird had never written. Conversely, a lot of incidental 1.0 stuff has never been touched (except in the realms of mostly obscure fan-fiction). Don't forget also, the TRON 2.0 comic is being published and up to two(?) issues. They'll certainly introduce stuff - especially of a darker flavour - that was never conceivable in 1.0 and couldn'tve gotten into Disney-flavoured 2.0.

2.0 introduced the Net. Why not have multiple domains? One can have an MCP. One can be an "open system". One can have tyrannical MCP-like senior ICPs. One can be virus-ridden. One can be a purely "WS-Mindows" server, one could be a Nilux box*.
(*yes, it annoyed me that Jet could port into a PDA, but it looked as if Encom used nothing but Windows servers. My box of choice is Debian).

In short: please, hypothetical TRON-MMOG developer, don't lock it down to a time, PLEASE. Besides, it just means your game will date like Carbon-14, only so much faster.

As much as the thought of a Disney MMORPG bothers me, I (and I imagine other programmers) could probably really get into and enjoy something like this. Kinda like Second Life but with Neon... :)

And with a game component for those who don't want to script Bits. Hear-hear. Absolutely, hear-hear. I second a TRON-MMOG. In fact, I even almost-salivate for one. Yes, I would plunk down hard cash for one. Haven't for Galaxies, haven't for any other MMOG. But damn, I would for such a (well-executed) beast.

Re:Tron? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17562582)

> why couldn't we fly against (even a moddable?) Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper?

Because fewer than one in one hundred thousand Star Wars fans even knows what that is. If Macs, at 1/10 the PC market size, can only generate enough to warrant only the hugest games be ported, how much less for lesser things from the bookworld?

> The first problem with that is the Jedi problem. Every Player and its
> freaking dog would want to be a User. I wanted to suggest that the
> User could be a reachable rank, but then there'll just be grinders
> doing that too. It's hard to balance against human nature. May I
> suggest - leave the User as something special.

You could make it like the Jedi, v. 2.0 in SWG: A greatly wimped thing. Then everybody could be one, no problem!

I recall the original promise of the ultimately terrible Horizons -- you could be one of many normal races/classes, or you could also be a Dragon. If you were a dragon, it would take 2 years to get to ancient dragon status, but once you did, you would be an even fight for any 3 maxxed out regular PC characters. The goal being that you'd build your lair, collect treasure, and they would seek your lair and try to take it.

But then a committee took control of Horizons, and the rest is history.

And sadly SWG went the wrong way with the Jedi, too. (Neglecting the other "wrong way" when 8 people would kill giraffes by having 7 shoot it with supposedly advanced laser weapons from point blank range, while the 8th doused it with a flamethrower, and the animal wouldn't instantly die or run screaming, but would bite back for a good 30 seconds.

Man, there's a Doberman! We have 8 guys, three with rifles, two with .57 Magnums, and two with a flamethrower, and one with a rocket propelled grenade launcher. Should we chance it? :rollseyes

Re:Tron? (1)

HalcyonJedi (1049992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17564610)

Well, you all beat me to the punch - but when I saw this headline this afternoon, the first thing that popped into my mind was a TRON MMORPG :) I agree, the developers would need to tread carefully on this one; if only to avoid the massive outcry and subscription cancellations that occurred when they implemented that "awesome" NGE crapola. I was immediately sucked into SWG when it initially launched, and luckily I was able to tear myself away from it after realizing that the only way I would EVER become a Jedi was to grind, grind, grind, and grind some more until I was into my retirement. If I want to be a Jedi and hack people up, I'll throw in Jedi Academy and go to town. But I digress.... a TRON MMORPG would truly be awesome if it can be nailed down correctly the first time, and not rely on update after update to get the formula right. Heck, even the Matrix MMORPG sounded awesome in concept, but in reality it was a total let-down (is it even running anymore, BTW??) and despite the attempts to update the game to make it appeal to fans even more, all it did was distance them further from the franchise. Who knows, maybe this TRON MMORPG is already in development and will be used as a means to create hype for the new TRON movie?!?? (that I am desperately salivating for, yet dreading at the same time) So yes, let's hear is for a TRON MMORPG!

Re:Tron? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17588164)

I'd say PC programs could be called clients. In Tron you could call the servers servers without hurting the RP, after all. You could even have the server load influence the game and make events deliberately lag players.

But I'm really not sure if it should be allowed to kill system critical components, it IS pretty ridiculous to delete the kernel or even the entire OS (sorry, MCP) and having the system still run (especially if killing a harmless program caused you to die of segfaulting in 2.0). Maybe instanced dungeons could be VMs and killing their kernel would cause a kernel panic forcing you to evacuate the VM in a limited amount of time or you die? Heh, remember the "Windows will shut down in 60 seconds" the Blaster virus caused?

Would be kinda funny to have a game where you kill the mighty Emacs though (Emacs was a possible name for ressource hogs in Tron 2.0...)

Re:Tron? (1)

dotMantle (860523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17551558)

This is an awesome idea... and it fits in really well. - Every customer is a user, operating their program-construct while they play, and allowing actions to occur while the player isn't online. - The construct backups periodically, but the player continues (explaining why there is ongoing knowledge, and how toons keep popping back from the dead. - A variety of different vehicles and tools to use - Combat for sport or as a representative of security - huge range of potential talents, all of which actually make sense in the game ...man, I'm excited. I want to go find a copy of TRON 2.

Re:Tron? (2, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552336)

Even the game engine is ready to go. How much tweaking would it need to convert the Tron2.0 game into a MMORPG?

Sounds to me like somebody's never written an MMORPG. Not that I have, of course, but I have read interviews and articles about what goes into the engines used in them. And it's very different from what goes into a "regular" game.

Re:Tron? (1)

Volzeron (560605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17564616)

I'd sign up for this immediately which is really saying something since the prospect of paying a monthly fee for gaming has never appealed to me. I felt Tron 2.0 was a great game. It just sort of felt "right" while looking at all that neon and blocks. Visually faithful to the movie. In fact, I revisit 2.0 at least once a year.

Re:Tron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17567982)

You know, as much as I think a POTC MMORPG conversion would probably suck, Disney has the ultimate MMORPG ready to go... In their TRON universe.

The TRON2.0 game was pretty enjoyable, and Disney could build an entire universe around the premises in TRON and the later game without even trying. Even the game engine is ready to go. How much tweaking would it need to convert the Tron2.0 game into a MMORPG?


Another MMORPG like Monolith's turdfest The Matrix Online? No thanks.

Oh yeah, TRON 2.0 was little more than a crate-jumping, scripted cheap shot infested waste of time.

Disney is well positioned (2, Informative)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549820)

Most of the posts seem to indicate that people are unaware of Disney's history in the field. They've been running the well regarded Toontown online [wikipedia.org] since 2003.

Also, you can thank this group for the Nintendo Friends code system. To my knowledge Disney designed and developed the first implementation a friends code system with a Barbie diary product years ago. It's the best way developed to prevent young kids from interacting with strangers online, and they shared what they learned with the rest of the industry. (And, yes, it's a pain to everyone else.)

I'm confident that Disney will do well with their next product, even if it isn't as big as World of Warcraft.

Re:Disney is well positioned (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560512)

Toontown was recently released for the mac and both my 3 year old and 6 year old play it. Unlike the adult mmo's,
gameplay is easy and light, cooperative and non competitive. You go fishing, play some simple games, and go through
easy to accomplish missions. The closest equivalent to combat is you play jokes (squirt water, throw pies, etc) at robot
Cogs, who are robotic businessmen that can't take a joke. It is an MMO game with training wheels. I can see a market for kids that are older
than the target range of Toontown, but are too young for blood and guts and killing games.
They thing is, people keep having more kids, which means more customers, and right now they are the only
players in the game for wholesome, kid friendly MMO games. Pure genius.

A Little Mermaid MMORPG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549924)

Oh boy *pant*, shell bra goodness and... oh, wait, all the players will really be guys.

Um, forget I said anything.

But it won't last (1)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550154)

Disney has the reasources and power to make this happen. If they fully go through, the buisness will probably ramp up customers in the 9-14 years old area. Then it will flop. The kids will outgrow it, then it won't be an attractive novelty, and, worst of all, they probably will never profit from it! Try, try and you will suceed - for 10 minutes.

Dashing good idea! (1)

Vacardo (1048640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550246)

If a Pirates of the Carribean MMO was release, how long would it take for the community to demand insult sword-fighting be implemented?

Re:Dashing good idea! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17551118)

Heh. Cute.

I'm going to reply to this thread since it's the first that actually speaks positively of the idea. (sorta) A pirate MMORPG? Sure. That could work. There's plenty to do in the Carribean. Disney could easily mangle it, but if not, it could work. And it's not like the standard movie tie-in games are all that grand of a venue to compete with, even if you DO get to play Captain Jack himself doing all his swashbuckling from a close third-person chase camera.

Re:Dashing good idea! (1)

Werkhaus (549466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552030)

>A pirate MMORPG? Sure. That could work.

Yarr, me hearty. Sure it could.

http://www.puzzlepirates.com/ [puzzlepirates.com]

Re:Dashing good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17554984)

I look forward to the spot the three headed monkey quest.

World Of Disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17550262)

What They Should Do Is make a World Of Warcraft type game like Kingdom Hearts, where instead of them focusing on like PotC, they will put all of them in one MMOG that will allow the kids to play with all there favorite disney stars. KH was a little challanging, they should make there new MMOG something for the 5-10 age group, with more focus on small games like wario ware.

Re:World Of Disney (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550886)

Actually, that's not really all that terrible of an idea- I'm thinking of something like the way Guild Wars will give you 'henchmen' that you can add to your party if you can't find enough people for your group otherwise. Except instead of having, say, 'Alesia the Healer' (who's Alesia?) you have $DISNEY_PRINCESS. Or something like that. Then you go on an instanced raid on evil King What'shisface's castle for your mission.

Re:World Of Disney (2, Interesting)

ab0mb88 (541388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17556300)

This really is a good idea. I have a sister that is right in this age range and when the WoW episode of South Park came out she made me look up Hello Kitty Island Adventure. She really wanted a game that was like World of Warcraft but was made for her age. If someone did this right it really could sell.

Re:World Of Disney (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17577256)

Tell her to check out Toontown Online [toontown.com] available NOW.

Use an IE browser, for now.

Disney MMORPG (3, Interesting)

Teppy (105859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550598)

The NDC is long expired on this, so I guess it's OK to talk about it.

Before A Tale in the Desert [atitd.com] , we proposed an episodic MMORPG to Disney based on A Bug's Life. We built a playable (2D) prototype that was a lot of fun. Characters from the movie were NPCs - for instance, Flick would give you "blueprints" for crazy contraptions, and you'd have to scavenge and make all the parts for each one.

You could find grain and plant it to grow wheat shoots to use as rubber-bands. You could climb the tree and toss down acorns to other players. They could show them to Flick who would suggest an invention to pry the nut from the cap, and then the cap could be used with glue that came from sap as part of a gear for other contraptions.

Ultimately you'd build a little ant-sized sailboat/raft to get yourself and trhe others off the island, and that would lead to episode 2. IIRC, the content that we had could be played through in an hour or two by a team of 3-5 people.

Unfortunately the project never made it further than the prototype - I think this was all in 1999. But I still think that A Bug's Life is *the* Disney property that needs an MMO.

Re:Disney MMORPG (1)

Paddo_Aus (700470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552360)

The only problem with this idea is that you've identified 2 hours of gameplay. A successful MMOG has to offer thousands of hours of gameplay to be feasible.

Re:Disney MMORPG (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17556880)

I'm not entirely sure this qualifies as an MMOG, as those tend to have persistant universes, yeah? I think this is more of a cooperative online game. otherwise yahoo poker would be an MMOG.

Re:Disney MMORPG (1)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17557632)

I think that a major (if, obvious) difference between Disney in 1999 and Disney today is that Bob Iger is in charge instead of Michael Eisner. To me it is clear that Iger recognizes that there is huge demand for "family-friendly" entertainment product and is directing Disney's resource allocations accordingly. In my opinion, Eisner was more hooked in to the "let the talent produce what they want regardless of whether it is what the market wants" mentality. This fall the animated picture about penguins was ahead at the box office over the Bond flick every single week, and both films opened at the same time.

Perhaps Disney might be more receptive to your idea now that there's been a change in management :).

Re:Disney MMORPG (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17562916)

Well, your character is persistent -- the world is not. Nothing you do makes a permanent change. Stuff just respawns. The same guy gets kidnapped again and again, needing rescue.

It's true there are occasional 1-time events as a world change comes into being, usually part of the release of an expansion pack or new online update, and occasional cyclic events (like the Greatfather Winter crap or the circus in Goldshire junk in WoW, or the Winter Lord and Trick or Treating in CoH). But I can only think of one example in any MMORPG where what players did made a difference.

In SWG, they would tally, per server, the Empire vs. Rebels in some particular contest, and the side that won (for that server) would determine if one of the sides would or would not get some minor new power/weapon/whatever.

IIRC, the one time they did this, the Empire won on every server but one, thus denying the losers, er, Rebels, their new power almost everywhere. And thus making it even less desirable to play a Rebel.

On my particular server, losing Anchorhead to a group of 2-3 Empire, was a nightly occurance. The minimaxers had already figured out that, since you could pick-and-choose from any tree you wanted (as long as you climbed (clumb?) the tree the proper way to get to higher powers) you could pick up the low level defensive powers from half a dozen different trees, and you were suddenly untouchable.

Re:Disney MMORPG (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17606142)

The property that needs MMO treatment is Disney, not Bug's Life or Pirates or Lion King. Much like their theme parks are nice and compartmentalized, I imagine their MMO would be as well. There's a Caribbean Area for Pirates, etc. If you jump off a boat and start swimming around you might see mermaids or talking fishes a la Nemo. A Fairy Tale Land for princesses, gnomes, dwarves, etc.

This is the only way I see it working. I don't think something set so narrowly on any one property would work. Just build it all, and if someone's a huge Lion King fanatic they can stay in the Savannah but if they are adventurous they can take their talking wildebeest into Tron land.

it gets worse! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17551904)

Movie tie in games almost always suck because...well...movie people aren't game people and they certainly don't hire game people. Disney has done way better than anyone in the past with that cuz they at least give it a decent try and umm...Kingdom Hearts rocks lol. But guess what! In 2010 guess what's coming out for movies! Splinter Cell the movie, Devil May Cry the movie, and Onimusha the movie. I kid you not http://imdb.com/List?year=2010&&tv=on&&nav=/Sectio ns/Years/2010/include-titles&&heading=7;All%20titl es;2010 [imdb.com]

But does no one remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17552594)

Chip 'n' Dale's MMORPG? [albinoblacksheep.com]

Reboot!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17555906)

Reboot FTW!!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108903/ [imdb.com]

Silly Mouse (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17557140)

It takes only a cursory look at the market to understand why this is silly.

Firstly, the maintenance on an MMORPG that isn't instance-based like Guild Wars is huge. That means a large cost, hence the monthly fees. Now, to a small extent those monthly fees generate profit, but only to a small extent. If you overblow your fees too much you shrink your potential user base.

Secondly, it's generally a good idea to focus on one such game at a time. Blizzard has a team that literally spends all their time on WoW, and things can still take a while to get done. Imagine how crazy it would be if Blizzard was currently maintaining and improving WoW, UoS (Universe of Starcraft) and HoD (Hellhole of Diablo). Nothing would ever get done, ever.

Thirdly, the MMORPG market is not infinite. Like any otehr market it can and does grow, but even when it does "by leaps and bound" we will never see the market doubling or tripling over one MMORPG in a matter of months. Years maybe, but not months. The logical limit of an MMORPG's possible user base in the first year is about 150% of the current market. However, that figure is assuming every last player, old and new, adopts the MMORPG. It is much more likely that only a small fraction of the market will adopt the new game.

Fourthly, MMORPGs tend to be both exclusive to one another and retentive of current players. Monthly fees are a key incentive in finding one MMORPG and sticking with it. $15 a month isn't bad, $30 might be okay, but $45 is practically a new game every month being frittered away for the privilage of being able to play WoW, EVE and EQ2. As MMORPGs reward time invested, it's almost always better for a player to stick with one.

Lastly, to all you WoW killers out there... wait. Quite simply, you will not be able to beat WoW at this time. The player-base is entrenched, they aren't sick of it yet, and they won't leave for another 2 years even if you create an incredible and supirior MMO experience. Wait 2, 3 maybe even 5 years before taking a serious shot. By then WoW will have outlived itself, and your supirior MMO will be able to take the market by storm while Blizzard takes their usual inordinate amount of time in developement.

Why is Second Life included? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559156)

and don't seem to be interested in fighting for players from World of Warcraft or Second Life

Did anyone else find it really strange the person even mentioned Second Life? The only thing that game seems good for is generating press. And for some reason, Zonk has to post about 3 articles a day about it. The concept behind Second Life is interesting...sure. But beyond that it really isn't much of a game and it begs for someone to do it a lot better. Second Life doesn't have enough players that anyone would want to steal from them. It would be like saying a new FPS company wants to model it's game after the success of Half-life or Daikatana. The first one I get...the second one...huh????

Oooh, that must hurt, I just put Second Life on the level of Daikatana. For some reason that just gives me a warm happy feeling this morning.

Pirate MMORPG? Great idea! (1)

fearadhach (1049956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17564240)

Base it around puzzles...ya...that's the ticket. Make everything puzzle stuff that you can do. And..and..make it non-fee based, play for free but buy in-game money. Ya. Great idea. After all, its never been done before. [puzzlepirates.com] (sorry, no pop)

The MMO bandwagon (1)

Beefysworld (1005767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17564652)

Unfortunately, it's not just Disney who are throwing their IP at MMO games in an attempt to cash in on the market. There's been a fair few announcements over the last couple months about various groups also developing MMO games. Battlestar Galactica [destructoid.com] , Firefly [destructoid.com] and are just someo f the TV shows / movies that are crossing over to become virtual worlds. [slashdot.org]

I'm sure Disney think that, with the success of the current slather of MMO games, they'd be able to get a piece of the action themselves, and what better way to do it than to use one of their biggest cash cows at the moment - Pirates of the Caribbean. While I don't necessarily think it will flop (I know a lot of people who'd love to be online pirates... and even IRL), I don't believe that Disney will have the necessary know-how to be able to keep players interested in the game, or to draw them away from any other MMO game (WoW, I'm looking at you...).

Re:The MMO bandwagon (1)

savity (1002191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17614980)

Disney aren't new to a productive MMO - as others have mentioned they have ToonTown Online. At first this looks like a cutesy childish game - fish, play minigames, water plants, keep pets etc. - But it is a rich persistent world with lots and lots of things to do. Defeat enemies by selecting the right attack (in an old school turn based RPG style). Make your strategies complement other players, take more risks to attack higher level enemies for greater reward, build your experience (laffpoints/hitpoints), build your attack points and gain more and varied attacks. Partake in Boss Battles - with other players (or try to solo them if you think you are hard enough). It is a child safe environment where any old chat to any old (or young) person is not allowed unless you know a way to swap the secret friend codes outside the game. The only thing is doesn't posses is any real PvP. Everyone is working towards a common goal of defeating the nasty "suits" who are taking over ToonTown. Disney have plenty of experience in MMO design, infrastructure, marketing. Don't dismiss them as being nobody important.
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