July 30 2009

BYOG: Bring Your Own Game

So what if you could log into a game that was really dynamic? By dynamic I mean a game that actually changes constantly. A game where players are able to build their own experience. For me this would be a DREAM game. A game where I’m not bored within 3 to 4 weeks max. I’ve been exploring around the MMO and Virtual World scene just to see what’s going on, and with these questions in the back of my mind, wondering whether there could possibly be an MMO or even a Virtual World, where these kind of things are possible.

So I’ve done a little poking around in Second Life… again. I like visiting SL every once and again, and I’ve done just that for 2 years now. It’s interesting to note how it’s grown even from 2007. I still think the wavy prims are totally sweet.

During this past visit though some SL content has a pretty strong hold on my attention. I was discussing sand box games with a friend of mine, and he mentioned that SL really is the ultimate sandbox. I hadn’t really thought about rpg combat implementations in SL. I’d figured that all of the combat in game there was sort of the stuff we’d done as kids. You know the “bang your dead, you have to fall down now” sort of stuff.

In doing some reading on SL (just catching up on recent events) I came across this post on the New World Notes blog (Link). Second Life content creators have built and scripted systems that monitor and register attacks and damage, enable you to choose class and race, and well pretty much do a lot of the things that you see expect to see in an MMO status bar.

I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this. Well here it is, using tools like this folks can build their own games. This means that folks can set up a game with one theme for a few months, then maybe tear it down and build a new theme for the next few months. For players it means that you can fight space themed battles in one area, then go fight medieval themes in another, without having to log into another game. One platform, one friends list, one avatar, unlimited possibilities.

Arguably, that’s just the concept. Whether or not it pans out to be something that’s actually fun, well that’s proof of concept.

So far I’ve visited two sims (zones) that have RPG combat systems in place. One of which Erie Island, was mentioned in the New World Notes blog post. That sim by the way has a creep factor of around 8 or so, but that could go up if I get to see some of the ghosties. Out of the two sims I visited I picked up two different rpg combat player objects, so it’d be interesting to compare the two styles. Will I actually have the time to do it? Who knows.

I haven’t had a chance to actually see or participate in combat yet, so I’m pretty eager to see exactly how that works. Having the tools and knowing where to go though is at least a step in the right direction.

Heh, time for grand experiment indeed. Well at least until I find something shiny.