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Garrett Fuller attended a session at GDC hosted by Jack Emmert from Cryptic Studios. What Emertt did was prove that designers can also think outside the box.
Many of the sessions at GDC last week were very long, drawn out, two hour ordeals that put people to sleep. On Friday afternoon, I had some time to kill and decided to attend one of these ordeals. Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios only had twenty minutes for his scheduled session. Wow, twenty minutes, what could he possibly hope to get across in twenty minutes? Jack's topic was called: To Reward or Not to Reward? How to Create a Positive Community in an MMO. Well, in the twenty minute time frame, Jack was able to present plenty of ideas to potential developers and even have time to answer a few questions. Here is a brief take on what was said.
Social groups are certainly an important aspect of MMOs. Your guild, corporation, crew, team, or whatever you call them, really help the lifespan of an MMO. Jack pointed out that many people leave MMOs because their friends leave the game. Knowing this fact, developers continue to push content and achievement type rewards for players. When what really keeps players in the game is their friends.
Read the whole column here.