Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

[Column] General: Connecting Players to Virtual Worlds

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In the MMO genre I believe developers should focus on building worlds, not just games. The more developers do to create engaging settings that players grow to care about and become invested in the more enriching the experience it will be for the players. This in turn will make it more financially rewarding for the developers. Loyal customers, especially in an increasingly microtransaction dominated economy, help keep games a float.

Read more of Rob Lashley's Connecting Players to Virtual Worlds.

image

Comments

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,224Member Uncommon

    "Connecting to the world" is a thing that a lot of players don't recognize anymore as having any relevance...and the lack of recognition goes up and down the line from the most casuals of casuals to the hardest of the hardcore.

    In fact, I think a lot of the reason we don't have immersive worlds anymore is because of the hardcores and the needs of hardcores.  Because they really don't think connecting to the world is important.  They think connecting with other people (guild or clan identity) is more important than connecting with the game setting.

    Ultimately, however, I think that connecting players to people over the world is self-defeating.  Because when the game environment gives you no narrative outside of guild or clan stuff, there's nothing keeping a player there once a guild or clan leaves or becomes less active.  When a player really buys into the world and lore, however, he's more likely to stick around and consider himself a citizen of the game as a whole.

    What are some things that can be done?  Well, making games that have recognizable IPs can help.  A lot of people say that the reason Star Wars Galaxies was so immersive had nothing to do with the Star Wars IP, but I disagree.  Everybody, everybody had some idea of how to act and how to "fit in" to the Star Wars fiction, because we all saw the movies and we all can imagine how we ought to play into the fiction.

    Having an over arching, lore-driven faction on faction conflict might also help.  It gives players a sense of "us" and "them" that is more universal, more intellectual, than the tribal and primitive notions enforced by the guild system.

    But, all in all, in order to have players identify with the world, they are going to first have to abstract a bit about their characters as fitting into it.  And they also have to identify their place in it as not dependent on guild tags or class.  Those are tough challenges, mainly because so many of today's hardcore aren't immersion-driven, but achievement-driven, and will throw a developer out the window if they dare suggest that lore, connecting to the world, or buying into the fiction is part of what players ought to be doing.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    In the MMO genre I believe developers should focus on building worlds, not just games. The more developers do to create engaging settings that players grow to care about and become invested in the more enriching the experience it will be for the players. This in turn will make it more financially rewarding for the developers. Loyal customers, especially in an increasingly microtransaction dominated economy, help keep games a float.

    Read more of Rob Lashley's Connecting Players to Virtual Worlds.

    image

    agreed.

    The new phrase is 'entertainment as a service'. Meaning you dont make a game and then move on to the next game, rather you always build on one game

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • WereLlamaWereLlama Lubbock, TXPosts: 243Member

    I especially like the idea of allowing players the ability to modify the world they are in.

    They can have others appreciate and critique the changes,  which should foster an emotionally investing feedback loop.

    A: Look at what I did?

    B: Looks stupid.

    A: How about now?

    B: Okay, now that has promise!

    A:  /dance

    B: /eyeroll

     

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

    Nah..If I want to read a fantasy novel I'll read a good one and most media churned out to capitalize on games quite frankly is very low quality. Also have no interest in gimmicky apps. I want a game to feel like a world while I'm playing it but very few of them do anymore. It doesn't seem to be a high priority to this new generation of gamers.

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon

    Definitely agree that a good mobile app fosters greater investment. As recently as three months ago I might not have agreed so wholeheartedly, but these days I get really frustrated when the mobile app in Rift goes wonky. That's a direct reflection of my investment in the game and in my guild.

     

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon

    What are these virtual worlds you speak of?

    Developers stopped making those long ago, in favor of just making "games".

    Saying something is a "virtual world" does not make it so... especially when the rest of the game is a shallow, linear, level based, combat only gear grind that people have seen 100x before.

    So, you need to have a virtual world, before people can play in it.

  • HaritsukeHaritsuke Firth, NEPosts: 18Member Uncommon

    When I unsubscribed to WoW during Cataclysm after living in Azeroth for years, they had the survey which asked why.  I said, "Because it doesn't feel like a world anymore, but just a game."

    Somewhere in the midst of making the game more accessible and balanced it started to feel artificial and trite.

  • sketocafesketocafe StoupaPosts: 801Member Uncommon
    A time sink is something in game that drains your time like water drains from a sink. Not time sync. Don't be a parrot.
  • BoneserinoBoneserino London, ONPosts: 1,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    "Connecting to the world" is a thing that a lot of players don't recognize anymore as having any relevance...and the lack of recognition goes up and down the line from the most casuals of casuals to the hardest of the hardcore.

    In fact, I think a lot of the reason we don't have immersive worlds anymore is because of the hardcores and the needs of hardcores.  Because they really don't think connecting to the world is important.  They think connecting with other people (guild or clan identity) is more important than connecting with the game setting.

    Ultimately, however, I think that connecting players to people over the world is self-defeating.  Because when the game environment gives you no narrative outside of guild or clan stuff, there's nothing keeping a player there once a guild or clan leaves or becomes less active.  When a player really buys into the world and lore, however, he's more likely to stick around and consider himself a citizen of the game as a whole.

    What are some things that can be done?  Well, making games that have recognizable IPs can help.  A lot of people say that the reason Star Wars Galaxies was so immersive had nothing to do with the Star Wars IP, but I disagree.  Everybody, everybody had some idea of how to act and how to "fit in" to the Star Wars fiction, because we all saw the movies and we all can imagine how we ought to play into the fiction.

    Having an over arching, lore-driven faction on faction conflict might also help.  It gives players a sense of "us" and "them" that is more universal, more intellectual, than the tribal and primitive notions enforced by the guild system.

    But, all in all, in order to have players identify with the world, they are going to first have to abstract a bit about their characters as fitting into it.  And they also have to identify their place in it as not dependent on guild tags or class.  Those are tough challenges, mainly because so many of today's hardcore aren't immersion-driven, but achievement-driven, and will throw a developer out the window if they dare suggest that lore, connecting to the world, or buying into the fiction is part of what players ought to be doing.

    Immersion requires imagination.    I feel that is severely lacking in many of todays gamers.   Being immersed in a game means putting your mind into the game and imagining you are there.  If you are going to look at each individual little thing in a game and say, "that just isn't right, this game is not immersive"  then it is not likely you will find any game world immersive.  

     

    You have to be able to  "imagine" the big picture and let the little things go.

     

    And hardcore has nothing to do with immersion, absolutely correct.   The world is just a means for them to get what they want.

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk LiverpoolPosts: 976Member Uncommon

    Instead of spending all that time developing mobile apps to connect to the game, I'd much rather see the devs actually work on the game itself and develop the world, not just the "game". You want a Virtual World? Get them to develop one.

     

    Until the world is interesting enough to want to connect to the mobile apps are kinda pointless.

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon

    A mobile app with the Tales of the Lusty Argonian Maid?! YES PLEASE!

     

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

    Instead of spending all that time developing mobile apps to connect to the game, I'd much rather see the devs actually work on the game itself and develop the world, not just the "game". You want a Virtual World? Get them to develop one.

    Until the world is interesting enough to want to connect to the mobile apps are kinda pointless.

    Agree, gotta start with a design for a virtual world that has a chance to be developed and then allows a group of players the freedom to have authorship and autonomy to grow the game world.

Sign In or Register to comment.