Quantcast

Howdy, Stranger!

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

Free Realms: Making an MMO For Kids

StraddenStradden Managing EditorMember CommonPosts: 6,696

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh recently sat down with a Free Realms designer to talk about what goes into making an MMO specifically for a young audience.

Carolyn Koh talks to M. Margaret A. Krohn, a Game Designer on SOE's Free Realms about the specific challenges that come up while making an MMORPG targetted at kids.


MMORPG.com:

How does the design roadmap differ in designing for Free Realms as opposed to adult MMOs?  Or does it?


M. Margaret A. Krohn:

There are some differences in the overall design process when designing for kids, especially for those of us who don't have kids. When designing Free Realms we had to go outside our comfort zone of developing conventional MMOs. It's sometimes hard to try to put yourself into an eight year olds' shoes, even though at one point in your life, you were there. This is why focus tests and speaking to parents is extremely important. With adults, we can easily speculate what they can understand. Where as, with kids, we can't assume they know how everything works or what certain things mean.

Read Making an MMO For Kids.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • Shooter-90Shooter-90 Member Posts: 100

     First of all....first.

    Secondly, I think this is an interesting concept of a children's game. Especially children growing up in the digital age, they will have so much to benefit from an MMORPG like this not just to learn academic streams but also learn to socialize with other people. This puts a spin on the tradition kids games like those TV/DVD deals.

    Watch Dora...a new kid is coming to town....

  • ValkyrieValkyrie Member UncommonPosts: 192

    MMORPG.com:

    Let's take a game from Free Realms - Kart Racing. Given the popularity of racing games among adults, why do think that a similar feature isn't implemented into say... Star Wars Galaxies in a feature like Pod Racers. Or EverQuest II. Griffin races maybe?

    M. Margaret A. Krohn:

    Those all sound like great ideas, but when one looks at the overall design of each of these games, although they are all MMO games, they'll notice that these games vary greatly. Free Realms was created with the intention to allow players to enjoy many types of flash games. Where as, if a designer added a racing flash game to Star Wars Galaxies and or EverQuest II, it might take away from the overall feel and style of the game.


     ??? What has the mini-game concept to do with the game feel/style? Of course HOW you implement it depends on the MMO. But the "if"?

    You have mini-games in every "world" in media that is populated by human like people because ... games are just natural to humans. And a MMO first and foremost is (should be???) for me a WORLD. Of course it is a world where the natural laws are choosen in a way to be fun for us but once you see a normal MMO as just a game ... *shudder*

    I find it utterly absurd anyway that things like card games, dices etc. are placed as decoration into those worlds without much thinking because - they plain belong there in our eyes. But they have no function because ... you already play a game? -.- Decide what you want, a superficial game or something you decorate like a world and than should treat like one?

    Played: Pretty much any fantasy MMO, some did not even make it to release ...
    Favorites: UO, EQ2, Vanguard, Wurm Online, Salem, ESO, Creativerse
    Playing: ESO, Creativerse, Guild Wars 2
    Anticipating: (sigh) ... maybe Ashes of Creation

  • linrenlinren Member Posts: 578

    The first answer cracked me up.

    Actually the reverse is also true about adults and children.  From the recent MMORPG trends, we can more or less comment that even with adults we can't always expect them to know what certain thing means or even sometimes how everything works.  However with kids, we know more or less what will attract their attention even though it is harder to keep their attention.  Some adults can also have a very stubborn and unyielding opinion on a subject.

     

  • maxebornmaxeborn Member Posts: 148

    free realms is really really low on XFire

  • merieke82merieke82 Member Posts: 165

     Does anyone else think it's strange that the unicorn is peeing a rainbow?

  • SuperHansSuperHans Member Posts: 87
    Originally posted by merieke82


     Does anyone else think it's strange that the unicorn is peeing a rainbow?

    Goddamn it. Screw you.

    I'm just cool like that.

  • merieke82merieke82 Member Posts: 165

     I take it the crotch rainbow is normal to you?

  • UnsungTooUnsungToo Member Posts: 276
    Originally posted by merieke82


     Does anyone else think it's strange that the unicorn is peeing a rainbow?



     

    Y'know I was thinking the same thing.

    Good interview tho.

    Godspeed my fellow gamer

  • ste2000ste2000 Member EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by maxeborn


    free realms is really really low on XFire



    I don't think 8 years old care to register to XFire.

    On the other hand I doubt 8 y/o have a credit card to buy from the cash shop either.



    I believe SoE didn't put this into account.

    But then again it is SoE................all muscle and no brain.

  • gorgogorngorgogorn Member Posts: 29
    Originally posted by UnsungToo

    Originally posted by merieke82


     Does anyone else think it's strange that the unicorn is peeing a rainbow?



     

    Y'know I was thinking the same thing.

    Good interview tho.

    yeah same here.

  • 0803008030 Member Posts: 97
    Originally posted by ste2000

    Originally posted by maxeborn


    free realms is really really low on XFire



    I don't think 8 years old care to register to XFire.

    On the other hand I doubt 8 y/o have a credit card to buy from the cash shop either.



    I believe SoE didn't put this into account.

    But then again it is SoE................all muscle and no brain.



     

    SoE is banking on the kids saying mommy daddy "I want, I want, I want"

    What I personaly do not think that any devolopers are taking into acount is the amount of pedophiles that are actively stalking the net.

    I am unaware of any cases inviolved with mr. and misses pedobear picking up a new toy from browsing a mmo but its only a matter of time before they flock to mmos like free realms and hello kitty online.

    I think I am in the minority group of parents that will not allow my preteen to play online games.

  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 14,147

    It is called Free Realms, but just like adult F2P have your credit card at the ready.

     25 Agrees

    You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy Inside? :P

Sign In or Register to comment.