Retro & Future Videogames
There's an excellent article on Secure Immaturity about old videogames. I'm in a peculiar place on these; I played with a Commodore 64 when I was about 12, and a variety of Spectrum and Amstrad machines belonging to friends, and then didn't really see a thing in the videogame arena until I got to college, and Doom and Warcraft (the RTS) were out.
At that point, I couldn't afford a computer of my own, so I ended up playing MUDs and Nethack instead of anything more graphics-heavy. MUDs were fantastic, and the user-development end meant that although many of them were clones, there were some that were based on completely off-the-wall settings, and some that were incredibly creative. I reckon it's only a matter of time, between rapid increases in computing powers, and developments like Neverwinter Nights, Metaplace, and the like, that we see small MMOs appearing - built from development kits or game markup languages, or something I haven't even got the concepts for yet.
The one thing that these tools will need to do, though, is avoid the cookie-cutter look. Neverwinter Nights was a superb tool, but once you'd seen one autumnal forest with falling leaves, you'd pretty much seen them all, and only a few people are willing to dig past the same visuals as the last three modules to get to the story. I reckon there are enough fractal tools out there by now to develop different landscapes and visual looks without too much difficulty.
And once those tools are starting to appear, maybe I'll finally get my ideal mmo.
Posted by Drew Shiel at December 15, 2008 1:51 PM