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Speaking With the Designer of an Indie MMO Project 104

PsxMeUP writes "Love is a persistent online first-person shooter that will let players build structures, permanently manipulate the environment and share resources — all in real-time. Action will be similar to a real-time strategy game as seen through the eyes of a grunt. The game is being completely designed by a man named Eskil Steenberg, and GameObserver had a chance to interview him. Steenberg talks about how all MMOs offer an egocentric experience where character growth is the most important aspect, and how he intends to change that. He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players, which basically trivializes accomplishments that have an impact on the entire server. 'If you imagine Civilization where you invent your stuff or build new stuff, imagine playing one of those characters on the ground doing that. And being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world,' Eskil explains, when asked what his game will be like. 'I want to scare people in a direction that is different from this sort of "me-centric" style of games. It feels that pretty much all games are going into that Diablo direction of collecting and building up my characters, and it's all very egocentric about creating your own powerful character,' he clarifies when asked how his game will be different from other MMOs. Love is well into development, and Steenberg has already posted some incredible gameplay demos. Levels, for instance, are all procedurally generated. The game also offers open-source tools, like UV editing — not a small feat considering the whole thing was designed by one man."
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Speaking With the Designer of an Indie MMO Project

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  • Good luck! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <mils_orgen@hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @01:45PM (#29041123) Homepage
    Sounds like the first Communist MMO! But more power to him, I just don't see how one guy is going to put out a game changer, these games tend to be "mecentric" for a reason. People want to see that last boss, kill that god, but not everyone is willing to put in 40 hours a week.
  • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @01:52PM (#29041217)
    I have no idea why my son is so excited about this particular game, but every month or so he keeps asking if it's out yet. We saw some of the demos and evidently it stuck with him. I think he likes the idea of being able to change the world.
  • yeah but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @01:58PM (#29041321)

    Even playing WoW often gets to be too much like work.

    I can see how this might be a better approximation of real society or have better ideals or whatever than WoW etc, but WILL IT BE MORE FUN?

    Honestly I dont care about the humanist validity of a game. I only want to play it if its an enjoyable and escapist experience. In fact deliberate unrealism is often more entertaining.

    Do I want to have more "realistic life issues" thrown at me for pleasure? no. Its for that reason I already hate all reality TV shows.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @02:01PM (#29041377)

    This guy is the upper league. I met him a few times at the Blender conference. He's on the OpenGL Standards Team and has forgotten more about coding than most of us will ever learn. Just watching him demonstrate his 3D tools is jawdropping. Listening to him when he talks about 3D and real-time multi-user networking is a feast. He's in the upper league of coding *and* in the upper league of taste and design. If anybody can pull something like this through it's him. Go and watch the demos if you don't believe me.

  • ATITD or Slave Labor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marc_Hawke ( 130338 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @02:13PM (#29041529)

    This kind of collaborative building effort was done in ATITD. (A Tale in the Desert.) It was really great, but an interesting thing happened...

    Guild houses and other structures require LOTS of raw materials. Gathering these were very labor intensive. The 'less dominant' personalities were relegated to these tasks while the Type-A guys did fun things like detail-work and planning. There were players who literally logged in and spent hours making bricks or gathering straw. They'd hand these off the the guild leaders when they were done and start over.

    The only reason this wasn't slave labor is that there was no coercion, it was just a class system based on your personality, your 'need to be accepted' and your willingness to do the grunt-work. The social dynamic of the whole thing was one of the most interesting parts of that game.

  • by megamerican ( 1073936 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @02:24PM (#29041693)
    Rollercoaster tycoon was written by one person. Almost all of the code was written in assembly. It was one of the most fun games I've ever played.
  • Re:Good luck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xappax ( 876447 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @02:37PM (#29041903)
    I think he's re-envisioning the reward system and the meaning of "success" in his game. In a game like WoW, you're l33t if you managed to accumulate the most epic loot for yourself. Success in WoW is making your toon uber-powerful, or doing something that nobody else can.

    In Love, it sounds like success is much more based around your personal relationships with other players - success is measured in how much respect and "props" you get from your fellow players. Players are competing not for shiny loot which they can hoard, but for the opportunity to help their peers and earn a good reputation.

    Kind of reminds me of the warez scene, actually. Everyone is hyper-motivated and competitive about doing a good job, even though ultimately all they're doing is sharing with each other. It's competition to show who's the best at sharing.
  • by Vrallis ( 33290 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @03:22PM (#29042573) Homepage

    I also played ATITD for a while. It's a shame that the pace and timeline of the game was so closely driven by Teppy as opposed to by the players. The Second Telling was more or less killed off by a combination of Teppy releasing Tests at too slow a pace and, of course, the release of WoW.

    Up until then though, the large community efforts were impressive. Hundreds of people involved in digs (with some people making shovels for everyone, people cooking stamina food). The nearly region-long Acro lines, etc.

    After I left, I tried to keep up with news on ATITD. Apparently the Second Telling took so long to progress in the end that Teppy made a bunch of changes to speed up the conclusion--sounding more like cutting his losses and wanting to just get started over again with the Third Telling.

    Unfortunately the last time I checked in on the Third Telling the population was so low that the game just isn't the same anymore. There aren't enough people to form any of the large community events anymore that made the game so much more enjoyable.

    (Though I have to admit, when it comes to repetitive behavior...I wore out the left mouse button on two high-end mice in less than 6 months of play there.)

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.