But games have to be fun too, right? I think they can be fun, immersive, and casual all at the same time. I'm hoping that my examples will show how other developers have combined the three such that players can access the game from anywhere. It's also important to me that my game be simple to play and accessible for players with disabilities, so let's just say that I have included all of the proper features like adjustable colors for the color-blind, resizable text, and maybe even audio cues to help those with sight issues.
I've been given a budget of one million-billion internet bucks, so let's get to it... this game is not going to build itself!
Now that I've magically laid the groundwork for the game and established that I want nothing to do with bloated gaming machines, we need to talk about how the game will play, what mechanics it will employ, and how players will interact with the world.
I'm going to let some Die2Nite employees (well, former employees; I just paid them to come to my team, see) take over this part. They are going to help me design a game that works much as theirs does. In Die2Nite, players join together in towns of at least 40 to attempt to survive waves of zombies. Each player starts out with a set amount of ability points that he or she can spend on exploring the desert surrounding the town, scavenging useful parts to use for the town's defenses, fighting zombies, and performing other in-town activities. The great thing about Die2Nite is that the zombie attacks come only once per day. Preparing for the incoming attack is intense; players debate which defenses to build up first and argue over who should close the gate right before the attack. Many players go out into the desert and run out of points, only to become stranded. They can hunker down, and in some cases, hide for the night and hope to survive. Usually they don't. Points reset every day, but if you don't survive the night, it doesn't matter. It's an amazingly brilliant, simple, and intense game that leads to my daydreaming all day before the attack.
I'll use a similar mechanic for my MMO, but player towns will hold hundreds of people. Players will all have to work together to gather materials in order to compete with other towns, although combat between towns is not in order. No PvP in my game, thank you. Instead of gathering materials to survive an attack from the undead, players work to build up a town that will gather the most natural resources and result in better crafting. Those crafts can be traded to other towns thanks to long, dangerous treks across the landscape. I would bump my events to twice a day, but they would come from storms or other natural (but magnified) disorders. My world is a harsh one to live in, and surviving there will require cooperation from all but those rare few who train to go out on their own.
I'll also need to hire the sound designer behind Spiral Knights to give the game a modern but alien feel. I want the music to be sparse but effective, and that game is a perfect example of doing a lot with a little.
"One of the most important aspects of my game will be roleplay. I will enforce roleplay with an iron fist but will also provide off-topic and out-of-character channels. I want players to craft characters that are real extensions of themselves."
My game will be simple, accessible, playable anywhere, open to all, roleplay-enforced, and immersive. All of this within the confines of a browser window. It might seem like I am leaving out so many games that I could have drawn inspiration from, but I wanted to show just what a fan of mobile and browser gaming I am, and I wanted it to be a game that could quite possibly be made. Now, just hand me that million billion dollars and I'll get started.
Have you ever wanted to make the perfect MMO, an idealistic compilation of all your favorite game mechanics? MMO Blender aims to do just that. Join the Massively staff every Friday as we put our ideas to the test and create either the ultimate MMO... or a disastrous frankengame!