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Another brief post, since I have some work I set aside last night that needs to get finished asap…

MMMOGIG #0 was both less successful than I hoped, and more successful than I expected.  The total attendance ended up being a mere 2, which, given the short notice and all, was probably more than reasonable.  If you were running late and arrived after 6:30, I apologize… we decided to decamp over to the nearby Italian Pie Shop (yum) for a while, and someone was being very insistent about locking the outside doors to the building (3 times I had to unlock them total from 5:30 on).  I apologize profusely if you made the trip and got locked out.

The discussion was enjoyable.  It ended up being mainly a comparison of previous games played, and wishful thinking about the future in the mainstream MMO market.  No real discussion on a development level, it was more of a features-centric back-and-forth, but it was still interesting.  My personal longing for a greatly expanded and updated UO largely fell on deaf ears, unfortunately… :-)

Craig Perko has a tiny but dead-on accurate (succinct, in other words) little post about the challenges of creating more realistic characters in games.  It’s a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I wanted to point it out.

Most of the usual suspects have been relatively quiet of late… everybody is buckling down to work on the next generation of releases for a while, it would appear.  I might have to go back to posting on my own design more regularly… (you’ve been warned!)

Eh, I’d better hit the road, lots of work on my plate.  Later…

The inaugural meeting of the Minnesota Massive Multiplayer Online Game Interest Group is tonight…

Date and Time:
Saturday, April 28, 6pm-whenever

Location: 
VoiceNet Technologies, Inc.
3140 Neil Armstrong Blvd, Suite 301
Eagan, MN 55121
(map)

Agenda
Eat pizza (I’ll buy, order will be placed at start of the event since I have no idea at present how much or what to get)
Drink beverages (BYOB, I’ll have a few selections on hand, and there is a pop machine nearby)
Meet local people interested in MMOs
Talk about MMOs
Show off anything you’ve written up, developed, or created.
Discuss how to organize the next one

There is a bit of meme going around that Vanguard has been a massive failure, Sigil is doomed, “the Vision” has failed, and so on and so forth.  I have to admit, I don’t get the logic behind some of this.

I’d agree that Vanguard wasn’t a blockbuster WoW-killer.  Frankly, I never expected it to be, myself, but that’s a somewhat different topic.  There were several reasons why I personally think that ended up to be so…

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What is the typical MMOG experience of people, particularly those who frequent the realm of the mmo dev blogs and environs?  My own list is even longer than I realized: and I left out games where I didn’t play for at least a week or two, because if I include all the titles I’ve downloaded just to try, it’d be obscene.  I also left out text muds, for much the same reason.

  • Meridian 59 
  • The Realm
  • Ultima Online
  • Everquest 1
  • Asheron’s Call
  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Anarchy Online
  • Shadowbane
  • Horizons
  • Ashen Empires
  • Guild Wars
  • EverQuest 2
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • Rubies of Eventide
  • Underlight
  • A Tale in the Desert
  • World of Warcraft
  • City of Heroes + City of Villains
  • Auto Assault
  • Lineage 2
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online
  • Vanguard
  • LOTRO (beta)

… and I’m sure I missed a couple downloaded ones from long ago.  Some of the more notable absences from my point of view are Lineage, Asheron’s Call 2, World War 2 Online, Sims Online, and Eve Online.

So, if you read this and have the chance, drop your own list in the comments… I’m curious.

I was doing the vanity google search in another moment of boredom, looking for places that had mentioned me or the blog (apparently there are lots of very industrious Craig Hubers out there, athletes, academics, musicians… I feel like such a lazy bum now), and I ran across a bunch of old editorials I wrote back in the good old days of 2000 (yes, that was A.D…)

Here are the links….

Thing is, I’m still writing about basically the same things today, several years later.  My positions have altered slightly over the years, but not much.  Is that humorous, or just sad?  (Or perhaps, both…)

Announcing the inaugural meeting of the Minnesota Massive Multiplayer Online Game Interest Group!  (mmm-o-gig.  We really need a better acronym.)

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Too distracted by real-world issues to indulge my game design obsession much over the past few days, but I did happen across a few things of interest…

Jeff Vogel (Spiderweb Software) has posted a followup rant about current RPG gameplay(h/t to the Rampant Coyote).  Good stuff (if a bit short and overly kind, IMO).

Tobold has a lot of great LotRO commentary up, several posts over the past week or so, including this post related to wishes for something besides combat-centric MMOs…

… which leads us to the latest weekend challenge from Psychochild: posting ideas for non-combat gameplay systems.  Some good ideas in there, I think (leaving aside my hurried comment at the outset there).

P.S.  I was whizzing around the blogosphere over the weekend (waiting for some code to finish NOT compiling), and noticed a few places that had me on their blogroll that (I am ashamed to say) I had never even heard of before. 

If you have such a spot, or run across one, please leave a comment so can I get a link set up… I’ll set up a “Friends Of ViE” category (or maybe some kind of icon/notation) in the blogroll just for that purpose, once I have a link or two more to add.  (Now if I could just remember where those blogs were… grrr) 

So, as promised, my own attempt at a system that is a little different.  A few of you may have already explored the link to my “dream design” FAQ off the Voyages sub-page of the blog here that I posted a while back… if so, you know where most of this came from.

Um, it got kinda long.  Just a bit.  Ok, a lot.  (good luck…)

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Hmmm.  I need to post, it was probably the most well-attended roundtable at the IMGDC, and it’s been at least a whole month since I last touched upon it… eh, why not?  I’m going to just ramble about the class v skill thing a bit.

For background, Damion at Zen of Design has presented some excellent insights on this topic over the past half-year or so… links here and here.  There’s a forum thread over at MMORPG.com on the topic at the moment, as well, for a selection of more player-centric viewpoints.

(Edit: broken links fixed)
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To any Twin Cities/Minnesota-area readers out there… is there any interest in setting up an informal yet regular periodic get-together of MMO design/development devotees?  Especially with the local IGDA chapter in hiatus at the moment, such a thing might be of some use.

Monthly, Quarterly… just something to regularly “re-stoke the fires”, people to bounce ideas off of, that kind of thing.  If there are people who are interested, I’m willing to try to coordinate it.  Add a comment to this post if you might be interested…

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Promos and Events

Live in or near Mpls/St. Paul? Interested in talking MMOs with other like-minded people? Join us on either June 30th or July 14th at MMMOGIGs #1.9 or #2.1 (or both!), details coming soon. You can also join us in Google Groups or meetup.com to discuss the when/where of the next meeting, provide feedback, etc.
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