Mot and I never came out and said what we’re trying to do here. It doesn’t matter—we could continue writing without a clear direction for the rest of our lives without blinking—but I think it deserves a scant few paragraphs. If I write what I’m trying to do and you read it, that means at least the two of us can understand the meaning of the pit all these words are meant to fill.
I’m trying desperately to find fun games to play. If I can’t find them, I will try to give people the ideas that they need to make them—perhaps I’ll even try to manifest those ideas in code myself. I see the MMO genre as one with amazing potential. So far, that potential has been very poorly shown by even the herculean efforts of companies like Blizzard. If you play one MMO and get burnt out, chances are you’re going to burn out faster on the next one until you just stop playing MMOs. Why is this? Because variety and product differentiation in MMOs is very narrow. I want more MMOs trying different ideas; the way the market is looking currently, there are not enough people speaking up who are like me. And so I speak up.
The spirit of That’s A Terrible Idea is to revisit older ideas that never caught on and give light to new ones. We want to analyze what’s here as a way to see what can come next. We want to change the paradigm to get past the current rut in MMO design. I know we cannot do this by ourselves and there are other blogs out there that are trying as well—we may just be pissing into the wind, but if enough of us are doing it someone downwind of us is bound to get wet and do something about it.
That said, I’d like to link to a few of my posts that I believe lay the groundwork for my MMO design thought. Because, at best, only 10% of anything is worth the effort, I’ll give you the four posts (roughly 10% of my contributions to this blog) that I think are good enough to merit a read for newer readers or a reread for the very few of you who have been around since the beginning.
- From Absurd Gamism to Modest Simulationism - Outlines my general approach to how to improve MMOs in an abstract fashion.
- The MMORPG Revolution: 10 Points - I offer ten concrete ways that I think MMOs should change to revolutionize the genre and lead to much better games.
- The Seven Questions I Ask Myself About An MMORPG - Gives a good idea of what I think about when I play MMOs and where I'm coming from as a player in general.
- Save the World (And Level Up!) - How story and mechanics in MMOs have become separated and why they trivialize one another.