This makes me discouraged and unhappy.
I have noticed many people posting in various forums looking for teams to make MMORPGs. Most of them start with something like this: “We are a starting company/game studio and we need 3 artists, 2 programmers, 1 musician, etc. for an innovative, never seen before MMORPG where you will have total freedom to do whatever you want and reshape the world, etc. We will pay you when it’s done and we make some money.” Unfortunately, with the current technology and limited bandwidth, you cannot have a dynamic world. Aiming at something impossible leads to failure. Rather, try to come up with a small, functional, expandable design and architecture.
–Part of an article at DevMaster.net
Okay, from looking around at various forums, it seems like everyone and their third cousin twice removed wants to make either a) their own version of Everquest/FFXI/World of Warcraft, or b) The Most Freeform MMORPG Ever. Apparently the former is known to be possible if one is an experienced game/graphics/network programmer, and the latter simply cannot be done and we should revise our specifications.
Okay, so I will just go channel my (limited) energies into learning how to make a game where you can choose to be a human, elf, dwarf, or orc, and you can run around slaying dragons at the request of NPCs so as to gather higher-level equipment!
I think maybe one of the barriers to creating TMFMMORPGE is its association with RPGs. In my opinion, the key would be to leave content/story/gameliness for later and for filling in gaps, and just focus on making an engine that allows the greatest amount of interaction over a network. MMORPG-like playability would just be a side effect of what the program would do. I am starting to think (possibly thanks to the influence of Second Life) that what I am aiming for is a massively multiuser online 3D-modelling program governed by a fancy physics engine and having an interface similar to most action games (i.e. run, jump, kick, grab) (as opposed to more direct modelling tools). Variability would be arrived at through the differing properties of raw materials (i.e. you can cut more things with a pointy diamond implement than a pointy plastic implement), by the importance of physics (i.e. run faster if you want to tackle and knock down something heavy) and by the interdependence of NPC-monster-creature things. I know this would be a lot of programming, but I might as well throw away my free time on something other than Spider Solitaire and online jigsaw puzzles. It at least helps me a little bit to know that this is not an RPG I need to learn about.
I need to learn how to program.
And then I need to learn 3D modelling, or befriend someone who knows, in order to create the ecosystem/player avatars. I think I have about 5 hours total modelling experience, and that was in middle school when I was making simple hairstyles for The Sims. (I am still proud of that, and also proud for some strange reason of the oversimplistic anime-cartoon face I textured. My Sims kind of all looked alike except for coloration and hairstyle at that point. I miss those days.)
Maybe I should just wait until I achieve wealth and success, and then hire Bram Cohen the Great (Aspie inventor of BitTorrent) to do all my programming. I bet he could come up with something really innovative. Yeah, I think I will do that.
I also want to kick the person who unlocked the secret to true AI and patented the d*** thing. I want to use those for the ecosystem!
I am going to need a lot of money.
I guess if I ever got a lot of money, I would need something do with my time other than shoot heroin with celebrities, so this would be good.
I have no idea if anyone would want to “play” the fruits of my labor/employees’ labor. I would probably be too self-conscious to charge money, so yes, I would need to have a lot of money to begin with in order to run it. But I am thinking as far as distribution is concerned…when the Halo 2 generation gets old and their brains start to atrophy, they would need something to keep them sharp. I know that my grandmother has nothing to do all day but watch TV, and she keeps getting loopier and loopier. Can you imagine a roomful of wrinkly old geeks at a nursing home racing to build the most powerful catapult to pwnzor the other team? *laughter for no particular reason* Well, I also would want to see other people playing with such a thing if indeed it got close to the dream it will have been built from, but…yeah.
So in conclusion, I need to win the lottery, buy fancy hardware and software, and hire Aspies to do my bidding. No dream is impossible when you have cash and an army of obsessive nerds!