Monday, August 27, 2007

Boutique MMO's and the next wave.


Those contentious little buggers which SEEM like they would be fun, but inevitably end up with some level grinding template of elves and orcs bashing "mobs" for some token or other.

Why is it that the only alternative to those are either "virtual other life" style things (second life, vSide) or space type games (space cowboy, eve online).

I'm looking at the current generation of MMO's and even the ones coming up and I'm thinking to myself "there has to be another way".

Of course there is the old standby I use when describing the other way of a tale in the desert. That is what one might call a boutique MMO in that it has all of the trappings of an MMO (large player based, persistant world) without the vestiges of the hackneyed old RPG formula to worry about. But, to me.. well, its a bit dull!

So, in order to appease myself, I'm going to take a leaf out of the book of the designer of "Blockland" (who's name escapes me currently) and just go ahead and create my own fairly random experimental world.

Yes, I know. Its not REALLY an MMO. In fact, it wont really be a game at all. It will be a melting pot of ideas. A pandora's box of idiotic game-development rambling. An anti-commerciality rant in MMO-like form!

Yes, starting next month, I'm going to be developing ABSTRACT ONLINE!

Of course, it will never be "finished", but thats the great thing about MMO's. Given my track record of late, thats not a bad thing :)

Anyway, watch this space for more details. I'll post some more info once I figure out what direction the initial phase is heading in. All I know is that I want to make a free online world and then play around with it. Seeing how society can be crafted once you are prepared to step outside traditional norms. It could mean that the whole of the society is built on trade. Or that combat involves doing street dances.

The era of the experimental MMO has come!


  1. Hey Phil, same thinking here. Also a profesional dev, actually working on MMOs, but have been recently working on a pet MMO "seed" myself. Finally I've just started getting things going on my project this month so I'm looking for like minded folk. Not sure if our ideas are compatible or not, but sure would enjoy playing some catchball with ideas.

  2. Hey!

    Yeah, I'd always be interested in talking over the ups and downs of game dev.

    I'm looking at a specific starting point for my game right now. Themed around "Air" as the driver for it.

    I'm trying hard not to follow any current multiplayer game ideas, so at least I'm starting from a clean perspective.