Top-Down persistent massively multiplayer game

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Top-Down persistent massively multiplayer game

Post by markm »

I have suggested before, and still believe, that my best way towards the kind of massively multiplayer games so many people seem to wish for and keep suggesting and asking for is to do it top-down, by which I mean instead of starting with characters running around in dungeons we start with universes full of galaxies full of stars some of which are orbited by planets some of which are inhabitable and some of which are orbited by moons (some of which might be habitable).

Such a top-down approach should, I expect, help with quests and with consistency.

For example, currently the free open source (GNU licensed) game Freeciv is in use for handling worlds at a somewhat strategic scale/level. This engine provides various interventions that can be made in the courses of histories at that scale. Such interventions can serve as ready-made tools for quests.

For example we can immediately determine what units exist that could be moved, and therefore an entire family of "cause this that or the other unit to move" quests are implicitly predictable as potential quests, with effects upon the world already provided by the Freeciv engine.

Similarly each and every city has a city manager that is just aching to have some intrepid adventurer bribe badger persuade or cajole it into changing its settings.

Each city also has to decide somehow what it will build. What opportunities this opens for entrepeneurs interested in stimulating demand for their resources products or services! (Own a bronze mine? Maybe it would be helpful to have a few cities decide to build phalanxes?)

A vast array of quests are thus instantly provided for us simply by using the already existing Freeciv engine to sketch out our worlds for us at a strategic scale.

I have used the Wesnoth engine to provide somewhat of a window onto some of the Freeciv worlds, but thus far I have been limited by the read-only nature of the Wesnoth campaigns I have been creating. They let you play around a bit in history that already took place, but the only way they lead to your being able to actually have effects upon history is insofar as they lead you to go beyond the Wesnoth campaigns and participate in the ongoing progress of history by means of some engine or client or means of communication that does let what you do change what happens in one or more of the worlds or between the worlds.

To that end a server has been set up that can be connected to using a Crossfire RPG (yet another free open source GNU licensed engine) client. It requires a Crossfire client 1.11 or later, and as it does not appear on Crossfire's metaserver you need to explicitly tell the client to connect to

As Wesnoth's persistent-worlds support gets implemented it will become possible to provide Wesnoth clients a more causing-of-effects interface to these worlds; until then players who restrict themselves to using only the Wesnoth client are pretty much stuck with a read-only access, to certain portions of the history of certain worlds. (Various campaigns on the 1.8 add-ons server.)

Developing Between the Worlds campaign portmanteau.
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