Culture, Community, and Espionage
by, Sep 5th, 2010 at 05:29 PM (355 Views)
For some number of years now I've been skirting many of my duties. This includes doing actual work on my big project, which is bad enough. But there is another, more fun, and in my opinion much more important duty I have to take care of.
A little background info is necessary. You see, my project is called Games Of Dust. It's meant to be a board-game style MMO that involves strategic movement and terrain interaction, and the use of trading cards to perform attacks, lay traps, and whatever. So you could describe it as a quasi-massive multiplayer online strategic trading card game. Or QMMOTCG for short. How's that for a genre?
The game plays alright with 2-8 players with my old paper prototype.
My philosophy for success in this has little to do with the game itself... It has everything to do with the community. If the game fails to attract a competitive, and interactive community then it will fail. Or at least fall short of it's potential.
In case it isn't clear to you, I'll ramble a little more. A good community has it's own culture. This culture will generate an atmosphere that will convince people who enjoy it to stay, and pull in other people who also enjoy the atmosphere. The design of my site will be like the paint on the walls of an office, while the design of the tools will be like the furniture. The way the staff handles the players will set the tone (Think of a cold, 'professional' secretary as compared to a hooters girl). The most random and hardest aspect to control will give the game/site it's emotion. This is the players themselves, and how they conduct themselves.
All of those things together will make up the culture.
Because I haven't been partaking in pre-existing cultures, I'm at a disadvantage. Not only is my name not out there for people to recognize, but I don't know what to expect by-and-large.
I believe I could learn a lot by participating in many types of competitive games and such. Not just people who play the various wizards of the coast card games, or Shooters, but also by paying closer attention to sports, spying in on paintball enthusiasts and strategy players as well.
I'm glad I chose to make something that I found interesting, which doesn't really have a genre to pull from. In a way this would be considered stupid; I'm basically trying to push something that would be considered niche at best into a competitive, massive game that, should I succeed, I will expand to as global a scale as phi..digitally possible.
Is it possible? I sure hope so. Not only could it make me rich, influential and recognized... It would show those people who don't believe in mixing genres to be a good plan that it can be done.
Yes, it it's not safe. Yes, it is prone to fail. But why?! I believe it's because people want more of what they already know makes them feel good. They don't recognize the aspect of the games that truly give them joy, they recognize the genre, or in really bad cases, just the title itself (Wonder why there are 8 Rainbow Six games for consoles?) So teach them that what they want is available in your quirky game, by appealing to their more base levels so they get excited about what you have to offer, not for how it will compare to what they already like, but for how it will satisfy the brand of fun they get from a game.
Secret note: I get so excited when I compete with other players I have to take frequent breaks. I'll shake, hold my breath, sweat, and even feel sick.
It reminds me of a dog in a car enjoying the wind. You blow in his face later and he gets annoyed.