(Re: The Future of Quest Games…)
hahah – I agree with you about the KQ on a Cell phone idea. That is
WRONG on many levels. Then again, Fox Interactive is putting a
quasi-first person shooter Alien vs Predator on a cell phone, so I guess
anything is possiblie…. **shudder**
Back to the topic at hand, it is possible to make an online game that
tells a coherant story. Very difficult, mind you, but possible
nontheless. The key to telling a good story in an online game is by
keeping the story in front of the player at all times. Everything the
player does or sees (is that a word?) should emphasize some element of
the story. That addresses the need to keep the story in front of the
player. The other element of telling a story in an online game is to
keep the story going. It’s one thing to have an online game with a
coherant story and another thing to have a GOOD online game with a
Let me give you an example:
(normal online game with coherant story)
Player plays through game, doing quests and follows the story. Player
reaches the end of the story and is told “The End”. Player can either
restart the game with different options or move on. More often than
not, most players will opt to move on.
(good online game with coherant story)
Player plays through the game, doing quests that are linked to a dynamic
story (in other words, the story changes over time). Player never
reaches the “end” of the story since the story never ends. It is always
being updated and revised. This keeps things fresh for existing players
as well as new players.
Trends in online gaming are showing a slow, but steady move towards the
“good online game” method. Games such as Earth and Beyond and Final
Fantasy XI both utilize an evolving storyline. Of course, the downside
to this approach is new content must be created, so in a sense, the
development cycle would never end. On the upside, players are always
going to get something new, regardless of whether they have been playing
a month or a year.
I would also say that it is unwise to disregard the creativity of fans.
I have had the opportunity to work with some really talented game
designers and programmers and the one thing they all seem to agree on is
the influence of fans. Fans can make or break a game and as a whole,
they are quite creative.
However, in order for a fan-based game to work, it would be integral to
impliment a system for filtering ideas. It wouldn’t do to be making a
King’s Quest game and have a Braveheart-like scene in it. And of
course, we would need to get a producer who not only has the knowledge
to keep the team together and get the product developed on schedule and
within budget, but also possess the panache to ensure that no one’s
feelings get hurt when an idea someone comes up with doesn’t get into
It’s a difficult road, to be sure, but I can’t help but giggle like a
school boy at the prospect of a legion of Sierra fans teaming up to make
>I’m was trying to figure whether someone else typed this or I slept
>walked to the computer and typed this in my sleep. I have had the same
>sort of experience though I’m sure millions of other people have had.
>On-line gaming and story telling are two subjects which don’t
>necessarily go hand in hand. I have yet to see a what I would consider
>a good implementation of these melding of these two things. Not that
>isn’t possible and with a Adventure story gathering it does lead to an
>I do know how much on-line games take to produce and how many man hours
>these take to produce and can say it would be impossible to produce
>something of quality, or even produce anything, with just the fans we
>can dig up. We would be run over.
>I am interested in seeing how Blizzard owned by Vivendi, who also is the
>parent company of Sierra as well establishes the story telling/gameplay
>element in the on-line universe with the upcoming release of World of
>Warcraft. It will either be a major success or a complete bust but you
>will see me on-line in that universe if that comes to fruition – because
>I do believe on-line is the future as do many major companies and just
>about the whole universe. Heck I’ll be honest I just like playing stuff
>like that if it’s good.
>Good Thought into that though…you seem to have some thought into this
>a little rather than blundering out the most popular ideas.
>If anyone mention putting King’s Quest on Cell Phones I will kill them
>with my bare hands and a spoon in the style of Robin Hood – Men in
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