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Words of Wisdom!


On 05/23/13 12:50 AM, Anthony wrote:
I've been working on designing a MMO PvP world-builder-sim that has a business model set to compete with minecraft. MineSworn is a custom modded minecraft server I created, but minecraft is as flawed as it is revolutionary. My game has a blend of real time strategy elements, WBS building, and massively-multiplayer, multi-server architecture.

What is your advice for me to get this idea off the ground?

--- Quote from: Derek Paxton
VP of Stardock Entertainment --- 
   It sounds like an incrediably ambicious idea. The temptation is to take game A we love, add game B we love and create an even better game. But games don't work like that.

Instead of thinking about the sum of the parts consider the very finite reosurce of the players attention. What should the player be focusing on as he plays? What is he thinking about? The limits of that attention are th elimits oyu have to design in.

That doesn't mean that a minecraft type of game with all the parts you mentioned wouldnt work. Just that you should consider what the player thinks about as he plays minecraft, as he plays an rts game, as he plays a builder and figure out which mindset you want the player to be in as he plays your game. You can't expect that the player is going to juggle back and forth between them.

What is the key focus of your game?

If it is building something minecraft style, then do the rts elements improve that building process? Maybe they do. Maybe being able to build gun turrets that automate and do things will make building matter more. And thats great, but never lose focus on what those gun turrets design intention are, they are an outlet for the building system.

If there is a lot of tension on the defense side and that gun turret is a very strategic decision that strongly effects the game then the player is no longer thinking about his world and his environment in a minecraft builder way. In which case the player will want more control over the deployment and control of the gun and the casual builder part of the game will be getting in his way.

Its not that having a gun turret is bad. It could work or not. Its all about what is the design intent for it and how does it improve the core gameplay of the game. The best games understand exactly what their key decisions are, and everything else supports those decisions. They are not a culmination of features, but one purpose that everything else funnels into.

Hopefully that helps. But if it doesn't just remember I'm just one guy and I broke almost all the rules I've listed about with Fall from Heaven and Fallen Enchantress, so take it with a grain of salt. :)

- Derek

--- End quote ---


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