Online games must overcome or work around the Internet's greatest gaming flaw:
lag time, or latency. Activisions Net Storem, for example, retains the action
of a traditional combat strategy game but dodges the latency problem by removing
troop micro-management. You can place troops, but you can't direct individuals.
And if your're disconnected, your soldiers keep fighting until you return.
Virgin Interactive's SubSpace, a space shoot-'em-up game, handles up to 120
players... To get around latency issues, Virgin gives the spaceships large
turning radiuses. This enables your computer to more accurately predict the
movement of opponents, resulting in smoother play.
Imagine a wiki system where people collaborate to build games. They would "grow" in stages:
The point is that over time, the story slowly transitions into a crowd sourced 3D game. It starts as an interesting story, which then gets interesting options, art, objects, maps, and emerges as a fully formed game. It ensures that every game started with an interesting story, because otherwise, people wouldn't bother to read or improve the starting point.
- a simple story or just the start of a story.
- people would find places in the story where they think the main character should have done something different, and they add a decision point, then write a different path or ending, basically turning the single story into a "choose your own adventure" story. This also breaks the story up into segments. The idea is that things that bug you, lead you to "fix" them, which leads to an expansion of the "game".
- Artists could add art, illustrating the different scenes in the story, and breaking it up into panels. Raw text bugs artists who visualize the scene and are pushed to display what that looks like to them.
- The wiki system allows tracking of objects, like keys, weapons, etc... which then enable or disable links or options depending on where they are. A simple conditional system with pull down options allows collaborators to control the links with this. e.g. a link is not clickable unless the player had previously found the key and clicked on it, which flags the key as being with the player, instead of being in whatever room the player found it, or dropped it in. You can edit the link by right clicking (or something) and the links attributes pop up on the right. In the properties, you can select "conditional?" and then pull down options like "player has", "player does not have" etc... And then pull down a list of known objects in this story.
A simple inventory panel shows the players objects and allows them to click for a description (which can be edited / illustrated) or drop, use, etc... those objects.
- Code to allow objects to modify other objects. e.g. This sword removes 5 hit points if selected and used to click a "monster" object. Same sort of property interface, but add "modifies" then a pull down for other objects, including classes of objects, then the properties of the target object to modify, then how it gets modified (increase, decrease, set to, etc...) and a value. When someone adds a sword, if it doesn't do what another user thinks it should ("Why can't I hit this door with the sword?") then they can add that.
- A map can be built which then shows all the panels as rooms or areas with openings which go between them based on the existing links. Placing the text panels as rooms such that the links lead to near by rooms is the puzzle challenge. The result can be presented as a 3D environment, but if there is no picture, the room will just show text floating in air. The idea is that this bugs artists until they draw concept art for that room. Then the art has to be transformed into 3D in the room.
Version control allows any edit to be included or not included, and any edit which hasn't been "accepted" by someone else editing the edit, can be disabled by an individual user; it is then no longer part of /their/ play through. If enough people disable an edit, it becomes disabled by default. Users who get too many edits disabled are banned. This stops spam.
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