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Archive for April 6th, 2008

Why hasn’t somone else done this yet?

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Fair warning, this is gonna be geeky.

Seriously, there is a big time world class nerdening happening below. You have been warned.

A few weeks ago me and some friends were discussing settings for MMOs. While weighing the pros and cons of science fiction vs fantasy vs other more unusual settings I was struck by a bolt of inspiration.

Gamma World.

If you are unfamiliar with this property (Likely because you dated in high school, or are under 30) here is a quick primer, courtesy of Io9.

Basically you have the perfect formula for an online game.

First of all, you have a back story that can be explained in seconds.

“WW3 destroyed the entire world. The planet is now a wasteland were survivors and mutants battle over the crumbled remains of civilization.” Done. Now everything the players do will make sense.

Next up, players like to customize their avatars. Many free-MMOs make their profit off of this fact. Most players in Gamma World are mutants. This is an excuse for the kind of player customization that is seen in City of Heroes. Want to play a bunny with a sniper rifle? Done. A turtle with a penchant for oriental weaponry? Not a problem. An offshoot of a flying squirrel that has the ability to generate electrical energy? Why the heck not. Pretty much anything the a player can come up with fits into the game.

All you need to do is come up with a balancing mechanism for the player that, for some reason, choose to make a regular human. Possibly by giving them better technology.

Which brings us to tech. If you are playing in a post-apocalyptic world, where high tech used to be common, you have pretty much the everything that you can think of available. Low level characters would start with primitive weapons, like hatchets, crossbows, and machetes. As they level up they could acquire ceramic body armor, automatic weapons, and explosives. High level players could get science fiction devices such as laser rifles, and force fields. Pretty much everything is fair game.

Low level player could have horses, or even some sort of mutant riding animals. As the players advanced they could get better pet/mounts or trade them in for a dirt bikes, a dune buggy, or even the last of the V-8 interceptors. You could even allow the players to strip the vehicles of defeated enemies for parts to tweak their own rides.

And thanks to the whole “psionics” angle you don’t even have to give up spellcasters, you just have to rename it. Heck if you start the players off privative enough, you don’t even have to rename it. After all one man’s pyrokinetic mutant is another’s fire-spec mage.

I really think this could be developed into something great. Now all I need is an investor with 5 million laying around, my own game development studio, and my trusty razor boomerang and I’m set.

Any of my gaming readers have any comments on this idea? (The game idea, not the ‘Skippy ruins amok with a razor-rang part)