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Why hasn’t somone else done this yet?

April 6th, 2008 by skippy

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)

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26 Responses to “Why hasn’t somone else done this yet?”

  1. Jimmy Says:

    So you’re saying this would be something like Fallout (the video game) in MMO form, right? That would ROCK!


  2. S.Beall Says:

    yay Fallout!


  3. L.B. Bryant Says:

    A) I absolutely can’t wait for Fallout 3 to be released late this year! I haven’t pre-ordered my copy yet but the early artwork and writing leaks have me drooling. I really hope they release a Fallout MMO someday, I would so play that.

    B) Personally though, I am more excited about the Firefly MMO that is being worked on. Forget sci fi… a MMO space western is going to rock hard! Just for extra geek points, I want to name my first character on there after one of the characters that the crew of Red Dwarf play in ‘Gunman of the Apocolypse’

    I just used about *counts* five geek references in two paragraphs. Beat that. lol


  4. MadRocketScientist Says:

    I remember Gamma World (and no, I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends in HS). That would make a fun MMO! If you wanted to try making it, I bet you could find a bunch of coders to help with it under GNU.


  5. Mike Says:

    L. B.: I too am looking forward to Firefly MMO. I was so hooked on the series.

    Skippy: For your game, I think you should at the low level, refuge points where religions and cults exist that teach special skills. That would make an easy transition for magic, spells, tech skills, and much more. What do you think? You are the expert.


  6. Walegrin Says:

    Interesting idea. Just beware the lawyers of TSR/WoTC/Hasbro.


  7. quincy Says:

    I realize not everyone is an OLD geek, but it does pain me to hear things akin to “Like Fallout, but as an MMO”. Much the way it must have bugged surfers to be lumped in with Valley-speak and -culture.

    Before there was Fallout, there was Gamma World. Gloriously nerdy. Didn’t think anyone still remembered GW.

    Ain’t raggin’ on you Jimmy. I’m just feeling my years.


  8. Dave Van Domelen Says:

    You might want to check out the recent Gamma World RPG from White Wolf’s D20-development sub line. Some pretty cool stuff in there, adding in genetic modification, nanotech, artificially intelligent dildos (well, those aren’t so much stated, but they’re implied), etc….


  9. Michiel Says:

    I love how no one thinks anyone remembers Gamma World, but I mentioned it in my first post. Perhaps it is not as obscure as we think, at least to people who grew up in the 80’s.


  10. SGT Hay Says:

    I’ve always wanted to see a Deadlands MMO, and think it would be really good, especially considering the creator of Deadlands is one of the head writers for CoH/CoV. But Gamma World would be a good one, or even Palladium’s Rifts setting, which is their all-encompassing RPG.


  11. BattlingDragon Says:

    The concept sounds really interesting. Getting the balancing right could be tricky, but otherwise it sounds like a great idea.


  12. LordEnigma Says:

    As an aspiring programmer/game developer (and army vet. w00t), I have many angles on this.

    The nerd side of me says this would be awesome.

    The programming/game developer side of me, which is a little more realistic, sees all the inherent challenges in actually getting said game made and systems working right, etc. If you could get a good team together, however, I think it would be doable.

    Would you want to CHARGE A SUBSCRIPTION FEE, however? :)


  13. woohdog Says:

    I’ll help. Some xp with TMNT and lots with Heroes Unlimited! I was a UO geek for a few years, too.


  14. grumpyhammer Says:

    great idea, but why hold yourself to one world? you could use each world or space system on its own server and allow the players to jump servers as they move from world to world or system to system.

    plus why not throw in the angle of hostile enviroments that have to be discovered before actually landing on a new plant, like a planet inhabited by fuzzy bunnys that breath sulfuric air?

    really challenge the gamer.


  15. navygeek Says:

    im under 30 and had a girl who was a friend who had akward pitty sex with me in HS.

    but anyway, the game sounds like a better version of fall out, though i hope in this game i can still kill kids and random ppl. thats always great. so its gotta have a sandbox type of gameplay if ima hit it up.

    dont want to stick to the game plot? kill everything in each town and rule the world..sorta.


  16. Cans Says:

    How about Morrow Project as a MMO.
    We played Gamma World when we were bored with AD&D.
    Not this namby pamby D&D 3.0 or what ever they play today, these damn kids (makes old mans fist and shakes it in the air).


  17. duna Says:

    try “Nexus War”


  18. the JACK Says:

    As long as I could be a ninja with a lightsaber, I like it!

    p.s. Where could a find a “razor-rang”


  19. Anonymous84 Says:

    That sounds like a really good idea, in my opinion. Not that I have five million bucks lying around to give. But I’d sure as hell buy it.

    If you get the chance to make it, stick in a weapon that forces people to dance around while a song plays in double-speed. Possibly Bananaphone.


  20. Khail Says:

    Or possibly Yakkity-Sax? Make everyone run around at three times the speed and jump up and down a lot. You could even call it the “headless chicken gun.”


    Anonymous84 reply on May 6th, 2008 4:57 am:

    I like it, I like it. But you’d have to find some other weapon to attack them with before the song ends, otherwise it’s useless. That way there’s at least a slim chance to get out of it unscathed.


    CCO reply on July 24th, 2008 3:28 am:

    Wasn’t there a spell for that in AD&D? The name of the spell was of the form [someone’s name]’s [something or another].


    SPC Hyle reply on July 24th, 2008 4:53 am:

    Otto’s Irresistible Dance


  21. Taktuk of the North Says:

    But would it contain vampiric librarians?


  22. Suomynona Says:

    Hell yeah that’s an awesome idea!
    What you should do is make several factions that are at war, based on the charecter’s base mutation like the cyborgs and the half-animals and the part aliens, or something like that. When I read the other Dream MMO posts, I was going to suggest something like a book I read called Genesis Alpha, but that is a lot like it anyway so it doesn’t matter.


  23. Suomynona Says:

    … I just scared myself…


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