Skills Week / Adam Martin / How Is Designing An MMO Different?

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Adam Martin of NCsoft gave an in depth look at the development of MMOs at NCSoft.

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Skills Week / Adam Martin / How Is Designing An MMO Different?

  1. 1. How is designing an MMO different? Adam Martin NCsoft Europe
  2. 2. What’s an MMO?
  3. 3. Massively
  4. 4. Multiplayer
  5. 5. Online
  6. 6. Massively Multiplayer Online (game)
  7. 7. mouthful
  8. 8. “ MMO”
  9. 9. acronyms suck
  10. 10. WHY?
  11. 12. (“online”)
  12. 13. play alone
  13. 14. (“multiplayer”)
  14. 17. (“massively”)
  15. 18. What does a typical MMO look like?
  16. 19. ...like this?
  17. 20. ( )
  18. 21. what else?
  19. 22. top-10 MMOs?
  20. 28. only 5
  21. 29. others?
  22. 32. What’s an MMO?
  23. 33. MMO != MMORPG
  24. 34. MMO != 3D landscape
  25. 35. MMO == Virtual World + Game
  26. 36. def: Virtual World <ul><li>Provides extra contexts for your activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>social (relationships; audiences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>environmental (persistence; progression) </li></ul></ul>
  27. 37. #1: social interaction
  28. 38. audience
  29. 39. what you do matters
  30. 40. BONUS:
  31. 41. do things ... to other people
  32. 42. # 2: stage
  33. 43. existence (avatar)
  34. 44. geography (local + not-local)
  35. 45. good for community
  36. 46. sub-communities
  37. 47. Summary 1/5 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul>
  38. 48. MMO #1
  39. 49. RPG
  40. 50. RPG + chat
  41. 51. =
  42. 53. MMO #2
  43. 54. traditional game
  44. 55. traditional game + community
  45. 56. (400k simultaneous players) =
  46. 57. ?
  47. 58. another kind of MMO
  48. 60. MMO #3
  49. 61. social network
  50. 62. social network + game
  51. 72. “ Calan’s levelling up ... don’t fall behind”
  52. 74. poking
  53. 75. &quot;Enough with the Poking, Lets Just Have Sex&quot; A Facebook group which, as of September 2007 , has more than 250,000 members.
  54. 76. another kind of MMO
  55. 78. MMO #4
  56. 79. novel game
  57. 80. novel game + novel community
  58. 84. $200,000 prize
  59. 85. $200,000 prize (yes, really)
  60. 86. Timeline... June 2005 February 2007
  61. 87. Timeline... June 2005 February 2007
  62. 88. <ul><li>50+ fake websites </li></ul><ul><li>Hacking email accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Live events with actors </li></ul><ul><li>5+ blogs of in-game characters </li></ul><ul><li>Phone calls, email trails, encrypted newspaper articles, ... </li></ul>
  63. 89. ...black helicopters...
  64. 90. ...emergency extractions...
  65. 91. who’s that?
  66. 92. who’s that?
  67. 93. 3P == The Third Power “ an ancient society of very secret intentions”
  68. 94. What the **** was that all about?
  69. 95. (a new identity) (“O1”)
  70. 97. “ an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform” (an Alternate Reality Game)
  71. 98. another kind of MMO
  72. 100. Summary 2/5 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul><ul><li>MMO != MMORPG </li></ul>
  73. 101. Design techniques?
  74. 102. massively multiplayer online game
  75. 103. massively multiplayer online GAME
  76. 104. MMO design == normal design ?
  77. 105. MMO design == normal design ?
  78. 106. Reason 1 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul>
  79. 107. (come back to later)
  80. 108. Reason 2 <ul><li>Revenue model </li></ul>
  81. 109. subscription
  82. 110. micro-payments
  83. 111. advertising
  84. 112. TIME == MONEY
  85. 113. TIME == MONEY
  86. 114. TIME == MONEY
  87. 115. play the game,
  88. 116. keep playing,
  89. 117. never stop
  90. 118. stop playing == MONEY
  91. 119. problem?
  92. 120. 20-40 hours total (traditional retail game)
  93. 121. 20-40 hours per month (typical MMO game)
  94. 122. “ Over 200 hours of gameplay”
  95. 123. = less than a year (typical MMO game)
  96. 124. not so bad?
  97. 125. power-levelling
  98. 126. twinking
  99. 129. approx 1 month
  100. 130. Launched: 1997
  101. 131. Launched: 1997 ... 10 YEARS (and counting)
  102. 132. ARRGH!
  103. 134. keep coming back
  104. 136. If you keep coming back...
  105. 138. Summary 3/5 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul><ul><li>MMO != MMORPG </li></ul><ul><li>MMO Designers do more than just extra balancing </li></ul>
  106. 139. MMO Designers...
  107. 140. Content designer (including: writers)
  108. 141. Environment designer (a.k.a. World Builder)
  109. 142. Systems designer
  110. 143. Balance designer
  111. 144. Quest designer
  112. 145. Summary 4/5 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul><ul><li>MMO != MMORPG </li></ul><ul><li>MMO Designers do more than just extra balancing </li></ul><ul><li>Many different types of “Game Designer” on an MMO </li></ul>
  113. 146. How do we design for this?
  114. 147. History Lesson
  115. 148. 1978
  116. 149. 1978
  117. 150. a small software company
  118. 151. a small software company
  119. 153. Richard Bartle
  120. 154. Dr. Bartle
  121. 156. “ one of the pioneers of the massively multiplayer online game industry”
  122. 157. “ one of the pioneers of the massively multiplayer online game industry” (Wikipedia, so it must be true)
  123. 158. ...time passed...
  124. 160. &quot;What do people want out of a MUD?&quot;
  125. 161. The Debate <ul><li>several hundred bulletin-board postings </li></ul><ul><li>15 individuals </li></ul><ul><li>almost the entire set of active wizzes during that period </li></ul><ul><li>When the participants had finally run out of new things to say ... </li></ul>
  126. 162. The Results <ul><li>“people habitually found the same kinds of thing about the game &quot;fun&quot;, but there were several (four, in fact) sub-groupings into which opinion divided” </li></ul>
  127. 163. Killers
  128. 164. Achievers
  129. 165. Socializers
  130. 166. Explorers
  131. 167. ACTING INTERACTING PLAYERS WORLD
  132. 168. stereotypes, not people
  133. 169. http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm
  134. 170. (will repeat address at end)
  135. 171. How do we design for this?
  136. 172. How do we design for this? <ul><li>Use Bartle’s types as a yardstick </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does your game offer Killers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...Achievers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...Socializers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...Explorers? </li></ul></ul>
  137. 173. How do we design for this? <ul><li>(+ standard game design) </li></ul>
  138. 174. Summary 5/5 <ul><li>MMO == Community + Game </li></ul><ul><li>MMO != MMORPG </li></ul><ul><li>MMO Designers do more than just extra balancing </li></ul><ul><li>Many different types of “Game Designer” on an MMO </li></ul><ul><li>Use Bartle’s-Types to check your game-design </li></ul>
  139. 175. The End <ul><li>MMO Games rock! </li></ul><ul><li>Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>amartin @ ncsoft.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://tmachine1.dh.bytemark.co.uk/blog </li></ul></ul>
  140. 176. Extras... <ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MMO as “Location in which to Socialize” (pub) </li></ul></ul>
  141. 177. Extras...
  142. 178. Extras...

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