Re: The games are all crap; let's make a decent one.

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 20:58:26 MDT

"Emlyn (onetel)" wrote:
> I know it's been tossed about before, but I'm wondering if the various
> computer geeky extros might like to put together a TH game? Between
> those with coding skills, artists, musicians, and game design talent
> (anders, that's you), we've got the right people. I know none of us
> has a lot of time, but together maybe we can make something. I'd be
> thinking an opensource project (via sourceforge). I'm sure I contacted
> someone here about doing a game some time ago, and never followed up
> (sorry). If there were a few of us, we'd all be comitted (to each
> other).

Been there, done that, wrote the obit. (I think there are still pages
out there touting Project: Von Neumann, if anyone wants to go

If you want to do this, then define what the game *is*, and *is not*, up
front. If it's going to use a 2D sprite engine, so be it - once that
decision is made, there can be no more "wouldn't it be cool if we did
3D" decisions. Likewise, if you decide to do it as 3D, then commit to
it - either get an engine or get someone to write one that suits your
needs - and don't backpedal into a 2D sprite engine. Otherwise (in
either case), you wind up in an infinite loop of suggesting new features
that no one wants to write, exiting only on project abandonment, like
Moderator: What do we want?
Others: X! It would be so cool if we had X!
Moderator: Ok, who's going to do it?
Others: ...
Moderator: Ok, we're not doing X since no one's stepping up. What else
  do we want?
Others: X! It would be so cool if we had X!
Moderator: >_< I give up. See ya.
Others: It would be so cool if we had Y! Yeah! Umm...hello? Anyone
  still out there?

Now, the problem with an open source project is that you don't *get*
that kind of control. This can be fine once the game is developed and
people are playing - few will seriously listen to someone who whines
about the existing game not being 3D so long as it *is* existing - but
in the early stages of the project, when all anyone can do *is*
speculate and offer feature suggestions, this kind of feature creep can
be fatal by preventing version 1.0 from ever materializing.

> I'd be most interested in doing a massively multiplayer online game;
> might even be able to provide hosting. If there's enough groundswell,
> however, I'll back whatever everyone wants to do; I must be involved
> in writing a serious computer game at some point before I die
> (hopefully that's not soon, but hey).

If you want to make a MMOG open-sourced, perhaps the worst problem
you'll face is people hacking the code. For example, VR is only
pseudo-real so long as the artifacts of it being a computer program are
not allowed to dispel the illusion; someone concerned solely with
racking up points will want to reduce the program to what it is, with no
concern for the illusion of reality which that user does not share.

Unless, of course, you want to encourage hacking, and see the effects of
a Matrix-like envrionment where power goes to those who can manipulate
"reality" the best. Which might well fit in with the themes you wish to
explore, though note that this kind of game would devolve to being about
the game code itself, possibly including bots and other low-intelligence
AIs, but not any elements that are in the game only by simulation...

(BTW, I'm only playing Devil's Advocate here to make sure you don't
spend your energies on a project that will go down the tubes. It's
definitely possible to pull this kind of project off, but only with
careful guidance, at least until you have a full game that can be played
without spending significant energies to work around the installation or
the bugs. Either sucess or investment elsewhere would be preferable to

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