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Author Topic: Steam MMOG...?  (Read 12582 times)
5tephe
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« on: March 09, 2007, 01:05:12 am »

Now, I've never heard of one, but this site caught my interest:

<a href="http://www.multiverse.net/index.jsp?cid=0&scid=0">Multiverse</a>

Especially this page, (about 2/3rds of the way down):
<a href="http://www.multiverse.net/games/built.jsp?cid=2&scid=1">Upcoming Games</a>
They're calling it "Victoriana Online".

They don't have any links, or contact details, so it is hard to say much about them. However, to me it looks like they are simply aiming at a re-creation of Victorian times (London?).

So my question is this: How would you envisage seeing a Steampunk MMOG?

I have some ideas, but I'll let you comment first.
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2007, 01:08:24 am »

Rather than post a shameless plug I'll just say I have a very tangible view of what a steampunk mmo would look like, any who are more curious can simply search "second life" in the forums and read my posts.
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Aetherscapist
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2007, 01:23:38 am »

There is a Firefly MMO in the works which I'm very excited about...not exactly Steampunk...but not far off...

Don't worry, as a Game and Simulation Programming major, if there are no good Steam MMOs in development by the time I graduate about June of next year...there will be.
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2007, 01:29:43 am »

Lets make one.

Thats what Multiverse is for, so anyone with an inclination can make their own MMO.

We have artists, storytellers, and 3d modellers here on the boards. Multiverse's software is the engine and provides all the basics you need to develop an MMO from, without the high entry bar.
(yeah, I've done a little research on it. in fact, I have the Multiverse server and client partly setup on one of my computers at home, an ongoing project to see if I can teach myself to make a game from their framework)
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ProfDelphiniusTucker
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2007, 01:48:07 am »

I have some experience in Gamedesign and Mapping if my services will be of any use.
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5tephe
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2007, 01:56:12 am »

Ah, well then Stiletto.

That's kind of where I was heading.
I am a Project Manager in a web development company, and the idea is intriguing. I figured I would just start things off by having a conversation about it first.

See, there is not much point in doing anything unless you have  united vision, and a plan for development. Otherwise you just end up with a half-formed game interface, and a dozen splinter groups each with their own vision. And no completed Steampunk Virtual Online World.

So, what should such a world be like?

My first comment is: Travel.

A steampunk world would be different to almost any other, in having no quick and easy way to get from one spot to another. No easy 'teleporting' to different 'islands'. You can't just jump instantly to the Indian Colonies, for pity's sake! But then again, Travel would be part of the adventure itself! Phineaus Fogg, anyone? Nemo? Travel would involve ocean liners, and luxury yachts, and working in steerage, and dining in the railway car, and each leg of the journey would be an adventure in itself!

So, what else would be different?

What world history would be current?
What works of fiction would be considered fact in our world?
What science would be the same, and what would be different?
How would Aether work?
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2007, 02:13:48 am »

I hope I didn't jump the gun, then, in mentioning it.
I just sat a mention of Multiverse, and I've been kicking the Multiverse software around for a couple months now in spare time, looking for inspiration, and I got excited. 
I think the travel hook is excellent. Perhaps working your way up from steerage (or even stowaway) on your first voyage, to first class later on in the game, to your very own airship even later on...
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5tephe
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2007, 02:41:38 am »

Stiletto- not at all jumping the gun.

If you could act as our Multiverse Resource, answering any questions that people have about the system, that would be great.

One of the world's screenshots look quite nice: <a href="http://www.multiverse.net/games/gallery.jsp?cid=2&scid=2">Black Ice Tales</a> (down the bottom of that page).
They have put some effort into the design of their interface, with those skulls and stuff.
I imagine our one, covered in cogs and pistons.

Re: travel- could you look into the idea of ships, airships and railway cars being their own 'locations' in the game. You could book passage between other locations, and then the Ship would spend two days (game time) getting there. You would setp from the London location, onto a location of "HMS Victory" and then be locked into it for two game days, and then the HMS Victory location would appear next to Madrid, and you could step off into that location.

Sound feasible, or am I misunderstanding the way the system works?

And ProfDelphiniusTucker? Sorry, didn't mean to ignore you before. Yes, any offers of help are GREATLY appreciated. How do you see a Steampunk MMOG world?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 02:44:28 am by 5tephe » Logged
Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2007, 02:47:33 am »

I regret that I may have misled as to the extent of my Multiverse knowledge...
I'll work on learning more in an effort to act as a "Multiverse Resource" but at this point, I know about enough to set up the demo stuff it downloads packaged with, and see the basics of what it'll do.

But yes, I'm fairly certain that location-based structure would be quite feasible.

Basically what Multiverse is, is a functional MMO engine devoid of content.There's resources to help with the scripting to make the game do what you want, and to help with making the skins, to make the game look like you want, etc... But mostly, they give you the engine and you take it from there to wherever you want to go. With a little knowledge of.. i think perl or python(?) you can make it do a lot of different things.
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MrFats
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2007, 04:31:13 am »

Well...if you need some ideas storytelling, I'm here. I would be honored to write text for such a game, if you all require my services.
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2007, 08:42:10 am »

If this idea gets off the ground, I'd like to help with 3d modelling. I also have some knowledge of PERL, though I haven't used it since a couple of years.

EDIT: I just found out I can't actually run this thing, so I'll have to retract my offer.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 06:38:23 pm by RPFolkers » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2007, 09:23:41 am »

There is a Firefly MMO in the works which I'm very excited about...not exactly Steampunk...but not far off...

Don't worry, as a Game and Simulation Programming major, if there are no good Steam MMOs in development by the time I graduate about June of next year...there will be.

*dies* I am a browncoat before anything elce.

as for steam MMO's I figured I'd mention Neo-Steam:
http://ns.clubhanbit.jp/museum/movie/list.asp

I just wish it was in english so that I might figure out what it's about.
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2007, 04:56:09 pm »

It's a peculiar thing, but I find that games industry people have quite a high percentage of Steampunk fans amongst them.  Such a shame then that there haven't been more Steampunk games (though I know of a couple in the works).

I'd like to ask first and foremost the main thrust of the gameplay in such a game - is it combat based levelling?  Character based skill tests?  Is it more Puzzle Pirates or Everquest?  More Eve Online, or Star Wars Galaxies?

The usual MMO is a combat levelling system, where you go out, kill monsters, get XPs and level up.  Ultima Online varied this slightly in that you got better at your skills by using them - whether it was combat or not - and your stats migrated to accomodate your skills.  If the Steampunk MMO were to happen, would you have combat based levelling?  (I assume that is the default Multiverse option, but I've not looked into it at all).  What monsters would you destroy?

If the game has a significant time spent travelling, then what do you do on the vessel?  Do you have Skies of Arcadia style attacks from wandering monsters?  Perhaps attacks by piratical airships/submarines/steamships?  Do you require people to work towards the upkeep of the vessel (boiler stoking minigames - more like Puzzle Pirates)?  Or do you stick to very quick travel a la Everquest and WoW where boats get to their destinations in real life minutes, and all you can do is stand around and chat?

So many questions - I do apologise!
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arcane
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2007, 05:19:58 pm »

I'd love to see an MMO set in the Arcanum world, or at least a similar setting.  A mixture of technology and magic, much like a steampunk version of Shadowrun.
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2007, 07:28:05 pm »

As far as i can tell, multiverse could be taken either way, and I think either way could be very entertaining. Perhaps a mixture of both would be ideal...
A. Social aspects and puzzles as the focus
I could see crafting and social skills being a major focus of the game, and creating your own gadgets/vehicles/weaponry/etc... being more prevalent than merely finding or buing usable items. I'd like to see the travel be a major gameplay piece as well, and puzzles and such. I would see combat as being not a central focus of the game, perhaps to such an extent (if we're going more for the social aspects than marketability as a power-gamer grinding game) that mobs/wandering monsters would be nonexistent, and even "character levels" could be disposed of in favor of skills in such themes as gadgetry, airships, automata, etc...
So I guess my idea of what I'd like to see would be more Second Life than WoW in a lot of ways. I'd like to have puzzles and minigames and such that revolve around my character working in his laboratory (of course a customizable location, any self-respecting gentleman scientist must be able to arrange his laboratory to his liking) and attending social functions.  And travel would take RL days, and involve repairs/work on the ship in the form of more minigames and puzzles.

B. Combat, "traditional" MMO focus
Steampunk world, mad scientist villains, clockwork and construct/"steam cyborg" monsters, black powder through etheric beam weaponry...
Slightly more self-explanatory, I think.


If I understand what I've read about Multiverse correctly, B would be easier, but either would be very doable given the time and a commitment from a team.
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MrFats
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2007, 08:48:47 pm »

I feel that, like stiletto, these elements are necessary. However, I feel it would be possible to accomplish both at the same time, and create a wonderful world, not just to live, create, and do; but also to fight...Preferably against a large government/organization bent on total destruction and conquest of nothing less than the world!
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Crow
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2007, 08:53:05 pm »

I know it's not MMO but I feel that Final Fantasy VI (or III depending) was pretty steampunk, especially in Narche
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5tephe
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2007, 11:03:53 am »

Sorry- the weekend hits early in Australia. It's Saturday night right now. (And I'm sitting in my study sipping wine and reading the Steampunk forum....)

The solution to the problem is simple in my mind.

<b>Locations.</b> (again)

London, Paris, New York, Rome (As well as Beijing, Hong Kong and Japan)- social interaction and focus.

The Indian Colonies, The Australasian penal colonies, the Great Push West across North America- Combat focus.

Travel (as previously suggested, all vessles are locations in themselves)- Puzzle based gameplay, to speed up journey, or a 'Ship-bound adventure' to distract.


See, if people wanted to sit in their laboratories and invent, they could live primarilly in London, and develop their lab.
(By the Bye, I am imagining a system in which various 'base items' or materials could be combined to create differant machines. A basic clockwork engine could provide tuning power of a regulated speed over a long time, and a steam engine coud provide high power rotation to a wheel, cog or belt. Put a clockwork driver together with a screw and  a wax drum, along with a sound focusser cone, and you would have a phonograph.)

If people wanted to Hack n' Slash, then they could hop on a steamer, and head up the nile, into the heart of Africa....

The control mechanism? Bobbies. English bobbies. Lots of AI coppers in every major city. If someone goes ape and starts a ruckus in the big city, then the AI police decend en masse. The fact that weaponry will be fairly primitive (as befits the technology of the time) would limit the damage folks could do.

Advance would therefore be 'skills based', with both inventors and combatants developing their skills sets.

Not that those would be the only two types of character....
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MrFats
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2007, 02:09:57 pm »

Indeed, sounds interesting.

Class types...hmm..
Combatant
Scientists
Mechanics
Inventors....I'm at a loss right now...But those 4 would obviously differ somehow...
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2007, 06:52:28 pm »

5tephe, thats the kind of thing I was picturing. I like it.
I'd also imagine a reputation, or prestige rating, related to social skills, and measuring a character's influence.
This would obviously be harmed by such things as starting a ruckus and being arrested by the bobbies.

I think there might be enough interest showing up in this project to actually consider doing something real about it.
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2007, 07:23:25 pm »

Just a warning that the amount of graphical content required in even a non-mmo is a phenomenal undertaking.  You'd need either a lot of very consistent art types, or a few very prolific, very consistant art types.  From top hats to laboratories, tigers to cog-engines, that's a lot of art.  Fairly intimidating.
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2007, 08:00:06 pm »

Thats admittedly one of the difficulties of any game, especially a location-dominant style for the game, as the amount of art increases dramatically due to each location needing a distinct style.

However, an indie/freelance team would have a different method of building the game than a commercial dev team readying a game for a fixed date commercial release.

My idea for a plan of attack would be to get a functional primary location, London probably, and use that to get the game working. After there was a functioning Steampunk London (and assuming a developing interested playerbase) I would then go on to add locations one at a time, as "expansion" releases to the game.

This reduces the amount of content being developed at any one time to a reasonable level for a small team while assuring that the available game continues to increase at a fairly consistent rate for players.

Given the nature of a geographically diverse, indie development team, I would say the most viable scheme for distribution of such a game would appear to be one of two options:
A: free to play, support based on donations by players, or
B: free to play, with low-cost ($2-5/month) "premium" support such as special character models and items, nicer/larger workshops etc...

Either way, its not an idea anybody is going to get rich off of, but I'd be in on the project just for the fun of making/playing such a game and the fact that in light conversation (and on my resume) I'd be able to drop the title of "game developer"
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kiskolou
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2007, 11:24:16 pm »

Maybe the world should be fictional, to keep away from looking racist or pro-colonialist.
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2007, 04:02:44 am »

Well, as i have previously stated, i would be more than ecstatic to do the storylines or what not for this project..If that is what people would like
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5tephe
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« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2007, 02:16:45 am »

Stiletto: Prestige is a fantastic idea!
I was kicking around some thoughts this weekend of the type of character who would be able to lead and influence large numbers of people, and wondering how we could do that. Tying it up to a social reputation would be the perfect way to do that. In order to succeed in civilised society, one would have to have worked hard to develop ones influence and reputation. And as always, even a hint of scandal would be disastrous, let alone an actual altercation with officers of the law!

kiskolou: Well, I don't know. I understand how modern sensibilities conflict with the Victorian worldview - and agree with them, of course - but I wonder what could be gained by creating a unique world. Understand that I'm not opposed to it, I just think it needs some thought and discussion. In this unique world, would we invent a continent or two of colonies populated by non-descript NPCs to subjugate? See, exploitation of other nations, cultures and races was a part of the Victorian world. Perhaps a better option would be to create a politically faithful world, but at a strategically acceptable point? Allow the Indian Mutiny to be partially successful, and have a fiercely independent Indian state opposing British rule? Players could join up and oppose the British Empire.
Or is that just opening a worse can of worms, openly fostering antagonism and partisanship?
Hmm.... Discuss. Pose solutions. All thoughts welcome.
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