An update from LinkedIn popped into my mailbox, and this post caught my eye. Having played MMOGs all my life, and then designed one, I started with a formal response, then decided to craft and post it in a gritty gamer format [which took more than 15mins], so here it is:
the extended length of beta is to “educate” noobs, recruit evangelists, spawn protaganists. all these add to the ecosystem of an MMORPG. continuity is an ongoing CRITICAL effort, which has to bypass the lifecycle of play maturity [no more level ups]. clanship is essential to “respect” senior players with street creds – i can’t say how many times i quit a clan because the noobs think they know better, the strategy of teamplay.
the alternate personna of a gamer endorses respect from performance in a game, and consistent performance, i might add. with an assured level up ladder, the gamer works on strategy and skill improvements, then “matures” to belong to a tribe as a respected vet. this isnt any different from a day job, except we wont pay the price of a TK [teamkill] in quite the same way, nor gain respect from our boss with quite the number of rankups in a week.
maps are tantamount to clan domination objectives, but designers fail to “let like-minded clan nuances co-exist” and force them into territorial disputes – there is nothing wrong having multiple camps reside within a space – this is one of the biggest mistakes in game sociology techs make. technology does not a game make, tribes do.
monetization is a cultural phenomenon. the clue is in the details of what is the device and socially-accepted methods of payment. kids DON’T have credit cards. in korea, china, taiwan, malaysia, they have handphones – so how do they pay to top up their phones? even the bus cards are fair game for micro-payment,and every kid has one. therein lies the conscionable dilemma.
understanding the historical culture of a nation of players will also determine the “genre” – hackers, conscripts, grinders, loners, all originate from history, from people of nations. no one should ignore the “nature” of a player [DNA], not any less just the “nurture” in the learning curve [Rules of Play]. that is, IF the game has plans to cross borders. my playmates hail from czech, belurus, taiwan, shanghai, malaysia, australia, singapore, indonesia, isreal, hong kong, england, france, us, and more. we hit the servers at different timeslots to meet each other on the servers, chat, and smooze in the midst of battle. the styles and methodology are so diverse, its an education in culture every night and the occasional day.
perhaps one day, linkedin will be a game genre. see, now there’s a plan.
this is just a gamer talkin…