14 October, 2006
Finally, a moment to post on here!
Text don’t get as much press as the graphical games, but they are still going strong. Simutronic’s GemStone IV claims the title of the longest continuously running online game, with a healthy population paying between $15 to $50 (yes, fifty dollars per month for a text game) to enjoy the game. And, of course, Iron Realms is doing well as one of the few western games with a robust pay-for-perks business model supporting them.
So, your task this weekend is simple: Think of things that text games do better than graphical games. Now, look at how you could possibly bring that to a graphical game, if at all. One brief example from me after the break.
One of the best things that text games do better than graphical games is descriptions. In a text game I can add a lot of personalization and description to my character, and I’m not limited by the game’s rendering engine or art assets. If I want to be impossibly tall, I don’t have to ask an admin for an adjustment or hope that no one else picks a character as tall as mine. I just have to put “Psychochild seems impossibly tall” in my character description. Only a game like Second Life can share this flexibility. Unfortunately, you are still restricted to the game’s limitations, even though you can upload textures and add things like tails or wings to your character. In a more traditional type of game, allowing uploads can damage consistency. The nice thing about text is that if you don’t agree with it, it doesn’t impact you. You can still imagine Psychochild as an average-sized person in your own perception of the game world, even if I see him as impossibly tall.
So, what’s your thoughts?