19 August, 2010
Over TheInternetCrashed.com, I wrote a pair of posts about Cyberpunk as an MMO genre.
Since these are arguably about MMO development, I figured a few of you might find them interesting.
Some more developer-specific thoughts for the audience here after the jump.
Note that I posted the “terrible” version first. I wanted to spur some discussion, and there’s nothing like a bit of controversy and contrariness to draw people out of the woodwork. Obviously, people who care enough about cyberpunk (and likely MMOs) to read a site like that are going to come to the defense.
The first interesting thing is that there are a few opinions about what cyberpunk really is. I advocated that cyberpunk is essentially dystopian in nature, and a few people disagreed. (I later wrote a comment that postcyberpunk (like Ghost in the Shell) is often not dystopian, but at the core cyberpunk itself is a very depressing setting.)
The other interesting thing is that people were ready to say that these were challenges, not really reasons why it’s a bad idea. While I appreciate the enthusiasm, and while I don’t necessarily agree with my “terrible” reasons 100%, I think one needs to be careful here. Saying that obstacles just need to be conquered may lead to not taking those obstacles seriously. Now, obviously, I’m not going to get strenuous arguments from the readers about why cyberpunk is a terrible setting for an MMO, but a good designer does need to put some critical thought into the negatives as well as the positives of a design aspect.
Anyway, if you have thoughts about cyberpunk as a setting head over to TheInternetCrashed.com and leave a comment. For this blog, let me ask this question: What do you think would be a difficult literary or cinema genre to translate to an MMO? What would be the biggest obstacle? How could you work around that obstacle?