Thursday, March 18, 2010

Polity Games

Jeff Johnson here has been pondering how to occupy his time between reading my books:

After having read a number of Asher’s books about the Polity Universe, it occurred to me that this would be an excellent backdrop for a massive online game. Much like how World of Warcraft brings people together online to interact and battle monsters, I think a similar game could be fashioned for the Polity Universe, albeit much larger.

The first place to start is the character that the player would use throughout the game. One could choose between playing the game as a human, golem or war drone, with different advantages depending upon which was selected. Then select a few specialized skills and place personal touches on the appearance of their character. Once in the game, the player will have to rely on those skills to survive, gain additional points to increase their current skills or gain new ones, and of course earn credits to purchase equipment.

During game play, the player could travel to any number of planets within the polity, primarily through runcible gates. Once there they could interact with local inhabitants or deal with the local fauna. Depending on the location, a number of different scenarios could be open to the player. On some worlds, the player could engage in battling the Prador, while on other worlds they could hunt down separatists. For example, the player could opt to travel to Masada and help the rebels fight against the Theocracy government, all while dodging hooders and gabble ducks.

As mentioned before, it would be a large universe within which the player could explore, preferably a large number of planets with vast areas to explore and interact with fauna. Among those, the planets of Spatterjay, Cull and Masada would be an absolute must. Space stations such as Elysium, Miranda and Ruby Eye could be destinations.

Throughout their travels and battles, the player’s character will gain experience that will help boost their skills to higher levels. Should they choose to join a faction, their exploits can earn them a higher rank. While not required to join a faction upon first entering the game, the player will have the chance to work for ECS, one of the Hive minds or even become a separatist.

Of course there is one problem I can foresee should such a game become available. When would I ever sleep again?


Anonymous said...

It would work, it would totally work

Xanares said...

Hehe yea I've had many thoughts in that direction too, but I always come to the conclusion that multiplayer online games are too time consuming, both to make and to play.

I'd rather see a May Payne like one-player game where you take the role of Cormac or Keech.

Unknown said...

I could definitely see it working however I think that there should be more classes like a scientist, some sort of criminal, and other races like catadapts and ophidapts. I think WoW suffered from its lack of classes in my opinion. Heck, you could even be the Prador.

Unknown said...

I'd hate to see it become a wow in space clone like so many games. ST online does it :(

Since the Polity universe is more or less open and free for citizens to do as they want just do away with a class system at the start. If you want to be better at something train for it and become it. 'Dapt's could be sorted out by genetic alteration when you wanted to do it.

I've love to see a game set in the Polity universe, if it was an MMO then I'd like to see it go more freeform like Eve-online has done rather than the standard MMO format.

Anonymous said...

It may not be an online role playing game but I have pondered such things as well...

Traveller is a generic science fiction game that you can use for a variety of settings. Most of the bits and bobs I put together for the site linked above were just for me and my friends and the game we were playing but I threw them up on my website for other gamers out there.

There are more than a few things I would swap about with the rules now but I generally don't go back to stuff like this when we have moved on to other games.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

pitch it to Cameron after he's read a few. then tell him the stipulation is you have to choose the music for it, you have to let Roy Andersson direct it with Wayne Barlowe at his side if it becomes a movie, and then you need a few million bux for your great idea.

cherried out war drone headed ophidapt with coiled coral taffrails and sphinx figurehead on a spider version of Catal Huyuk would be pretty fun to run. i'm forgetting the mini blowtorch dendrites above and below. ok ready.

Mark T Croucher said...

Playing a lot of this genre of game I would say that it would depend solely on the developer. I have just finished the current content of Star Trek on-line and have to say that with all the plot lines they can draw from and decades of enrichment through species/races and technology the game sucked bum.

Unknown said...

Neal, just saw this, pretty cool I think. Soon we will become cyborgs!

Xanares said...

The problem I have with the MMOs is that they never really center the gameplay around the lore.

It's there alright but just as a backdrop that almost noone cares about and the occasional lore hint is almost always an excuse to create a big fight-fest.

A fight-fest is best described by imagining a big rock star giving a free concert in a super small place like Malta. Everyone on the island goes there and it's utter chaos, result: maybe fun for 5% but no one really cared much about the music.

Then again, if someone like Blizzard did it, it would at least be well done and patiently developed.