Dual Delivery

so. here’s something fun that i fantasize about. with the development of this fun web-based rpg stuff, wouldn’t it be fun to play a 3d console game version too? at the same time?

as long as the game mechanics are relatively balanced, why couldn’t you play in a browser, passively, during the day and actively at night? why can’t big central-server-based mmog’s build out site that access the database content?

i mean. that’s all the games are, right? databases.

and, i don’t mean the minimal interactions folks have talked about for years. i mean, full-fledged, xp-earning romps in your browser playing equally with your character in the 3d game. beat down someone in pvp in the browser gives you credit for beating down that person in the “traditional” game.

if you want to talk about a persistent world, open up access to the millions and millions of cube workers during the day who would love to passively advance their avatar.

me? i’d love to build an xbox live arcade game that supports one of my web-based games. (yeah — “one of.” we’ve got 3 more after the current one we want to do!)


6 comments so far

  1. […] hmmm. i dunno if any of that made sense to you guys. maybe you’ll understand more here soon. […]

  2. Troy Gilbert on

    One question I have about mixing active and passive play mechanics: in a multiplayer environment, what do you do when the two meet?

    I can definitely see how a game could be multi-modal — and it’d be very interesting if more games did this to appeal to different audiences — but I don’t quite see how you’d handle the scenario where, for example, a “passive” web player goes into combat with an “active” console player. Sure, they can be driven by identical stat engines and combat result tables, but the active player is going to assume that timing and locality are factors in the combat, while the passive player won’t have any control over timing and locality and will rely on stats or strategy to execute the combat.

    My concern would not only be one of balance (it’s hard enough to balance mechanics in the same domain, let alone across domains) but one of aesthetics: does a real-time AI “perform” the role of the passive player in the active player’s game? Is there some kind of “summary” AI that translates the active player’s actions into passive gameplay?

  3. m3mnoch on

    yeah. totally with you there.

    so, what i’m thinking is that every wow addict i know talks to me in terms of percentage increases, dps and a host of other esoteric, quantifiable mechanical jargon.

    those concepts translate over relatively painlessly to the passive environment. following?


    p.s. you’re totally right about flash. i’ve been a huge fan since flash 2.0. and, when the xml remoting stuff came around, it was all i could think about.

  4. Troy Gilbert on

    Okay, so I guess I was thinking more along the lines of a true, action-oriented console game as opposed to a “roll the dice with pretty 3D”-style combat as seen in WOW. Those are likely to be more compatible as timing is less central, but spatiality seems to still come to play — though I don’t play any of the current batch of MMOs (WOW included), so don’t quote me on that! 😉

    I’d like to see some folks exploring the multi-modal approach to game design. Savage played a bit with it, wherein you had an RTS-level mechanic or you could directly control the units FPS-style.

    For example, it’s be interesting to see an organized crime game where there was the whole “tycoon” aspects that could be played passively (organizing money laundering, doing “deals”, loan sharking, etc.) with a GTA aspect for the active components of the theme, i.e. collecting on debts, kills, etc.

    Just like the real world, some folks are managers and some folks are “doers.” Most folks do a bit of both in their daily life, and most interesting contexts require skills in each. I’d like to see games that juggle both.

  5. Andrew Wooldridge on

    I was thinking of a related idea to this – imagine if you had a ‘universal’ character. One that continues to grow and advance no matter what game you play. While scoring big in some 3d soccer game you are slightly improving your stats in your RPG (once you bring your character over) or while winning 200 hands in online web poker you improve your score slightly in that racing game…

  6. Duncan Gough on

    I’ve always liked that about Puzzle Pirates – you help your ship sail the waters but solving some match-three puzzles to get the bilge pump working.

    There’s no reason why a mobile phone game of Puzzle Pirates could just revolve around boat maintenance like that. It’s especially true of a MMO like Eve, where you can get by just on trading. It becomes even more team-based if you can exploit your friends spreadsheet skills, match-three skills and headshot skills.

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