Monday, March 10, 2008

Helicopters, Dude, Helicopters

When I was a newb, I thought the coolest thing would be a MMO based on a Standard Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt, where you rode around in a military mothership like the Sulaco, and you dropped down to a planet in one of them Cheyenne scramjet helicopter-looking things, with a player-pilot, and you drove through an infested colony in one of those totally kickass looking Armored Personnel Carriers with the big ass tires, and you explored some ripped-up apocalyptic scifi version of a dungeon on foot in Standard Fireteam Sweeping formation with the smart gunner in the back and the "micro-changes-in-air-density bullshit" guy scanning up front.

And the helicopter dude would circle around the place just waiting for you guys to break formation and start running around screaming and dying and begging to be picked up.

Nowadays I think a thing like that would only be fun for a little while, I mean, I think you need a lot of other stuff to do besides missions like that over and over again, no matter how cool you make the missions, but at the time, there was no EQ or UO or anything yet, and I had never played a MUD that was "Virtual Worldy" with people that I didn't know in real life, so it was all just a bunch of "man, you know what would be kickass?" stuff in my head.

I mean, I don't think you could make a pure adrenaline junky thing like that into a WoW or EQ-like type of game with upgradeable machine guns and crafting or "rising through the ranks of the Colonial Space Marines" or anything like that, that kinda shit has nothing to do with what is cool about a Bug Hunt.

That kinda junk would just be a distraction from what is cool about a Bug Hunt.

Y'know, like, the only "crafting" my Space Marine needs to do is to weld some cafeteria tables together to block a corridor and unless a bunch of medals can help me not get my face melted by acid blood I ain't got any use for 'em ahaha.

But whenever new technology comes out, like the multiplayer vehicles in Tribes and UT and SWG, or the helmet-cam supporting stuff from Doom 3 (or whatever that came from), right away I always apply it to my mental model of a Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt, and I think things like "Oh man! Now we can do that Lovecraft Blueprint with the Officer guy in back of the APC listening to all the screams and watching the fuzzy helmet cam screens of his men go black!"

Even though I know the Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt is not a very good setting for a MMO, I mean, its a damn good setting or blueprint for a mission or something, but the Colonial Space Marine stuff kinda gets in the way of extending it out into some kinda "worldy" upgrade-your-dollhouse-clothes game with lots of other people running around.

So you just steal the bare bones of that Lovecraftian Blueprint and you put it in a universe where the upgrade-your-dollhouse-clothes thing doesn't mess it up so much, no prob, right?

Or you figure out a different way to do things from that "upgrade-your-dollhouse level 50 Smart Gunner LFG" stuff, y'know, stuff that supported the themes of Colonial Space Marines, or stuff that the themes of the Colonial Space Marines would inspire you to come up with, which is fun to think about, but it definitely ain't as easy as doing it the other way, y'know, where you don't hardly have to think at all 'cause you can just trace what all the other successful guys were doing, and you (well, supposedly, heh) don't have to take risks with other people's money on potentially bad "cutting-edge" ideas and stuff that won't work out in implementation.

"You're a tracer."

But the truth is that people really aren't even smart enough to notice and understand everything that was good about a thing and just copy it, even when they're the guy that did the original drawing that inspired a million copies, so there's always risks and some dumb luck involved no matter what you do ahaha.

Anyways, I see stuff like the way the Stargate: Worlds guys talk, y'know, "aint gonna have no vehicles" and how they're thinking about adding crafting, and I just shudder, 'cause it reminds me of SWG with no vehicles and no space game, where we ran around in that godsforsaken Star Wars Flavored medieval Ultima Universe, living in the desert and calling ourselves "artisans" and transporting bushels of grain on foot and hand-delivering letters to each other and crap heh.

Even though, at the same time, when I think about the idea of "crafting" in the Stargate World for a few seconds, I realize that all that scientific research and studying alien languages and stuff they do could be considered crafting.

It don't gotta be skinning symbiotes and making snake-skin leather Stargate Jumpsuit armor outta of 'em and selling it on the good ole Stargate: Auction House and shit like that.

Just like the Aliens universe was kinda founded on mining ships and arguments over shares and realistic corporate bullshit and terraforming and stuff.

Which would actually make it a pretty kickass setting for a "standard" colonization-type MMO, y'know?

I mean, they are called the Colonial Space Marines for a reason.

So I guess I'm guilty of the same thing I'm hating on them for heh.

Oh who am I kidding, it probably WILL be gould-skin leather armor ahaha.

Well, whatever, what I'm really trying to say is that we need MMO games with helicopters already, that will solve all our problems AHAHA.

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