Games Of Tomorrow Built By Players Wiki-Style
According to Sim's creator Will Wright and MS Xbox team head J. Allard, most of tomorrow's computer games will be built by the players, not by big budget departments.
(Spore sample world)
Wright's newest game - Spore - will allow players to take over any part of the experience, not just the protagonist. Players should be directors and producers as well.
"(Gaming) is the only medium where we yield control of the protagonist. Let's yield control of the director--and the producer," said Allard, a vice president at Microsoft. "We're going to take on the Wikipedia model. We're going to take on...the open-source model, if you will, for gaming."
Considering the fact that Wikipedia is a non-profit foundation, there seems to be a lot of discussion in corporations about how much money there is to be made in letting consumers do the work of personalizing their experience. The personalize-your-phone ring-tone market brought in more than $600 million last year. Tivo lets you tailor what you see, iPods let you pick the place you watch it. All at a price, of course.
Spore will allow players to control a species as it evolves from single-cell organisms all the way to interstellar space-traveling "Galactic God," creating the appearance of the species and, later on, the very planets they inhabit. Teams of programmers, game designers and artists take much longer than 6 days to create a world; it's cheaper to let the inhabitants do the work. Each player's creations will be uploaded to the company and then downloaded to other players.
Microsoft's Allard also said that the Xbox 360 will increasingly encourage developers to let players add on to worlds and even sell their creations through a central Xbox store system.
The basic idea of letting players build their own games started offline in home-brewed Dungeons and Dragons style gaming environments. Computer users transfered this idea online into Multi-user Dungeons (or domains) in the late 1970's, running on university computer networks and then on dial-up bulletin boards. Ultima Online is the oldest massively multiplayer online game, introduced in 1997.
Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson did as much as anyone to popularize the idea with his 1992 novel Snow Crash. In the novel, he refers to the online characters that correspond to real individuals - he calls them avatars. Here's a description of an online scene; note the importance of personalization by the user:
The couples coming off the monorail can't afford to have custom avatars made and don't know how to write their own. They have to buy off-the-shelf avatars. One of the girls has a pretty nice one. It would be considered quite the fashion statement among the K-Tel set. Looks like she has bought the Avatar Construction Set (tm) and put together her own, customized model out of miscellaneous parts. It might even look something like its owner. Her date doesn't look half bad himself.
(Read more about Neal Stephenson's avatars)
Take a look at a unique online environment - an online multiplayer church - see Church of Fools. And don't miss Rapture of the Avatar. Read more about this story at CNet News. Read a brief review of Spore.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/3/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )
Related News Stories -
Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...' - Edmond Hamilton, 1926.
Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...' - Neal Stephenson, 1992.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'
Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'
CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'
Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'
Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'
Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.
Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'
Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'
Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'
Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'
M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'
NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'
Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'
Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories