Are MMORPG's Creative?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | 16

As most of us grow docile and weak from a culture that doesn't demand that we slaughter our enemies, we're also becoming more whimsical and creative. How many of your grandparents' or parents' classmates in grade-school wanted to pursue a career in art? Probably not many because art can't kill Nazis. In the 'Age of Weird-Ass Cartoons', as we'll be called by future historians, shouldn't some of this neo-renaissance originality persist in the MMO industry?

Not really, it seems...


Sure, some independent games venture outside the orcish path, but games, especially online ones, tend to steer wide of unproven approaches to genre and storytelling. What was the last game you played that didn't borrow heavily from lore, vocabulary or visual style that was established by TV shows and movies? Bungie allegedly had hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on their next big thing since they ripped off generic science fiction, and what did they produce? Even more... generic... science fiction. Destiny is an uninspired pool of pig vomit, but it was made for consoles. Naturally, you must assume the stumbling toddlers buying console games likely haven't ever seen Starship Troopers.

It's okay to be inspired by things you see, but great artists and writers don't simply mash up their favorite things and check out. I can only conclude from this that there are no great creative minds involved in the development of game concepts. I mean this in the most insulting way possible.

Some people crave generic...


And in some cases, I may be as guilty as anyone. There will always be a space for knights slaying dragons and rescuing damsels, but that shouldn't be the only fucking space. I mean, Mario has been doing that since the beginning. A plumber who spits fire and jumps on weird blobs to devastating effect is far more compelling than some dude in armor who is capable of fantastical particle physics. This doesn't mean that World of Warcraft needs a hopping plumber class... That's the opposite of what I mean.

What these games need is a creative director whose genius borders on complete insanity, like Pendleton Ward who borrows heavily from popular inspirations, but remains serially un-generic.



Whether or not you'd play a wacky MMORPG created by a madman is irrelevant, though we may get halfway with SotA, people inside and outside of the industry are starting to notice that the thousands of creative professionals employed by the industry simply aren't... being... creative.

Read in a thick Japanese accent for best effect.
"To some, it might have seemed as though there wasn't a wide variety of software at E3, and as though many people followed the same direction to make their video games. I believe this is a revelation of creative immaturity on our part as creators in the video game industry."

- Shigeru Miyamoto (possibly a samurai?)

How do we 'fix' this? Probably fire.



As a side-note, I'm opening up to allow guest contributors, so if you have something too long for a comment let me know. Unbridled hatred required.

16 comments :

  1. I'm sure Raph Koster would have some creative and original game ideas. The problem would be getting people to financially back it.

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  2. Who knows. I see more generic shit on kickstarter than original concepts.

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  3. Well you've answered your own question then. 'How do we fix it?', Gamers need to be educated to better tell the difference between uncreative uninspired crap and quality. Good fucking luck...

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  4. If that were true, games like SWTOR which have zero originality would have been cheaper to develop. Your example, "FPS" has been done a bunch of times, so I don't think it even qualifies as more creative than tab targeting. Where is the MMO where you solve math problems to PK people? Besides EvE, I mean...

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  5. Yeah, burn it with fire. It is a lot easier than waiting for today's populace to wake up and smell the good game. They too busy jizzing on shit that looks better than it plays with instant gratification mechanics to spend more than five minutes thinking about, god forbid, what happens in the game if I go down this plot line instead of that one?


    OMG, more than one plot? TOO LONG DIDN'T PLAY.

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  6. I'm not sure how I feel about scripted plots in a MMORPG. Isn't the whole point that anything could happen because people are random? Like, the plot would be what happens to you in the game that day.

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  7. "Emergent gameplay" right? Set up the systems and let us go nutso.

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  8. Go back to playing MUDs. You know that you won't get the PK you're after with graphical MUDs and yet you keep thinking you will. That is a working definition of stupid.

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  9. I think RP-lite sandbox games with robust lore allow for organic encounters with other players more so than any other game.

    Most current games however have almost no RP possibilities (instead everyone has the same internet personality), no satisfying lore (nothing to motivate you) and they are themeparks where everyone follows the painted lines on the ground to direct you towards the carrot dangling on the end of the stick.

    I was watching people stream wildstar when it released and when I saw that you can turn on a bright line to guide your character to the quest objectives I immediately made up my mind about the current state of MMOs.

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  10. You are right, I was thinking more along the lines of a single player game, don't know why as the topic is I Hate MMORPGs :P


    Although all of the stuff, minus the plot, still does apply to the short attention span of people playing games these days, MMORPG or not.

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  11. It's not the lack of originality that made the development of SWTOR so unreasonable expensive. It's stuff like hiring voice actors for 200,000 dialog lines in three different languages. (Source: http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/20/ea-spent-only-200m-to-make-star-wars-the-old-republic/). Cut the fluff and they could have done much more with $200M. But it's EA, the biggest pile of crap on the entire planet.

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  12. EA does things with a completely unsustainable level of manpower. They are also evidence that 'suits' still make decisions about games when they're not actually gamers.

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  13. MMORPGs are to cookie cutter, what happened to games like UO? 99,999% of MMORPGs are made fore carebears. Lets see some risk, EvE has it almost 100% done, the bad thing about EvE is it feels like a bloody job. Even players call it the spreadsheet MMO. Elit Dangorous looks interesting, like the features of EvE wit fun added. No disrespect meant towards EvE players, if anyone took it that way.

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  14. Can you edit that for me Mig. I put fore instead of for. :D

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  15. They killed Bullfrog and peed on Dungeon Keepers grave

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  16. I can't edit it for whatever reason. You may need to repost :D

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