Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Special Announcement

Well, I'm not sure how many of you are still around to read this BUT I would like to announce that, as of this afternoon, Frontier's Horizon is now moving! And I want to invite everyone to help me kick it off.

I've decided to make the move to hosting my own blog and with it, taking Frontier's Horizon in a direction I've been wanting to go for some time.

I'll be focusing on interactive storytelling, virtual worlds AND other games as well. And yes, I'll be paying a much closer eye on the news feeds and *gasp* I'm hoping to update at least twice a week! If not more! Can you believe it? That's the plan and I'm sticking to it. I've taken the time away to regroup and refocus and I have a lot of ideas and things I would like to touch on when it comes to the culture, interaction, and storytelling with these game environments.

I think you're going to like what happens over there! This site will stay active and will work as an archive until I get the time to bring these older posts over to the new site.

Hope to see you on the other side at where the new explorations are about to begin!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Still Kicking!

Just a quick post that I'm STILL around and this blog is STILL active... sort of. Though I love virtual worlds a great deal there is still that pesky RL to deal with. Job, kids, an aging computer, and a dam collapsing during the flooding earlier this month, has really taken its toll on my ability to have any kind of virtual fun.

I hope to ease that in the near future!

Still around, still pushing at the horizon!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Blatant Filler

I've really gotten behind again and I apologize. Just got back from a week long period of work related travel and the following "catch-up" phase that always occurs. Just way too much happening right now and not enough time to do it all in. I'm sure I'm the ONLY one with THAT problem... More Ren posts and another podcast on the way, I promise!

In the meantime, to prove that I'm not gone, not yet, a news story that I found interesting.

Matrix-style Virtual World a Few Years Away

More to come by the weekend!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Paradox Experiment, Issue Six - Taking the Lead

I realized pretty quickly on the newspaper littered streets of King's Row that if I wanted to get solid RP while gaining levels, it would have to come in the form of a team. No more running around the streets solo and hoping to chance across someone willing to interact. I was curious if I took the lead with RP reasons for forming a team would other players follow along? After grabbing a radio mission to rescue a Dr. Sophia Jones from Hellions, I scouted through the comlink and asked a few individuals if they were free to help rescue a doctor.

The time was fairly early in the morning for me and definitely not peak time. However, within a few minutes Ibn Asad fired back he could give me a hand. This was followed quickly by another response by the firey fey named Quickfyre. As we gathered in front of the mission door, I offered up the usual Ren reluctance and inexperience. "Do we just, uh, charge in there now or what?"

Followed by Ibn's response of, "Pretty much."

Of course, we took the Hellions down handily and moved on to bringing in a Council villain by the name of Archon Lucretia. Again, handled easily. As we went from mission to mission, I gathered a few more players to the team and we eventually took on a bank mission. Motionblur, Mad Dasher, and SonicGirl joined in and Ren bounced upward in security levels quickly.

For the most part, however, the focus for everyone was on the fight. There was little interaction between missions and little in any sort of character building RP. Both Ibn and Quickfyre responded in-character to certain things and I was pleased to find none of the players were of the RP-hater variety. Overall, it was a fantastic group! However, as I played along and kept notes, the focus continued to be goal driven; next door mission, next level, XP, get a bank mission, get a raptorpack. There is nothing wrong with this, of course. I've spent quality time doing just this with other characters. But, I was conducting an experiment for strong RP.

Now, some would say this is the nature of the beast. There are no rewards whatsoever for RP built into the game design. The rewards that ARE there come from doing EXACTLY what this crack team was doing. Bust bad guys, get points, get levels. How could a game offer rewards for good RP? I've seen voting systems where players get nominations for good RP. Players may only get a set number of votes per a time period, for instance, two votes a week. Once a player gets so many nominations, they are rewarded something for their effort. What other systems are out there?

Perhaps this is just the way MMO's are going and I should get over it? Perhaps this is such a small niche in the overall customer base there is no reason to design solid game content for it? However, I would like to see something put forward. Just because it's the nature of the beast does not mean the beast cannot be retrained. Am I just being unrealistic to say such a thing is possible?

Regardless, Ren jumped upwards in levels quickly from the team effort. He discovered that if you do enough good work the City rewards you with a shiny new raptorpack! And no, I did not RP him putting it on and flying into a building wall by accident. I just ran on to the next mission and jumped in the door.

But... I thought about it.