What is the best approach to game mechanics, for medieval/historical MMO
game, when speaking about historical events and time flow?
Easy part is the start, that could be some predefined year and
universe-sate. But what about time flow, and events.
There are tons of approaches but I’m interested mostly in those, that
would allow The Game work as educative material, that would allow
explore and learn history, feel/understand the life, that was back
Summing up: what would be best approach for game universe design, of
historical MMO startegy game, that could serve as history lesson about
early to late middle ages in europe. I would like to see your
suggestions to what should have most accent, what could ruin such game,
what could make gamers enjoy “playing history”.
I have seen many games, where developers was using many different
approaches, like in “Mount & Blade”, all of those “Hearts Of Iron”, “Age
Of Empires”, “Civilization” and many many more, but still, I could not
say, they are educating or very close to reality, but I can’t really
say, what was that, what they missed to get that teaching perk. What are
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I don’t think you can change history and call it education. Maybe in a
loose sense. You could pick characters that are close to these major
players but can’t really change things such as foot soldiers, couriers,
etc, and control events. They have a job to do during an important
episode in history and have side quests that would make them see things
in the area, etc. I’m not sure what you mean by MMO. I don’t think a
really educational game would have a massive amount of players. I also
think adventure games work better, maybe because I am into them. They
are more focused, like history, and don’t generally change the story.
The reward is just moving the story forward. The real problem there
would be that the player would know what was going to happen, so the
side story would have to be pretty interesting.
Its actually a good selling point - historical accuracy - I think it is
more for the initial setting, and the items/gameplay tools that are
available, then you could have historically accurate events during the
game, but remember player freedom is important, and actually modifying
what actually happened is what the players will do for fun.
I think if you kept it to just that, that would be as far as you need to
go with it - then of course study study study… for a game like this,
there could be another position on the team for some guy that knows his
history well, and hes actually the one whos telling the designer what to
Just something silly to say, I often have dreams about games I could
have made :) And I had one about an mmo that was placed in time during
the industrial revolution (historical accuracy would in fact be
important), and one bit I remember you got off the train and this place,
and this game notification came up your character telling you “I dont
want to be here theres no glassmakers in this town.” or something like
that, like there could be some big goods and services thing going during
the game. :) But im pretty sure you just took on the role of an indian,
or colonist or something and you just basicly did what you want, its
just the “setting” was historical.
You have to be careful with historical accuracy, it’s all very well
having a historically correct world and real world events happening in
the background, like the player interacting with the Templars, then
suddenly all the Templars disappear because the king of France has
killed them all.
Not so good if your player character you have spent weeks training and
equiping suddenly drops dead of the plague.
Getting the balance right is tricky.
It’s like trying to put “realism” into space games, nice to have planets
created by physically accurate techniques, not so nice when it takes you
four years to get there.
I am confused a little by your post. Do you want a historically-accurate
game environment to give people a feel for some period of history, where
history lessons are, to some degree, a side benefit? Or, are you trying
to simulate an actual historical event as it has been recorded by
historians? The former is much more approachable than the latter. And, I
would definitely not recommend the latter as a goal in an MMO setting.
You may want to look into the subgenre of serious
games. I’m sure there are
plenty of ideas to be had in that community.
I think your issue may be that you are jumping ahead of yourself. What’s
the premise? You see, people will line up behind any premise as long as
you provide them what the premise promises.
For example, a ludicruous sounding premise that a couple of Italian
plumbers would willingly perform mass turtle and lobster genocide whilst
collecting coins and mushrooms is still something people are willing to
spend hours on… :)
@fireside “Age of Conan”, MMO RPG took interesting approach - they
made a static, fully playable multiplayer RPG world, at the same time,
you could go to NPC and *wait for night*, where you went to same city
but during a night, and that world, was singleplayer, made changes and
finally, you got into fight of whole city, where bad guys rushed into
and you got to kill the leader. Finishing that, you could just move onto
next city, as first city was *finished*. As with RPG, it is easy, as
you carry on your characteristics with yourself, but to do that in
strategy game, would be a challange for developer. This method is good
for telling main storyline.
@rouncerSounds like your were dreaming about something like
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick
:) I agree to you, historical precision could be a good selling point.
@StainlessYeah, I have thought about that. But, if game is strategy
game, characters could easely die and could be replaced. If time would
be fast paced, individual game units could die from natural causes and
born new ones. That could be made playeble, I think.
@alphadogI’m more into telling a history, the way people lived back
then, origins of nations, historical events and reasons, why they turned
out good/bad to one or another side. The thing is, *I’m searching* for
that premise, what objective should such game give player. Maybe, manage
some sort of achievement system, where player are awarded for joining
historical events, that are somewhat aside from main game.
Thanks for fast answers! Waiting for more to come :)
I guess I was trying to ask: do you want players to experience history
or affect/change history?
@alphadog The game should be educative, that means, they should
experience history is some manner, their actions, should just
affect/change their standing comparing with other players.
I would look at it the other way around.
Start by creating a timeline of historical events in your chosen period,
then look at them and ask yourself “how would the player get involved ?”
Then you have to come up with a game mechanic that allows history to
continue unaltered by the players actions, but still have some target
for the player to achieve.
I suppose you could have a time cop type game.
In 1066 William took his Norman army to England and whipped Harold’s
posterior, the player could be a Norman knight in a key part of the
If he successfully aids Williams campaign, then the timeline is
If he fails, then the timeline is damaged affecting the players score,
William still wins the battle, but not as decisively.
If the timeline gets corrupted enough, game over man, game Over!
Just one idea
@Stainless Yeah, timeline was the way I intended to organize
real-world-history in my study, that I will need to make for this game.
This is good way to look on things from different perspective. But, what
did you mean by “time cop type game”? You mean, without global time
flow, like single player/individual timeflow? Timeline corruption - good
idea. But for now, I need more ideas in multiplayer experience
possibilities. Maybe, all players are in one side, and game is
cooperative only. Hm.
Or the players are organised into two sides (by choice)
Some trying to corrupt the timeline, some trying to protect it.
I don’t know how easy it would be to manage, but it would be really
interesting to try a system where when you log into the game you are
shown a graph of the timeline with the current state of the game shown
as deviations from the ideal.
The player can then choose to jump into the timeline anywhere they like.
So you could have the situation where a bunch of players jump in at
1066, corrupt the timeline and move on to the next major event, which
will probably be the purge of the Saxon’s William ordered (I think that
was around 1087, but not sure).
Then after they have moved on another bunch of players jump in and fix
Going to be a nightmare to control, but could be a hell of a fun game
@Stainless This approach will be hard to implement in (turn based)
strategy game, where players has some sort of towns, cities, resources
and stuff… I need to rethink this, but still, interesting idea, thx.