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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

GDC 2008 Diary Morning Day 2 (tuesday )

I wanted to go to listen to Jeffrey Steefel at Turbine since i am still impressed by the social system that was built into Acheron's Call. It was pure genius to use experience points as a carrot for encouraging "old" players to help out new players. The social system was pyramidical. Each player chose a patron. The patron on top became the guild leader. This meant that each patron had to earn the trust of his of her followers, creating a guildstructure based on individal trust in layers. This is probably a bad explanation, but it is so many years since i played AC. You who built it and played it know what I mean. Anyway, this is why I was so curious about listening to:

Gaming's Future Via Online Worlds
Speaker(s): Jeffrey Steefel (Turbine)
Time: 10am - 11am
LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE developer Turbine has been quietly implementing some best-of-breed virtual world and social networking elements into its fantasy MMO for some time, and the company's passionate about evolving the multiplayer experience based on lessons on user engagement, connectivity and user-generated content that have come out of the virtual worlds movement. Executive producer Jeffrey Steefel will provide some exciting examples of how users in any sphere can respond to and invest in these innovative ideas.


I listened to the speech, but part of me is wondering if I missed something, because after some initial comments about the nature of virtual worlds MMO's and sandboxes, and the sweetspot between structure and freedom, Stefeel went on to describing how Turbine in the LOTR have enabled players to use web pages. Ie tied in a wiki like structure of player created information into the game. He also described the music system where player can choose an instrument and play it on the keyboard.
This was of course very cool, and I clearly had the wrong expectations when i started to listen. An interesting feature though that was highlighted during the QA, was that players could through multiple character gather "destiny points" that could be used on a character of choice.

In the break i ran into 3 exceptionally talented people:
Mike, Chris and Raph
and Mike had the courtesy to take some time off his very busy schedule to give me a reality check on an endeavor I'm planning to undertake.