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My 2 Copper's Worth

Well we're on a website dedicated to MMO's so I'll give you one guess as to what I'll write about. And no it's not mustard.

Author: ivan50265

Episode #3- Intellectual Properties

Posted by ivan50265 Friday July 6 2007 at 11:54PM
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  Heelo again friends, and welcome back to my overly opinionated blog.  First off thanks for your support I do appreciate it and will keep on churning these out as long as you will read them.  Since last column we talked about genres I thought we'd just close out the idea today and talk about Intellectual Properties or IP's as they are commonly called.  Enjoy.

  In my experience nothing gets the forums rolling like the anouncemnt of an IP getting developed for an MMO. Well ok maybe an SOE debacle, but I digress.  When I hear of an IP I like getting developed I get excited and worried all at the same time.  Excited because it's an IP I love like Star Wars or LOTOR, and then come the worry that the company developing it is going to screw it up.  So to make sure they don't I like many other fans go to the website and start posting on those dev forums my ideas of what would make this particular IP a great mmo.  Now of course there wil always be an elemant that will say you've ruined it and that it sucks and devs can't please everybody now can they.  The great thing for dev about IP's is that they come with their own pre-fabbed fan-base, and that translates into hype which is free advertising.

   So the question that invariably enters the old noodle is what makes an IP a good canidate for an MMO? Well now that's not a bad question. So let's take a peek at that. briefly, and then I'll share a few IP's I think would make a good mmo.


1. The most important thing ,to me at least ,is that there is a conflict in the general background of the IP. A great example of this is Star Wars.  The rebels vs. the Empire.  Conflict opens up a great motivation in a game and if the company can make you feel a part of the strugle half the battle is won if not well there's trouble in the not to distant future. Or atleast give a a looming threat. It doesn't always have to be about war.  Looming threats of evil or what have you are just as effective just not as in your face.


2.  The second for me is that the world the IP is set in needs to be an interesting one for me to explore. LOTOR is a great example of this. That's what really attracts me is the opportunity to be a part of a universe if you will that I loved seeing in film or reading about in a book. The trick is making you feel like you are a part of that world.  If I feel like I'm in a shoddy or lack lustre vision of the world I tend to get a little upset quickly and not want to play in it anymore. Any of you ever felt like that?


3.   The third for me is can you add to explore,or further the main stroy or idea of the IP.  Now most of the time this is an easy one to accomplish, but if you pick the wrong timeline to set your game in you can run into a world of hurt finding yourself stuck to the perameters of the exisitng storyline.


4.  The last for me is can you express the original feel of the IP in the game.  Probably the most important of all of these is the ability of the developer to stay true to the lisence and create the same feel of the IP for the player  in game as we saw or read or played elsewhere.  There are soem great examples out there of how not to do it, but I wion't name any names I'm sure you can guess.


And that about does it for my thoughts on what makes a good IP for a mmo.  It's general and simple, and I'm sure we can go into great detail on this, but as this is a hobby and not a profession I like to keep it simple. To close out this episode of my blog I will share with you soem of my favorite unused IP's to date. So without further adieu here's the list.



For those of you who haven't read these books and are between games get to reading. This IP is ripe for an mmo in my opinion.  You could set this game in the future after the books or during the Butlerian Jihad and you could walk away with an intrigueing world with some awesome factions who all have their own little perks.  The storylines for this game can be deep and mystrious or just flat out policital intrigue. This IP has it all, from space battles to robot invasions, to assainations to land wars over a single planet. Tell me fighting over a desert planet with giant worms that could come up and kill you at a moments notice wouldn't be fun because we al know "he who controls the spice controld the universe."






Here's another untouched gem of an IP.  You could set this monster in the future where man wages war against the machines for survival. SHould you be able to play both sides? Hell yes you should. The missions could be down right disturbing from machines infiltrating human bunkers and wiping them out to humans rescuing enslaved family memebers, and what about time traveling instances where you couldn't bring any equipment. Now there's a challenge.  And the pvp...don't even get me started. 





Yes I know Sony is going to come out ith a game called "The Agency", but what's wrong with a little competition.  This IP is the ultimate team based espionage setting.  You always hav four or five people who specialize in different areas infiltrating, kidnapping, or blowing up stuff.  Give us the option to be bad guys as well and then give us an opposing mission goal or two and it's on.  It would be hilarious fun to infiltrate a player run agency and try not to get discovered the parinoia would be awesome.  Let alone the strategy involved in the PvE protions of the game.





Yep I dared to do it friends.  Harry Potter I think would make a great mmo.  The magical world that is Harry Potter's is absolutely fascinating to me at least, and I think it would be a blast to run around in.  Now I'm not saying put the whole thing in Hogwart's maybe the front third of the game and then let us explore the world as an adult after we have graduated school. Give us the opportunity to dabble in the dark arts and we get some good v evil going real fast. The greatest part is you wouldn't even need the main charcters in it if you didn't want them just the instructors at the school and some mainstays in the grown-up world.  You could even get the side game of quidditch which would be a blast in it's own right. 



Well that's my short list as well as my 2 copper on the whole deal. I'd love to know what you think of some of my choices, but more importantly what IP's would you like to see made into mmo's?  Feel free to comment below or send me a pm on the subject and perhaps we'll revisit this subject with your ideas as the subject. Until next time.


Ivan writes:
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