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[PREDICTIONS]: Playable Worlds (v0.01a)

Gamingtodaynews1f - [PREDICTIONS]: Playable Worlds (v0.01a)

Premise: Having followed Koster's work alongside other industry noteables (e.g., Wright, Pardo, etc), and paying careful attention to recent breaks from stealth, related financial news, and of course, the early flutterings of PR wings, I believe I have "sussed out" what Koster intends to bring to market… only not as you ever think you've seen it.

Consider this my "working theory". As such, it is a living concept that can (and does) warp in new and interesting directions as new information comes into light:

  1. A long overdue offering of 'game as a service', with traditional concepts like "shard", "world", "server", and "zone" fading into the background thanks to load balanced cloud farms that can deliver immersive depth of persistence in new, more efficient and cost-effective ways.
  2. A revenue model that is based upon consumption (costing on those time slices is becoming easier by the day), not time. Perhaps lightly sprinkled with vanity MTX, perhaps liberally saturated with "Whale Bait" so it can be FREE to everyone else from the get go, or a one time purchase a la No Man's Sky. Never anything that affects mechanics, nor progression speed.
  3. A corresponding (perhaps procedural) generator for design AND mechanics that, being randomized (with entropy, Raph, please? There's an API now… death to RNGeebus!), can assure the working appearance of truly unique quest content. Yes, as in "the likelihood that someone will have the same quest as you is VERY low" (if not on a core/story rail, raid, world encounter, etc)… but no, not the repeat of the hologrind™. A living, breathing, nearly unique experience, which is what the "SaMMObox"* does best.*
  4. Design, gameplay, and interactions that provide mystery as activity, experience as entertainment, both of which likely depend upon potentiality and preference that are generalized to the market, but unique to the player. Providing manifold paths of POSSIBLE game experience by motivation type (be that as defined by Bartle, by Yee and Quantic, or any other psychographic set).
  5. "Classes" are either "You are what you do" not "You are and that means you do <checklist of role variants>". I hope the former.</checklist>
  6. Design loops that focus on service, not servitude.
  7. Story that is present, but not pesky or pushy.
  8. A baseline of robust community, reputation, and world building tools that support emergent experiences over designed ones.
  9. Steam-Engineer-Mecha theme is my best guess. Fantasy is saturated and trope-y, Undead/Zombies are as well. Paramilitary or global dystopia might be smelling salts to the genre but given today's world, probably not wise.
  10. (Then again, being able to contract and stand up certain digital training experiences for certain bodies of interest in armament and defense could be much more lucrative for much less fuss.)
  11. An absolute and utter LACK of 'golden ticket', 'gambling', or 'surprise mechanics' – IOW, the only gamble they'll ever ask you to take is to give them a try.

So, there you go.. my prediction.


Edits as news and drifting bits of PR fluff arrive (or not, I'm moving, starting a new engagement/client series, and well, Reddit has it's own rabbit holes).

r/PlayableWorlds is my new favorite lurk spot. I recommend it.

** – my term, a coined slang that combined Sandbox and MMO but sounds a lot like "sandwich" because we have been telling these folks to get in the kitchen and make us one for DECADES… and I think, if we're exceedingly fortunate, they're about to actually do it.

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