MMO Development Lesson #37

Create memorable moments. It is impossible to make every adventure in your game memorable, exciting, and unique. And, frankly, it generally isn’t a good idea to try to in an MMO. However, you can create incredible moments for your players and purposefully distribute them throughout the experience so players experience highs as they play the game. Distribute these moments so players will encounter them regularly and they will remember them and be carried through your world happily.

Remember the MMO Lesson series? It’s back now that I have some time on my hands. Check out the other MMO Lessons!

5 Responses to "MMO Development Lesson #37"

  1. Was very nice to see a new lesson on my RSS Feed, been too long. ;)

  2. Some publishers/studios actually set up “epic moment” teams for many of their AAA games/franchises. These people exist to analyze and playthrough games and specifically set up memorable/exciting/terrifying/anxious moments for players. Think of it as UX for the gameplay (instead of the interface).

    Think of the first 10 minutes of the first Dead Space. You’re moving through the dimly lit corridors and you see a shadow race around a corner. It’s a “false scare” moment. Nothing was actually there…just a shadow intentionally placed to grab you eye and get your heart racing. It’s not really gameplay – no combat takes place, no reward is given. It’s just a moment of gameplay that catches you off-guard.

    A little later, a monster scurries above you in a vent. You can see and hear the monster scurry. Nothing happens this time, either. However, for the next several minutes, players check the vents the come across more carefully. By throwing in false/real moments regarding environmental triggers, you train players to constantly look for events to occur – even when no event will.

  3. [...] your baseline quality bar and make that realistic, then create moments of extreme quality (see: Lesson #37) that the players will [...]

  4. izodius

    The above example of Dead Space is spot on. Gamers can name moments, MMO or otherwise, that they will never forget. I was a teen when Resident Evil came out – and there was fairly limited press on it at the time. I will always remember 2 things from that game “master of unlocking” and when the dogs burst through the windows and chased you down a hallway. So I suppose the mini-lesson there is that you can create memorable events that are both favorable and unfavorable.

  5. Tim

    w00t! Just got your email.

    /me rapidly puts RSS feed back to place of prominence!

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