Over the weekend I took sometime to think about what makes a good MMO (massively multiplayer online) game. After giving it some thought and jotting down various combinations I decided that 5 points stood out for me more than any others.
- Gameplay Variety
- Release a “finished” game
- Build a thriving economy
- Make it easy to meet individuals / groups
- Focus on the game and its story or theme
There is alot of reasons why these are very important factors when making an MMO game, I will shed my reasoning on them below:-
No one wants to do the same things over and over again, sure somethings might be so good that you’ll want to go back and do them again but generally speaking repetition is bad. Content should be varied, extensive and fun. Take for example quests or missions, players love doing these so they should be involving, entertaining and rewarding.
Some may hail this as un-important, however in the eyes of the viewer i.e. you player, its not un-important, how they perceive your game and build a trusting relationship with your game will massively effect there willingness to spend. If you do not feel right to them as a game or you have a distinctive lack of coherence or un-polished / un-finished features, they’re likely going to shun parting with any cash on your game.
Building a thriving economy within the game is a great way to build chatter and community, it also creates a mini game in itself, players love trying to grab bargains on in game items or trading there well earned items for cash. Allowing a free open market is always better as players will interact with it much more deeply.
This to some people is the most important factor when building an MMO game and I thoroughly agree. To really gain the title of an MMO you need to be pushing the boundaries of the MM (massively multiplayer) aspect of the title. You could be doing this with lots of intuitive ways and reasons for your players to interact. High levels of social interaction will lead to a deeply embedded user experience, to the extent that they don’t just come on your game to play your game, they come to meet and chat to friends or enemies. That social retention of ”something fun to do when bored” is a massively important string to be able to pull for an MMO.
For instance, your making a game with a gangster theme, yet your releasing new features which devolve the general theme or are working away from criminal activities, your doing something wrong. The players you have like your game because of your theme, they wont come to play a game titled up gangster game and then see that its actually a spin off of pokemon or what not. Make sure you always try to build valuable new features, that add value to the game as it is already and always be relevant to the theme of your game. If you start to divulge in oddly themed additions you will start to distort the clarity of user experience on your game and perhaps evantually there whole perception of what your game is all about.
These are just a few things I think are important when making an MMO game. I’d be interested in hearing about your ideas or concepts so please leave us a comment.