Wednesday 1 April 2009

Analogies To Illustrate MMOG Concepts: Part 2

After Part 1, you should all be completely clear on what an “MMOG” is now. Let’s get on to the advanced stuff, then; there are lots of MMOGs out there, how can you possibly judge them against each other, or decide which is your favourite? Obviously we could say “there are many different MMOGs, with different settings, that focus on different aspects of MMOG gameplay” and go from there, but only 0.47% of people on the entire planet, those with doctorates in Really Advanced MMOG Thinking-About-Ness, could even begin to comprehend such a difficult concept. I bet you like sandwiches, though, right?

So let’s say each MMOG is a sandwich. One is a ham sandwich, another is a cheese sandwich, a third is a low fat Hoisin duck wrap with pak choi. Some people might like one but not another, other people might like all of them, but everyone’s got a favourite. Apart from people who like all of them equally. Or people who don’t like any of them. So that’s MMOGs. Except MMOGs share many common features, so let’s say the ingredients of the sandwich are more like the different types of gameplay, cheese is PvE, ham is PvP, Branston pickle is the economy, and salad is end-game raiding. I dunno what Hoisin duck is, maybe The Ability To Have Eyebrows The Same Colour As Your Hair, but that’s not important right now. And the bread, that’s the setting of the game, so fantasy is sliced white bread, and sci-fi is a wholemeal baguette, and steampunk is a panini (only nobody is serving panini at the moment because the sandwich grill is broken). So maybe you like just ham, or just cheese, or ham *and* cheese with salad, but no pickle, only there aren’t any games with no pickle at all, but you could probably find one without much pickle and scrape it out and then eat the sandwich. Or if you really like pickle, you could add extra pickle to the sandwich, but only certain sandwiches where the sandwich-maker specifically allows external pickle, or in some cases perhaps even supplies users with a selection of condiment sachets (distributed to customers via otter) for user-generated seasoning. That’s what different MMOGs are like.

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