[MUD-Dev] integrated character webpages ala Black and White creature pages

msew msew at ev1.net
Sun Oct 15 09:57:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


--executive summary version--

People spend days of time creating their characters, getting equipment, 
traveling the world, taking screen shots, having wild experiences, and 
experiencing a virtual life!  Many of these people lack the technical 
skills to create a webpage, upload it, maintain it.

Web pages have become the de facto source for community news and community 
archives of the online world.  Even with in-game books, people still create 
tons and tons of material on the web.


A goal should be to allow the class of casual non technical gamers (the 
biggest untapped creative market) to be able to participate in the 
community by giving them seemless integrated tools/methods for them to 
generate content and tell of their journeys.   This is not to say they 
should be out there on the vault network creating stuff there, but saying 
MMP games should provide some method to allow these non technical users to 
put information about their character and their character's experiences on 
the web.

Being able to show your friend your character on the web at work, or over 
at their house, or sending them an email with the url for them to look at, 
is a HUGE plus in terms of "spreading" the word about one's game.



--longish version--

Black and White is going to have web integration in their game in a very 
interesting way.  The creature, whom you chose to represent you in the 
world, is going to make its own web page!  That webpage is going to be auto 
updated by what the creature experiences and tons and tons of stats about it.

The creature is going to take pictures of things it finds interesting.  And 
going to detail its exploits and exploration in the world!  (url to video 
where Peter Molyneux talks about this 
idea:  http://tvmedia.ign.com/media/pc/bwects014.mov  (top level 
http://pc.ign.com/news/25673.html  has his 30 min talk in quicktime format)


To take this a step further, the thought is that ALL future MMP games 
should have something like this.  It would be REALLY awesome to have a web 
page auto generated for you.  Something like:


<companyDNS>/<gameName>/servers/<serverName>/<characterName>

www.verant.com/everquest/servers/rathe/FrazzleFoo


Lots of technically advanced people make their own webpages and have 
pictures of their character there and have their items listed out.  They 
have stories of their character.  And tips on how to play the game.  These 
pages are HUGE community building devices.  There is nothing like going to 
a page and seeing how others play the game and seeing the funny things they 
write about or what items they have or where they have explored or where 
they hand out or to see what the heck this game that john is raving about 
is.  (ie all suits of the four types of players can get information from 
this PLUS the casual gamer can get info about his pal john)


Yet all of these things are pretty much impossible for the folks that don't 
know html (and that seems to be a pretty huge number). Let alone how to ftp 
their screen shots and such to a webserver and get that server set 
up.  These are the casual gamers and casual computer users out there.  We 
want to have some way to include these guys in the community and have them 
start contributing.


I have had lots of people come up to my gnome on everquest and ask if they 
could take pictures of him in his robe and they have given me items to hold 
so they can get that "special" shot.  I asked them what they are going to 
do with them and most responded with "you just look kewl I wanted to get a 
picture of you.".  c'est la vie!   If only we could seemlessly allow all 
these people the ability to just toss that picture, that they just took, up 
on a webpage with a comment.

Most people seem to really go bonkers with making their character look 
different than everyone else.  Being able to showcase this automagically 
would be wonderful.

I can imagine having pictures of the character up on their generated 
page.  Listing of equipment, places they have visited, monsters they have 
killed, stats, stories, screen shots etc etc.


Yes this is going to take some storage space and logging but I can imagine 
wonderful things such as the "Elite rabbit killing club!"  you must have 
killed 3000 rabbits to get into the club!  Or some other silly things.  But 
it is these semi silly things that players will spend hours and hours on 
just to get that "medal"/"badge of honor" :-)  Give the players more data 
and stats for which they can form organizations out of.  Such as:  you can 
never have killed a Treant to be a member of the Druid Circle!


And yes this will require some additions to the UI to allow people to 
say:  upload this file to my page.  Or make this shot the image of me on my 
page.




I think the web is uber community builder.  Many people that play in these 
games make web pages dedicated to their characters.  They make movies and 
tell stories.  They show off their equipment of their characters.  They use 
web pages to show the "pinnacle" of power of specific classes.  Newbies 
flock to the higher level folks for questions and just to look at them and 
see what equip they use. They put a message board up and all the non 
technical people of the guild just come area able to chat and give their 
opinions via the web!

Further, the web allows for people to be "in game" while not actually being 
in the game.  You can send email messages to your guild mates, check out 
the latest guild news.





Having great automated and seemless interaction with one's game and the web 
seems to be a great feature.




msew









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