There Can be Only... Several...
As I've previously mentioned, my project (Clockwork Aphid) has been bubbling away in the bearded cauldron that is my head for quite some time. As a result, I have quite a bit I want to say about it. I want to blog about the process of building it because I think it might be a good exercise to go through, and also because I think it might help me work the whole thing out. I'm going to talk more about what it actually is quite soon, partly because I want to start talking about implementation and partly because I've been prompted by someone else's project which I suspect might be quite similar. More about that later.
What to do when something like that happens? I think there are two reactions you can to a situation like that: you can feel threatened; or you can feel vindicated. Clearly the second is the more healthy approach, so I'll go with that one. This is probably for the best, since there are other parties who seem to be coming at the same problem as I am. I mentioned at the end of my post about World of Warcraft that I wasn't the only one frustrated by the static nature of its world, nor the only one attempting a solution of sorts. Specifically, I was talking about ArenaNet's upcoming Guild Wars 2. They'll probably explain it a little better than me, so I'll let them.
Now... clearly they have more resources than I do, which could potentially make me feel a little bit like I was staring up at a shear rock face. A rock face covered in bees. Happily, though, they're going about it in a different way, though some of our goals are the same. Guess that means I'll just have to come up with some pretty creative solutions, huh?
It should be noted that what they've essentially done is polarise the world. Parts of it are shared, and these are the parts with the villages you can actually save (or fail to save), while other parts of it are instanced, which means you have your own copy. So if I kill the dragon in one of these parts, it stays dead... but only in my copy of the world. The dragon in your copy is still alive and kicking until you personally cut its head off / stab it up the bum / jam some opal fruits down its throat. They talk more about the shared, dynamic parts of the world in their blog here and here, and the instanced personal stories here. I encourage you to read just about all of that blog, in fact. I found much of it fascinating and quite insightful.
While, I'm talking about Guild Wars 2, though it is worth taking a moment to marvel over just how stunning those visuals are. The comparison I find myself making is that World of Warcraft looks like it was made out of clay:
While Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, looks as though it was made out of china:
Now before you cry foul and point out that GW2 is a much newer game, it's worth taking into account that this china like quality was also true of the original Guild Wars:
Obviously some of this has to do with the different graphics engines being used, but I think that actual quality of the design is definitely a factor as well. It's evident in the 2D promotional art, as well.
I'm also quite taken with the difference in the mythology of the two games, but perhaps I'll talk about that later. Mythology will be quite a relevant subject, later.