Back in March, inspired by Jonathan Coulton’s Thing a Week, I committed to writing at least one vignette a day about OtherSpace for 31 days straight. The result? This collection of short OtherSpace fiction.
It’s time to do it again!
Exercises like this have a few great benefits. First, they let me get my brain back into the ground-level storytelling elements of OtherSpace, instead of all the time I spend mostly looking at things from a stratospheric view. Second, it provides creative content for the blog. Third, it might encourage others to write their own stories. Creativity as a contagion! Fourth, these glimpses into the OtherSpace universe might draw more people to get involved in the game.
For those wondering about National Novel Writing Month in November, though, I’m sad to say that I won’t be participating this year. I’d like to, but Catherine and I are planning a trip to the Virgin Islands around Thanksgiving time and I just don’t want to put that kind of time pressure on myself with everything else that’s going on. Let me know if you’re giving NaNoWriMo a try, though. I’ll cheer you on!
That’s the sentiment someone shared in a discussion on the MUSH the other day. Despite the fact that OtherSpace gaining 450,000 players like the popular multiplayer space sim would be amazingly awesome, this comment wasn’t intended to be complimentary.
Dominion is an extension – call it an expansion pack! – of the basic OtherSpace crafting system, designed to allow players to go beyond simply making personal weapons, armor, and gadgets into the realm of macro-crafting – building on their professions, becoming business moguls, and maybe even shaping their own empires.
To the extent that you can use the system to create corporations, I suppose it is like EVE Online.
But the truth is, it’s not a fair comparison. Honestly, the real comparison that detractors should be making is something that probably will cheese them off even more: Dominion is much more like a Facebook game, such as Empires & Allies or Mafia Wars. You’re using limited but replenishable resources (Saga Points for OS, “energy” in Zynga games) to grow your holdings and you can’t do it all on your own. You need help from other friends who play the game. So, OtherSpace Dominion is much more like shaping a metropolis in Cityville than it is like zooming around the galaxy, blowing people up for fun and profit in EVE.
I don’t consider this a bad thing, either way. Roleplaying MUSHes are a rarity these days. A MUSH that provides a Facebook-style game with a text interface? I think right now that makes OtherSpace one of a kind, and something like Dominion might make our MUSH even more attractive to potential players who fall under the Socializer/Achiever/Explorer quadrants of the gaming archetypes.
We might trick all these Farmville players into joining a *truly* collaborative social online game.
Wouldn’t that be great?