Home > Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > OtherSpace: Some resolutions for the new year

OtherSpace: Some resolutions for the new year

Last summer, I lamented that I was losing faith in the ability for text-based games to thrive in the current online entertainment climate.

Now, as we begin 2011, I’m doing what I can to adjust my attitude. Trying to get with the program. Keeping the faith.

The first resolution: I want to see OtherSpace thrive again, but I have to revisit what I think constitutes a thriving MUSH. It’s not having 100 people online on our busiest nights, although it’s great to have a crowd that size. No, the game thrives when the players that you do have – 5, 15, or 50 – are actively involved in a story that keeps chugging along. In-game events are frequent. News articles keep giving the game world a steady heartbeat. Channels are alive with chatter. Forums are bustling with short stories. The Wiki is getting filled with roleplaying event logs.

The second resolution: I’m going back to basics. I’ll be running major events at least once a month, treating OtherSpace more like a community theater project than a game. We were at our best in the past when we could build a sense of excitement and anticipation for what comes next. I’ve tried to encourage players to do their own thing, to create a perpetual roleplaying engine powered by their adventures. Some players are very good at it, but others get frustrated with their peers, bored with the plot, or distracted by other things.

Back in the early days of OtherSpace, I owned and accepted the fact that the game would succeed or fail based on my involvement. Serious involvement – not just sitting on the sidelines, watching other people run things in my absence. I’ve been satisfied in the past few years to let others manage OtherSpace for me. I can’t allow that anymore. Time to take back the reins and get us back on track.

The third resolution: I’m making the most of social networking. Twitter and Facebook are amusing distractions, but I want 2011 to be the year that I really turn them into tools that work to the advantage of OtherSpace. If possible, I want people playing OtherSpace on Facebook before 2012!

The fourth resolution: I want to turn a perceived weakness into a strength. MUDs and MUSHes are niche games, they’re antiques compared to today’s popular graphical MMORPGs, but they succeed in channeling a player’s creativity and imagination in ways that World of Warcraft and EVE Online can never hope to accomplish. They’re retro. People seem to enjoy playing the old Zork games on the web. Why not give a MUSH a try?

I firmly believe that if I go back to basics, if I focus on the stories, retro elements, and the creative appeal of the MUSH, that we’ll see a resurgence of interest in the genre.

We celebrate the 13th anniversary of OtherSpace in June. I’m counting on a lucky year!

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  1. Elwyndas
    January 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Lucky 13! My resolution is to be more involved with my character Jasra Beaulieu. So looking forward to the changes. Actually it is the way OtherSpace changes that keeps me around, even though it may be hard to keep up with what is happening on the grid. Ha, I found a CD with Zork on it recently. Was thinking of taking it out for a run.

    Don’t give up OtherSpace, Brody. Where would us lurkers hang out?

    • January 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Not giving up. Thought about it in the past, but I’m afraid the world is stuck with this game for a while longer 🙂

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