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?
Games like OtherSpace aren’t for everybody.
They require the sort of person who:
* Likes to read.
* Likes to write.
* Likes to experiment with cause and effect.
* Likes to fly by the seat of their pants, crafting dialogue in real-time.
It’s like a LARP – live action role-playing game – in that participants assume roles that evolve over time. It’s like a tabletop game in that the game’s staffers act as referees or “dungeon masters” for the participants. It’s like theater in that the participants are actors performing roles – sometimes dramatic, sometimes comedic, and sometimes tragic.
But LARPs may meet once a month or so. Tabletop gaming groups might get together once a week. Theater groups may put on one or two shows a season.
OtherSpace is online around the clock every day. Our participants come from all over the world. Events occur in real-time. One day in the real world equals one day in the game. When major story arcs are in progress, missing a few days might result in returning to find the universe fundamentally changed or, at the very least, embroiled in some kind of crisis that potentially affects where your character can travel. So, above all else, you’ll find that OtherSpace differs from all these other forms in that it requires a commitment of attention, creative effort, mental flexibility, patience, and time.
That makes it an acquired taste for a rather limited audience.
However, if you’re willing to make the commitment, it can pay off in the satisfaction of creating a memorable character who experiences epic space opera adventures while making friends with strangers from across the globe.
The discovery of an old OtherSpace website incarnation led to the unearthing of this list of characters, from circa 2003. We had a pretty huge group involved in the game way back then. See if you recognize any of the names after the break: Read more…
It started, simply enough, with a question: What might be a draw for veterans of OtherSpace to return?
I thought about Saga Point rewards, but that just smacks everyone who has stuck with the MUSH through thick and thin right in the face.
Handing out special Action Cards occurred to me, but that’s just something else worth Saga Points and, again, would insult everyone else.
So, then I started getting away from thinking about what I should use for bribery and instead I pondered: What drove them away in the first place? Read more…