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WTF do you not understand about steampunk and MMO?

February 10, 2009

Yeah, headline is pretty blatant, isn’t it?  Let’s face it people, this isn’t rocket science.  IT’S A FICTIONAL GENRE.  It’s a genre which you can easily research and pick up a few novels that are set in it.  Crap, you can even go on the internet and find a RPG already set in a very unique universe that picks up on many of the right tones.  (Yes, I’m talking about you, EtherScope.  Feel proud.)

So why do I keep getting shit like this?  What the hell is that?  Is that a Goron on the left?  Are those freakin’ elves?  Did you “Neo Steam” people even look up what steampunk means?

Actually, they did.  Apparently they had to prove it to us that they did do their homework.  Also, I’m not sure what an “exotional zenith” is.  I thought those were reserved for porn sites, unless they’re trying to tell us something?

Remnants of Skystone is a game that really approaches the concept of steampunk better, but fails at their definition of MMO.  “Single player side scrolling adventure” I get.  But trying to call your “co-op adventure play” an MMO is like me trying to sell you this hamburger and call it a feast for 20 people.  It’s cheap and not that filling.  Just because you can  visit someone’s house does not mean you’ve made an MMO.  You’ve made a “I-can-visit-someone’s-house-multiplayer-online-game” or ICVSHMOG.

Sorry, I’m being too hard on them.  Nice game, just not an MMO.  Next.

Ah, The World of Gatheryn.  A game that really is an MMO.  All right, good job there.  It also uses a Victorian era view of steampunk.  Getting closer… It doesn’t have any f-ing Goron wannabies… getting even closer… casual game!  Damn it!

Actually, it doesn’t look too bad for a game that bills itself as casual.  It uses puzzles and mini-games as the main sources of conflict, and also pushes exploration and socialization, the two things I think games need more of in order to cater to all of the Bartle types.

Yet, let’s get back to the point.  The point is that if something isn’t broken, don’t attempt to slap Goron wannabies and furries into it.  People want steampunk at face value.

Of course, most readers would then turn to me and say, “Aren’t you changing up the steampunk formula?”

Yes, but I’m not forgetting the basic tenents of the damn genre.  My steampunk genre is still steampunk, if that makes sense.  I didn’t change the genre itself, just the tone.  Still has the same wonderous exploration, still has the same steam powered weapons and intrigue of your steampunk universe.

That’s how you change a genre without breaking it.  Take notes here people.

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One comment

  1. Hey there, Matt from Flipline here — just wanted to jump in and say thanks for the mention of Skystone, always glad to see people taking notice of the game. Also wanted to mention that we’ll have full two-player missions with the same type of gameplay you get when playing alone: You meet up with other players in houses or town to form your team before heading out — which we’re planning to update on a weekly basis once we finally hit the launch. Our blog coverage is pretty thin on the details, but we’ll try to get more information out there soon. Thanks again for the mention!



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