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08/12/2017 - Friday Update #245


This week, we’ve been continuing with our design work on the presentation of the game world and how players fit into it, as making a game – especially an MMO - that’s based on the traditional type of comic book setting has some huge advantages over other genres and settings when it comes to the basic structure of narratives and protagonist interactions.

As an example, the classic fantasy genre that provides so much inspiration for so many games takes its basic world and narrative structure from two main sources – Robert E. Howard’s ‘Conan the Barbarian’ stories, with a lone hero wandering wherever fortune takes him, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, with its group based quest to save the world.
In both cases, the protagonists are shown to be exceptional in some way, and to stand out from the world, which is filled with a cast of background supporting characters.
This translates very well into single player games, but it’s stretched beyond breaking point in MMOs where the concept of the exceptional nature of the protagonists collapses into absurdity through the sheer number of exceptional protagonists all running around the world together.

However, in a traditional comic book setting, the basic world and narrative structure is based entirely around the concept of a huge cast of exceptional protagonists existing together in the same world and their paths crossing from time to time, so even if they mostly appear in their own solo series, or work as a duo, trio, quartet or more, the stories are still written and presented as part of a vast universe filled with a gigantic cast of other exceptional protagonists, making the traditional comic books arguably the best possible genre to create an MMO from in terms of world and narrative structure.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team