Happy Thursday! I’m sorry for not posting anything all week but I’m sure inuyesta and snarkologist have been posting regularly so… oh. Moving on…
As previously mentioned, I’m a video game developer working for Carbine Studios in Aliso Viejo. For the last [redacted] years I’ve been working on WildStar, a massively multipler online game (MMO) about magic and space and spacemagic. Today we released a “trailer” for our housing feature in the game.
Housing has always been a sticky issue for MMOs for a variety of reasons. If you put the housing in the game world, you have a major shortage in real estate, meaning only the top players can ever own a home. If you instance the homes in virtual apartments, then you lose the community aspect of people seeing your home, visiting, etc. If you create instanced neighborhoods they degenerate into ghost towns with abandoned houses and the chances of ever seeing a neighbor online with you drops to zero as the server population matures. It’s a tricky issue.
Some games like EverQuest and the 800-lb gorilla World of WarCraft completely ignore the issue and don’t offer any housing. EverQuest II used the apartment model. Other games have tried neighborhoods and other housing instances. They’ve all met with various levels of success and disappointment, but most people agree that some sort of housing is a plus for players, regardless of the challenges involved.
Without making news (at least on this blog) I think the approach we came up with to address these problems at Carbine for WildStar is pretty cool. In fact, I think it is awesome. The video hints at it, while not quite giving it away.