The Crossing

Let’s all sit down and talk about videogames.

What I’m going to do this week is build one. It won’t be my ideal videogame, exactly. My ideal videogame would be a one-player game, and I’d want to create a world for it all of its own. In this case, I’m going to use the story I’m currently working on as a background, because that makes it a little easier to pull this off.

I’m also going to talk about how I think a multiplayer online RPG should be made (chief goal: please and amuse Marian), because playing Final Fantasy XIV last fall was really great in terms of re-connecting with people I knew from seven or eight years ago, but ultimately pretty dull in terms of personal entertainment (in fairness I trust that the game will eventually be fixed up nicely, but I didn’t have the patience and fortitude to hang around until then).

So to start with, I’ll briefly introduce the world that I’m working with. The group of islands and small continents you see on the map up there is called The Crossing, and I’m titling my imaginary game after it. The Crossing is an interim world, where the great heroes of earth arrive when they die, and through which they may pass in order to attempt to reach the land of the Gods. This will make more sense at length, and in a later post I’ll scribble the map over with more detailed locations, but for now I’ll keep it simple.

You might think of it as a world of gates. All the most bloodied heroes and warlords from human mythology arrive through those gates, and eventually they make their way (or not) to the farthest and most perilous gate, the crossing point to godhood.

So there’s a start. Tomorrow I’ll begin to talk about character creation, and the various playable races and their corresponding abilities. I know that a lot of you guys are gamers too, and you should consider this an open discussion. And for those of you who wouldn’t touch a videogame with a twenty-foot spiky pole, the Hchom Spring/Summer 2011 collection is next up, I promise.


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21 responses to “The Crossing

  1. I’m really excited to see what you talk about! I’ve tried (as many have) to create amateur games before but of course there are just so many challenges. I don’t usually consider RPGs though so it’ll be very interesting to read your take on things!

    • Marian

      Not much of what I’m making here would hold up to an actual attempt, to make a real game, I bet. And I know that some of it is just impossible, resources-wise. Still, it’s fun – I hope you enjoy!

  2. Mr. Man

    Fancy! Sounds interesting.

  3. kinqdom

    this is going to be heca sweet

  4. Sounds awesome. I had a story in my head years ago a bit like your setting, only for me it a limbo-esque world of floating islands. Love the map of the world.

    I often find myself designing games in my head as well, just thinking on how to improve certain games (quite often, it’s a variant on an existing game with tweaks that I feel would improve the game for me personally – like more stylized graphics, better storytelling, different setting. for example, I kept thinking that the Red Dead Redemption team could make an awesome Conan The Barbarian game.

    Alas, I have no knowledge whatsoever when it comes to actually programming games.

    • Marian

      Yeah, I think it’s impossible to play videogames without thinking about what you would change, right?
      You have this world that gives you complete control over everything that happens (more and more so in newer games), and you can’t help wanting to push those boundaries further.

  5. Emma G.

    I would like to Pre-Order the first copy please.

  6. Sister

    One thing I love about your map is that it obviously was once a Pangaea like continent split up by tectonic plates moving apart. Did you have that in mind when creating it?

  7. I used to play Ultima Online (the first mmorpg) waaaaay back in the day and it was great, there were few rules but unlimited possibilities. You could spend your days mining iron, making clothes, taming dragons, or fighting in dungeons. You could kill other players at will and the repercussions were minimal. And then, slowly, rule after rule, they ruined it all until there was barely any fun left. And now all the mmorpgs I’ve thought to play are so limited there isn’t a point.

    Basically, I recommend unlimited options, but maybe a world map akin to the old FF style where you travel overland quickly with random encounters and specific locations to enter.

    • Marian

      I only played some of the earlier, non-online Ultima games – but yeah, I LOVE that shit. Games where you can spend all day baking bread, if you want to, because who cares. Or raising creatures, or whatever, and it’s not all about slogging through levels endlessly. I’ll definitely be talking about that sort of stuff.

      The world I’m thinking of is small enough that there wouldn’t have to be an overhead map – you can walk around it all. Less strategy RPG and more action – you’ll see, I’ll talk about it soon.

  8. Kirk

    I’m not really much of an online gamer (I played only one week of my two-week trial of WoW), but I really dig what you’re talking about here with The Crossing. What kills me about these MMORPGs are all the limitations. I could care less about how big of a world in which I can run around; I don’t need a MMORPG to give me that. It’s the mechanics of these games that bore the piss out of me to the point where I lose what little interest I had.

    This reminds me, too, of a conversation I had with my nephew. He’s OBSESSED with videogames (as was I around his age), and he simply CANNOT grasp the concept of me owning a Wii and not playing games on it from sunrise to sunset. I’d much rather read a book or take a walk or do just about anything besides sit on the couch and start gaming. Not because I’m anti-videogames but because I’ve essentially already played these games before because the mechanics are almost identical.

    Ugh, I sound like such an old man….

    • Marian

      Kirk, I’m like that these days, too, old-man-wise. I have great nostalgia for the games that were central to me as a kid, but now I have a threshold of about three or four (big) games a year, and they better be damn good or why wouldn’t I be doing something else?

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