Michael Hall (hall@kronos.arc.nasa.gov)
Tue, 16 Jun 1992 01:00:40 GMT

Over in rec.games.pbm is an interesting discussion about a PBEM game
called Olympia. Much of the discussion is about the DESIGN of the
game, since it is currently being play-tested and is evolving. The
game has a lot (hundreds, I think) of players, roaming around in
a medieval world, interacting, trading, fighting, learning, forming
alliances, etc. There are also NPC's. To call it a role-playing
game is to short-change it, I think, because the game design emphasis
seems to be on the dynamics of a world on a large scale. The philosophy
is to have each player make their own goals. The parts of the game
currently undergoing design-churn are the economy, alliances/stacking,
and skills. I don't really know too much more about the game -
I'm just picking up bits and pieces from the design discussions - but
I thought I'd just point it out to everyone.

One interesting thing is that they are moving towards the sort of
hierarchical allegance structure that I had advocated in the
design of a space empire game with hundreds of players. I think
they are on the verge of greatness in game design, but on the other
hand some aspects seem to be rather clunky, and the programming "wires"
are sometimes visible and annoying (e.g., it seems that players must
be referenced by numbers.)

I don't think that I'd want them crossposting over here, though, as
the traffic is quite high and I doubt if we could train them to
crosspost only design issues... so don't suggest it to them.

Anyone want to post a in-depth design critique of Olympia? (Now that might
be something to crosspost, if you can stand to get flamed by hundreds
of loyal Olympiaheads.)

Michael Hall            \"But is it heaven or Las Vegas?" -one of the few lines
NASA Ames Research Center\I can make out in the Cocteau Twin's title track song
hall@ptolemy.arc.nasa.gov \_Heaven_or_Las_Vegas_