The MMOBomb Staff Crafts The Top 5 Frankenstein's Monsters Of Game Development
Every MMO(-ish) game out there is doing a Halloween event, so we thought, "Why can't we?" Of course, we don't make games, but that doesn't mean we can't dream -- even if our dreams involve twisted monstrosities of game development ...
Each member of the MMOBomb staff was asked to provide their "Frankenstein's monster" of gaming, merging two companies to build the better developer. Take a little of this, a little of that, some gameplay here, some inventory management there, and voila! Gaming perfection! Or at least something that should be entertaining to watch as it shambles around and knocks everything over.
Take a look at our twisted creations below and let us know what you think! And feel free to leave your own monster mashups in the comments. We promise not to bring out the torches and pitchforks.
My dream developer team-up isn’t based so much on what game they may or may not make, but on how much fun it could be to watch them try to work together due to their unique development styles.
I’ve talked before about how Blizzard and Hi-Rez differ in their development technique. Hi-Rez is a more open-doors sort of organization. They offer players the chance to test the game at the earliest stages of development and the game players start off with will certainly be vastly different from what they end up with at launch.
Blizzard, on the other hand, tends to keep their development process a bit more under wraps. Players rarely get to test a product that couldn’t technically launch as is the first time they see it.
Now, to be clear, I have a lot of respect for both companies and am intrigued by their different processes. It could also be really fun to see what kind of game these two would come up with. But the real reason I’d like to see them work together is because I think that if we were able to watch them during the process, it would be the most entertaining thing ever. And, because of their wildly different development styles, whatever they come up with has the potential to be either a massive disaster or the greatest thing ever made.
In my mash-up, I take a team that is fantastic at storytelling and team them up with a team that has delivered fun, addictive gameplay but totally failed on the story end of things before … in big ways.
First we bring in Square Enix. Their history with not only the Final Fantasy series as a whole, but more specifically in the MMORPG arena, shows that they can use the medium to tell compelling stories. They've even been able to achieve this in a very consistent way through periodic (and timely) patches to Final Fantasy XIV. Compelling characters, great backstories for villains, races that feel distinct and have a history and culture of their own ... all these things are there, and (unlike my next company) were in the game itself. If you wanted more information you had other resources to visit, but you didn't have to do so to understand and feel attached to in-game characters. They've even delivered some very emotional moments throughout the game.
On the flip side, let's bring in Bungie! Storytelling? Not their strong suit, to say the least, when it comes to their flagship Destiny series. From missteps in lore being outside the game to poor implementation when they tried to move story content into the game, Bungie needs Square Enix's assistance here in a bad way.
What they can do, though, is create interesting environments, a very cool science-fiction setting (which gets us something other than fantasy-based games), and deliver addicting loot systems and feelings of achievement.
While Destiny 2 arguably has taken some of that away in favor of streamlining the game for a more casual audience, I feel like Bungie is learning now that they do have to include some of that harder-to-achieve content. To me, teaming these two companies up could lead to a fantastic blending of great story and fantastic, addictive gameplay.
Zach: Extreme Bio
Two companies fusing to create one game? Definitely would love to see Digital Extremes and BioWare Austin create a Star Wars MMORPG. Digital Extremes would work on most of the gameplay mechanics such as movement, gun/saber play, progression, etc, as well as the monetization.
Bioware Austin would focus on story crafting, choices, and alternate gameplay mechanics to complement what Digital Extremes did. What that would create is the best and most authentic Star Wars MMORPG ever.
Troy: Rito Labs
As the lightning flashes on this dark and stormy night, my creature comes to life. The other developers grab their pitchforks, for I have created the ultimate monster, and they should all be afraid. Together my monster and I shall conquer gaming. Rito Labs has been born!
Combining the power of Riot Games (League of Legends) and Phoenix Labs (Dauntless), Rito Labs is the perfect beast from which to unleash the co-op monster hunting game of our dreams. Phoenix Labs brings a great art style as well as obvious love and experience for the co-op monster hunting genre, while Riot brings a team of developers experienced in cranking out more variety and uniqueness in their characters while making ALL of the money doing it.
For me, one of the biggest weaknesses of Dauntless was lack of variety in bosses, a problem a MOBA developer like Riot helps fix by brainstorming and bringing to life unique bosses with interesting mechanic kits. It wouldn’t hurt for the Riot half of Rito Labs to make player abilities super fun and interesting as well. Combine more fun mechanics for both players and bosses with the co-op action Phoenix Labs is already building, and my creation will soon take over the world! Now I just need some loot boxes …
Whenever I do an interview with Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games, he makes me want to play Path of Exile. The gameplay, the update schedule, the monetization -- they even do loot boxes pretty well! Everything about it sounds amazing!
The problem is, I just don't like ARPGs. So much useless loot. That isometric view, which I've never really cared for. And they actually cause me pain in my hand from all … that … clicking.
So if I had my way, I'd merge GGG with a ArenaNet, which does make a game that I like, Guild Wars 2, but with whom I've had issues with … well, its update schedule and monetization, which GGG is great about. Then there's how Anet seems to struggle at times with how grindy and repetitive it can get. Granted, that's an element of most MMO-style games, but PoE at least admits to being grindy and repetitive and knows how to implement it without turning off fans. As Wilson said, “content re-use is baked into our DNA.”
That's one side of the coin, but how could GGG benefit from merging with ArenaNet? My favorite boogedyboo: inventory management! Seriously, is there a law that requires ARPGs to incorporate a Tetris-style bag system, where things are shaped a certain way and must fit perfectly into your storage space? Give me GW2's “store all collectibles” button any day, in any game, and I'll be a much happier (spawn) camper.
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