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Building social communities in online games

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by snacktime, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. snacktime

    snacktime

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Posts:
    2,043
    Looking for resources on this that I might have missed. Not basic 101 stuff but off the beaten path, insights from specific blog postings, game features you have seen that you think really nailed it.. Gameplay related not external community stuff.

    To give some more context I'm working on what specific approaches create games with high socialization among players. I've played games that have it. I've worked on games that have. But even on games I've worked on that nailed it, I still can't provide a bullet point list of ya that's why it worked.

    Genre doesn't really matter. If anything I think looking outside the genre of the game I'm currently working on likely has more potential.
     
  2. BlankDeed

    BlankDeed

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Posts:
    282
    What have you tried? I'm sure you've done an e-mail list already?
     
  3. snacktime

    snacktime

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Posts:
    2,043
    I'm pretty much reimagining the entire genre I'm in. It's a 3D persistent world. It has a high level strategic part of the game that replaces the typical land ownership and harvesting/crafting. It uses more typical mobile energy based mechanics that encourage shorter play sessions but several times a day.

    That context creates the conflicts. Both pvp and pve. Where it then becomes a more traditional 3D combat game. But I'm borrowing a lot of typical mobile loops again here. Being able to send help, using mechanics that don't really require direct communication. So it's a lot of you get to know people by their repeated interaction with you, but you never meet and talk to them. You will see them on the battlefield but not like you sit there chatting avatar to avatar.

    I've basically created two games in one. One that I think can drive mobile scale populations. And then use that to have a constant selection of battles for the 3D combat. The approaches current persistent worlds use is IMO incapable of creating large populations outside of outliers. I'm looking for the formula that is repeatable, something that could become more the norm 5-10 years from now.
     
  4. galent

    galent

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Posts:
    1,070
    Interesting concept, without drowning in the possibilities, my thoughts are:

    1) Planning communities online is just like planning real communities. Its no less complex than planning an intentionally globally diverse community. You need clear, simple rules, and order.

    2) Don't (ever) try and facilitate "free speech". what I mean is communication should be naturally limited to the context of the game. Focus on what you want, then build in the limitations in communication / interactions. Just like language itself, context needs to be established (and in this case enforced). English is probably the worst language to articulate an idea, so if you can contain English speakers then you're on to something.

    3) Community planning needs to account for all the social issues. You and your games will "wear" the problems publicly if people playing do negative things you never intended. That said you can't plan for everything, so my recommendation would again be to build in natural limitations (ie. remove words entirely, and use symbols / emojis to communicate)

    People are problem solving machines, once in a social competitive environment they will not contain their imagination to your "intended" gameplay. Competitive social environments naturally create the "US" and "THEM", so be very careful in your system design not to leave your games open to truly degenerate solutions.

    Just my thoughts.
     
    Antypodish likes this.