An MMORPG with a scaleable graphical interface that can be run on multiple classes of computer, from an old 486 running Win 3.1 to a high end machine with the Radeon 9800 XT and an Athlon 64 processor, maybe even a text interface like a Mud as well.
This is an idea for the client-side interface to an MMORPG I’ve had for quite some time, and have probably brought it up before.
I do not have current statistics, but believe that there are enough people still running MacOS (not OSX), Windows 3.1, 95, and 98, or using old hardware to create a viable sub-set of the market. There are countless people I encounter with computers that can’t handle the latest graphics engines, but can handle older engines like the original Doom interface, telnet, and other light interfaces.
An MMORPG could be made available on the client side through any of those interfaces, from telnet a-la MUDs, to Doom/Ultima Online class, to Everquest, Asheron’s Call, and the state-of-the-art.
So why not develop a graphics interface that, throughout the development process, produces milestones that are complete interfaces of increasing complexity and system requirements, and evolve perpetually?
That’s the idea, I think it would be cool. The interfaces would be made available as GPL free source, so they could be refined, de-bugged, and ported easier, and so the game could reach all markets, from Windows, to OSX/MacOS, to Linux and the BSDs, maybe even to other Unixen. There is also the console market that could be tapped and could be set up to allow people with PCs and consoles to use just one account regardless of their platform, allowing friends to play together.
The revenue for the game would be made from a subscription service to the online network, and with a much broader market having access to a useable graphics engine, lighter graphics engines that require less bandwidth, the revenue streams have greater upward potential. That, too, is just an idea based on what I know of game networks. A dynamic net caching service like Akamai could be employed. Perhaps even Google, with its huge network around the world, could offer the service.
The game content would come from some pre-existing source, because the level of creativity coming from unique content games these days is producing carbon copy MMORPGs that are getting boring. Content like Rifts from Palladium Books, or Robotech from Harmony Gold.
Questions for you:
- Is this idea of multiple graphics engines for a broader market viable?
- Does anyone have current stats of the % breakdown of Windows editions in use on the net?
- Any other content come to mind?