Budding Universes in a Refreshed Mind

2 min read · Posted on: Nov 17, 2004 · Print this page

A big colourful cloud filled with happiness and energy. That’s how that last ten days felt like. Being a prisoner of monotony of work, this break was my parole. Just enough to breathe life into my dying creative thoughts.

Four extremely long bus journeys which afford sleep in semi-recliner position gave me enough time to mull over my pet project. I realized that the MMORPG is just an approximate term for something I have in mind. Role-Playing be it text based or graphical is only as interesting as the environment. The environment I have in mind is hardly original – Ancient India. Carrying the tradition of RPGs we could invent (or rather discover) races such as Rishis (similar to wizards), Devas (no analogy, except say Elves) or Asuras (say Orcs?). I really don’t know if this would appeal to our audience. This concept is helpful to differentiate participants by trying to identify them with a sub-culture. We, Indians, I daresay already co-exist with different sub-cultures. It’s a debatable question. On a more practical note it tends to provide repeat playability.

I would like to clarify that my pet project named Agony will essentially involve sub-plots and multi-linear gameplay. In my personal opinion, purely immersive playing with infinitesimal pathways can get quickly boring. This would also mean that we get to make a universe with its own physics/economic laws and a decent storyline. And lest do I forget, engaging 3D graphics (no we are not recreating “The Matrix” here ;) ). The biggest giveaway would be the “creator” mode in which you can perform level editing. Not having played a single MMORPG myself, I do not know if any game server supports this. But to me, game servers are nothing but persistent finite state machines. This makes them suitable for rapid prototyping of user-made levels. This is one experiment which I would definitely try out.

Regular readers of my blog would notice that my research is slowly creeping into my regular blogs. This is was not forced and it seems it is far more common than I had imagined.

Time to switch to other more worldly matters. The organization in which I did my NGO project Janaseva Sisubhavan (designed by me :) ) is getting greater media attention than ever. NGO project is basically a part of my MBA programme in TAPMI involving social work. It must be one of the most important organizations in social work in Kerala. I promise to add more pictures of Kerala in my gallery soon.

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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