What game would you unmake?

I’ve been meaning to take up this challenge of intellectual nonsense for a week now. Paul Barnett posed a question on his blog asking everyone: “What computer game would you unmake for the betterment of mankind?”. That’s a tough one. It would be too easy to say “Vanguard” which has almost ascended to the rank of cliche in mmo discourse. It would also be too easy for me to succumb to my immense dislike for what World of Warcraft has become and somehow wish it away into nothingness. No, that would be too easy and probably a mistake since it has, in a twisted way, done some good for mmorpgs.

Okay, I’ve finally decided on a game that I would unmake. I would unmake Star Wars Galaxies. But, once done unmaking it I would remake it into the game it should have been from the beginning. Now there’s a project I wouldn’t mind sinking my teeth into. And not all of the game was bad. I really like the socializing and community aspect of the game. But not to get sidetracked into listing all the glorious changes I would have made to the game, I want to talk about why I would unmake SWG. It had so much potential. It was the first Star Wars mmorpg! The IP alone was enough for them to drive in an enormous player base right from the beginning. Ultimately the downfall of the game was one bad design mistake after another. How Jedi were handled was so poor and the storyline was botched and molded then botched ten times over. The combat mechanics in the game from the start were all wrong and no miraculously patching some years later could have recovered from the hole they dug themselves into.

What could have been a long running and powerful mmorpg with almost limitless content somehow found a way to implode and lose a huge amount of credit in the mmosphere. It should have been the Star Wars game that everyone would want to model future endeavors after, and not on a pedestal of what shouldn’t be done in a mmo. Lucky for us the Star Wars name hasn’t been tainted too badly. If all these rumors are true we might have another chance at playing in a galaxy far, far away.

Alright, that was my serious answer. Now for a bit of fun.

I would unmake, just because:

  • EA Sports – all of them.
  • Red Steel – Wii launch title, ugh
  • Battlefield Heroes – Squash them in development I say!
  • Second Life – For Darren.
  • Watched the BFH video and a detailed preview article last week. It looks rather fun. 🙂

    (But I’ll probably stick with BF3).

  • I bought SWG at release. At those times I wasn’t on the web surfing as much, and didn’t research things.

    I played for maybe two weeks. Maybe less. That was awful.

  • I would unmake:

    Dikatana (what a terrible, terrible game)

    A few of the hundreds of Mario Parties

    The Madden games.

  • I would unmake:

    – Master of Orion 3
    I still play Moo2. Even Sins of a solar Empire doesnt implement some of the neat features from Moo2.

    – Everquest 2
    For me it completely failed at capturing what i liked about Everquest 1. EQ1 felt like an open world to explore where your choice of race would affect where you start and more…
    EQ2 felt like a bunch of small sandboxes connected together. /quit /try wow. /explore.

  • I thought Star Wars Galaxies as soon as I saw the article title. So much potential, so much disappointment. The world would be better off if they’d never bothered.

    I can’t help but imagine a development team sitting around at some point having a conversation . . .

    Dev1: “Hey, let’s take everything really cool about the Star Wars setting and completely ignore it!”
    Dev2: “Sounds good. I’ve got this awesome idea about running through the wilderness to shoot monster nests, over and over and over.”
    Dev1: “Awesome!”

    Sigh.

  • I would unmake and then redo Vanguard. There are a lot of great systems and concepts in the game.

    If the dev staff wasn’t rushed to develop the game in the last 18 months it would have been a huge success. Now it idles laong on Station-Pass-life-support with a minimal team that, to its credit, does so much with so little resources.

    If I was confident in the underlying robustness of the game engine I would think about a buyout of the game from SOE and give it some serious polish and then relaunch. However I am suspicous that the underlying engine would need to be reworked completely to fix some of the persistent problems that exist even after 1 year of launch.

  • Yep. I picked SWG to unmake as well.

    I remember following the development and being excited about what it would offer – the original FAQs had some really cool features. As the release drew closer, things began to change, major arguments on the forums took place, and decisions were made about the game that took the shine off.

    Ultimately I think the timeframe that SWG was set in was its killer. They had to pick the time when the Jedi were all but extinct – made it really difficult to include Jedi in the game.

    Anyway, if you’re interested, you can find my post at http://stroppsworld.com/2008/03/11/more-unmaking/

  • Ooo theres some good ones here, yeah Moo3 was bad and nowhere near as good as Moo2, so I agree with that one.
    Ummm Grand theft auto cuz it cant be teaching our kids anything good and gives video games a worse name in the eyes of the non game playing populace.
    Lastly, Knight Online needs an unmake/remake. Play it (its free) and you’ll see why.
    I am tempted to say Final Fantasy Online but I’ll stop short of that because at least Square/Enix may have learned something from it and they will probably make another online game.

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