One of the biggest parts of a roleplaying game is the tech you bring into it. Technology is the big part of the story. Now you may think tech just kind of refers to more mechanical/futuristic technology such as computers. Well any kind of technology really is needed to blend a perfect roleplay. With that in mind, I got in touch with my good friend, Anomaly, Anom, or 1An0maly1 as he’s known on OW. Anom is currently studying to be an aerospace engineer and is currently interning in California. With his background knowledge, I decided he’d be the best person to talk to about this.
Interview taken via Steam Chat
Tiberius: Ok, so in your own words, just kind of explain why you think tech is important in a game setting
Anomaly: Technology is one of those things that can add color to the game. Today technology captivates the imagination, from Asimov to the Mars Curiosity Rover. Technology and science are at their core creative subjects. Games thrive on creativity, and a creative application of technology can make a strong game even stronger
T: Which do you think would kind of serve better to that purpose. Tech that already exists or tech that someone in the game develops?
A: Develops, always develops. A good engineer knows more about that which they don’t know rather then what they do.
I would rather someone invent their own rules of physics/technology and stick to those rules rather then make mistakes about ones they don’t understand.
T: Do you see any kinds of patterns today with technology in games found on OW?
A: To a certain extent they repeat common tropes. But at the same time they go about it in unique ways. I’ve seen half a dozen unique and different
means for people to fly as one example. It is always entertaining to see people come up with these sorts of things.
T: But do you see a lot of originality nowadays?
A: Yes and No. OGW tends to go through cycles, where certain games are very popular. Right now we seem to be in a high school cycle with very few
scifi games. But during scifi season I do see a lot of very innovative and liberal uses of science and technology. Everything from dimensional teleporting
killer clowns to flying mech suits and everywhere in between.
T: With that, do you see a lot of complexity within their creations?
A: Sometimes, The worse examples are always: “It works because I said so.”, but players have started staying on OGW longer and longer. The complexity of the technology goes up with how long players have been around. I’ve seen a lot of really creative things lately and the quality keeps improving
T: So would something complex seem to work out better?
A: It depends. The more complex a system is the more you can do with it. But the more complex it is the less reliable it becomes. You want your
technology to be complex enough that you can do what you want with it. But you don’t want it so complex the players can’t understand it, that there are
loopholes for clever players to make Mary Sue’s with, and that don’t take day’s to understand. Good engineering is a balance of many things,
in my opinion you want it to be just complex enough that it works and then just leave it at that place.
T: So in your time on Ongoing Worlds, (two years) have you ever created a game or been a part of one that is kind of concentric around a certain piece of technology?
A: In my first game, “Young Timelord’s”, based off an old rpg the players played as random teens. Each one of them found a 20 sided polygon that could fit into their
hands. This object would transport them through time and space. At first it was uncontrolled and the mods flung us everywhere. My character was a scavenger on a trash planet who found it. One of the most difficult things for me to deal with as an engineer was the fact that every teleportation was accompanied by an EMP that trashed any electronics and caused metals to corrode. So every location I had to make a new makeshift weapon. I think I created everything from a spear gun, bow and arrow, to a rail gun. And each time we teleported I had to say goodbye to them.
T: So you think a game concentric around one piece of tech would be somewhat successful?
A: Depends on the technology really. But we do it all the time although it may not be technology. Lord of the Rings centered around a sngle object.
Ruby Sword is a quest for a single object. It is perfectly plausible to create a succesful game revolving around a single object.
T: Any pieces of advice you want to give everyone?
A: The easiest way to be original, to create original worlds and characters is to take random chunks from other worlds and fling them together to see what you get.
What would an elf cyberpunk cavalryman look like riding a speeder? What would the dim tunnels of metro 2033 look like if they were haunted by the tyranids of warhammer 40k? Being creative doesn’t have to mean creating from scratch. Often times creativity is the glue the binds two dissimilar things into a single character or world. What would the world of Lord of the Rings look like when they hit the industrial age? Originality and innovation are one and the same.
So in turn, technology can seem to really be what makes a storyline, whether it’s all revolving around it or not. Originality could be a very important virtue whether or not on how relevant it is these days [planning a blog post and a writing guide on that]. And really, have reasoning for how your tech works, not labyrinthine but not too simple
I want to think Anom personally for taking time out of his busy schedule to let me interview him. Good luck with your studies. Hope you guys enjoyed the interview and I hoped you learned a thing or two.
Keep Calm and Keep Ongoing!
Follow me on Twitter: @TiberiusStudios
Want a game logo made or looking to commission some artwork? Check out my website!: Link