This week I’ve been devouring Moxie’s Wurm Online posts over at BattlePriestess.com. I just had to try it again.
The first time I started Wurm Online I spawned into a mysterious world and as I was looking at settings to figure out what key did what, some dude ran up to me and attacked. As I tried to figure out a) if I had a sword and b) how I would use one if I had it, he killed me. I respawned and a few seconds later he (or someone else) killed me again. That was the end of my 1st Wurm Online experience.
Now though, there’s a PvE server and *gasp* a bit of a tutorial. Getting into the game was much, much easier and soon I was roaming this world, still totally lost and clueless but drinking in all this potential. Wurm Online really hits me as a ‘graphical MUD’ in the best sense of the phrase. Anything seems possible (I’m sure it isn’t and I’ll hit limitations soon) but you need to use your imagination to supplement the graphics.
I haven’t done enough to tell great stories like Moxie is doing; hopefully those will come. But I wanted to talk about why I’m so delighted by the game.
Bootstrapping. Y’know, starting with nothing and building up to something. Minecraft is another game that scratches this itch (no coincidence since Notch was an early dev on Wurm Online, or so I’m told). In Minecraft you start with just your fists and punch trees to get wood to make wooden tools so you can dig up stone to make stone tools, etc, etc. The best part of Minecraft, to me, is starting out. Once I’m “secure” and established I start losing interest to some extent.
Wurm Online does the same kind of thing. For instance to make some basic food you use your shovel (you are given a few tools to begin) to dig up clay, then use your hand to make an unfinished clay bowl. Then you use an axe to chop down a tree, use your axe again to shop the tree into logs, then use a carving knife to turn a log into kindling, then use the kindling and a flint to start a fire. Feed more wood into the fire, then put your bowl into the fire to Finish them. Then forage for berries and herbs and cook them together in your bowl to make a meal.
So easy! LOL
I *love* this kind of thing! I love it both in games and stories. Stuff like Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire series (where a modern town is transported back to 1632 and has to rebuild their tech), or William R. Forstchen’s Lost Regiment series (where a Civil War regiment gets transported to another world where people are essentially cattle for another species, and again they use their technological know-how to rebuild). For that matter, this week’s episode of Stargate Atlantis dealt with the same kind of thing!
What I love about this ‘genre’ of game, though, is that it is based around building up, rather than destroying. Sure there’s combat and stuff but crafting is about creating more complex items out of simpler ones, and that scratches a deep itch in my psyche. The Harvest Moon games tend to scratch the same itch, too.
Anyway dear friends, I was wondering if anyone else out there loves this same kind of gameplay, and if you have any other game (or book!) suggestions that cover this same kind of theme of starting from nothing and building up. (Actually now that I think of it, a lot of RTS games touch on this too, to a lesser degree.)