Flammable Penguins

Claire Blackshaw's Forest of Fun

Massive Narratives pt 2

Game Design Narrative
Massive Narratives pt 2

Problem: Who Shall be King?

Similar to the chosen one problem, but with a few more difficulties is kingship. Hierarchies are natural, humans are not anarchists by nature. Now if your playing with yourself and your robot slaves you can rule or be ruled. Playing with other people it becomes more difficult.

Now remember we are talking MMO happening at multiple locations with different groups of players.

Western Democracy

Oh that age old horrible mutilated system which works on the principle that every vote is equal. So that means your newbie player has as much voting punch as established player base. There are two problems areas OOC Issues (OOC = Out of Character) and acknowledging player achievements.

Now OOC issues are tricky to deal with and some people say you shouldn't deal with them but I've seen them ruin games. The problem is friends, partners, and enemies out of game don't necessarily match with in-game relationships. A new player who doesn't know anyone is sometimes unfairly punished because they don't know the players. I've even seen bribes and threats used.

The other problem is your characters spend effort in game into court politics, lying, doing heroic things ect... They want to be rewarded for those actions. So unless you give them a mechanic to steal or control a vote they get nothing in a pure democratic system. However the vote steal can turn around and bite you. Players often feel cheated if their vote is out of their hands.

These votes then choose the elected body.

Bidding System

Okay so now say all players start with 100 vote points. Then through various game actions they can attain more vote points. For every vote they are given a stipend, so they always have some points. You can even give them the option of selling or trading them in-game.

This solves the problem of control shares but it doesn't solve the problem of OOC interference.

Classic Democracy

Classic Greek democracy is tricky to scale up. Fortunately there is a modern solution called technology. Okay so how is classic democracy different? Well instead of all the different representative systems this polls the group on every decision. This system has two main flaws: Researching the choice and collecting it.

The collection is solved by modern tech. A simple click of a button and everyone has voted. The research element can be solved by the proxy system (the fore-runner to representation). Basically Jon says James is his loose-proxy, so which-ever why James votes Jon votes. There is one extra thing you can do to improve the system, add a confirmation buffer. So when James posts his vote his proxies can view his choice and change their choice for a specific vote if they wish to.

You can even choose a mixture of all the above solutions. Remember most governments have multiple branches of governments with different system of representation.

As a side note I HIGHLY recommend looking at A Game of Thrones. This great board game solves many of these issues and has a nice mixture of mechanics.

Next time on Flammable Penguins... Problem: Past, present or future? (The Time difference problem)
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