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Liberating neglected PVP modes

Content of the article: "Liberating neglected PVP modes"

If I had the motivation or time to be a full fledged indie developer, my dream is to make Libre / Open Source reimplementations of neglected PVP modes from partially / primarily noncompetitive games. Games where any comments about balance or competitive features are met with, "Well, PVP is not the focus of this game, so…". And then give them the balancing and competitive features they deserve.

I'm a big admirer of projects like OpenRA and SpringRTS, as my personal preference for competitive games are long term stability (eg. Chess, Go, etc.) rather than the fickle cycles of commercial viability. As a fan of King of Fighters, for example, I'm sick of the rollercoaster of yearly sequels (back in its heyday) which drastically change everything about the game, often to its detriment. A good competitive game should build gradually upon its successes and lessons, and reach some sort of ideal final form that can last for decades or hundreds of years, just like Chess/Go/etc.

My current wishlist is:

"Golden age" of Guild Wars 1 (just prior to Factions, or just prior to Nightfall.)

Dark Souls 2 (with some smatterings of 1 and 3.)

Of course, such a project is usually pretty niche due to limitations in getting high quality art, marketing, servers, etc. But OpenRA and SpringRTS games manage to maintain enough of a population for the players to enjoy themselves, which is good enough for me.


I have a concept I often think about, which is "The 10 year game, the 100 year game." These are games that maintain a viable competitive population over a long time, with minimal changes, and apart from any sequels.

Read:  Metal Gear Solid V, reviewed by someone who's never played an MGS game

Chess and Go are 100 year (1000 year?) games, and in the video game world we already have 10+ year games in the form of games such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Starcraft Brood War, KOF98, etc.

Still, I do think that the expectations of video gamers are different. Fans of traditional strategy games like Chess or Go are happy with (mostly) unchanging rules in a game that takes more than a lifetime to explore. But video gamers are often raised in an environment where you're constantly learning and unlearning new systems, mechanics, skills, knowledge. Our brains are thirsty to discover new techniques and understand new mechanics.

Do you think video gamers (particularly competitive ones) would mostly be bored with a "100 year game"? Do they require a constant influx of unbalanced balanced changes, new content that breaks balance, new sequels that are often worse than previous games, new characters and units, etc?

Or is there a big enough population out there that yearns to dedicate themselves to a (mostly) fixed ruleset that takes more than a lifetime to master?


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