Our resident MMOMoose recently touched on the potential of a dinosaur related MMO game and it really got me thinking, could it work? Outside of the peculiar Dino Storm, there have been very few MMO titles that have captured the essence of awe provided by dinosaur related media. In terms of franchise potential there isn't really anything that could match the fan base and reach of Jurassic Park, cue my next Ideal MMO article.
I would imagine most people seeing a Jurassic Park MMO as maybe an MMOFPS or MMOTPS title, but I'd like to push my idea a little further than that. I would blend together two different genres of MMO play to provide a more in-depth experience for dino fans.
Some of you may remember Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, a multi-platform management game that released back in 2003. Imagine Theme Park or Sim City, but with dinosaurs. Players would choose which dinosaurs they wanted to have on display and would then need to ensure they have the correct enclosures for those specific dinosaurs. Players had to attract tourists, create an attractive looking park and quell any dinosaur rampages that may occur.
So for my ideal Jurassic Park MMO I would feature an extensive MMORTS side, giving players the opportunity to breed and hatch any kind of dinosaur they please. Providing the correct food, habitat and potential mates would all go towards running a successful park. Visitor satisfaction would be a huge factor so players would have to ensure they construct the Jeep tracks to view as many dinosaurs as possible, as well as optional tours around the background areas of the park.
Adding to the depth of the RTS side of the game would be a free-roam MMOFPS aspect. The park itself would be created on an island similar to the one featured in the second and third films, Isla Sorna. The park would be contained on a more isolated area of the island, while the rest of it would feature herds and dinosaurs free to roam as they please.
Players would be able to leave the comfort and safety of the compound to explore the island, collecting new dinosaur samples along the way. Ideally some form of stealth/tracking would play a large part, rewarding players for having the ability to follow dinosaur tracks back to their natural habitats. Obviously combat would be involved but I'd like to offer players a choice in this scenario as well.
The combat options would involve a quick but lethal take down, or a slower take down using tranquilizers and darts. Lethal take downs would be much faster and allow for players to harvest various items from the dinosaur, such as skins and claws for possible uses in the park, such as a museum. The slower take down would leave the dinosaur alive and available for capture, returning it to the park as an added asset.
The multiplayer aspect would have to stray a little from typical MMO form. Borrowing elements from MMORTS world management there would be several hundred identical islands, with each island able to support a certain amount of parks. This would allow players to join the same island as friends, to ease exploration and even trade resources. While others could join up with random players and ignore them totally if they wish.
So what do you guys think? The franchise isn't quite as big as it was 10 years ago but there's plenty of potential here for an exciting MMO. Leave your thoughts below.
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