Full Town Life
With enough activity in the town, a much wider range of gameplay can be developed there. Much of what is mentioned here can be implemented organically over time, as simple versions of things get fleshed out, or are adapted for other functions.
This is perhaps the moment to mention the backstop function of being an open source project. Whatever happens, the town will remain open, added to slowly over time. We are in a position to maintain the server indefinitely, and the files are all on our public repositories. So calmly adding content and features at a natural pace until it has enough fuel to take off when a spark ignites it, as it were – that is a very viable approach for us. We can cultivate each collaborator until something brings in the influx of players needed for the hatching of bigger plans.
But sooner would be better, so let’s look at how much opportunity there is in the medium for novel, groovy things.
Rich full collaborations on all kinds of things
The Collaboration App will become a complete game within game. Groups of people working on models will sketch together, talk things over, bring in reference media, mark things up lots of ways, and record. They’ll do it all by meeting in the game and then activating the app, which will take them to a workshop space for their project, distraction free and full of 3D collab tools. Both the neighborhoods and the bazaars favor interactions leading to collaboration that’s an enjoyable pass time and novel way of relating to others. With that set up, collaboration can be extended to other kinds of media and projects.
Entity App, for programming complex characters
Moonwards already contains an app for creating characters for the game. You can program them to respond to various stimuli by moving or speaking, including setting up complete conversations. It works through a node interface where pieces of behavior can be connected and given parameters, making it possible to create complex characters without using any code. This can be taken much further. Things to add:
- select or upload custom models so your entity can be anything, from a butterfly to a rocket ship
- add animations triggered by set interactions
- add special effects triggered by set interactions
- create triggers in an entity’s environment that it monitors and responds to
- make entities that interact with other entities or use group AI
Film App, for making movies or graphic novels
The setting is rich and detailed, it already has cameras, lights, special effects, and the programmed entities in it are going to get ever more complex and varied. With a bit more work, stories can be told using the town. They can even be recorded in multiple ways – as a video or as a set of images that then have text added to create a graphic novel. A Film App will be made that serves both purposes.
- Have cameras that can be operated by a player – they can fly them around, point them, zoom, and even use filters
- Or attach cameras to characters or players, that can be pre-programmed to track a specific way, or will turn and move as the character or player turns and moves
- ‘Stage hand’ actions can also be pre-programmed or handled by a player during filming – visual effects, sounds, entity wrangling, running little bits of code (that triggers a moonquake or explosion with verious elements, as examples)
Large Events in special venues
Cool spots in town will be set up to hold big events where hundreds or thousands of players can be there together live, with the bandwidth for a rich environment and hifi sound. Concerts, live plays, gallery openings, special interviews or discussions. Robot wars. Team sports. Lots of possibilities here.
Of particular note, one good film, or one good event, can propel a lot of new participation. Looking for ways to support and promote such things will be a priority for us, meaning that creating that ability is also a priority.
Expect things to look a lot better. Expect to move in a far more real way (creating a lunar parkour mode is a long-term project we already play with in our heads). Expect vehicles, habitats, machines, ships, official game entities (including a cast of residents), getting added regularly and made richer over time.
We expect that however it happens, with a project that is so novel in so many ways, sooner or later Moonwards will make a difference. That’s why it’s open. That’s why it will be here as long as it takes for people to walk through its open door and make it special.