When Matt and I first set our eyes on this project we had the intention of creating a game that we would play, ourselves. We both agreed that a game that would be entertaining for us would be mechanically sandboxy. By that, I mean many of the game’s systems and mechanisms are open to player manipulation mostly without admin intervention. Several of these systems in Lockwood come to mind when that term (sandbox) is used: player-built cities, crafting and trading, player-run governments, the history and story, PvE (bashing, hunting, grinding; whatever you want to call it), and PK/PvP. Most of these attributes are native to most if not all multiplayer online games, and a lot of times when there’s too much oversight players have a hard time being creative, and their enjoyment generally takes a dive, and the game quickly becomes a shadow of its former self.
We want everything in this game to be open to player manipulation. For example, if you want to create the most glorious city of Evil filled with villainous and shadowy characters you could very well do that, assuming you’re charismatic enough to attract other like-minded players. Conversely of course, if a player builds an Evil city, another player is free to build a city of “Good.” These are just examples, but what I’m saying here is that you’re not only free to do something like this, you’re actually encouraged to.
Lockwood will be starting out with the four main cities listed on the big map shown in an earlier post: Halysin, Ingress, Synedraeon, and Waxwing Vale. Players will be encouraged to join those cities when they first begin playing the game so that they can have some structure while they level up, find friends and acquaintances, and get settled into their life in Lockwood. As MUD players, Matt and I grew more dissatisfied with our cities the more we played the game. Our idea of what should’ve and shouldn’t have happened within the city quickly diverged from the leaders, as well as the cities themselves never really being player-run. We became jaded after a while when we realized that everything was happening more like a wind-up toy and any divergence from its linear path was universally discouraged. In light of that experience, we devised several ideas on how cities should work in Lockwood for the eventual veteran players whose ideas diverge from that of the “cookie-cutter” cities.
So here’s a quick overview of how building up your player-run community would look:
First what you need to do is build a camp. A camp consists of 1-2 rooms in the game, in the Wastes (the only place to construct these). After you build your camp if you begin to attract players to your cause and you want to continue on with the growth of your community you’ll clear a few more rooms in the wastes adjacent to your camp and build it into a commune. A commune consists of 3-8 rooms. This continues on with a colony, which is between 9 and 26 rooms, and a city which is 27 or larger, rooms. You, as the city leader or group of city leaders, will be able to choose the type of government you’d like your community to embody. For instance, if you’re a tyrannical leader and you have a way of subduing your underlings, you can form a dictatorship where you are the sole leader. However, if you lack the cunning or military might to do such a thing you will also be able to choose from a list of governmental forms, if you want to use one that is already made. This could mean a form of autocracy, a democracy, a republic, a socialist state, and pretty much any subset of those.
Now that you’re mildly acquainted with the player-run community (and city) system, you’ve probably got a feel for the way things will go in Lockwood from a mechanical standpoint. We’re looking forward to building many systems in the game around this same idea of a “sandbox” where we provide the tools and context, and the player builds content, brings the story to life, and provides non-stop action-packed adventure.
Thanks for reading.