Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Calling the Bombay Film Industry to create MMORPG

Why am I obsessed with MMORPGs ? Because I firmly believe that MMORPG genre is the next big killer application of the same order of significance of Spreadsheets ( Visicalc and Lotus123 ... that took computers to every office desk ) and the Web Browser ( Mosaic / Netscape .. that drove computers into every home).

An MMORPG is infinitely more fun ( despite sneers from the high-brow crowd) than the usual computer game because of the presence of real, 'intelligent' human beings on the other end. Actually it is less of a game and more of a community where you learn to find your way around a new world, much like what travellers have to do in a strange new country. The immediacy of virtual environment and the extreme richness that is possible is mind boggling.

However building such a game is no child's play. You need complex game engines that deliver AI capabilities and then you have to add (a) graphics and (b) a compelling storyline. It is so expensive to build a game that it was possible ONLY for big corporations to get going.

But all this is ( or should ) change soon.

Multiverse is a very interesting site that helps you to build such a game with a ( relatively speaking !) very low investment. Strangely enough it is a free site and gives you all the tools that you need, PLUS the hosting servers etc, with which one can build a full fledged MMORPG game !! They have a sound economic model that is both fair and should be sustainable as well.

This is a huge opportunity for game developers in India. Thanks to the burgeoning film industry at Mumbai, Calcutta & Chennai ( I hate the pejorative and imitative term ... Bollywood ) there is no dearth of creative talent in this country. Why can some TV production houses not tie with creative elements and some computer programmers to kick start the process.

Let us hope that very soon, we will have companies of the size and visibility of Infosys, Wipro and TCS in this area.