Elephant In The Room: Vin Diesel’s “Dream” MMO

By Jim Rossignol on March 13th, 2009 at 11:24 am.


Destructoid report that Vin Diesel’s Tigon Studios has been working on an MMO, Barca BC, set during the Punic wars. Diesel had this to say about the notion of a “dream” game: “My dream game is something we’ve been working on in-house. We haven’t talked about it much because we’ve been mulling over how to do it just right. My dream game is a game that we’re developing called Barca BC… The reason why it’s my dream game is because it is an MMO and — remember you said funds were not an issue in this scenario, this is obviously a hugely expensive game — but, it’s a massively multiplayer online game where you create an avatar that lives in the reality of Hannibal Barca, the Punic Wars and life 200 BC.”

The game has apparently been in development for several years, and apparently won’t be seen for several more.

What’s your dream MMO, readers?

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115 Comments »

  1. wvanh says:

    The trade/crafting and skills system of SW:G set in a world somewhere between Alpha Protocol and Deus Ex with a focus on intrigue and deception in the writing like in Vampire Bloodlines and in a completely persistent world like Morrowind, only making players more vulnerable (perma-death needs to be properly tried IMO.)

    …wow I don’t seem to have an original thought in me.

  2. Acosta says:

    Typical forum thread: “What game would you fund if you were rich?
    Vin: Hey wait, I’m rich!

    I wish I could make my dream game too. Must be a nice experience.

  3. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Since watching that Vin Diesel movie Babylon AD a lot of my dreams have included Michelle Thierry (actually I had a bit of a thing for her before from a film called Chrysalis but she’s grown up and gotten prettier since that was made).

    Sorry; that’s not really answering the question, is it?

  4. Bossman says:

    I think a historical MMO would be nice for a change. I’m just sick of fantasy & sci-fi MMOs.

  5. Duoae says:

    Hmm… dream MMO? That’s difficult. I know what my dream game would be and it’s pretty much a fleshed out Precursors/Evochron Legends universe crossed with Planetside style ground combat. Imagine having a complete solar system (or two with a couple of planets each) and being able to fight for control of segments of the planets, orbiting stations and deep space refuelling stations/battlestations or boarding battleships etc which corporations build like in Eve.

    Of course, such a game would only really work in an MMO if the subscriber base remains large.

  6. Bananaphone says:

    EVE with real-time, Freespace 2 style combat, plus seamless integration with planets and cities for FPS action. Crafting and ship customisation. Colonise asteroids, fight in huge space battles, board and capture ships, lay siege to entire planets. Launch with a squad of marines to assault a city. And why not have some air-dropped mechs in there too.

  7. Larington says:

    Damnit, wish I was rich, instead I’ve got to do it the hard way(s).

  8. apnea says:

    Vin Diesel is a total geek sometimes. Funny thing is, most geeks hate him.

    Mine dream? Why, any single-player, open-world, non-linear, sand-box, slow-paced, atmospheric take on some architectural sci-fi classics (Fearsum Endjinn, Aeon Flux, BLAME!, Great Sky River) would do me good.

    By ‘good’ I mean, ‘would totally blow me away in comparison to the unimaginative sequelfest that currently occupies our cultural space’.

  9. rob says:

    Something without other players.

  10. Bobsy says:

    Oh, the usual. Eve/Planetside crossbreed. Man, I’m so RPS-entrenched!

    Actually, I did think about this recently. Start with one massive, barren planet. Players are space-colonists, who start off in the game’s one pre-built city, and eventually wander off into the wilds to start building their own colonies. These get established near exploitable resources, and colony leaders can order the contruction of various upgradable types of building. In the long run (several years) these can become cities. Factions form alliances similar to Eve, conflicts are inevitable.

    Oh, and it’s all done in real-time FPS.

  11. Ian says:

    Even though it wouldn’t/won’t be spectacularly original, I’d thought for a while that an MMO based on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books would probably make sense. Then I read in PC Gamer that apparently one is in the works. So… yeah.

    Also, Panzer Dragoon.

  12. TooNu says:

    HAHAHA…HAHAHAHAHAH…..HAH! what an obviously easy question.
    Warhammer 40,000.

  13. Bananaphone says:

    @Bobsy
    Nice idea. Add in the ability to take off from the planet’s surface and fly to nearby moons etc and I’ll fund it when I’m a billionaire.

    Another thing I would like: Mount & Blade Online with an entire planet to fight over.

  14. RazorBlade79 says:

    BattleTech, circa 3020 or 3052. Either that or World of StarCraft

  15. Larington says:

    Its a good choice of setting though, three separate wars that form a distinct beginning, middle and end and opportunities to do stuff involving the alps abounds.

    As for me, I’d do a spiritual successor to Planetside that doesn’t stumble into the design mistakes that the original has, has proper day/night cycles and tries to give players a better reason to fight than ‘just because’. Plus, it’d actually be marketted, I’d make it clear that the CoDuties and Battlefields have nothing on this for sheer scale of conflict, work to avoid the situation in Planetside where keen FPS players go “Whats that?” when you mention it in general conversation.

  16. Quine says:

    Battletech crossed with Mount and Blade!

    Also everything Bobsy said.

  17. Rei Onryou says:

    While reading others ideas and trying to think of my own, I had to change my underwear at the idea of a MechWarrior MMO. It’s been too long since we’ve had some real big stompy robot action!

    Not my dream MMO (still haven’t decided), but I’d so play it.

  18. nihohit says:

    Something in the style of Unknown Armies/The Invisibles/Last Call.

  19. apnea says:

    Aren’t MMOs that online thing with the monthly fees?

    /poor

  20. phil says:

    My dream MMO involves players roleplaying an evolving thought form construct, inhabiting fifth dimensional space, battling one another using ironic time traveling petrol bombs and using sex to communicate – so it essentially takes place in Grant Morrison’s subconscious.

  21. Acosta says:

    My dream MMO…

    It would be a 4X game with only one sever, based on a gigantic multiplanar space. Each plane would have its own elements, resources and conditions and each player would begin with a tiny kingdom, trying to get more space and resources, fighting or allying with other players in the same plane until they were powerful enough to navigate through the planes and spread their influence.

    It would be heavily magic based but not on a obvious way, It would be a bit like Magic (the rpg from White Wolf), there would be tons of presets spells to affect all type of spheres (social, economy, military) and you will be able to create your own ones once you had enough experience and power. Same way, you will be able to craft your own magical items.

    You know, I could write pages and pages of this game, but I don’t want to indulge myself in such a worthless exercise. Think on Master of Magic, the rpg Magic and a bit of Dwarf Fortress, online in one server and with real consequences to your actions. In my mind is glorius and I guess it will remind there.

  22. espy says:

    I’d like a serious GTA/Urban Dead/Left 4 Dead mixture. A whole quarantined city overrun by infected, unsafe streets, large groups of survivors barricaded in whole blocks of buildings, rooftop agriculture and walkways between buildings, frequent raids and expeditions into infected territory to get supplies and find out more about the infection, resuce missions to recover wounded, defense missions when the infected breach a barricade. Add a strong military presence with its own agenda to make things a bit more uncertain. The vibe from Brian Wood’s DMZ, if you will, plus zombies. Modifiable equipment, bunks in common rooms and later flats you can customize and store your stuff in. Survivor and military Radio stations. When you decide to stop playing and end your subscription, you can embark on an epic last ditch mission to leave the city.

    Something like that.

  23. Bobsy says:

    @Bananaphone

    In general I’m against WoW-style fast travel. My attitude is that the journey should be as much game content as the destination and if I’m ever bored going from A to B the solution is to make the travel more interesting rather than just faster.

    That said, it’d probably be easier/better in a footurwistic setting, with chunky dropships and fancy magno-trains and everything.

  24. Subjective Effect says:

    My dream MMO wouldn’t depend on the setting but on the mechanics. Can you HAVE a dream setting? I’d settle for space or fantasy or whatever if the gameplay was right. And that’s something that one can’t get into in a short reply.

  25. Quine says:

    A proper autoduelling game based on skill and physics. Get hired as a lone merc to fend off a biker clan. Fill a battle bus with your mates all firing from the windows as you ram through some walls. Scavenge some rusty hulk and tune it up with dangerous engine mods and a few turrets. Bail out of your flaming sidecar and pick off drivers with a few well-aimed pistol shots.

  26. Ben says:

    I’d like an MMO based on A Song of Ice and Fire just because I’m so in love with that story and universe. I don’t even like MMOs, but I’d play that one.

  27. The Hammer says:

    An MMO which gave us a huge, and occasionally impassable, world to play in would float my boat immensely. Of course, it’d conflict with the current MMO model of raids and loot, and be really hard to make and implement right, both design-wise and technically.

    Huge landscapes, like what Tim Stone was getting at in Empire’s Wot I Think.

  28. Morph says:

    Something based on the Warhammer licence but more interesting than WAR.

    My basic idea is based in the Empire. Player would either be chaos cultists corrupting villages, religious nutters trying to root out the chaos and keep people respecting Sigmar etc. or just normal people living lives that get caught up in the conflict.

    Possibly with a WFRP-style career system instead of levels. And no grinding.

    Wish I was Vin Diesel.

  29. ossi says:

    I would like to see a squad MMO. Somewhat strategical. You would have a squad 2 to 6 men that you use, equip and level. In my dreams you could equip every character with unique stuff( weapon and armor. Grenades etc. would be universal for the squad.) Then you would have a limited amount of skills you can take with you. Skill bar would have designated slots for item skills, learned abilities and such. For example 9 skill bar: 2 skills for tactical stances, 3 for item abilities, and 4 for other learned skills. For example you could take aggressive and defensice stance that you can switch between (changes AI, dmg and defence), frag grenade for infantry killing, medikit for small health boosting and ap/av bullet toggle for third, For learned you could have some passive boosts as better aiming, active such as bloodlust for increased dmg for a duration etc.

    It should also have all kinds of missions from instanced small ones to huge battlegrounds and free for all wilderness where you can kill monsters and other players as much as you please. Squad size would depend on level and mission.

    It would have the usual RTS camera angles with zoom in and out. Think of it as DOW2 meets guild wars. The setting should be sci-fi, either w40k like or post apocalyptic. The squad men shouldn’t be like supermen either. Basic monster should drop easily but also the squad should be a bit fragile so you would need some tactics.

    Sorry for the long rant

  30. Tei says:

    Dreams? I stay awake, so the ultrabodies capsules don’t steal my body!. Call me paranoid, If you wish. HAHA.. you are triing to trick me!.

    Using your money to create a MMO is about the 2th fastes wais to broke. The other one is rebuild the titanic in scale 1:1 using something highly flamable, and accidentally dropping a molotov over it. I kind of think is easier just to extract the money from the bank and drop it in a big pool of acid.

  31. Willem says:

    Has anyone read Otherland by Tad Williams? Well, a game played in the same way as that. Without the getting stuck on The Net and dying bit, obviously.

  32. danielcardigan says:

    apnea says:
    “Vin Diesel is a total geek sometimes. Funny thing is, most geeks hate him.”

    I think a lot of film snobs hate him but geeks? I like him, but I’m no alpha geek.

  33. Willem says:

    Arf. On the wiki for Otherland: “On October 1, 2008, it was announced that RealU and dtp entertainment are developing a MMO based upon the novels. It’s currently scheduled to be released in 2010.[1]”

    It’ll be bollocks, though.

  34. l1ddl3monkey says:

    “Something without other players”

    “Hate the players, not the game”, is my online motto.

  35. MacBeth says:

    espy: YES.

    But there’s no reason to stop when you leave the city. Find your new territory, clear out and fortify some country estate, start the struggle to forge your new microstate/feudal kingdom, or become a bandit and live by raiding, develop a whole Mad Max-ish theme of islands of civilisation trying to restart from scratch, vs the ever present zombies and the bandit gangs…

  36. Bobsy says:

    It’s actually kinda freaking me out that the guy who wants to make an MMO based on the Punic Wars is also this guy.

    (best thing about Fast and Furious is the presence of Paul Walker, who manages to make Vin Diesel look like Laurence bloody Olivier)

  37. Binho says:

    @ Bobsy

    Haha, I had the exact same idea. I was also thinking about creating an actual ecosystem, where creatures don’t just walk around and attack the player but interact with eachother. And where over-hunting of a certain species, can cause another one to bloom, etc.

    @Larington

    That MMO partially exists, and it’s called WWII Online. It has a Day Night Cycle, and you play to take over the map. Only issue is it’s still very buggy, and there are still multiple game design flaws (Especialy with infantry).

    It is more for hardcore sim fans, but considersing it’s the only MMO FPS still around (Been going since 2001!), had such a rocky launch and the staff is probably smaller than Blizzards Janitorial Services…It’s very damn impressive. Not even WoW has so many updates and game improvements.

    And no MMO developer out there, outside maybe the CCP guys doing EVE, is attempting anything so different.
    Of course, its got the stability and polish of an Open Beta, but it’s a testament to the guys are CRS. I mean, the damage model alone is more complex than the game mechanics on every game on the next gen consoles combined.

    I’m shocked that as PC Gamers that talk constantly about EVE and Planetside, the RPS peeps have never acknowledged these guys.

    No game comes close to the sheer scale of WWII Online.

    If someone where to take the WWII Online engine, pump in the money and staff needed so CRS could get the new terrain and game engine code out faster and with fewer bugs, fix the shooty bits and place it all into the WH40k universe, i’d have my dream MMO

  38. Daniel says:

    EVE, but without the boredom.

  39. Lim-Dul says:

    Hah – somehow the fact that Vin Diesel started his own video game studio escaped me. It’s funny how he has this tough-guy image but really isn’t stupid at all. He directed a short film that made it to the Cannes Festival AFAIR.

    Ah – and he plays D&D – ha, ha!

    Well – I don’t like the movies he stars in – all of them. :-P
    Except for Saving Private Ryan, The Iron Giant and the animated Chronicles of Riddick stuff.

    Wait – we’re talking about MMOs here. ;-)

    OK – my perfect MMO would be something like Progress Quest but with more interaction between the “players”. That is – there should be a real persistent world where your avatars would meet other avatars etc. – of course absolutely automatically. ^^

    http://progressquest.com/

  40. Catastrophe says:

    @Larrington

    Global Agenda?

  41. Malagate says:

    @Morph, ever heard of Mordheim? That would probably do the trick, and for a sci-fi bent just use Necromunda. Those MMO’s could potentially be so sweet but they’d never happen.

    My dream MMO would be an almost modern setting, maybe steam-punkish, where the main object of the game is exploration and exploitation of resources rather than combat, as well as almost realistic survival conditions and a freedom of travel (i.e. you could begin training as a pilot from the beginning rather than having to grind all the way up a leveling structure first, also flying would have a soft flight sim element to it. You’d still need lots of money to own and maintain your own plane mind, but you could work for say a corporation (NPC or player owned) that could provide you with one to help with jobs).

  42. MrFake says:

    Planetside plus … something. Can’t put my finger on it. Maybe Planetside with EVE-style player-run factions, but I get the feeling it wouldn’t be much different than it already is. As for setting, I’m thinking mock 18th century, replete with naval battles and AI soldiers to fill the ranks where players are missing. Reload times might be suicide inducing, though.

    I’d also like a Daggerfall MMO. Take all the versatility and scale from that game, clean up the shit, and it could make for a nice fantasy diversion. If there was ever a game that could benefit from taking friends with you on a dungeon tromp, Daggerfall was it.

  43. DMJ says:

    An MMO with PvE that doesn’t make your eyes squirt blood, with PvP that makes the loser care if he loses, and with an economy where taking the RIGHT risks is enough to get rich.

    All other features optional.

  44. cyrenic says:

    My dream MMO: An MMO where the core gameplay is so fun that it effectively makes gold selling/character leveling services obsolete. I mean, you wouldn’t pay someone to play Team Fortress 2 for you, right?

  45. Bananaphone says:

    @Bobsy
    I wasn’t thinking of fast travel, it’s all about the drop-ships and asteroid mining.

    If nothing else, I’d just like an MMO that does real-time FPS combat right. Planetside’s battles always felt limp to me. Don’t want to be forced into PvP either, PvE should always be an option.

  46. Ginger Yellow says:

    DoW II’s singleplayer character and equipment progression married with CoH’s setting and more tactical gameplay. In a massive, evolving theatre of war, where the next battle is determined by your success in the last. Possibly with the reward for hitting the high levels being to become first a battlefield commander, able to use certain abilities like off-map arty and also attempt to direct lower level squads, and then a regional commander, able to select which squads will fight where.

  47. Dave says:

    Something with a cyberpunk flavor, but actually friendly to players in the way WoW generally is, instead of annoying and hostile like Neocron was. But with guns and implants and drugs and AIs with questionable motives that run everything.

    Or… Team Fortress MMO?

  48. Heliocentric says:

    Mmo games developer mmo. Spend months crafting for a franchised material fail to get the contract and then try and edit thousands of pages of lore. Diva developers draw public attention good and bad and your publisher wants the game out before christmas. Can you avoid being compared to wow?

  49. Morph says:

    @Malagate.

    Mordheim wasn’t really what I had in mind, but it’s a cool game anyway. A Mordheim MMO sounds pretty fun.

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