The Fedora RPG
This is not a trivial project. While we all think it would be awesome to do, we're not committing to doing it at this point. We're merely providing guidance on the grounds of "if we did do it, this would be how we'd want to proceed". Red Hat is not a Game Company, no matter how much we think it would be cool, and while Fedora has leeway to pursue approaches that have no real revenue potential (as long as they build community in a meaningful way), we have limited resources available to dedicate to projects.
Everything previously on the Fedora RPG on the wiki can be safely ignored. It represents a historical concept that has since morphed into a more pure, integrated, achievements/badge concept that is already in the process of being deployed and should be functional by the end of the summer. While considering the Fedora RPG, it is safe to assume that a mechanism for achievements/badges will exist and can be leveraged.
Luke, Mo, and spot have all read (and greatly enjoyed) Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One", and are all greatly inspired by his fictional "OASIS" universe.
In addition, we are conscious of the rise of "free-to-play" gaming, where the game is free to play, but there are opportunities to pay money and have an improved (or longer) gaming experience. (e.g. Mafia Wars on Facebook).
In order of priority, we determined that our goals for a Fedora RPG would be to:
1) Get more new people familiar with Fedora
(A sub-goal here is to provide an implicit learning experience for FOSS contributors.)
2) Have people working on Fedora Tasks that aren't getting done 3) People have fun 4) Generate an awesome wholly open-source RPG
• We agreed that a MMORPG model makes the most sense here. We think a darker Future tech / cyberpunk / magic/ technomancy setting is a logical fit for Fedora (one of Fedora's core tenets is "First"). Think Shadowrun, although, we're not interested in a Shadowrun clone.
• We're not obsessed with graphics quality here. An 8bit or 16bit gaming feel would suit this just fine. We would like to drive this through a web browser as opposed to a dedicated client, however, we're not opposed to a pure client model. In addition, we want this game to be playable from Windows, OSX, whatever.
• The code must be entirely FOSS, further, it must have a strong copyleft license.
• We have no plans to monetize this. Instead of charging $$$ for premium game play, optional Fedora tasks can be done to gain in game advantages.
• While the Universe can contain "Fedora in jokes" and a certain sense of humor, that should not be the focus, as we feel a parody game would be less compelling for people not already involved with Fedora, and would have limited play-ability for those who do get the jokes.
• We really, really, like _Ready Player One_'s "OASIS" worlds.
• Fedora contribution should not be required to play and have fun with it. The game should be compelling on its own merits, and the game should serve as the gateway to Fedora.
• Fedora contributions should provide users with advantages, but not overpower non-Fedora users
∘ Potential advantages: ‣ Avatar customization ‣ Healing potions ‣ Rare items ‣ Special weapons ‣ One-time bonuses ‣ Money
• There should be some sort of mechanisms to avoid 'junk' Fedora contributions to 'cheat' and get game advantages unfairly or at a detriment to Fedora (poorly or incorrectly done tasks are worse than incomplete tasks).
• The game should also contain a seamless interface to performing Fedora tasks wherever possible, although, purely as an optional model. As an example, you could walk up to the bodhi tree, a leaf falls, it's an update you can optionally take as a sidequest, where you would test the update in fedora and leave karma for it. (Bodhi is the name for our Update server component).
• Idea: Possibly have zones/worlds where Fedora tasks are required and where it is easier to get rarer items (exclusive items?)
Our Crazy Idea
Open Source is very important to everything that we do, it is the core tenet that Fedora is based on.
We'd like it to be the Core of this RPG Universe too. So, our crazy idea is this:
• Aside from defined (and stated) core tenants / foundational rules of the universe that are unmodifiable, it would be incredibly cool for the rest of the universe to be hackable and modifiable.
∘ This means a solid set of core tenants / foundational rules should be established ∘ Everything outside of the core tenants / rules is changeable ∘ There needs to be some mechanism / way of ensuring the content stays enjoyable and doesn't go all crappy.
To elaborate on this a bit, it started with the discussion of the Assassination of Lord British in Ultima Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_British#Assassination_of_Lord_British
If the universe is a technological cyberpunk-esque future with magic, why wouldn't the whole universe be hackable? This is sort of a meta concept to the game, and something bigger and different than user-generated content (which I argue is interesting, but not particularly compelling from a gameplay perspective).
We discussed the fact that Minecraft and Second Life personify some of these concepts, so they can be considered as inspirations for this concept, although, we are not looking for a clone of either.
In this RPG Universe, things can be created and destroyed, within a set of technological and magical rules, even to the extremes, where some "constants" can be altered. The bigger the change, the harder it is, and the less known about exactly how to do it. The universe should be described to the players as "Open Source", and players should be encouraged to experiment and hack on the world itself, in addition to playing the game's main plotlines, quests, missions, etc. This could involve "pseudo-code" in the game itself, but we didn't want to rely too heavily on that. (We were torn on this point. My wife, who has worked as a programmer in the past, thought it would be fantastic for a "scripting" system to exist in the game that is the underlying foundation for the universe, and I can see that being done well and working well, but also being extremely overwhelming for the average gamer. I see this as a weakness of Second Life, in the eyes of the average gamer who just wants a fun experience.)
So, just to provide examples (these are merely provided to explain the concept, and need not be implemented with these details or in this fashion):
- To grow a flower, that can be done by casting a magic "plant growth" spell, planting cheap seeds and watering them, or using nanobots to "grow" the flower from common "building blocks" and the "flower" blueprint. There is also the option to invoke a special sort of technomancy which, while tricky to do, when successful, causes time to pass significantly faster in a small bubble. (Then, you could grow flowers from seeds immediately.) This could involve multiple people, collection of rare items, and the formula for this technomancy may not be known to the character (or would require a collection of lore to determine).
- The whole universe (aside from necessary constants to keep gameplay sane) is hackable, and that could include things like making adjustments to the gravitational constant. The bigger it is, the harder it should be, extreme changes should require extreme numbers of players working together. Duration should also factor into this. Causing an eclipse or changing the moon into cheese should be a temporary thing, but has a very real effect on everything else in the game.
- There could be a world where a incredibly difficult hack has already been done, and the world is slowly recovering from it while waiting for it to expire, electronics do not work there at all, for example, so only "pure" magic works, and that barely works.
At implementation time, we'd need to identify appropriate optional Fedora tasks.
Initial examples include (but by no means are limited to):
∘ Test and leave karma for a Fedora update ∘ Tag / proof tags for a package in Fedora Tagger
Fedora group affiliations should carry over to the game, for example, if you're a Fedora Ambassador, it should allow you to use a special crest/logo only available to them. Possibly that these groups have special "spaces" in the world, think clubhouses.
The Liberated Pixel Cup has specs for artwork and a cool engine, done in association with mozilla - opengameart http://lpc.opengameart.org/
The thought is that it would be nice to leverage their style in this effort, not so much in the "take their art" sense, but in a "our art would be contributed back to them" sense.
It is safe to assume that Fedora will have an established real-time messaging infrastructure that this RPG can take advantage of, so that things that happen in the Real Fedora Universe can immediately have an effect on the Fedora RPG Universe, and vice versa.
Our old concepts and ideas can be found here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_RPG_OLD