It seems the noble concept of ‘It takes a Village’ will finally surface onto our computer screens with the impending release of Love, the MMO. (Beta’s out now) The goal, according to its creator Eskil Steenberg, is not to make players “more powerful than other people. It is to let you be more respected.”
Love is an MMO apart from all of its peers. Love currently exists as a collection of small servers, each set up with randomised terrain and aggressive, abstract intelligences wandering the painterly plains.
Logging in, players were dumped in a jagged world coloured in swirled green and neon pinks dotting the landscape. Minimal help tips identify what you’re looking at, but beyond that, there’s no explicit aim to Love save survival. To survive, you need a home.
Monoliths stand on Love’s lush green wilderness. Some players get tokens for these blocks – plonk one down and you’ll have started a settlement, open to anyone nearby who deigns to touch the mysterious oblong. Either starting from scratch or joining an established homestead, your importance to the encampment is dependent on what you can bring back: like an ink-blot magpie, flitting around Love’s procedurally generated world yields more tokens, each with its own abilities and powers to plug into your burgeoning settlement.
If these all sounds too good to be true, Steenberg elaborated that the game’s concept is based on what he calls ‘intuitive’ procedural design’. (Name sounds ironic to me). Or in layman’s term letting-your-player-improvise. “The goal is not to have the player see what you have created, but to feel like THEY came up with their own solution. (This) creates a true emergent gameplay experience.”