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Online games: crafting persistent-state worlds

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1 Author(s)

Ultima Online created a new type of computer game, one that models a persistent-state world. Unlike traditional games, Ultima Online's game world, or state, persists indefinitely. Once developers make a persistent-state world live, they never turn it off. People from across the globe connect to these games and play out their favorite fantasies, assured that their monthly subscription fees will pay to keep their characters' current state up to date from the moment they disconnect until the next time they log on. Still in its infancy, the persistent world genre has so far spawned only a handful of titles and has much room to grow. With the prices of bandwidth and computer hardware falling continually, the lure of delving into a virtual world becomes stronger and the need for more persistent-state worlds becomes increasingly apparent. However, except for EverQuest, no online title has yet become a solid success. Regardless, gamers stand to benefit most as their world grows exponentially with the addition of each virtual universe

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 10 )