Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Star Trek. They are all popular Intellectual Properties (IP) that have, or will soon have, a major MMO associated with them. So what is the next IP that will lend its name to an IP? I have no idea. But I do have an idea for make a great Multi-player online game based on an established IP: Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. King has already shown that he is willing to lend his work to other media outlets, such as Marvel Comic who have released comics based on both the Dark Tower and The Stand. Also, there is some kind of Dark Tower online game experience called Discordia (which I have not looked at yet). So why not a Massively Multiplayer game based on the same series?
For starters, the books give us many great locations to explore in the game. In Mid-World, you can visit areas such as the western setting of the Gunslinger, the city of Lud, Calla Bryn Sturgis, Devar-Toi, Mejis, and Roland’s home of Gilead. And then there would be the doorways that travel to our world, such as New York and Maine. Imagine battling nightmarish creatures in the Waste Lands or “Low Men” in the Dixie Pig.
I envision this game being more skill-based than class based. Let’s face it, all the heroes were basically gunslingers, primarily a fighter class. Of course, magic existed in Mid-World, but none of the mains were what you would call spell casters. Healers? Not really. So everyone would be classless and instead learn different skills along the way. Depending on what skills one chooses, a player can create a character that has strengths in either fighting, magic-using, stealth, healing, and so-on.
Being a multiplayer game, it’s natural that players will want to form coalitions. In other games these groups go by names such as guilds, corporations, etc.. I think the name that would be used in Dark Tower is pretty obvious: Ka-Tet’s. But I am also a strong supporter of gamers who tend to play solo, being one myself. Therefore, I would like to see the game adopt a system similar to Guild Wars’ heroes and henchmen. The main characters from the books, such as Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Callahan could be the heroes, while lesser characters, such as Sheemie, the Calla residents, and other characters, either taken from the books or created for the game, could be henchmen. I’m up in the air about Roland, however. At the very least, he would be a hero, but I could also see him being a non-playable entity who is in the forefront of the storyline, possibly the person who sends you on your various quests.
I also have a great idea for the endgame. (Warning: There may be spoilers for those of you who have not read to the end of Roland’s tale.) Of course your character will eventually reach the Dark Tower and defeat the Crimson King. Once he does he will be allowed to enter the tower. In the book, Roland passes several doors that mark various events of his life. I think it would be cool if you could open those doors in the game and see scenes specific to your characters adventures in the game. Eventually, you will reach the top and have one last door to step through. When your character enters the room at the top of the tower, he is instantly teleported to the starting area of the game, stripped of all acquired items and reduced to level 1. Cruel? Yes. Will players be pissed? Of course. But is it appropriate?