On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 3:21 AM, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> MMORPGs are just "interactive conworlds".. so I wonder... how about an RPG designed to promote in-game conlanging. With the right design one might be able to "force them to do it"

Much of your post seems to describe an antagonistic relationship
between the gamers and the GMs.  That kind of toxic relationship is
bad enough when it forms in a tabletop roleplaying group; why would
anybody join an MMORPG whose basic design includes it?

Rather, promote the in-game conlanging as a feature of the game and
recruit people for whom the linguistic challenge is an attraction.

> ie. when I say "they are here" it becomes "gwa eji hoji", but when you say "they are here" we all hear "ki otu datu" etc..
> When I say something it is first "scrambled" by my algorithm, and then before you hear it is also scrambled by your algorithm(reversed for listening)
> That way there is an "in game oral version" but none of us actually hear the in game version, we all just hear our own version.

Okay, so suppose after some initial confusion with players trying to
speak English (why, if the game tells them up front that they can't?)
and being unable to understand each other's scrambled speech.  Then
suppose Alice points at a dead orc and says "foo", and it gets
scrambled so that Bob hears it as "bar".  Bob catches on, or thinks he
does, and points at another dead orc and says "bar"... which the
scrambling algorithm turns into "qux".  Alice tries again with another
newly-coined word and another referent and screams in frustration
after three or four iterations.

How  are they ever supposed to devise a language together if they get
scrambled like that?

Better just to tell players they are't allowed to use English, because
the point of the game is to simulate a situation where
player-characters have no common langugage and must devise one

Some players might cheat and spoil the game for other players, but I
think this cheating must be the exception rather than the rule, or no
MMORPG could ever last  very long.  (I don't really know, I've never
played them, ony tabletop RPGs.)   Deal with the cheating as it
happens, but don't build the whole game around assuming players will
cheat and making life hard for them.

> Writing would be more difficult, perhaps just disallow all text based communication.

I don't see why writing would be *harder* to scramble (or to
automatically detect use of English) than speech.  It should be

>might be feasible. I am however not a professional game coder, nor do I understand the economics of the game industry, so perhaps it's not viable.

People probably won't pay to play games that aren't fun.  You need to
find a way to make this fun.  It doesn't sound fun the way you've
described it.

Jim Henry