There’s an answer to everything on teh intraweb. You just have to ask. As a gamer, and someone who appreciates great design, I’ve always wondered what games actually pioneered some of the basic features or design elements we now all take for granted. With most new games, we only notice when some of these things are absent. Sometimes when we see them in a new game, we say “oh they just ripped this off from game X.” This is where innovation meets convergent evolution.
If I get sufficient responses, I’ll summarize and repost. We all have a general idea where some of these originated, but game lore masters, help us out. Part trivia, part design retrospective. Call it an exercise in back filling game design lore.
Name the game and/or approximate date that the following was implemented in a game. I’ll throw out eleven to start, but feel free to suggest other elements and their origin as well. Note, many of these things may have been developed outside of MMOs (maybe even non graphical games), but we find them now in many games across many genres.
1. The target circle (that ground level highlight that shows who you’ve targeted).
2. The radar/mini map
3. The In-Game World Map
4. Taxi Travel (birds, boats, trains, teleports and other non-player controlled transport)
5. The Bank (Player specific storage)
6. The Quest Log
7. Recall Travel (the ability to return to a fixed point instantaneously)
8. Player Housing
9. WASD movement controls (out of the box).
10. Player to Player Trade
Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?