Monday, October 22, 2007

Science and Engineering Content in a Star Trek MMORPG 2

One of the questions that comes up when thinking about a MMORPG based on Star Trek is how to generate interestingly distinct gameplay for both Engineering and Science branches. Both of these are fairly dependent on technology... so what's to stop an engineer from being interchangeable with a science officer?

To answer that, we need to figure out what's unique to each discipline. Once we see those things, we can discriminate usefully between them to create appropriate gameplay features.

So here are some of the characteristics of Science and Engineering that come to mind:

  • Science is about theoretical understanding; Engineering is about practical application.
  • Science is about perceiving patterns in complex data; Engineering is about insuring patterns in the behavior of complex objects.
  • Science is about knowledge; Engineering is about technology.
  • Science is about building internal models of systems; Engineering is about building external examples of systems.
  • Science is about "why"; Engineering is about "how."
Do these observations suggest anything useful about how to generate Engineering gameplay that is distinct from Science gameplay (and vice versa) in a MMORPG set in the Star Trek universe?

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