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Avatar MUSH: Worldbuilding

Kumiho January 20, 2011 User blog:Kumiho

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File:Worldmap.png
Part one of a four part series.


Part of what made Avatar: The Last Airbender so unique was its choice of setting. The show introduced us to a world not quite different from our own, except for its being punctuated by fantastical abilities, fabulous creatures, and engaging characters. This perfect combination of the familiar with the unique drew avid fans repeatedly back for more each week over the course of the series' three year run. Even after its end, Avatar continues to engage us, leading to continuous fandom writings and cosplay adventures at every convention. It would seem that the fans' continued faithfulness is what eventually led to the allowance for a fourth installment.

At Avatar MUSH the project team has and continues to work hard at capturing this special world that is so close to many hearts. Our goal is to create a world that is not only interesting but engaging to a wide range of players. Of course some difficult decisions had to be made in order to turn a series about a few into an online shared experience for the many. One of these decisions was to wind back the clock to Avatar Roku's time, a period of great uncertainty. Then in order to allow for characters from every nation, a different threat to world peace, the New Kingdom, was introduced. While this may upset some purists among the fan base, these choices have provided a wealth of options for characters of every kind. In many cases it is quite impressive the level of detail and thought placed by players into the characters of their own creation. Already every nation is well represented with characters that are quickly becoming iconic to the game.

Whereas Avatar opened with the Southern Water Tribe, Avatar MUSH took the polar opposite with play beginning in the Fire Nation. Despite being the antagonists in the series, firebenders are exceptionally popular with the fan base, and in our world, among the good guys. As the game and meta-story develops players will be able to visit new lands familiar to us from the series. Tasks have already taken players to the Southern Water Tribe, and soon the Western Air Temple. The Northern Water Tribe and the Earth Kingdom will eventually follow. But being the long term thinkers we are, the project team is also making plans for visitations to the wild and ethereal Spirit World.

Of course what would Avatar be without its bending battles? It is certain many a viewer of the series was immediately hooked by these origional and well choreographed scenes. Consequently great effort has been made on the game to build an easily understood but well rounded system that allows players to duel one another in addition to defeating their enemies during chapter events. The team did not stop here though. We took the system a step further, allowing players to create their own custom attacks and defensive moves in case those that exist already are not to their liking. Again, the creativity of the players seems to have no bounds with the ingenuitive moves we have seen submitted already.

Avatar MUSH is constantly changing and improving each day. We hope the world we provide to the player is one which provides a truly unique opportunity to spend a few hours each day being a part of the series that left you in awe. A world that makes not only the fans but its creators, Mike and Bryan, smile. For all the team members at Avatar MUSH, I cordially invite you to come and help build this world with us.

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