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Civ w/ story, $50


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#41 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 17 October 2000 - 11:01 AM

quote:
Original post by Ketchaval

I''m not really a fan of Civ, (as it takes so long and there doesn''t seem to be enough Point to play it), but if Civ were taken away from the micro-management state to a "mid-management" state where it was more simplified (like Age of Empires on a big scale), then the type of thing where your city of Azathoth is attacked by barbarian hordes etc, whilst your coasts are neglected would work better.



Can you elaborate on this? What difference does the management level make? I''m not quite clear here.


quote:

_How many tales are emotionally impactful & meaningfully orchestrated Now or Before... I mean do you really feel that much when Hamlet kills X, or Y ? Hasn''t MTV
stopped people caring .


Hah! I don''t watch TV, so maybe this is why I''m immune!

Seriously, I think if that were true, much of the film market, particularly the heartstrings and chickflick movies, would collapse!!! (No offense to heartstring or checkflick fans intended!!!)

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#42 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 17 October 2000 - 11:20 AM

quote:
Original post by kseh

It seems your position, Wavinator, is that games like FF7 and so forth that take away choices from the user in exchange for a narrative, are less than games.



Not "less than." That connotes a value judgement that I don''t like. I''d say, rather, that they''re "not quite games." They''ve got some game element, but mostly the focus is story. I wish the term electronic story had caught on. (BTW, much of my agitation comes from having these forms of entertainment marketed to me, under the label ''game,'' when there''s not much replayability to them. I''d rather avoid them, sort of like how fantasy fans might avoid the science fiction books I enjoy.)

quote:

I say that FF7 has enough in common with hide n'' seek (which has been a game longer than chess) to be considered a game.



Hmmm... Is h&s a ''game'', or is it really just a form of play? Take bouncing a ball against a wall and catching it. Is that, completely and totally by itself, a game? I don''t think so. But if you add a score, and a goal ("don''t drop the ball, or hit this spot only"), and maybe another player... then I think it becomes a game.


quote:

I can also say that both have a beginning state and and ending state which the player attempts to reach limited by rules that programmers impose on the player. In Civ there''s one of 2 goals, conquer the world or win the space race. In FF7 it''s pretty much kill the bad guy at the end.



I agree with the broad definition, but I think you lose a lot by cutting out the details. For instance, think about all the steps that it takes to win FF7 vs. Civ. How much do they vary? What resources do you manage? What trade-offs or decisions do you make along the way?

quote:

When I put a puzzle together that''s why I''m doing it. Not for the choices which I can make, but simply to do it.



Yes, but a puzzle is not a game. As Greg Costikyan says, no one would call a crossword puzzle a game.

A puzzle is (usually) static, made of predefined parts that are meant to be solved with logic or experimentation. They tend not to change with the player''s actions, the way a game does. This doesn''t mean that games with puzzles are not games, just that, like story, it''s a continuum made of tradeoffs.


quote:

I may not have met the goal you set out, Wavinator, but there''s a (perhaps slim) chance I have at least changed your mind.


I appreciate the spirit! Perhaps I''ve given you insight as well.



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#43 Ketchaval   Members   -  Reputation: 186

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Posted 17 October 2000 - 12:31 PM

For an example of management level''s effects on story ?!
The management level affects your involvement and "perspective" on the action / (narrative?). There could be a large difference between the impact of a scene where.. (not taken from Civ BTW).

**(you always lose a battle to a far superior & larger army)**
- In each case you cannot win.

1. You have to manage everything including the supply trails and , the manufacture of 2000 spears, 1000 swords and a large array of individual things.. but your army is overwhelmed and crushed every time. Maybe you save 300 weapons by shipping them elsewhere. Almost all of this would have been a waste of time in terms of dramatic impact & management for whatever small amount of stuff you save, as messing around in all the detail would lose the human factor and immediacy of the action & tragedy.

2. You lead a few of the leaders and make sure that their supply ROUTES remain open. But are crushed with a bloody defeat, your star general''s head is brought to you by the enemy-messenger demanding your obeissance.

3. Very little management. You say attack / retreat etc. and see the bitter outcome. (Maybe less dramatic ?)


So the level of control affects the dramatic quality of the action, thus changing the effect of the game "narrative".. Ie. You can''t focus as much on the dramatic rise of the Emperor Celestus, if you have to micro-manage each City.. Like Caesar 3 , but with many cities.

Of course the amount (time? effort?) that the player has invested in things is also a factor ?

#44 Chai Peddler   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 07:25 AM

Wavinator -- I agree, I think the key issue here is the degree of choices. In a typical story game, there are far fewer choices available for the player, thus making it much easier to weave the game with a story. In Civ-like games, there are so many possibilities, you''d have to make hundreds of FMV clips with so many endgame FMV clips, it would take quite some time and resources. But it''s not impossible! Just incredibly involved.

I said there needs to be a theme for a story. Just like in movies, books, etc.. For example, sone themes from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien:

1) Safety vs. Adventure -- the story demonstrates how it is necessary to leave comforts and the known when there is need for us to enter into the unknown, to take risks.

2) Destiny vs. Free Will -- while we have destined lessons to learn in life, and events unfold to prod us toward our destiny, we have free will to choose, and every choice leads us to experience exactly what is needed for us to learn and grow.

And more, but the point is, to have a good story, there must be a theme or several themes which underly the game. So, in making a Civ-like game with a story, examine what you feel or think are good themes to portray in the game, and stick with it throughout the story.

Again, for Civ, it''s a great deal of effort, since there is such a large number of possible outcomes for every turn, much less in the total game.

I liked making up my own stories as I played Civ.

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.
-- Jelaluddin Rumi




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