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BarefootPhilosopher

Member Since 30 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 17 2014 07:30 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Good game design software?

23 May 2014 - 05:43 PM

http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/versions/

Check our Articydraft by Nevigo.

The original is pretty reasonably priced I think, even for indies. I haven't used it myself but intend to once I've reached a more advanced stage in my game design.

In Topic: Morality compatibility

05 September 2013 - 03:46 AM

An interesting subject Oolala. 

 

It relates well to my recent experience playing Red Dead Redemption by Rockstar Studios. Its a great game by any account, but I found its pragmatic morality to be a little disturbing. The issue I came across was in the chapter of the game when you cross the border into Mexico in search of a former outlaw compatriot that in the past you had a falling out with for some undisclosed reason. Mexico at the time period in which the game is set, was mired in a civil war between the despotic government ruled by settler aristocracy and the downtrodden indigenous peasantry. The narrative is well written and the conflict is well fleshed out by the entertaining cutscenes. There was no ambiguity involved in knowing which side which you should sympathize with and which you should support.

 

The problem being is that part of the narrative is that the outlaw the player is supposed to track down and bring to justice maybe hiding with rebels and the main character which you play needs the assistance of government soldiers to track him down.  The player has no choice but  to follow the narrative and accept missions from government officials which involve killing rebels and destroying their homes, which are justifying purely by personal expedience. In order to pursue your personal goals you have to act contrary to your personal preference.  Even when in other narrative branches you're actually helping the rebels and meet NPCs which encourage you to identify with the rebels plight and sympathize with them on a personal level. Due to the narrative, the player has absolutely no choice. This really grates on me and reduces my enjoyment of the game. 

 

I don't know if anyone else has this problem playing.


In Topic: Mass simulation with statistical maps

02 September 2013 - 02:41 PM

hey cronocr,

 

I really like where you're going with your project. I myself have been interested in the concept of employing a comprehensive simulation to manage NPC interaction, world population, and physical modelling, but the Math involved is way beyond me. 

 

Do you have any links to to video game research relating to statistical maps, because most of the links found by Google are related to neuroscience?


In Topic: Would a trade system work?

02 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

That's an interesting idea, but I can also propose that money evolved from finding ways to get other people to help you:

 

So little Joey comes over to Gramma Hilary and says "I'm hungry, give me one of your many chickens."

Gramma Hilary says to Joey "Take these buckets to the river and bring me some fresh water, then you can have a chicken."

Joey replies "There's too many buckets, I'll be going back and forth to the river for a long time, but I'm hungry now."

Gramma Hilary says "Tell ya what, you make two trips to the river, and I'll have a chicken all cooked up and ready by the time you're done."

.

This is barter and trade, a direct exchange without an intermediate currency. And it seems likely to me that these trades existed before money

 

 

Well I base my understanding of economic relations on real world practice by my people, the New Zealand Maori, not on some hypothetical scenario. Perhaps it may at times transpired as you speculate, but many studies by both historical and contemporary anthropologists found that it in pre-industrial societies it was often poor manners to demand reciprocation immediately and instead pretend that providing for other's needs is a gift, though it was implicitly acknowledge that the return would be in excess of that provided by the giver at some later date. It was a way to build relationships and bring people together. 

 

"Utu generally meant compensation, but had two dimensions, one where a beneficiary was expected to reciprocate, and the other where a victim of some 
wrong exacted revenge from the wrongdoer. Dr Dame Joan Metge recently described the utu or reciprocal giving in Maori transactions in these terms: 
The operation of utu involves several important rules. First, the return should never match what has been received exactly but should ideally include an 
increment in value, placing the recipient under obligation to make a further return. Secondly, the return should not be made immediately (though a small 
acknowledgement is in order) but should be delayed until an appropriate occasion, months, years and even a generation later. Thirdly, the return 
should preferably be different from what has been received in at least some respects: one kind of goods may be reciprocated by another kind, goods by 
services, services by a spouse...."
 
In reality barter did often take place in the pre-industrial world but generally took place between two societies, whose members had only distant or no relations with each other. Less cost if the parties to the trade or barter deal were aggrieved by its perceived fairness.

In Topic: Would a trade system work?

02 September 2013 - 04:03 AM

@BarefootPhilosopher The lack of historical pure-barter societies doesn't necessarily preclude a primarily-barter game economy.  Ok, before money society had a gift-obligation or gift-authority system.

 

 

No it doesn't, but I think it would be a shame to reduce the full richness of human experience to social relations based purely on acquisitive, profiteering. 

 

 

A "wealthy" person in a pre-money society who distributed that wealth wouldn't have as many future needs, nor would the gift-receivers have enough future resources, to pay back the gifts with other gifts, so instead it would turn into a situation where the wealthy person or family discouraged or punished disobedience by withholding gifts, the same way a government punishes disobedience to laws by withholding freedoms and protections.  So a pre-money wealthy person accrued government-like authority, i.e. became nobility.  BUT, the thing is that this kind of gift-debt system can't happen in a game where players have no way to force each other to pay their debts in any form.  In a tribe or small village the wealthy person was the center of a clique and the clique members were often willing to beat up or kill anyone who displease the wealthy person, because this kind of violent demonstration of loyalty might earn the clique member more favor and gifts from the wealthy person.  In a game it is usually impossible for people to bully each other into doing something.  Also, there often isn't much in the way of service or obedience a debtor could give to a person who is wealthy within a game.  So, this historical system, while fascinating, isn't something we're going to see in games, unless and until they get a heck of a lot more real.

 

 

 

I think you'd find that the reality of pre-industrial societies is a bit more nuanced than what you state above. No society would be able to function without the constant risk of upheaval and collapse and no leader would survive long if his rule was based purely on fear, threats, and violence. 

 

 

On the other hand, bartering does exist as a thing people do in the absence of money.  Children who don't carry wallets trade things with each other all the time.  Co-workers too, in a situation where it would be socially inappropriate for one to give the other money, trade favors.  It's interesting to people who are used to a money-based economy because the strategy of making a profit by a series of barters is different from the strategy of making a profit by a series of purchases and sales.  Perfectly good material for creating a different-from-modern-life atmosphere within a game.

 

 

 

That's partly because people in our society find it difficult to relate to one another on any other basis after 200 or more years of social conditioning. The conception of homo economicus has become so deeply embedded in the fabric of our culture. In saying that people still lend each other tools and other goods when their close friends have need of them and offer assistance when they need an extra helping hand. It just isn't practiced quite so often as it used to. In fact people feel guilty expecting a return for doing a "good" deed for their neighbour. Reciprocity has become an almost dirty word. Much to the detriment of our communities social fabric.

 

I just think that trade and wealthy building for its own sake to be incredibly boring and pointless in games and that incorporating pre-industrial forms of exchange and associated webs of social relations into a virtual economic system would open up tremendous new  novel gameplay possibilities.


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