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BarefootPhilosopher

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

Topics I've Started

Why no Crimson Skies sequel/remake

18 June 2013 - 08:40 PM

hey guys,

 

As the topic above indicates, With a whole generation now gone by, I'm astonished that there has been an official sequel or at the very least a remake of Crimson skies, a title first released on the PC and followed up by the High Road to Revenge installment on the original Xbox. I think it sold well and is one of the most commonly asked for game remakes that I'm aware of. 

 

Imagine a game made in the milieu of Crimson Skies that takes advantage of the technical advancements offered by the Xbox 360, let alone the Xbox One or Playstation 4. Imagine huge, highly detailed open world terrains for players to fly and dogfight in the skies above, the ability for players to exit their planes and move around the world on foot or drive ground vehicles. Perhaps the game could take a leaf out of Avalanche's book by incorporating hijaking and "stuntposition system" mechanics from Just Cause 2. The game could draw on popular aviation related forms of entertainment such as barnstorming, airshows, and wing walking which were fixtures of the period. What other activities and mechanics would you include in such a game?

 

Which team do you think would be most capable of bringing a faithful successor to the move loved game to life?


Is social status of game character important to players?

02 October 2012 - 04:37 AM

hey guys,

I made a post sometime ago seeking feedback about whether politics and games are an appropriate mix. Though it didn't provoke the dialogue which I thought it would, it did provide some food for thought.

In context of my game idea, I would like to develop a game which explores the economic and political changes which transpired in the 17th century. Most games and furthermore the vast majority of historical and fantasy novels largely only portray the lived experience of the middle and upper classes. Does this testify to a conservative outlook of game designers and book authors or does are they deliberately catering to the demand voiced by players and readers?

I am asking, because in my game I would like to place the player in the perspective of the common man, to provide a grassroots viewpoint on the dramatic social and political changes that swept Europe in this period. No longer would historic events be mere academic factoids regurgitated in history books or in the class room, but would be vividly, but would meaningfully affect the player. They will be faced with the concerns and dilemmas which confronted , which are shaped by the dramatic changes occuring around them. The focus won't be on social advancement in contrast to similar games, instead due to misfortune the player may find his social stature deteriorating. There was a fine line between financial security and destitution and penury. It was this poverty which drove many to become highwaymen or pirates, because thanks to economic injustice there weren't many other options. It will give a little more nuance to the causes which drove men and women to the more unsavory vocations. Will players be put off by such a dramatic departure from the more typical formula which allows player opportunities to pursue ever advancing progression in wealth, prestige, and status?

The game which mine will most resemble, would be the economics simulation, the Guild 2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guild_2#Real-time_economics

I haven't played the game myself, but from what I've read its an economics simulator, set in the Middle Ages. The player is given the choice of four classes scholar, rogue, patron, or craftsperson, all of which have their particular attributes, though from the Worthplaying review, all apart from the rogue have virtually the same game mechanics and goals.

http://worthplaying.com/article/2006/12/3/reviews/38183/


In my game the player will begin as a humble peasant in a remote village in England, where he tends strips of land within his village's open field system, while his family grazes a few sheep, pigs, cows and fowl on the Lord's waste in exchange for a days worth of labor on his estate. As part of his labors the farmer will plant his crop and reap it upon harvest time. I will model the game's open field system upon real world historical processes and institutions and will strive for utmost authenticity. A major feature of the game will be attempts to mitigate the "Tragedy of the Commons" which is a phenomenon where there is a risk that an individual with access to the commons will jeopardize its integrity while he pursues his own self interest.
He will have to engage with the local lord of the manor, negotiate and resolve disputes at the court leet, manage his household finances, whilst scripted events unfold which can be whimsical, entertaining, and even life altering for the player character.

Games and Politics

30 August 2012 - 07:06 AM

hey guys,

I'm currently conceptualizing a video game idea, but this post isn't intended to discuss the game design itself. Instead, because the game will openly be by intention, radically political in nature, I would like to canvass opinions whether people believe it is appropriate to develop an explicately political game, or whether gamers would consider it to be an invasion and intrusion into the gaming realm.

I don't mean political in the sense of championing one political cause or ideology over another. Rather it would take the form of challenging the basic assumptions that have become deeply in our cultural milieu, such as predominance of individual over society, selfishness over solidarity, competition over cooperation, accumulation over sharing, market over community....These elements are now considered to be fundamental truths and very rarely questioned in our society's public discourse. Video games are no exception.

Games are essentially rule based systems that allow the player the ability to interact within the games structure in order to achieve a specified goal. Its a video games capacity for representation, which provides a game designer tremendous power to interpret and portray the world based upon their views and beliefs and shape the experience of the player, constrained as they are by the rules instilled into the game by the designer. They may not be conscious of the underlying assumptions that underpin the rules embedded within their video game's structure. For 30 years we've been bombarded with the message that there is no alternative to the predominant narrative of neoliberal/neoconservative ideology, so its little wonder video games too follow the same blueprint.

As a disclaimer, politically I'm now pretty pragmatic. I ascribe to Bismarck's phrase that politics is the Art of the Possible. Over the years I've flirted closely with Anarchism (without rulers), though I'm no longer so doctrinaire about my opposition to formal government. You could describe me as a libertarian-socialist or Panarchist. Panarchist essentially means there would be allowances of a diversity of forms of governance, each operating simultaneously and providing for humanity's disparate needs. What frustrates me is that since the fall of the Soviet Union, not only are our choices constrained by the supremacy of the capitalistic system, but the narratives of the neoliberal/neoconservative philosophy are so pervasive, that they are all but unquestioned.

Since the events of the Great Financial Crisis myself and many others like me have been emboldened to question, challenge, and even reimagine other narratives and possibilities beyond the current paradigm. We live in exciting times.

I've played video games for a long time. Ever since the days of the Amiga 500. I play for fun, not just to champion my particular political views and the game would be in the same spirit. I would like to make a fun game, but one that also serves a dual purpose. For me, the beauty of a video game is that it can be an abstraction of elements of the real world. Because a game's structure is more stable (not necessarily static) a designer can expose more of the workings underpinning the structures that comprise the aspects of the world you wish to portray. The neoliberal/neoconservative political theorists and "economists" construct a bloodless, rational model of the world, which conveniently leaves out salient facts such as overt violence, implicit threat, social control, relations of power, propaganda, constrained opportunities, which underpin their system all of which could be exposed by cleverly designed game mechanics.

I've been out of the video game arena for awhile now, due partly to my mistaken dismissal of them as a waste of time and because my unwillingness to invest in a PC capable of playing the latest games. Obviously I have now rethought my position to an extent here I would like to develop my own game. Since I'm in the dark regarding recent game developments I may be wrong in believing there to be few games where cooperation, rather than competition is an explicit game mechanic. Modern scholar in scientific domains as biology, behavioral economics, political science, and game theory have revealed the value of cooperation within nature and human society. I am particularly inspired by Elinor Ostrom's work in outlining various principles that are conducive to allow ordinary people to successfully manage communally owned resources cooperatively. Any strategy game that hopes to faithfully model and simulate a cooperative dynamic would need to integrate those principles.

I've come across a couple of articles that explore the politics in video games theme, one of which is relatively brief about video games' unquestioned assumptions about the nature of virtual economies in games and another written from the angle of media criticism about the failure of System Shock to offer a valid challenge to Ayn Rand's vision of a extreme libertarian utopia, because it still clung to the trappings of capitalist economic relations and a conservative image of a successful endgame. The latter is a very long read. My post is nothing in comparison.

http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2010/04/22/economics-you-can-play-not-economics-you-can-use

Feedback and continuing dialogue is welcome.

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