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Responsibility in Game Development

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Hi again all!

Last evening I was approached by my long time friend and co-designer of my second game (The Lost City of Malathedra); Brian Linton. brnlinton@gmail.com

He began to tell me about a new project he was working on which he calls: Responsibility in Games

Being a developer who is writing a game with a self imposed 17+ rating; I was of course skeptical, I wasn't looking for a "Don't Make GTA" lecture.

Revel Immortal has many instances where you have choices to do good or bad things; and usually apropriate outcomes for either; I'm all about giving the player choice.

But in fact he seemed mostly interested in how designers were handling situations where the player is given the power to do; what might be considered anti-social things in games.

I was really glad to see it wasn't a "you should feel bad about the games you are creating" kind of campagin.

Anyhow, he is currently searching for ideas and/or commentary on how best to visualize/simulate results in games when the player makes what might be considered "good" vs. "evil" choices.

He asked me to see if anyone has any ideas or interest concerning how the concept might be implemented in new or existing games; if so you can feel free to comment here or shoot him an e-mail at brnlinton@gmail.com.

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Yeah, I got bored of power-fantasy games a long time ago but I still want my escapism, not morality lessons or arbitrary restraints or scripted gameplay that just doesn't go into dark places. Let me find my own morality under the same rules as NPCs.


In Revel you've got basic karma/reputation and scripted quests that give the player "evil" options (although you're still being the judge of morality).  There's so much more you could do but you're creating a big world to explore, with lots of NPCs and story lines.  Can't have it all if you want to finish. :)


I'm dabbling with a smaller-scale RPG concept (only 10 or 20 NPCs), modeling individual NPC personalities and relationships... a simulation of crass human behavior. So the player can do heinous things to them but they'll hold grudges, gang up on him, and take revenge. hahaha.


Economics is another way to deliver consequences without subjecting the player to special rules. I mean, if they cause massive destruction, even if they don't get caught, it's gonna affect supply and demand, and there'll be ripple effects in commodities they didn't touch directly, and eventually they'll try playing with some finesse.


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