Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Humanity/Spirtuality rating

This topic is 5585 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Alright folks, just an idea I''m looking to get brainstormed I''m playing around with a design treatment at the minute - just an interesting idea I came up with. Not much chance of developing into a game right now, so I''m just fleshing out the concept - something to file away for future reference. The backstory/hook isn''t hugely relevant - long story short, the protagonist is a young priest of some kind. In a monastery/seminary, place is invaded by forces of Hell, PC fights back, usual story. FPS action with strong horror/occult theme, probably some survival/horror elements, touch of RPG (in terms of character development, not stat fiddling). There''s somewhat more to it than that, but that''ll give you a basic idea. Anyway, to get to the point, the specific gameplay feature I was considering here is a humanity/spirtuality score. Consider it the PC''s "state of grace" rating or some such. The idea would be that the player''s actions affect this - eg vanqusihing Satan''s minions and so forth might increase it, allowing innocents to be killed would lower it, etc. Brings in role-play elements while still tying it firmly into the FPS gameplay dynamics - the level of the score will affect the PC/his environment. Eg, the damage the PC deals out might increase with a higher score, he might move/see a little better, etc. The idea is to keep it subtle - this isn''t supposed to be some kind of magic thing - no overt "special powers", etc. Just a subtle effect on the gameplay. The kind of actions that affect the score could also be more subtle - I was thinking of a desecration penalty, for example - destruction of statues, chapel interiors, etc would incur minor penalties. Again, this would be kept out of the player''s direct feedback system - just a subtle effect. Make the player think about what he''s doing, not just try and min/max another stat. So, any suggestions/commments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A benefit for a higher humanity/spirituality score might be additional discernment as to what is more evilly aligned. An NPC's motives, a temple, a creature, an area, etc.

Hoarding treasure might also reduce the spirituality score. I think the idea of spirituality means taking only what you need, and fighting for the cause. A more powerful weapon that helps in the fight against evil would be permitted as long as, say, your old weapon is handed over to another warrior that can help in the fight. Or if an item is better used by another NPC, to give it to them instead (meaning you can't access its powers).

Increasing the score should be something that feels like a sacrifice, and provides a benefit that only benefits the cause, not the player's powers or strength.

[edited by - Waverider on September 2, 2002 10:33:26 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting. Personal sacrifice is certainly an idea I''d like to get into the mix. The idea of sacrificing items/treasure probably wouldn''t suit the gameplay - the scenario takes place in a limited area over a fairly small time period, probably wihtout much direct NPC contact.

Nonetheless, it''s a good idea. I was thinking of introducing some gameplay centered "moral dilema" type scenarios. Eg, the player is fighting through a difficult area. He encounters a bunch of civilians/innocents coming under attack by the hositles. The passage to his objective is time-based/otherwise restricted. If he stops to help the innocents, he''ll have to take a harder/longer route to his objective, or maybe miss out on a bonus of some kind. This kind of in-game, action-based sacrifice was something I wanted to incorporate. Maybe more subtle/ambigious scenarios - eg player must choose between saving one group of civilians or the other.

In terms of benefits, yes, something like better ability to discern enemies could be good. Maybe counterbalance that with the hostiles having a better chance of spotting a higher-rated character - ie there are benefits to being righteous, but you have to "fight the good fight" even harder than a less holy type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you increase the difficulty accordingly, then what advantage has the player gained from his self-sacrifice? It should be enough that he may have to face additional challenges to achieve this status (and perhaps to maintain it; the advantages could fade with time unless the player continues to do "good deeds").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This idea sounds really cool. Some other things beyond self sacrifice you may want to consider are a search for meaning, the power of helping others and redemption for the fallen.

My one qualm is with your subtlety. Subtlety in games is bad players will not get it. For illustration I will share a story from the guys at Bungie.

In Halo if you kill an elite sometimes all the little grunts would run away and hide. When they first implemented this system nobody noticed that was what was happening.
So they changed it so that it would happen every time an elite got killed all the grunts would run away. People were still not noticing this happening.
So they changed it so every time an elite died all the grunts would run away waving their arms frantically yelling "Were all going to die!" Even then only about 50% of the people noticed it. (I was one who didn''t notice :-) )

So long story short - subtlety is bad.

Hope that helps sounds like a cool idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I think of a humanity/spirituality rating I usually think of pen & paper games especially the ones made by white wolf studios. Myabe its because I use to play a lot of them in high school. Anyway, in those games humaniyt usually signifies how in control you are, ie someone with a low humanity rating tends to act feral and not very in control of the actions they take while someone with a high humanity rating is able to think clearly in all situations and make choices that benefit some greater good whatever the character thinks that is. As for spirituality rating I think that can be good for using spiritual objects to repel/kill demons, such as someone with a high spirituality can use a cross to repel demons or something like that. Just my ideas on the matter, probably from too much pen & paper games and vampire novels :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cmptrgear, yeah I''ve heard some mention of that kind of thing in White Wolf rpgs. Never played them myself (just a bit of AD&D years ago) but I might look into them.

Miserable, the idea (right now anyway) isn''t really for the player to gain any significant benefit from righteous actions - I''m considering it more of a role-playing feature. The main idea of having a rating for it is to tie the character development/rpg element down to the gameplay dynamics of a FPS. But yeah, you might be right - players might want a more overt gameplay advantage in return for sacrifice.

MorganE, good point. That''s something that would have to be considered. I''ve often noticed the same thing myself - on analysing a game long after playing it, you often spot little animations/effects/behaviours that you never noticed while playing through the scenes. Problem is, from a desinger''s point of view, you always notice the little subtlies you''ve created yourself. It''s hard to look at that kind of thing objectively - good testing is probably the ultimate solution.

I''m still keen to keep this a subtle element though - the idea being to have it more a character development element than another stat that has to be managed the way you might balance your health or energy. As I mentioned above, the use of a stat at all is mainly to tie the RPG element into the gameplay mechanics of an action game in a more tangible way. If the rating is meshed into enough elements of the environment/action, hopefully it could become part of the background experience. As with a good RPG, the player won''t neccessarily notice too many overt effects from his actions, but if he plays in a certain role, the "feel" of the game as a whole will be affected. I reckon that''s possible, but it might be tricky to design for - that''s almost considering a form of emergence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites