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NeilArrow

Will Down-To-Earth Plots Ever Work?

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All the experts say that computer gaming is moving closer to the world of film-making, not just in terms of audience size, but with plot as well. Apparently, we''ll soon all be playing games with immersive plots with good characters etc. The way I see it though, computer games are still stuck in a rut when it comes to plot. Sure, we''re getting better at telling stories and developing characters, but we''re still playing games based in space fighting robots, or in laboratories filled with aliens. What about making games based on more realistic stories - the kind we see in films all the time? I know there are going to be examples of games out there that do this, but these are in a minority. Do you think that more sensible plots can ever become more viable in gaming?
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The more down to earth plots you describe in films and other media usually involve a strong emotional element (i.e. love stories) that is difficult to impossible to create in a gaming environment. For the love story example, even if you got artificial intelligence/emotional intelligence working to the point where the computer reacts appropriately to input, don''t you think that most people would find it more worthwhile to try creating emotional attachments with other people rather than their computer? Ok, maybe a sufficiently advanced system could be a "date trainer." And while it may be worthwhile to take your date to a love film, it''s difficult to take your date on a love game.
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speaking from both a writing perspective and game development perspective, i personally would find it very difficult to come up with a plot that has any literary value whatsoever and at the same time can be made interactive without making the whole thing look and feel contrived.. there was a novel by a french author whose name escapes me at the moment that took advantage of interactivity in a really seamless way.. you basically chose your own plot as you went along.. there was somewhat of an explosion of that type of writing style in the middle of the 20th century in europe, but it was mostly children''s books and stuff like that. it would be great to see a game with a real plot and story behind it, but it still seems to be somewhat of an afterthought, and, lets face it, it''s the gameplay that defines a game, not the story behind it. anyway.. that''s my two cents.


--
Float like a butterfly, bite like a crocodile.

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Actually Japanese games have a completly different view on gameing. I dont know if it''s because of the higher number of Gaming chicks but they have a big market for just these ''Love'' games. Also they do game where you play a year in the life of a School student and you have to decide what to do with your time, think sims/adventure game. Actually If anyone has an insite on the Japanese Gameing mind set plese post here I would love to here about non FPS games. Anything non-standard. Average Sux :-P

As Mr Cup always says,
''I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.''
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Mr.Cup raises a good point - Chicks playing games. If the gaming world is going to get any bigger, it needs to appeal to a wider audience. I''m not sure it can do it when most games are obviously based at teenage boys and science-fiction fans.

By ''real world plots'' I don''t mean games like SiCrane talked about. Outside of Japan, I don''t think we''ll ever see a big market for ''love games''. But what about games where you have to investigate or fight real-life crime, rather than some kind of inter-galactic villain?
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I''ve seen many good games like that. Police Quest is one where you''re a cop and you have to do normal cop stuff. In that one, you have to get a "radio extender" to allow you to radio back to base for backup when you''re on a stakeout. When you bring this one prisoner to the prison, you have to lock up your gun, otherwise, the prisoner will grab it off of you and get away. There''s a lot of little things like that in the game. Very well made.

Also, I''ve seen a few mystery games with a kindof "Myth" look to it. I''ve played one of these through a little. I''ve noticed that almost every object in the world can be picked up and examined, even if there''s nothing significant about it. If I was into that kind of game, I''d probably like it.

E:cb woof!
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Shen Mue *slaps head* what was I thinking? That sort of thing happens to me every week.
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I don''t think that realistic games would really work. I mean that they would be fun to play as long as they had a good plot but there are dangers with this type of game. You would have to be very careful with what you did regarding violence. In unrealistic games its perfectly all right to blow someone up because normally they are an unbelievable character link and invading alien or a zombie etc. But what happens when your player attacks a real person? Your character my have valid reasons like there a criminal, but there are folks about who would be horified by the idea of a game where you kill real people.

In games like police quest its all right to shoot people because your a cop and thats a given that they can shoot people. But if they character you are playing isn''t viewed by society to have the right to shoot people this could cause problems with the cencores. Of course I not saying a realistic game would have to envolve killing anyone, but can you think of any games outside of puzzlers where there is no violence/conflict?

In not taling about morality in games. I''m just saying that everyone (eg. game companies, parents, general public) are more comfortable with games involving slaying dragons than they would been with games with realistic plots.
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There was a time early in the history of film, when certain groups were opposed to addressing any serious issues with them. "It''s an entertainment medium," they said, "Who wants to see serious stuff when they''ve paid to be entertained?"

At that time, Schindler''s List was not a movie that would ever be made. Or Fight Club. Or any other movie i''ve seen in my life worth watching. No, they made movies about normal people getting rich, and the occasional tame mystery.

I''m not saying that games will go the same path. I think that they might, and if they do, I don''t want to be one of the people who doubted a revolution.
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