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TechnoGoth

Is combat in games a requirement?

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I''m curious as to what game player and developers think about combat in games. Is it possible to make and rpg, adventure, or action game. That has no combat in it? And would such a game still appeal to a wide audience?

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Hahahaha. Sim City is a big one. The Sims. Harvest Moon(A personal favorite). There are many games that don''t require combat. For an RPG i''d think that combat would be the point of the game. For an adventure or action game you could prolly get away without putting combat in it.

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no, it is not possible. i mean, by definition games must include violence of some sort. if there is no combat, it is not a video game!

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The Sims has no violence per se and is extremely popular. A Tale in the Desert has none and is also popular.

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perhaps I should clarifiy a little, the are games with no combat such similuation games and sports games, and there are games that are all combat such fighting games and FPS. But what I''m interested in all the others types of games. Is combat a nessecary part? If the was an RPG/action/adventure game with no combat in it would people play it?

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There have been plenty of adventure games with no violence.

I was thinking violence-free shooters would be an oxymoron too, but then I remembered PoopMUp (also that game where you throw paint at baby seals, and Super Noah''s Ark 3D.) If you consider those combat as well, I guess it is an oxymoron.

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There will always be conflict in a game. Everyone involved will want to win. Unless your game is so boring that noone cares and just goes afk all the time, using your game as a screensaver to prevent burn-in on their precious LCD screens and God I hope this isn''t an old topic I''m posting in.

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Thief (and Thief II) are exremely fun action/adventure games where at the highest difficulty level you will fail the mission if you kill someone, though you''re allowed to knock them out. Combat is allowed but if you ever get into direct combat with a guard you can usually kiss your ass goodbye.

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I think it''s entirely possible to make a popular combat-less game, however there has to be *some* type of competitive element in it. It doesn''t matter whether you''re competing with another player, the bad guys, or just yourself, people like to test themselves against *something* and see if they can come out on top. Why else would people play racing games and stuff like Tetris? (Yes I know you''re talking about other genres here, however if it''s possible to get people to like a game where you move blocks around, it should be possible to get them to like a game where you go on an ADVENTURE and move blocks around. )

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Oh yeah its possible to have games that arrent violent. Thats why the ESRB have categories for younger children and overprotective mothers.

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I think (though I can''t be sure) that TechnoGoth wanted to focus on adventure/rpgs... So yeah, sure, there are plenty of non-role-playing games that do not involve combat.

Wait... Define combat. Sure, most of the definitions involve "fight" or "battle" in a violent way, but on a very abstract level, "combat" can mean almost the same thing as "conflict"... Meaning any time there is a challenge between two entities, you have (possibly non-violent) combat. Is Daytona 500 combat? Certainly it''s a conflict... so.. a combat of racing skill? Is Tetris combat? Combat of brains? If this were the case, then every game by it''s very nature is combat. If it weren''t, there''d be no challenge. Course, one could make a point for a game like Animal Crossing (Animal Forest), since that game has absolutely no conflict and no discernable entity that a player is trying to defeat. Much in the same way the Sims games work-- you have a goal and there are obstacles in the way, but there is no discernable antagonist (AI or otherwise) to be in conflict with.

Okay, metaphysics aside, I think it''s safe to say we''re talking about combat in the fighting/battling sense in RPGs... I''m SURE we can sit here all day and rack our brains for the few exceptions to TechnoGoth''s assertion. But that''s neither prudent or helpful to the conversation at hand.

So I contend it''s a genre problem-- if one can call it a problem at all... These games are loosely based in the same genres as many many novels that have comb before it. (Actually based on the paperback RPGs that are based on novels.) Read Tolkein. Read further back to the Arthurian legends. Hell, read Shakespeare! Very few of these novels are without fighting/battling combat. Probably near the same percentage as the number of games that are also sans combat. The reason is in any good literary work, there is a definite protagonist and a definite antagonist, and a conflict between them: the hand-to-hand combat at the end of the novel is the ultimate climax to a conflict that has been built up over pages and pages.

Now I guess the real question should be why, when these novels usually contain only a handful of fights with one climax battle at the end, do RPGs make you fight thousands of monsters for no reason other than to gain the experience to gain the skills required to win the final combat?

-Desco-

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Is combat a requirement? Absolutely not! Look at all the successful sports game franchises. As others have said, look at the sim franchise...it''s huge! So many great games out there have little or no combat at all, it''s ludicrous to assume that combat (and therefore violence) is a prerequisite to having a good game. In fact, I would encourage non-combat games as parents would have no qualms about letting their children play them (and they sort of stand apart from the norm). So go for it!

--He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

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quote:
Original post by krez
no, it is not possible. i mean, by definition games must include violence of some sort. if there is no combat, it is not a video game!


Games do not require combat. Physical violence is merely one form of conflict , which is definetly a requirement. As already mentioned, business simulations, The Sims, and other such games contain certain conflicts or choices but do not focus exclusively on combat.

-Mike

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quote:
Original post by Desco
Now I guess the real question should be why, when these novels usually contain only a handful of fights with one climax battle at the end, do RPGs make you fight thousands of monsters for no reason other than to gain the experience to gain the skills required to win the final combat?

-Desco-




Because reading about a thousand fights is boring, but participating in them doesn''t have to be.

Also, if you take away the fights from an RPG, no matter how many role-playing opportunities there are, it is an adventure game for some reason.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
All your base are belong to us.

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Guys, guys.. CyberSlag5k... Inmate2993... The original post asked about RPG, ADVENTURE, or ACTION games. Quit freakin'' mentioning sports games and simulations ''cause we all know they don''t have violent fighting/battling combat in them!

Sakuranbo-- So you''re saying if you remove combat from an RPG, you''re gonna end up with games like Myst, 7th Guest, Space Quest, or Longest Journey? Those are great adventure games, which I guess was one of TechnoGoth''s original speculations, but what about RPGs?

I don''t agree that an RPG sans combat would be like those... Lets start by just reducing the amount of combat in a game-- take Shenmue for the Dreamcast. It certainly contains combat-- learning new moves, street brawling, learning from the masters, etc.-- but it is certainly is NOT the majority of the game. And it CERTAINLY is more like a videogame RPG with an item inventory, self-improvement, etc than an adventure game which generally doesn''t have these things. (For anyone who doesn''t know about the Shenmue series, and really likes story/plotline in RPGs, look into this series. I know someone who bought a japanese Dreamcast and learned Japanese just to play more in this series!!!)

Most of the game DOES play a lot more like an adventure game-- your''re walking around, finding things out, interacting with people/places/things, etc. But like I said, it certainly does feel like a videogame RPG. So now that I''ve showed an RPG with a drastically reduced combat focus, lets reduce it to almost-zero... A game that feels like an RPG, has dynamic character improvement, skills, etc., items that the player can find, use, buy/sell/trade, people to talk to, quests to go on, problems to solve... except now, maybe just one or two combats in the entire game.. or hell, no combat. There''s a game like this-- it''s in my brain, but I can''t recall a name... grrr.... anyone?

-d-

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doctorsixstring: i wasn't being serious, i just forgot my < sarcasm > tags...
quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Is it possible to make and rpg, adventure, or action game. That has no combat in it?

the problem with that is (generally) the main, most time-consuming, and only way to improve your character is through combat. so, if you cut out the combat completely, there will be nothing to do in the game ("go find me the crystal in the 7th level of that dungeon, to unlock a path to the next town, but don't worry; there is no monsters to fight on the way"). i mean, you could still go around finding things, and buying items (not heal potions or swords though)... and it turns into an adventure game without the great puzzles.

to make the game not completely suck, you would have to replace the combat with something else that takes just as much of the gameplay time as all the random fighting. this activity would have to allow for character improvement, and give you money when you win, so you can go buy stuff at the villages.

i never saw much combat in adventure games (unless you mean something other than those old sierra adventure games), as they were more about puzzles and such.

quote:
And would such a game still appeal to a wide audience?

if you did it well, yes but a lot of the people who would buy "RPG SlaughterQuest for the UberSword" would be unhappy with it unless your combat-replacement was very neat.

[edited by - krez on July 8, 2003 4:37:11 PM]

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it just occurred to me that you could abstract the combat, and use cards, or dice, or pokemon, or whatever the latest anime characters are playing with. thus, the conflict is still there, but instead of stabbing 8,000,000 goblins with your sword, you just end up playing cards/dice with 8,000,000 guys... instead of opponents killing each other, they lose a game and leave shamefully (or your pets can kill each other in the pokemon scenario).

but, that is not really non-combat IMHO, it is combat with a sugar-coating.

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Umm... That''s pretty much how the Pokemon games for Nintendo''s systems (well, GameBoy atleast, since that''s all I''ve played) work. You assume the role of the annoying kid in the cartoon, and it''s basically an RPG but instead of fighting and improving yourself, you fight with and improve your pokemon.

But don''t be so quick to discount the Sierra-like games... Yes they''ve lost popularity because the static-background graphics style doesn''t really impress anyone, but the gameplay is still viable... Though very few (or no) companies seem to be willing to try this, it seems possible to make a game play like Space Quest or Leisure Suite Larry in full 3d graphics. The only attempt I''ve seen was the (previously mentioned) Longest Journey, which still used static pre-rendered backgrounds, but used 3d acceleration hardware to create the characters, items, etc. But I''m willing to bet that a full blown 3d game that played like King''s Quest could work, if done correctly.

-d-

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I think I should clear up a misconception. Conflict doesen''t mean combat. There are many kinds of conflict form bashing each others heads in with a club. To a debate on the ethics of cloning. A conflict a strugggle between two or more forces.

A game should still be able to have conflict without the need to resolve it through combat.

Afterall in rpgs you earn experince for over coming obstacles it doesn''t have to be from kill goblins. You could award experince for each succful action whileinfiltrating the bandit camp and resucing the princess.

and Krez I''m not saying that you remove enimes from the game just that you remove the combat aspect. So while your in the dungeon trying to get the magic crystal on level seven. You have to find other ways to deal with the enimes then fighting them. The obvious methods that come to mind are, stealth, distraction, bribery, conversation, and chaos tactics.

instead trying the kill the 50 goblins guarding the magic crystal an endevour you would inverable lose. Instead you use your alchemy skills to brew a tastless, ordorless, sleeping potion which then convice the owner of the local brewery to add to the goblins next shipment of beer.

Theres just an example of the top of my head of how you could get the crystal without combat.

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