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Big Cheez

Mind control

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Huh?

To put it another way. How about actually telling us something about this game, how it will work etc so we know what your are talking about. Then we may be able to offer you some useful advice.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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two points:

01: if a player falls under the control of another character it should be, whenever possible, the player''s own fault. only when a player is truly outmatched by his opponent should mind control be a possibility. all other instances should be preventable in some way.

02: when a player is under control by a foreign agent there should always be a way to break that control. some of it will most likely rely on the player''s level and the controlling character''s level to determine how difficult it would be to break control.


anyways i like your idea. this is something that i''d considered briefly for one of my designs but haven''t made a definite decision about yet. but i will definently implement some type of subjugation status in the form of capture, imprisonment and slavery. i''ll post any specific ideas i have about this while the thread is still around, but right now the concept is still vague in this area.

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Take for instance games like Final Fantasy or any rpg where you can get charmed. When you get charmed your character is being mind controlled or whatever. You can generally heal them with some antidote. In this type of game you don't feel cheated but if you only controlled one character then I guess you would.

Oh yeah, I like your name big cheese, lol

[edited by - BlahMaster on October 14, 2003 9:51:10 PM]

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quote:
Original post by BlahMaster
Take for instance games like Final Fantasy or any rpg where you can get charmed. When you get charmed your character is being mind controlled or whatever. You can generally heal them with some antidote.

really? i always just chopped them with my axe, as getting hit cured it!

OP: are you talking online multiplayer here? i am assuming as such... and these are jsut random suggestions:

1) allow characters to wear a tinfoil hat to block the psychic''s control.

2) have it work similar to hypnotism: a charmed character will not do something completely against their nature (i.e. if you charm a paladin, do not expect to make him kill children as it will break the "spell"). the more out-of-character the actions are, the better chance the link will be broken and they regain control of themselves.

3) give it a time limit, or some other limit, so the controlling character can only control other characters for a short while, or cause them to do only a small number of tasks.

4) make it illegal in the game-world; if someone mind-controls you and makes you give them your shoes, the police/guards/whatever will hunt them down and fine/kill them.

5) make it so that after controlling a character, they cannot do it again for a while (at least not to the same character), giving them a little while to kick the crap out of them for doing that.

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[ok i should note that all of this comes from the point of view of my own design, which is primiarily a srpg (strategic...) and probably, i hope, has an entirely different concept than what you are thinking of. but for an rts these ideas need only be transferred to the units rather than the "player"]

one thing that i would do is have a scale of the strength of the control factor. something to account for the player's experience and the method of control. then you need a scale of resistance, some skill or attribute that defends against mind control. weight these two factors, and determine a total control strength. then determine just what you mean by mind control and align it to the scale. something like..

low control: slight control, dectecable by a general loss in coordination, actions that fail or are counterproductive in some way, and clumsiness. sometimes comes at the hands of traitorous allies who secrely wish you to fail.

lower middle: direct control, must be within sphere of awareness. brief duration, during which the subject is trapped in his own body. intermittent with breaks during which an opponent can determine his own actions.

middle: a general control, requiring almost constant attention at first. can be done through more indirect means. subjects used to achieve an end desired by the controller. can be broken with an increase in concentration in the subject or a breakdown in the concentration of the controller.

upper middle: much like middle control, although only periodic attention is required on the part of the controller. much harder to break without major outside intervention.

high: major loss of free will, more akin to brainwashing. can only be broken by an outside force. can be deceptively less noticable than the middle levels.

[edited by - syn_apse on October 14, 2003 10:42:59 PM]

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If this is a first person game, what if you made both players have control. ie the player in control wants to move left while the player being controlled wants to move right making the player stay still. Only if both want to move right will the player actually move right. (Stuff like firing will be done if either person hits the fire key). This would work if there was a time limit that broke the spell.
-Greg

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Probably the fairest thing would be to make the player that is being controlled invinsible, so that the player in control cannot delberately kill off the player only place them in a situation where the controlled player will have to negotiate safely after regaining control.

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1. Thanx every1 4 replying so fast! I like your suggestions!

2. Obscure asked:

quote:
Original post by Obscure
Huh?

To put it another way. How about actually telling us something about this game, how it will work etc so we know what your are talking about. Then we may be able to offer you some useful advice.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant


This is a fps/rpg in the future. Mind control is the result of either people or devices. Mind control is only found in the last 10 levels.

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If mind control means that some ai/other player gains control of the players avatar, then that would be horrible in an fps, because the player would just be sitting there helpless watching his character do things he doesn't want.

A more interesting way of implementing it would be to manipulate the character by illusions. For example, an illusion might appear to make friendly characters look like horrible, slavering monsters. Enemies might appear as damsels in distress, urging you to rescue them from the horrific beasts that surround them. A better 'mind controller' might be more subtle.

There should also be clues that the illusions aren't real - graphical clues (illusions could be very slightly, but not obviously transparent) behavioural clues (the slavering monsters don't really act like slavering monsters should) etc. Thus an astute player can figure out he's being manipulated and take steps to avoid it.

[edited by - Sandman on October 15, 2003 7:18:19 AM]

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Personally I am against mind control vs. the player... as in my opinion it has a way of twisting the gameplay rules to much. Especially in multiplayer...

BUT

If there is a need for it, I think it is important to give the player a counter for it... even before it is released on the player.

For example in a sf rpg the player could witness someone using the mind control against a NPC... and through a few ''obvious'' hint learn that by substituting the evil combat helmet for a armor weak ''tin foil'' helmet (mentioned by someone above in the thread) the mind control will not work...

A good way of mind control in my eyes would be to still allow the player full control but distort the view....



::aggression is the result of fear::

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quote:
Original post by Sandman
If mind control means that some ai/other player gains control of the players avatar, then that would be horrible in an fps, because the player would just be sitting there helpless watching his character do things he doesn''t want.


i don''t think that it would be so bad as long as the player a; comes under the spell of another gradually (like on the scale that i typed above), and b; is able to counter the spell while it is still in it''s forumlative stages. for instance, in the game i''m working on keystrokes initiate actions, like swinging a sword or casting a spell. if under middle control the player''s actions would not work normally, but they could use different combinations, or a repetition of an action, in order to break the spell.

quote:
A more interesting way of implementing it would be to manipulate the character by illusions. For example, an illusion might appear to make friendly characters look like horrible, slavering monsters. Enemies might appear as damsels in distress, urging you to rescue them from the horrific beasts that surround them. A better ''mind controller'' might be more subtle.



this i like, although i wouldn''t really file this under mind control in the tradional sense. this is more like perception control, because the character retains free will even during the times that the "control" is the strongest, when distressed damsels cry out and slobbering friends approach menacingly. and once a player knows that what he is seeing is false, then that''s it, the trick is over, and most likely will never again be used effectively against that player. but this is definently something that i would use in a limited sense.

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An interesting idea would be if it was split second control depending on the characters level for 1-5 seconds. Just long enough to cause some chaos among the other players. Think about in FPS shoot game you mind control one of the other team for just long enough to drop a genede amonst their own team or unload their assult rifle into there buddies back. Next thing you know they are shooting each other and your a laughing in the shadows wait to see the results.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on October 15, 2003 4:39:29 PM]

[edited by - TechnoGoth on October 15, 2003 4:41:57 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I once dreamed that I had mind control over Britney Spears. Mmmmmm....

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I think the dual control mind control idea has some potential - it allows the player an intuitive method to "resist" the mind control, and also an obvious way of scaling the intensity of the control.

A couple of ways of making the mind control feel fairer: Allow the player to mind control others. Consider the logic - if someone is attempting to control someone else''s actions, then their own body is going to be immobile and damaging the body of the controller may well weaken or break the control. Combining both ideas, the obvious counter to being mind controlled is to mind control the other person back - they''re going to be vulnerable, and if you''re weaker at mind control, you''re probably physically tougher, so will require more work to suicide...

The big problem with Krez'' "hypnosis" suggestion is that, as it stands, it requires a robust method of evaluating which actions are or aren''t in character. This sounds like a pretty hard AI problem.

The illusion idea could work, but it would be hard to allow player characters to use the ability.

Another example of games where mind control has been doen successfully: the early XCOM games (UFO to Apocalypse) featured mind control - initially restricted to enemies controlling your units, but with the right research, you could unlock the same powers for your (wo)men. As with Final Fantasy, you have control of multiple units, so losing a small number of them is not disastrous but in XCOM, as long as the enemy is willing to keep putting in the effort to control a unit, you can''t do anything about getting it back (apart from incapacitating or controlling the controller)

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You could handle the mind control as more of a goal.

I.e. controller A casts a spell on subject B to go pull the lever on the other side of the board. The player, while still having full control, has x amount of time to accomplish the task (or break the spell some how) or take some penalty.

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Depends on the genre but...

What I could see as being a nice way of implanting this would be to have the control last only an arbitrairly short amount of time (perhaps a few turns). Then, the controlled player regains control and immediately knows who controlled him and what has happened. Maybe even take it to an extreme and get a "feeling" as to where, more or less, the control was issued from. Furthermore, control cannot be issued more than once per, say... I dunno, hour?

So yeah. You can control someone but then you''ll most likely be hunted down by some really angry player.

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