Archived

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

TechnoGoth

Common Themes in your designs?

Recommended Posts

I was looking over my past game design that where all in various stages of completion and implemention before, being pushed on the pile of things I''ll get back to when I have the time, and I noticed some common themes in many of them. Some of the common themes where: Town/organization building - The player aquires and decideds how to utilize resouces to build and improve a town or organization. R&D - The player is involded in research and devlopment in order to aquire new objects, options,or improvements Ecology - There are enties that go through a life cycle if the player heavily impacts those enties it can alter the ecological balance, causing some of those species of enties to die off. Object construction/customization - The ability to build new object and customize existing objects. Human fralities - The stores often deal with some aspect of human frality such as greed, corruption, and the inequites of life. Non liner - The stories have multiple paths and resolution to events, and there is no right or wrong way to resolve an event. Non Fantasy - The stories and worlds I create and not fantasy worlds, and based in time periods other then the mythical medival europe. I had not intentionally set out of include any of these common themes, they just naturally evole as I worked on the idea. So I was curious do other designers find themselves including whether intentionally or not certain common ideas in the games they design? If so what ones? ----------------------------------------------------- Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simulation, not story -> I''m more interested in immersing the character in a world than in a work of interactive fiction. In many designs I''d hope to achieve both but the simulation takes precedence in any conflict.

Statistical character development -> I like the player to be able to tip the game balance in several different ways, according to how they like to play the game.

Player/character identity -> similarly, I''m intrigued by games where you can effectively play yourself, or model a character in your own image.

Moral ambiguity -> where possible, I like to think of ways in which you can totally break down the typical good/evil dichotomy. The challenge here is to do this without making the player feel bad in any way.

Stealth, darkness, oppression -> I hate happy worlds of dragons and great armies and ''high fantasy''. Give me something darker and more oppressive any time. I won''t design a happy game.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL Docs | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost
Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff | Tiny XML | STLPort]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''ve noticed that I''m both obsessed with non-linearity / replayability and post-apocalyptic game worlds that are on the mend. Both just seem to offer so much choice and diversity of outcomes that I have a hard time designing anything else.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Virtually all of the games that I've (partially) designed are high fantasy. A bit typical perhaps, but it's just my favorite world theme to work with.

Magic always features very prominantly, however it might fit into the nostyle of game. I know that magic is almost always prominant in high fantasy worlds, but I mean moreso than usual. Heck, even my abstract puzzler designs almost always focus around magic in one way or another.

I tend to go for a large ammount of variety of choices, be it a large number of possible spells, races, ect. Overboard might be a better word. I had to force myself to stop designing new factions for a tbs/rts hybrid I was working on at about 15, when I realized how hard it was going to be to give each of them a truly unique feel from every other. My friends always say that I make things needlessly complicated. Well, maybe I just like things needlessly complicated

[edited by - Zarion on April 4, 2004 12:30:07 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are definitely common themes in my work:

- Identity (gender changing, shapeshifting, sexuality, adapting to an alien culture, meaning of names, cultures or bloodlines that have distinct stereotypical physical appearances and rare deviant individuals, and races where the individual''s personality affects their physical appearance)

- Commitment (vows, loyalty to a cause, vows of undying love, fear of romantic commitment, commitment of a leader to his followers)

- Psychological manipulation (techniques, uses, and ethics)

- Love and romance (what is it, how does it work, what varieties does it come in, different personal philosophies about it, the character who loves no one, the character who loves everyone, the character who is loved (or even liked) by no one)

- All my worldbuilding is science fictional in style and is done from a sociological point of view, even when the genre of the work is actually fantasy.

- I like to have exactly two races or other groups in my story so I can characterize both in depth and concentrate on the culture clash between them. Usually one of these groups has a postmodern moral relativist culture while the other has a traditional mythic culture organized into clans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see games as interesting logical, mathematical systems. As such, I tend to focus on minimalist designs that make the most of a few raw gameplay mechanics. I favor replayability over content. I prefer abstraction over simulation (thread coming soon). I prefer SF themes partly because of my lacking art skills (though I find the actual theme pretty much irrelevant). I prefer single-player games (for technical reasons). My favorite method of creating "new" games is to take existing game designs and remove features mercilessly until all but the essence of some gameplay component in that game or genre remains (here's an idea: a RPG reduced to character creation and the battle with the final boss).

[edited by - Diodor on April 5, 2004 8:49:47 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting doctrine, Diodor.

Go for the player instinct to get down to the dirty and do it well (by repeating actions). It also means you can focus more on gameplay. I may take this up in future development.

Stay Clausal,

Red Sodium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven''t really gotten much into game design, but one of the areas that I''ve been really interested in is having NPCs that feel *very* realistic to the player. Right now, it''s still limited to one extremely intelligent archenemy, but I eventually want the player to be able to interact with it in as many ways as possible, simulating a real-life person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites