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irbrian

Any Thoughts on Psychedelic Gameplay?

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Now and then as new ideas for games pop into my head, I come up with some really strange ones, like games with absolutely screwed-up physics, pyschedelic visuals, mind-bending perspectives, and so on. Sort of like, playing a game inside an abstract painting. Have any of you put any thought into games like this before? How do you think the industry and the public would react to games like this? What new ideas come to mind, and how would you implement them? **************************************** Brian Lacy ForeverDream Studios Comments? Questions? Curious? "I create. Therefore I am."

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think it would kick ass.

But you have to have a tripped out plot to go along with the visuals.

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there was an older FPS game i played for a while that i've forgotten the name of. but it had psychadellic mushroom pickups that would overlay everything in the world with pulsating color textures, randomly swing your view around and sporradically fire your weapon. it was really really fun & funny. often they would put them in rooms with lots of enemies or with traps of some sort so you'd always have to be on the lookout for them and try to evade them (or grab them for fumtimes).

-me

[edited by - Palidine on April 5, 2004 8:36:16 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Palidine
there was an older FPS game i played for a while that i''ve forgotten the name of.


Rise Of The Triad, from 3D Realms.


“Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.”
— Brian W. Kernighan

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What is the purpose? How does it make for a richer gameplay experience? Are you merely doing this as a form of psychedelic drug advocacy?

I''ve never understood the preoccupation with "trippiness." Ingesting mushrooms and altered states of perception are, IMO, escapist activities and signs of weakness or an inability to continuously cope with reality. Playing games are already an escape from daily tedium; why do we need a second layer of escapism - escape within escape, or escape upon escape?

I fail to see how it adds value. I found GRIDRUNNER++ less than scintillating.

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Oluseyi, don''t be such a square, man. We don''t need you telling us how to live our lives, you know? I mean, whoa. What if I told you that you couldn''t do whatever you want to do, man? What do you think that would feel like, man? I bet it wouldn''t be too groovy, man.

In all honesty, this can play into the recent discussions on sanity. Changing the appearance of the game world can play right into that. Misperception is something that never really makes its way into games. In fact, I''d like to see things like fatigue and nerves start to play tricks on you. Sounds, sights and even slight control twitches can be put in, to make you feel a little less in control, a little less like you''re controlling an on-screen puppet.

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quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Oluseyi, don''t be such a square, man. We don''t need you telling us how to live our lives, you know? I mean, whoa. What if I told you that you couldn''t do whatever you want to do, man? What do you think that would feel like, man? I bet it wouldn''t be too groovy, man.
I wasn''t issuing an edict, I was asking for an explanation. Don''t be so damned counter-culture

(Got one back atcha, long-haired hippie boy!)

quote:
In all honesty, this can play into the recent discussions on sanity. Changing the appearance of the game world can play right into that. Misperception is something that never really makes its way into games. In fact, I''d like to see things like fatigue and nerves start to play tricks on you. Sounds, sights and even slight control twitches can be put in, to make you feel a little less in control, a little less like you''re controlling an on-screen puppet.
That''s an interesting idea. The traditional refutation, of course, is that it''s "too strange" and that "gamers won''t like it," but how do we know they won''t unless we try?

I''m open to virtually all new designs and initiatives (though I may not play them - sunandshadow will never get me to play any romance games!) I just like to see the idea developed and a rationale issues as a way of focusing the development effort.

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
What is the purpose? How does it make for a richer gameplay experience? Are you merely doing this as a form of psychedelic drug advocacy?
heh, No, I certainly don''t advocate drug abuse, and I don''t think that anyone should run out and experiment with LSD as "research." The point is to challenge the players'' (and particularly the designers'') preconceptions of what a game "ought to be."

Here''s an example off the top of my head. Say I design a basic Platformer where Color is not merely visual perception, but in fact is directly related to the physical nature of the game world. Say, anytime the player character enters a blue zone, the physics are such that it seems like he''s swimming through water. If he enters an orange zone, the player character (not the camera ) finds himself spinning in space, and all movement is relative to his current orientation at any given moment. Then he enters a green zone and can only move straight up or straight down. Now, if later levels begin to combine all these colors in very small increments, it would be quite a challenge of trying to get from point A to point B, i.e. while still trying to dodge or attack the platform-hopping monsters that invariably would accompany such a game.

It sounds quaint, and pretty weird. Well, it is, but that''s the point. Its a unique challenge, and hopefully one that SOME (certainly not all) would find refreshing.

quote:
I''ve never understood the preoccupation with "trippiness." Ingesting mushrooms and altered states of perception are, IMO, escapist activities and signs of weakness or an inability to continuously cope with reality. Playing games are already an escape from daily tedium; why do we need a second layer of escapism - escape within escape, or escape upon escape?
My answer, friend, is a resounding "Well, why the heck not!?" :D People play games for all kinds of different reasons, escapism being among the most well-established.. and why not offer a new flavor of escapist experience?

One of the major reasons I design games in the first place is just that: To (safely, without the use of dangerous chemicals) create unique experiences that no one has ever visualized before.

****************************************

Brian Lacy
ForeverDream Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?


"I create. Therefore I am."

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quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Oluseyi, don''t be such a square, man. We don''t need you telling us how to live our lives, you know? I mean, whoa. What if I told you that you couldn''t do whatever you want to do, man? What do you think that would feel like, man? I bet it wouldn''t be too groovy, man.

In all honesty, this can play into the recent discussions on sanity. Changing the appearance of the game world can play right into that. Misperception is something that never really makes its way into games. In fact, I''d like to see things like fatigue and nerves start to play tricks on you. Sounds, sights and even slight control twitches can be put in, to make you feel a little less in control, a little less like you''re controlling an on-screen puppet.
Yeah, I LOVE the idea misperception in games. Never did play Call of Cthulu but that was one thing I was really looking forward to.

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I''ve played plenty of IF and have nothing against them, but I''m more interested in developing modern games. They have a much higher probability of penetrating the mainstream market and thus promoting widespread appreciation of original gameplay concepts in general.

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quote:
Original post by irbrian
They have a much higher probability of penetrating the mainstream market...
Not with trippy, color-zone-based gameplay they don''t.

Basically, the example you gave uses color arbitrarily, not to alter perception, but as a feedback mechanism to indicate the rules that are in effect. "Wow, how innovative." Where have I seen this before? Oh, that''s right, Pac-Man.

I''m still waiting for something better. Not to be snarky or negative; I''m trying to prod you to get to the core of the psychedelics idea.

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There are some commercial/successful games that could be described as psychedelic, like Rez... and probably a bunch of others that are only available in Japan.

(As for my own takes... Plasmaworm, and the "Mushroom King" theme in BBoB)

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How about a game where your main character suffers from some chemical imbalance where, without some usually-readily-available diet supplement, they slowly lose touch with reality? I''m thinking things more along the lines of perspective shifting, spiders coming out of the walls, loss of physical control etc. rather than just trippy colours. So if you''re good, you can get to the end of the level (the next cache of caramel timtams or whatever you''re chasing) and everything''s fairly normal, but if you get delayed for some reason you start to trip out, making it hard to find the goal.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
fractoid, try Eternal Darkness on the gamecube. pretty much what you describe..

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Tetripz

tetris on your favourite reality enhancement. low "dosages" are just neat to play tetris and see it all trippy. overdose on the most potent chemical they offer you and try to keep up with tetris then.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I don''t think it is abstract but I''d love to see more games that look like surreal / impressionist paintings (like this cover of ICO ).

http://www.psx.net.pl/covers2/ico_coverJAP.jpg

That would be soo cool.

Synaesthetic art / games would be quite cool too, like Coldcut''s Natural Rhythm video where the music is linked to the video. So when you hear ''drums'' you see popping seed pods, or a beetles banging its carapace. I think many of the instruments are actually samples of these noises.

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I fear that synaesthetic games would turn into giant song numbers, with every plant, animal and NPC humming the theme song. The image I get for it is the scene in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" when they went into Toon Town and the trees were all singing and stuff. Madness.

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Hrmm, a game about perception. I can see it now: "The Adventures of Don Quixote"

If you could pull it off well, I''d love to play it =-)

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How about an Art Odyssey, where you take a trip through various different styles of art, and each level has different gameplay, puzzles and enemies. For example one level is based around Cubism, another is based around the abstract art of say Mondrian. The art style would affect the representation of space and how you can travel through it.

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quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
I''d really like to play a game with maps inspired by Escher''s work. Buggin''. It reminds me a little of the hypercube thread a few months ago. Did anything ever come of that?

try American McGee''s Alice...

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