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Madster

non-violent teen-to-adult game concepts

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Madster    242
We all know games don't *HAVE* to be violent. And while those are mostly pre-teen games, there are also non-violent games that are interesting for teens and young adults and so. But when someone asks us what other genres are there, we go: "uh... The Sims. and Sim city. and.... um.... Sim-somthing." and of course, they all fit in one or two genres. So, do YOU have any ideas that could be made into non-violent games, and still be FUN for teens and/or adults? games that rely heavily on explicit sex are not an option either, of course =) Me, i wish there was a proper way to do drama.... but its hard to make it challenging and fun. Also i'm interested in non-twitch games, that appeal to casual and new gamers. Like Syberia. shout your thoughts! edit: well known non-violent genres: god games administration sims vehicle sims exploration point&click adventure

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Palidine    1315
myst
puzzle games
platformers (do you consider mario violent?)
card games
driving/racing games
sports games
any kind of FPS but instead of killing you just turn people into chickens, or ducks, and occasionally iguanas

-me

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Madster    242
good question. While über cute, the bottom line of Mario is still to defeat non-playable characters by hitting them.

So while not exactly violent, it still sticks with the violence paradigm.

However, i've seen platformers that didn't involve hitting anyone.. i remember one about a biker moving trough some weird scenarios without falling... also good old Spelunker from Atari was about exploring a mine without dying. oh yes.. death...

its unavoidable to put death in there, isn't it?

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Madster    242
Nice, a hacking game. Takes skill, fast thinking, gives you a rush yet its entirely non violent.

Anyone willing to adventure an idea of his/her own?

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Coz    169
I don't know why lately all the violent games talk has raised more than usual. Games have ratings for a reason, if you buy your child a game and it happens that it's violent, well it's your fault. It probably had a rating. It's like movies, tv or anything else, and I don't hear so much talking about the violence in them lately.

Anyways sorry about the previous paragraph, and now let's get truly on topic :p

Well for starters, you could find a certain degree of violence in anything, depending on how you see it. Everytime people use pesticide they kill living creatures. The point of this is that when you say non-violent games you probably want to define how violent.

I downloaded this little ninja game, it was a stealth game. No weapons or anything. You begin on a rooftoop of a randomly generated city, with many guards walking back and fort inside and outside the buildings. The objective is to cross the city without being spotted by 10 guards, with a time limit. Sounds from falling also alert the guards, the higher you fell from, the louder the sound is, and you have a graple hook to help.

A discovery an adventure game. There is this game.. let me see if I remember.. oh yeah seiklus ( http://www.autofish.net/clysm/games/seiklus/ ) I found it pretty interesting.

A game where you can make monsters that can be altered genetically, and then they compete against other monsters in different tasks, like finding things, running, lifting things.. tought I know that there are lots of things more interesting that the ones I suggested.

Well obviously puzzles..

Hey, what about a game where you are a ghost and you have to scare people? Without being caught by paranormal investigators, ghostbusters and such.. some people might be harder to scare, or might not be scared from just seeing a ghost, so you have to find ways to scare them. Maybe there can be holy symbols and objects that prevent you from scaring your objective. You might be able to affect some type of objects in different ways, like, you can make air molecule's move faster in places that you touch, move slightly non-heavy objects like papers, make things a little more warm or a little more cold, or even manipulate people but in a really small amounts. Using those abilites you have to be able to get rid of the holy objects and scare your objectives. But beware, because everywhere you go, you leave an ectoplasm trail so you have to create false leads and confound paranormal investigators.

Another game could be that you are trapped inside a dream world, inside people's dreams. Dreams break the rules of physics and such 'normal' right? Each person has different dreams with different 'rules' in it. Each dream looks different. You can get inside any person dreams, as long as that person is dreaming. They might be having a nice dream or a nightmare(non-violent nightmares okay?). If you are inside someone when that person wakes up, it's game over, however you can know in advance when someone is waking up because the objects inside the dream start to fade when that person is waking up, and you can know when a dream has just started. When you are inside someone who is dreaming, you can go to the dream of a person that is part of the dream you are in, by entering a portal. From every dream you can jump to several dreams, but you have to unlock the portals first by doing something related to that person in the dream. You have to look for clues on what can get you outside the dream world inside people's dreams. You might have gone to the dream world because someone sent you, because you had an accident or because you are looking for something or someone there.

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darookie    1441
Quote:
Original post by Coz
Hey, what about a game where you are a ghost and you have to scare people? Without being caught by paranormal investigators, ghostbusters and such.. some people might be harder to scare, or might not be scared from just seeing a ghost, so you have to find ways to scare them. Maybe there can be holy symbols and objects that prevent you from scaring your objective. You might be able to affect some type of objects in different ways, like, you can make air molecule's move faster in places that you touch, move slightly non-heavy objects like papers, make things a little more warm or a little more cold, or even manipulate people but in a really small amounts. Using those abilites you have to be able to get rid of the holy objects and scare your objectives. But beware, because everywhere you go, you leave an ectoplasm trail so you have to create false leads and confound paranormal investigators.

Sound familiar. Wasn't there a similar game on some platform (a console game perhaps)?

I wonder why none of you guys mentioned sport games - I remember breaking lots of joysticks playing Summer Games on the C64. That 10,000m dash in real-time(!!!) was a real killer - those were days [grin]

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Madster    242
Nice post, coz!

let's see... by non violent i mean that the means to win or advance don't come exclusively trough harming other characters.
But now that you mentioned it, i am more interested in the games that lure casual gamers (since most of my friends seem to fit there... damn), and those usually don't rely on skill/dexterity.

For example, your ghost idea is excellent! easy to relate to, no dexterity needed and no violence.

about the genetic altering game, i remember this wargame called 'impossible creatures', and i heard people spent more time mixing and making new creatures than playing the game... it was simply more fun.

dream world? excellent. Your objective could be having that person come to terms with an issue, maybe by showing him stuff, or confronting his fears, etc (non violent fears =D hahah)

I find most casual gamers are easily lured by games that feature human characters promiently (shown in a big % of the screen), and doing typical human stuff, like talking to other people and fiddling with stuff. And laughing and crying. An action scene here and there to spice things up too.
Also they're turned off by tiny specks that shoot things in every direction. It's just not lifelike.

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onyxflame    203
Where do you draw the line between casual gamer & hardcore gamer though? I don't consider myself a casual gamer, but a lot of people probably would because I don't like the bang bang shoot em up games due to having crappy reflexes. However, I'll obsessively play RPG's in every spare moment. (Of course since Gamecube has very few RPG's, I haven't been able to get my fix for a long time.)

I think the thing is, even if you don't include violence, you have to include *some* kind of conflict, otherwise the game's pretty boring. Humans for some reason just adore watching someone else's conflict. (Jerry Springer, anyone?)

Side-note on Spelunker-type games where you can't kill the bad guys: I find these really really annoying, because it still takes better reflexes than I have to avoid the bad guys sometimes. And when I get annoyed at how badly I'm sucking, I can't just shoot something to relieve the frustration. :P

Maybe I'll come up with some decent ideas for nonviolent games soon, but so far everything I can think of would be a sim of some type, heh.

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Guimo    463
Hacking Game Based in the popular ShadowRun game.

You are a hacer and start with some basic equipment. There a servers located all over the world in a network. You should get some servers for money, some servers for information, some servers for power. Sometimes hack the police servers in order to clean your delictive past. Each time a server is hacked, it gets harder to hack next time.

When you enter the cyberworld, you have an avatar. Your equipments translates your own reactions to your avatar. Better equipment means better reaction time, better weapons in your avatar, better antivirus, better diguise programs. You can equip your avatar for a particular hacking job. The hacking job can be any one. The hacking experience can vary depending your game style. Maybe it can be like descent and your avatar is a spaceship fitted with weapons. Maybe you are a soldier with lots of gears and tools around. Viruses, firewalls, and sentinel programs can be represented in many ways. Maybe each hacking experince can be a puzzle game.

Current hacking stereotype is The Matrix. Current hacking protection programs are characters like Agent Smith. Current Hacker stereotype is Neo, Trinity or any other human in the Matrix. Anyway that is not mandatory.

About the servers. Say, you hack a money server (a bank). You can get some money in order to upgrade your equipment. But it will be harder to hack it next time.

If you hack a information server, you get better information about the global network. Server locations, server protection measures.

Hack a power server in order to get control of the physical world (power stations, train stations, etc... even nuclear arsenals and military computers). You could shut down entire cities or take control of nuclear weapons.

Each time you enter the cyberworld you can be detected. The more 'hacks' you make, the more sought you will be, so you have to enter the Local Police/FBI/Interpol servers in order to delete your information.

The back history may be that as you start to hack more and more servers, you notice that the 'Cyber' (just a name... call it Matrix, Web, Grid, Net or wathever) is developing an intelligence and wants to destroy the humans (any reason... they are not required... usual scifi logic). So, you have to locate the central intelligence server, lower its physical defenses (hacking its own 'StarWars' defense server that wont allow any missiles to enter) and launching some nuclear warheads to its main physical location (maybe sending an attack special OPS team, etc). To do that, you HAVE to gain power taking control of servers. Unfortunately, none will want their servers hacked and will set a bounty on your head. Hackers will enter to get you. So now you have to fight that uncaring masterserver and you have all the people of the world against you!... and you have to save them... moral dilemma...

So... a game with no blood... enemies con disintegrate in bytes when you kill them (in case you want action). As they are just virtual programs (and the players will know it) you have no remorse to get them 'formatted' (no gore, no morality as you are not killing living things). So it becomes active but not violent. Anyway if you still consider that too violent, make each hacking a puzzle game.

MMMMMM ... I think I should put it all in a design document and start coding it by myself!!!! Looks fun...

Luck!
Guimo



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red_sodium    216
Quote:

i remember one about a biker moving trough some weird scenarios without falling


I think you mean Elasto mania, and it's a fun game and quite simple too.

You lose if your body makes contact with the ground. The physics in it are just awesome, and you can do stuff like flip around the Y axis (this is a 2D side-on game) and catch your wheels along a rail and slide along it!

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Coz    169
Quote:
Original post by darookie
Sound familiar. Wasn't there a similar game on some platform (a console game perhaps)?


Since I bet that someone else tought about that idea I don't doubt it :p However, do you remember the name of the game? The only ghost related game I remember it's Casper from snes...

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Madster    242
red_sodium, my friend, you are AWESOME.

that is the game =) and im hooked on the demo again lol. A bit ugly by todays standards, but its hella fun.

And about that ghost game... i didn't play it but i remember something like it.... maybe this one called Ghost Master?

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HemoGloben    314
I don't really like that game. Physics are cool, but they react waayyyy too slow. I don't really mind the graphics, and level design is pretty good. But the controls are just so...clunky. It make sit less fun. (Though, that didn't stop me from playing on it for a good 30 minutes).

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Madster    242
Quote:
Original post by HemoGloben
Physics are cool, but they react waayyyy too slow.

yeah, it seems that the rider+bike are too light. Still makes for fun gameplay.

Quote:
Original post by onyxflame
Where do you draw the line between casual gamer & hardcore gamer though?

To me its rather easy: you show em Half-life 2 and if they go "hey that looks cool... whats it called?" then they're casual =)

Quote:
Side-note on Spelunker-type games where you can't kill the bad guys: I find these really really annoying, because it still takes better reflexes than I have to avoid the bad guys sometimes. And when I get annoyed at how badly I'm sucking, I can't just shoot something to relieve the frustration. :P

true, all games should have a way to let out steam, otherwise the frustration builds and you walk away all upset and not-fun-like

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Madster    242
Quote:
Original post by onyxflame
So you're only a hardcore gamer if you like games where the only thing to do is kill stuff? Sounds kinda screwy to me...


it does sound screwy. mostly because thats not what i said.

I meant recognizing.
You surely recognize Half Life when you see it, like most hardcore gamers out there. Anyway it was mostly a joke.

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Dakar    182
Quote:
Original post by Coz
Hey, what about a game where you are a ghost and you have to scare people? Without being caught by paranormal investigators, ghostbusters and such.. some people might be harder to scare, or might not be scared from just seeing a ghost, so you have to find ways to scare them. Maybe there can be holy symbols and objects that prevent you from scaring your objective. You might be able to affect some type of objects in different ways, like, you can make air molecule's move faster in places that you touch, move slightly non-heavy objects like papers, make things a little more warm or a little more cold, or even manipulate people but in a really small amounts. Using those abilites you have to be able to get rid of the holy objects and scare your objectives. But beware, because everywhere you go, you leave an ectoplasm trail so you have to create false leads and confound paranormal investigators.


Ghostmaster.

What exactly is the border between violent and not violent? For example, with the dreamworld game, people would eventually get bored with disposing of minor fears, and would want to move onto bigger things. And the only bigger things would HAVE to be violent.

Basicly, trying to make a completely non-violent game will back you into a corner. Most games have at least some violence. (Name ONE that doesn't).

(By the way, in the hacking game, you are creating massive amounts of damage and perhaps bankrupting companies, which would cause many people to lose their jobs. Even though nobody really gets hurt, is that considered violent?)

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Coz    169
Quote:
To me its rather easy: you show em Half-life 2 and if they go "hey that looks cool... whats it called?" then they're casual =)


If meet someone who does that then that person does not deserves to be called a gamer O_O

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Madster    242
Quote:
Original post by Dakar
(By the way, in the hacking game, you are creating massive amounts of damage and perhaps bankrupting companies, which would cause many people to lose their jobs. Even though nobody really gets hurt, is that considered violent?)


by non violent i mean that the means to win or advance don't come exclusively trough harming other characters.

i guess since the people who lose their jobs arent characters, it would be non-violent, at least according to the definition i posted.
Some define non-violent as showing no blood, but thats sort of weak since you have this games where you shoot zombies with automatic machineguns and their heads explode in green... there's no blood so its not violent? hmmmmm.

Quote:
Basicly, trying to make a completely non-violent game will back you into a corner. Most games have at least some violence. (Name ONE that doesn't).

Sokoban! Tetris! Sport games! on the adventure front i like Syberia, beautiful engrossing non-violent game.
Actually the whole thread's point is to bring those to attention, and to address this you said, aiming for non-violent backs you into a corner. This is only because we don't know enough gameplay schemes that are non-violent. I'd like to see new ones come up.

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onyxflame    203
Actually, if you showed me Half-Life, I'd probably say "yuck, another shoot stuff game...got any RPG's?" I've never played it, I have no interest in playing it, but that doesn't mean I've never heard of it.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled topic. :P

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Risujin    190
It was said earlier that a non-violent game would mean no conflict because conflict is (I'd say) fundamentally violent. The shooter games with lots of gore etc just employ the more obvious forms of violence making them easy to understand and enjoy.

Even games like Myst end up having drama and conflict with elements of violence. Take for example Riven, there were many times when you could die (getting trapped in a book or shot outright!). These kinds of games use more subtle forms of violence and conflict but depending on where you draw the line are still violent.

I think the best example of the least violent game I've ever seen would be Tetris style arcade and puzzle games. These things are so abstract that you get the conflict is a lot of the time within yourself. In arcade games especially you are pushing yourself to get a higher score. You're essentially driven by your desire to improve and excel more than anything else and often times relative only to yourself. Its different from shooters where youre more competing with others or having fun just shooting people. :)

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Madster    242
Quote:
Original post by Risujin
Even games like Myst end up having drama and conflict with elements of violence. Take for example Riven, there were many times when you could die (getting trapped in a book or shot outright!). These kinds of games use more subtle forms of violence and conflict but depending on where you draw the line are still violent.

Yeah there is violence (which is very real and an unavoidable aspect of life), but the gameplay isn't violent.
I elaborate: you are never rewarded for harming anyone.

Quote:
Original post by Risujin
I think the best example of the least violent game I've ever seen would be Tetris style arcade and puzzle games. These things are so abstract that you get the conflict is a lot of the time within yourself. In arcade games especially you are pushing yourself to get a higher score. You're essentially driven by your desire to improve and excel more than anything else and often times relative only to yourself. Its different from shooters where youre more competing with others or having fun just shooting people. :)


now you're on to something here.... hmmm
self conflict is good, if it leads you to self improval.

nice thread everyone ^_^
since i wanna go on a tangent, i'll start a new thread with it.

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MSW    151
Quote:

It was said earlier that a non-violent game would mean no conflict because conflict is (I'd say) fundamentally violent.


Conflict has never, will never, be fundimentaly violent in nature.

Conflict is fundimentaly the result of opposeing forces...your ability to jump as high as you want is conflicted by gravity pulling you back down...your motive to get to work on time is hindered by the other cars and traffic lights encountered on your journy...your dissagreement with your girlfriend over which movie to go see...your makeing a choice of which of several games to buy, when you only have money for one....all of this involves conflict, and only very rarely would these situations escalate to violence.

All games require conflict, simply because the very nature of games is conflict resolution through the use of the ways/means/actions(game mechanics) granted to the player.

Even Tetris fits this mold...the random pieces fall continuesly...they stack atop one another eventualy reaching the top ending the game (source of conflict)....players are tasked, as always, with conflict resolution (bringing order to the chaos) through spinning and moveing the falling pieces...even then more conflict is created...should the player put this piece here or there? is it better to wait for a specific random piece to fall? ... really great games realise this (the secondary conflict created through the players actions and choices) and take advantage of it...its what makes those actions and choices interesting.

That said...there are millions of ways to make non-violent games...most haven't been explored, as developers are still thinking "within the box" when they falsely conclude conflict is mostly violent, because that is how most games treat the issue.

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ishpeck    154
Is it really "violence" that you want to avoid? Or is it gore?

From http://dictionary.reference.com/ . . .
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=violent

1. Marked by, acting with, or resulting from great force: a violent attack.
2. Having or showing great emotional force: violent dislike.
3. Marked by intensity; extreme: violent pain; a violent squall. See Synonyms at intense.
4. Caused by unexpected force or injury rather than by natural causes: a violent death.
5. Tending to distort or injure meaning, phrasing, or intent.

According to this definition, Star Wars is violent but it's "okay for kids." As is exemplified in the rating of "Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer"
http://www.lucasarts.com/products/starwarsracer/

It is fun to play games that have situations of direct competition (maybe even conflict). The interactive properties of a competetive game are part of what attracts me to video games in the first place. I don't need gore or even violence to receive this kind of gratification; I like "Bust-A-Move" just as much as I like "SoulCalibur."

I think that one of the primary ways of coming up with a "non-violent" gameplay is to simply ignore these genre words that PC Gamer has been shoving down our throats. Don't say: "I'm going to make a admin-simmy game." Come up with an idea for interesting gameplay and run with it.

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