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sunandshadow

disguises and identities

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Well, in the spirit of anonymous Landfishes and the upcoming holiday (Halloween for non-locals), let''s have a thread about disguises in games. I know FF7 and Woodruff and the Schnibble used donning a costume as a plot event (even though FF7 had an unforgivable lack of graphics for Cloud in drag, pout ). How have other games used costumes? What original ways might costumes be used? In a computer or console game, even the RPGs with 70-some hours of gameplay, there''s not much room to do character development. This handicaps us if we decide we want to portray one of our characters building up a fake identity and personality. Standard fiction uses narration or stream of consciousness to point out discrepancies between the exterior fiction and the interior reality, but current game design mostly avoids these approaches. Why? Is there any good reason we should avoid these? What could we do instead? Split the screen and show two different versions of our character? Have the background music waver between a theme for the disguise and a theme for the reality?
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Alter-egos... I like that. It should definitely be able to happen. Think about the possibilities. You could use one of your identities to cause havoc, and the other to gain trust by ''stopping'' the havoc. You can then get into possitions of trust and get information out of officials and such. I like it

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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This is at least somewhat similar: in the original Legacy of Kain, you could change Kain into an ordinary human being, so that he could walk among normal people without them realizing he was a vampire... Though I must confess that I, for one, usually opted to slaughter everyone needlessly rather than disguise myself.

-Ironblayde
 Aeon Software

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LOL... That is why you add in the puzzle for sly people. This way you advance the plot due to guile rather than any slaughtering. It could be fun to work double agent in a game too

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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Yeah, I know what you mean and I like games that require some sort of puzzle-solving to get through... but am I less of a person for enjoying a little brute force every now and then?

-Ironblayde
 Aeon Software

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I think the whole idea of disguises is marvelous... Of course the specifics of the implementation necessarily vary from genre to genre, I think the general idea could be the same throughout. Basically, give the player the option to "disguise" themself as someone else. Make it a skill if it''s an RPG, or maybe an item to be picked up in an FPS. Then, give them a list of possible disguises (The Baker, A Bear, A Marine, ...etc.). Then change whatever graphics are used to represent the player to those of the disguise. Now other players will see the disguise and not the player''s normal appearance, and should act accordingly (unless of course, the disguised player acts improperly and gives away the disguise). NPCs react to disguised players the same way they would to other NPCs (ie. They react to the disguise) unless of course they pass some "chance to see through the disguise" roll...
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In "Planescape: Torment" (a RPG by Black Isle) you have the possibility to disguise yourself. You could also lie, threaten or bluff NPC''s.

The NPC''s joining your party had a very rich personality (the best I''ve seen in any game). They had their own motives for joining you and somethimes you where not entirely sure you could actually trust them.

Your own character, to some degree, had multiple personalities. You woke up as immortal half-zombie in a kind of crypt, without memory of your past (you where "The Nameless One"). The quest was then to find out who you where and why you couldn''t die. During the game there was a lot of flashbacks and "inner dialog" which where, in my opinion, very well done, and showed the conflicts between different (previous) incarnations of yourself.

So, I see no reasons why it couldn''t be done and I think it would be an exellent addition to many games. The "only" things it requires is that the AI is build to take disguises into account and that the plot and the NPC characters are "deep" enough to make such a thing worthwhile.

Regards

nicba
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Everybody can laugh at me now. My English class is preforming the play Dr. Faustus, and guess who I got cast as? The 7th deadly sin: Lechery!
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