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Ketchaval

bonding with a simulation.

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Ketchaval    186
There are 'Simulation'esque games like Sim City / The Sims and Real Time Empire games, what I'd like to ask is how we can engineer these types of games so that the art the rules and characters combine to create atmosphere, so that the player bonds with the characters and the whole thing becomes more than just a dry simulation, but an emotionaly engaging experience. This requires us to answer questions like: When your tribe are huddled around the fire, peering out scared of the darkness how do we get the player to share this fear and worry about what lurks out there? So the aim is not so much a "simulator" but something more emotionaly involved.

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Jojosh_the_Pi    136
With a game like SimCity, the player gets a God-like view of the world, without having to deal with how an individual feels or thinks. It's difficult to create the same emotion in the player without being exposed to a person one-on-one.

Where I live (near Miami), there's an organization that collects money for the homeless by having volunteers and homeless people stand in street medians, asking for money. It's one thing to feel bad and give a dollar. It's very different to see the homeless in person--the ones who don't have a choice about it--on the street. These guys are in rags, absolutely pitiful, and will eat anything you give them.

SimCity and RTS games inherently deal with large groups instead of individuals. Even campaigns with storylines have a hard time with conveying strong emotion--in Warcraft III, I was not devastated when Arthas was converted. It may have been interesting, but there was not enough time to know him deeply as a person.

There are two ways I can think of to accomplish your goal: either you'll need to have characters that the player knows well, or somehow put the player in control of a character in the game so the player knows the experience first-hand.

I fear I'm not smart enough to help you much besides that.

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Ketchaval    186
Quote:
Original post by Ketchaval


When your tribe are huddled around the fire, peering out scared of the darkness how do we get the player to share this fear and worry about what lurks out there?


I have several ideas about this.

Imagine starting off in a stone-age type environment, the world around you seems to be on a 'vast' scale (1- this may just be a trick, ie. the camera is more zoomed in so it seems as though the distances involved are greater).
All around the starting cave, there is a large forest, visibility is low in the forest and you can only see a few feet into it with the game camera, it is also prone to being filled with mist (ie. 'real' fog of war).

The forest makes ominous noises -branches cracking, wild animals howling -whenever your cave men go near it.

When your cave men set up a village, they huddle round the fire and look out into the dark nervously *their body language* conveys anxiety and fear.

The light from the camp-fires acts as 'real light' ie. it only illuminates a small distance around the camp so you can't see what is going on in the forest / plains. So even if you can move the camera around at will, you can't see anything useful that will diffuse the tension.

Every so often you see glowing red / green eyes circling the village. But they don't always attack.

The village is prone to being attacked by wild beasts.

You show the player that there are really dangerous animals like sabre-tooth tigres out there that can kill several hunters at once. (Ie. Gameplay emphasises vulnerability).

Spooky music?

As you can see this uses visuals, sound and gameplay to create a feeling of tension and suspense.

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