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Ketchaval

spread ideas -- communication game.

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I was watching a science program last night which was examining human evolution, and it showed the viewer exactly how powerful something thaqt most of us take for granteed is. Language. In a few minutes a child can learn a new skill, or a new way to do something. But a chimpanzee takes six years to learn how to crack nuts from watching others! So I wonder what sorts of games we could have where the focus is on spreading IDEAS and INFORMATION? How about a game where you can teach other characters how to build things, ie. huts, or tools, or where to find food and water. Set in the stone age, but where you are a modern human who has warped back in time, you have to look for food and when you find it you can all COOPERATE to get it. You can organise hunting posses too. Maybe the other characters can also "teach each other", you teach one person how to build a flint axe. And he starts to teach others, (maybe he has a little training hut). Any ideas on the possibilities for language-ideas-communications based gameplay?

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1. You can communicate without shouting. : )
2. 99% of what you do everyday relies on communication. Not just spoken words, but even operating simple machines requires a communication between you and a machine. Opening a door requires you to understand how to operate it -- if you cannot clearly locate the handle, the designer has done a bad idea of communicating to you how to work the apparatus.

This is of course just a toy example, but communication is so fundamental to nearly every process, making a game about it is almost redundant. How can we refine communication in games rather, is a far more noteworthy goal. How can we make 3D games which have more lenient camera positions? Most 3D games require the camera to be fixed (even if you don't notice it) because you cannot gather enough information about the world changing aroung the character to have it move from such a spot. Consider how communication affects gameplay, there are some greater benefits in doing so.

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Yes, but seriously PC-NPC communication is a seriously lacking area in games.
What if you were playing a game set in a prehistoric desert and you needed to find food and water, your neighbours know where this can be found but they aren't sure if it is worth sharing it. If you can show them that you can be useful to them then they will. If you teach them how to make fire then they will help you.

Likewise someone is starving if you teach them how to survive then they will be very grateful.
Knowledge is power: maintain a monopoly on your trade-knowledge, and just sell people the tools (axes, spearheads) that you make. And only teach your apprentice. People will come to you if they *know* that you make the best / only good tools in the area.
What will it take to get someone to teach you their most prized techniques?
Dirty little secrets: Like some Stephen King books (or John Grisham's Runaway Jury), the villagers all have different secrets that they don't want to become public knowledge. You can gain power and control over them when you know that they have been cheating on their wives/husbands. Or if you know that the Mayor took money to allow James Littlejohn to get the contract for the mill. But they may try to kill you if you frighten them too much.

Any ideas ? :).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I see what you mean Ketch imagine being told to pull a hit on someone in GTA and not knowing who they were, then you find out that it was the chief of police's son. This would be a case where information = power.

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I believe Creatures had something like that.
The author released his tech papers on the Net, so you can look for them to see more details. But in them he mentions how you can write stuff on a chalk board and essentially teach the Creatures to read stuff.
Afterwards, they'll be using the words you wrote to communicate with you (Say, if you wrote something and associated it with food, then afterwards, they'd be shouting that word (could be anything, really, that's the beauty of it) to indicate they want food [smile]

Pretty powerful stuff.

It's a bit similar to Black and White where you could condition your creature, except in B&W you can't use words (which is a shame, because when you have a game that let you associate pain and rewards to actions, I don't really see what prevents you to associate keyboar inputs, too, while you are at it)

Also, I find you might be interested by the thread I started on memes ? (if you don't mind my rambling)
Cos language is just a subset of the memesphere, really [grin]

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Quote:
Original post by ahw

Also, I find you might be interested by the thread I started on memes ? (if you don't mind my rambling)
Cos language is just a subset of the memesphere, really [grin]


Yes, always been interested in memes.

Okay, so inspired by some of Wavinator's recent threads, what if instead of basing a game around -spreading ideas- you base it around relationships and the need to communicate / work-together. Indiana Jones/The Jewel of the Nile/The Mummy type example, you and a cowardly conman both know one half of a treasure map by heart. (Or a spell or a coded message) you don't like him, and he doesn't like you. BUT you need each other to get TO the treasure, because neither of you will write down what you know.

I can imagine that you would get into scrapes trying to protect his butt. For example, he's a coward but you aren't so when bandits attack he jumps off a cliff into a river (AND he can't swim!). You don't want to lose the map info, so you need to jump in after him and save him from drowning.

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