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Non-violent gameplay?

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Can we make non-violent gameplay ie. games where you don't need to kill other characters to get past the next area? Can we also make non-combat based gameplay that has the same kind of exciting qualities as combat-based gameplay? Some ideas, Dynamic puzzle solving. Instead of a boring puzzle this would be more of an 'action' puzzle, a 'survival' puzzle game. You would have a variety of tools that allow you to solve the puzzle, but the environment would actively be trying to destroy you. But you wouldn't be trying to destroy it. Ie. Playing a platform game in the middle of a game of Tetris. There would be a stream of platforms slowly falling downwards, you would need to jump out of the way to avoid being crushed by them, you would have to use the environment to get higher up and out of the way of the falling platforms. Sometimes you would have to use the falling blocks to get across the level. Of course this wouldn't be very creative, so what if we gave the player tools to interact with the platforms. Ie. They can place blocks in the environment to slow the progress of the platforms, they could make bridges to other areas etc. (Like the girders in Worms).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I've always thought it would be nice to see a game similar to X-Wing but instead of combat, have it be course racing. Such as flying from point a-b in a asteroid field or flying though a canyon where you loose points if you pop out of the canyon.

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Quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
Can we make non-violent gameplay ie. games where you don't need to kill other characters to get past the next area?
Can we also make non-combat based gameplay that has the same kind of exciting qualities as combat-based gameplay?

Some ideas,

Dynamic puzzle solving. Instead of a boring puzzle this would be more of an 'action' puzzle, a 'survival' puzzle game. You would have a variety of tools that allow you to solve the puzzle, but the environment would actively be trying to destroy you. But you wouldn't be trying to destroy it.

Ie. Playing a platform game in the middle of a game of Tetris. There would be a stream of platforms slowly falling downwards, you would need to jump out of the way to avoid being crushed by them, you would have to use the environment to get higher up and out of the way of the falling platforms. Sometimes you would have to use the falling blocks to get across the level.

Of course this wouldn't be very creative, so what if we gave the player tools to interact with the platforms. Ie. They can place blocks in the environment to slow the progress of the platforms, they could make bridges to other areas etc. (Like the girders in Worms).


Probably the most successful non-violent game in history, apart from the Sims, was probably Myst and its sequels. And now with the adition of the online version, Uru.

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True and neither of them had any of the qualities of combat.
I think the idea I'm trying to work out is how to make non-violent (3rd person character based) games for people who like combat oriented games. Ie. How to make it exciting.

Deadend pursuit?

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Combat has always been the weakest element of the Prince of Persia series. Really, I think the enemies were just put in there as an "X-Factor" to reduce your health when you were too good at avoiding traps.

PoP: Sands of Time is one of the finest games of recent years, and would lose little if combat were removed entirely. PoP: Warrior Within, which attempts to make the game more fighting-oriented, suffered terribly as a result.

Play Sands of Time for a good trap-based acrobatic obstacle course. It's a blast. Spider-man 2 is another example of a fun game that gains very little from its violent content. Web-swinging and racing and rescuing people from rooftop ledges or sinking boats was way more fun than punching bad guys. There's nothing quite so satisfying as a huge hail-mary tarzan swing to catapult yourself eight stories above the rooftops to retrieve some kid's balloon.

So keep the pace, and the twitch controls, but be dodging traps Indiana Jones-style or scaling a crumbling tower. heck, Super Mario 64 was predominantly non-violent, and it's one of the finest games of all time. Moving platforms, lava pits, monkeys that steal your hat... What could be better?

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I play nonviolent games all the time (seems to be Nintendo's specialty). Although, there is a difference between comedic violence, and the crazy gore you see in games today. Though I'm not a fan of seeing blood spout all over the place (which seems to be the new trend), I would be pretty POed if someone gayed up Tie-(Kickass)-Fighter.

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I just wrote a longish message with 3 ideas and accidently cleared it.. but here I go again.

Idea 1) Hide and seek / Tag style game
Idea 2) Scare game - you have to scare NPCs or other PCs
Idea 3) Non-combative RPGs, quest driven, you can still have fast paced puzzles, suchs as shifting floors, and dodging things (rolling boulders that push you back, rather than squish you).

I hope these ideas are some help.. I can give more ideas possibly if I'm along the right track.

-Bobo the Clown

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I really enjoy the simcity series, and I really enjoy building my base in RTS games.. (I usually make it a fortress because I'm not so good at commanding armies).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
studies on violence kinda make this moot for kids. i assume that this is partially your intent?

violence depicted with negative repurcusions are actually better for kids than cartoony violence. it makes sense if you think about it.

if a kid sees violence that results in someone writhing in bloody pain he learns consequences far better than 3 stooges "oh golly that hurt" behavior.

if you've ever seen the batman with arnold in it this is a perfect example of bad violence for children to watch. the henchmen get punched and fall over behind things with a silly face. even tho this is usually how its sold as "child friendly" if there is such a thing.

so. not saying that making action intense non combat games is bad, just making sonic type violence where hearts and bunnies pop out of death isnt a noble intention.



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Quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
True and neither of them had any of the qualities of combat.
I think the idea I'm trying to work out is how to make non-violent (3rd person character based) games for people who like combat oriented games. Ie. How to make it exciting.

Deadend pursuit?


Do you call Mario violent?

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Well, the clear problem is the definition of combat.

If combat means fighting, then there's always violence.
If combat pertains to just plain competetion, then there are many options.
If combat means conflict, then there are non-violent ways to do that too.

But I think the key I don't get is exactly what you mean by "combat."

Then there's violence, which can be defined on many levels as well. Violence as in seeing blood and gore? Or violence that simply inflicts pain?

It seems the game Ico has some of the qualities you refer to with a combat system that's not very violent in nature.

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hehe I attempted a thread like this and got the same thing. What is violence? there's violence everywhere. Why would you do that? that won't help kids. If you remove combat you have no game.

Ketchaval was way more specific than I was though:
-no killing. Stomping a goomba counts as killing it.
-no combat. As in fight. Battle. you know what it means: punch, kick, jab, shoot, shove.

the original questions is HOW to make a game WITHOUT these elements and yet retain their exciting qualities. What the thread *ISN'T* about is why would you want to do that or how other media's violence is much worse.

Now what I remember from that ol' thread: genres without killing or combat that are exciting.
-sports
-racing
-puzzles that rely on quick reflexes (yes, tetris.)
-exploration with time limits (hacking games for example)

I firmly believe there can be more of them. we just gotta think them up.

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There's a few ideas that spring to mind. I'm assuming you mean action/adventure/FPS type games that are usually violent, and aren't looking for Tetris or sport style games which would automatically be non-violent (well, mostly not violent in the case of sport).

1. Archaeology/Indiana Jones/Tomb Raiding style puzzle games: where you have to work your way past all the traps to get to the golden statue at the centre of the crypt. As has already been pointed out, this would be a lot like Prince of Persia but without the swordfighting.

2. Steath games (such as Thief): similar to avoiding traps, except this is more about avoiding being detected. You can make it like some of the levels in Thief II, where the game is over even if you were spotted. I always like playing Thief with the level on Expert anyway, where you aren't allowed to kill anyone.

3. Non-violent RPG/adventure: a strong story based adventure game doesn't really need combat or violence at its core; this could be replaced with something else. However this might be hard to duplicate the adrenaline of combat based games, which you require.

These are all I can think of right now. But basically all I think that needs to done is think of someway to replace the 'kill or be killed' aspect that gives you the adrenaline buzz in combat games with something non-violent. I find that the 'follow the leader' style puzzle games , where you have to memorize and then repeat patterns of ever increasing length, very nerve-wracking, as a single error will cost you the game.

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about two weeks since the last reply, hope it's okay to post on such a old thread(don't like it)... however it think I atleast got one good idea :)

Realistic non-killing game
Gamename: (Park) Ranger Joe
style: Possible Non-linear 3rd person "action" game
Story: You are Joe, a park-ranker and you do your "work".
Missions: So far only catch animals and stop poachers
Weapon: You got a tranqualizer rifle and your car
Animals:
rhino-when it gets threatend it runs fast towards the target(in the same direction) and continues to do so until it hits it's target that dies and the rhino continues with the idle ai
monkey-jumps and runs around, when it comes to close it jumps on you and tries to bite you, by pressing on a special (perhaps randomly generated) command button(and really fast)you avoid the bites.
crocodile-moves slow on land, though skin so you need a different ammo to shoot it
rabbit-grabbed like the postal cat
snake-go close and and grab it with a quick-time event(since it attacks you)
Poachers: poachers shoot animals to make money so naturally they are evil. when you are shot by them(they also go with rifles but with "lethal" ammo) you go to hopital and lose the mission. You shoot them so they sleep and then you "arrest" them.

Cartoon-violence style
Game-name: Cool cat
Story: You are a cool cat with shades. A eveil cat takes your food (missy) and runs of to his home to eat it. naturally you have to stop him and eat it yourself :) The game is ment to be artoonish so it should use some cel-shaded rendering.
Since your are a cool cartoon cat you can pick up an unlimitied number of dynamites and throw. You can also grab some level-specific items and use them(like jetpack and master-key).
Gameplay: Stop enemies, and do acrobatics to get across obstacles. As a cat you can grab and hold on to obstacles, like a wall or hanging in the roof waiting for a platform.
Enemies:
Bulldog - ai like the rhino in ranger joe(above). throw a dynamite to it and let it explode(cartoon-style).
Crows - (they belive that you have eaten their bird friends and attack you)
flies slower than the bulldog runs. Homes to your movement. Grab dynamites with their feets and drop them on you. "killed" by letting it fly into a wall so it gets stuck :)

Game grabbed partially grabbed from this thread
Game-title: Adventurer
Story: you are an adventurer like idina jones and lara croft that likes to catch treassures
gameplay:
missions/levels are basicly about two things:
1-ride to place where treassure is(by car/plane/snowboard from plane(like in xXx) )
2-dodging traps, avoiding rival adventurers(stealth)(they don't likeyou there), doing acrobatics, solving puzzles, competition with rival adventurers.

The placing doesn't need to be a inca city, it can be about getting that treasure that belonged to your family, and was taken from you, and it involves more sneaking and avoinding beeing seen. The treasure doen't need to be gold, it can be a friend, a key or something else.

While writing this post a question popped into my mind... is ok to make a scary-game, where you avoid a killer with a knife, and actually doesn't see any bllod, but only heare the screems. If you get stabbed you hear a heart-breaking scream.
There are "violence" in the game but no violence that has emarged from the player(like in a standard fps), no violence that you can see and actually nothing that implies that you hear it either(since all you hear is screams and see a guy with a knife that hunts you).
It might be eaven scarier if you don't see the action but only hear the screams...

Come to think of it, the two last ones are my favorites...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
sirGustav,
this could be an aspect of the "what is violence" question someone else asked, yet many of your examples of possible games seem violent to me.


Ranger Joe is attacked by animals. So there is violence against the player


Cool cat - He uses dynamite to attack enemies and is attacked by crows.

The Scary game with the murderer sounds pretty violent too... perhaps you could make it that a ghost or something is chasing the player... the player could have a meter similar to health, yet is concerned with the level of fear the player has suffered.


I liked your adventurer idea... sounds like a good game to play.

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As Iron Chef points out, you need crazy player abilities. Most people play games to do something they don't want to risk in real life. That usually comes down to capping bad guys with a 45. But it can also mean swinging on roof tops or narrowly avoiding spikes and ledges. But I think to have any type of interesting situation, there must be a serious result with failure. I think I would also consider voilence as being impaled by the spikes or splatting to death on the street. If you take away the failure, you take away the challenge. The less extreme the failure is, the less triumphant the player will feel when he wins.

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An interesting thing for an RPG to do is provide more than one way to finish a quest. IIRC in Geneforge it was possible to beat the game without killing anyone, but it was also possible to take the hack and slash route if you wanted.

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Quote:
There are "violence" in the game but no violence that has emarged from the player(like in a standard fps)

you might be on to something here...

anyways. Dynamite is pretty violent, and a gun is gun to me, if it's a tranquilizer gun it's just an underpowered gun (at least, game-wise.)

Scary type game I like.. pretty violent though. But i've always wondered what a game about running away would be like, if done properly. maybe make you figure out who the killer is while he takes out NPCs. you know the drill.

But the explorer dealio... boy i'd like that. In fact, inspired by what you said and earlier posts, I see a four-tiered game (those who played MDK will see a resemblance here):

-Discover
-Deploy
-Explore
-Retrieve

Discover: in a BIG or series of smaller interconnected maps that you travel freely in, are a series of clues for hidden treasures/artifacts. You might have to rummage here and there, pick this or that book, or just look at the overly shiny thing on your desk. Some clues will be really obvious (as starter missions) and some really hidden (say, a map hidden inside a book that's in a library....). Some clues might lead to other clues for extra detective brownie points. NPCs should point you in the clue's general direction should you become desperate. The clues should contain general directions to find the treasure/artifact in the world and then inside the Explore stage.
Obviously the worse thing that could happen here is that you don't find anything and get bored.

Deploy: you deploy croft-style (or xXx, whatever) into wherever this artifact/treasure is. This could mean parachuting into a deep crater that's not accesible in any other way (except rappeling which isn't as exciting in a game... there's a place like that but I can't remember right now), could mean rafting in a river that goes into some underground caves, etc. Any exciting way of getting near the thing. Maybe even race the competing explorers.
You could die here, as an accident, but you can't harm others. You could also fail deployment in a way that doesn't kill you but means you must be extracted and will have to try again.

Explore: you SEARCH for the exact entry point. This would mean finding your way with a compass in a jungle(GPS are boring.. you could set it in 1980 or something), navigating an underground maze, talk with the locals and maybe request guidance or some other explorey type things. You could fail finding the dealio and request extraction at any time (and maybe go get more detailed clues).
Worst case scenario: you don't find it. You request extraction and go back to Discover mode. Maybe you'll need to Deploy again if you want to get back to Explore, maybe not... I'd say yes.

Retrieve: this is where you unadvertedly (and unavoidably) trigger this or that trap before or after nabbing the artifact/treasure and you must run and dodge. If you have yet to get the artifact you gotta dodge and make your way to it, then manage to get out.
Here either you escape or die trying. Still, you can't harm others (but others might harm themselves... they shouldn't be worried about harming you tho, things should be pretty hairy already).

As you see, the odd stages are the brainy type and the even stages are the exciting action type. Maybe you could choose to always skip one of these pairs at startup, as if to play the complete, the thinker's or the action game.

This is an idea I've been mulling over for a long time, but as y'all should know, game ideas are worthless, it's implementation what does it :)
Might give it a shot someday.

anyways, this post was long. Hope someone reads it XD

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Guest Anonymous Poster
(I do not have a user name, and its a good idea not to have one with my computer having worms and trojan virii... but all my data is safely backed up)

My opinion is that in games you need conflict and violence shows up when you have alot of conflict.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I've always thought it would be nice to see a game similar to X-Wing but instead of combat, have it be course racing. Such as flying from point a-b in a asteroid field or flying though a canyon where you loose points if you pop out of the canyon.


Sky Odyssey is what you're looking for. A first generation PS2 title that has sucked up many hours of my time, and deservedly so. The graphics are a bit crude but the flight model is just right, realistic, without being nerdy and thoroughly approachable. Highly recommended and I'd love to see a sequel take things further.



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Guest Anonymous Poster
hi, i am new here, but it seems to me that there are 6 types of games:

governing games ex: sim city ex2: the tycoon games
driving/racing games ex: crazy taxi ex2: driver
adventure games ex: sid meier's Pirates
shooting games ex: renegade ex2: delta force
mystry games ex: mist
roleplaying games ex: neverwinter nights ex2:
arcade games ex: tetris ex2: pinball
real time statagy ex: age of empires ex2: generals
sports games ex: fifa soccer ex2: madden football

note: i may have missed some catigoreys, or you may split games into different groups, but theese are the main groups as i see them

there are already plenty of nonviolent governing, driving, mystery, sports, and arcade games and its imposible to make a non violent shooter game that is still fun so I think the challange is to make a non violent adventure, roleplaying, or realtime stratigy game.

so yes, it is easy to make a cool non violent tetris game or racing game, but that has already been done. we need somthing new like sir gustav's adventure game.


quote:
original poast by jiia
As Iron Chef points out, you need crazy player abilities. Most people play games to do something they don't want to risk in real life. That usually comes down to capping bad guys with a 45. But it can also mean swinging on roof tops or narrowly avoiding spikes and ledges. But I think to have any type of interesting situation, there must be a serious result with failure. I think I would also consider voilence as being impaled by the spikes or splatting to death on the street. If you take away the failure, you take away the challenge. The less extreme the failure is, the less triumphant the player will feel when he wins.

i dont agree with you, i think you feel more triumphant if you got past a hard level where it was easy to lose, not having a horrible outcome if you lose. when i am playing a game, and i pass a hard level or area i feel great, weather or not i stoped myself from getting a cold or stoped the earth from exploding, i dont think the loss has anything to do with it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
this is a correction of the post i just made.
the first line should read:

hi, i am new here, but it seems to me there are 9 types of games:

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