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Wavinator

A substitue for combat?

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I replied in EGG before realizing it was closed. AP made a comment I thought was interesting. Would anyone like to take this up? Here''s the text from EGG:
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster That''s true games serve more function than just as an outlet for our violent tendency. They also serve as an outlet for human creativity, problem solving, social interaction, teaching, etc.. basicly a much widder range than just violence.
I agree. I think the most significant one as far as computer games go is problem solving.
quote:
the violence out of RPGs and you still could create a fun RPG, however it will have to replace the predominate form of conflict with something just as engaging, and truthfully i dont know what that would be. Conflict doesnt come from netural npc interactions. Giving the player a million ways to trade things or 1000s of dialogue options but not one way to kill a pesky goblin doesnt make the game more fun. You will need to replace the conflict/resolution mechansism with something just as simple/engaging, perhaps competitive tetris.
Consider that combat actually is little more than problem solving, with a time pressure and the important context of an extreme threat (death, which makes it viscerally more exciting). If I''m right about this, then you could replace combat with time based problems (for adrenaline) that threaten the player with loss, but don''t have binary outcomes. Tetris does this excellently, especially competitive tetris where your success is the other guys failure. The key factor is risk: In the gameplay, what risks are the player taking? It can''t be something static. Replacements: -Stealth (Theif). Nuff said. -Jumping puzzles that have incremental failure (no insta-death, but failure costs you something). -Conversation and lying, where what you say or don''t say could get you killed -Trading, either with a time based financial risk (competitive bidding), or illicit deals (con jobs, smuggling) -Experiemental magick / technology inventions that could blow up in your face -Any speed based navigation: racing, skating, flying There are many more, but we have to understand what makes combat so intriguing in order to emulate them... -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Great points, Wav. One thing about combat that I know we've covered: I think there is problem solving, but isn't there that part where in combat winning has this extra primal feeling of power? If you defeat something/someone in combat it has extra power than just winning or succeeding other ways.

Thief had a spendid idea about sneaking around and avoiding conflict, but wasn't it kind of fun sometimes to knock a guard on the head even though you could easily leave him be?


http://www15.brinkster.com/nazrix/main.html

"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on January 10, 2001 4:36:53 PM

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How about survival and exploration as an alternative.

Then there''s our personal favorite, Wav, manipulating a plot or story using strategical components.


http://www15.brinkster.com/nazrix/main.html

"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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quote:
Original post by Nazrix

Great points, Wav. One thing about combat that I know we've covered: I think there is problem solving, but isn't there that part where in combat winning has this extra primal feeling of power? If you defeat something/someone in combat it has extra power than just winning or succeeding other ways.



Hmmm.... Yeah, I forget about this one a lot. Being the best, being the strongest, being first. Good point! So to match combat you need this one, too.

quote:

Thief had a spendid idea about sneaking around and avoiding conflict, but wasn't it kind of fun sometimes to knock a guard on the head even though you could easily leave him be?



Yeah, I'm convinced that the best thing isn't to eliminate combat, but to design so that combat's not the only option. When it's blended with other types of gameplay combat can become rich rather than tedious (as I and many people find extended Diablo, for instance).

quote:
Original post by Nazrix

How about survival and exploration as an alternative.



With starvation and exposure as incremental failure and risk? Hmmm... I like that! Avoid becoming the Donner Party (Old West settlers, some of who froze to death and became cannibals after being trapped in a snowstorm in the Rockies, for those that don't know)

quote:

Then there's our personal favorite, Wav, manipulating a plot or story using strategical components.



Hah, notice I didn't say "systems."

Edited by - Wavinator on January 10, 2001 5:07:22 PM

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator

With starvation and exposure as incremental failure and risk? Hmmm... I like that! Avoid becoming the Donner Party (Old West settlers, some of who froze to death and became cannibals after being trapped in a snowstorm in the Rockies, for those that don''t know)



Yeah, I am thinking of using that in my current game. Yes the risk of starvation would emulate combat. I didn''t even think of that factor.

quote:

Hah, notice I didn''t say "systems."



Yeah that''s right. We need to keep things specific I just really like that one



http://www15.brinkster.com/nazrix/main.html

"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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quote:

Replacements:

-Stealth (Theif). Nuff said.
-Jumping puzzles that have incremental failure (no insta-death, but failure costs you something).
-Conversation and lying, where what you say or don''t say could get you killed
-Trading, either with a time based financial risk (competitive bidding), or illicit deals (con jobs, smuggling)
-Experiemental magick / technology inventions that could blow up in your face
-Any speed based navigation: racing, skating, flying



I''m assuming you mean in RPGs, and so I have to comment on this. Somehow, I don''t think jumping puzzles of any kind will catch on as a replacement (even temporary) to RPG combat. I don''t know about others, but for me, whether it has insta-death or not, jumping is not going to strike me as having anything to do with the game unless there is a definite situation that has to be finished. Like maybe if you''re running along trying to escape something your party obviously cannot handle, then jumping might work. It just seems like too much of a throwback to platform games to work in an RPG.

Of course, if you meant some other genre, then this post suddenly has no meaning...
--


WNDCLASSEX Reality;
...
...
Reality.lpfnWndProc=ComputerGames;
...
...
RegisterClassEx(&Reality);


Unable to register Reality...what''s wrong?
---------
Dan Upton
Lead Designer
WolfHeart Software

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Sometimes we forget that in a game there has to be no strict adherence to realistic combat sineros. I personally perfer competitve tetris/combat sinceros. Imagine this you meet a band of goblins in the woods, and instantly enter the competive tetris mode. If you beat all of them at competive tetris they drop their goodies and run off, if not then you must drop 1 inventroy item. Viola, non-violent fun combat! Their are other competive puzzle games, pac-man anyone? Really that could be quite fun!

Good Luck

-ddn

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My favorite is argument-fighting.

On Guard! Cliche!
Oh, that is so cliche!

You''re the ugliest monster ever created!
.... if you don''t count those you''ve dated!

Five people to day I''ve already defeaten!
Buy the size of your gut I''d guess they''ve been eaten!

etc......

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quote:
Original post by draqza

I''m assuming you mean in RPGs, and so I have to comment on this.

...

Of course, if you meant some other genre, then this post suddenly has no meaning...



Sorry draqza, I actually DID mean more than just RPG genres. So for instance if your goal was to get to the top of a tower, but you had to navigate all these wind ducts, and falling didn''t always mean death, then maybe that would be a substitute.



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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