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intrest86

Meerkat Manor: The RTS?

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intrest86    742
Basically, I'm going to throw out an extremely unpolished game idea here and see what people think. I watched a few episodes of the show "Meerkat Manor" last night on TV. It is basically a show that documents the daily lives of a family of Meerkats. It is entertaining television, mostly because meerkats are very social and active creatures. There is a lot of structure in their communities, they work and raise young together, and there is tension between different families (they live apart and fight for territory). There is constantly something happening, whether it is males sneaking off to mate with another families females or a snake trying to inhabit their burrow. Since they are active and social animals, and the show is so interesting, it seems like it would be a good basis for a game. The most natural translation would be a real time strategy game where the units are the meerkats. The player would control the dominant female meerkat, and play from its point of view. You would issue orders to the other meerkats, and lead hunting parties and raids. Build burrows, bolt holes, mark territory, raise young, exile competitors. There would be some major differences from normal RTS games: There would be no resources to store and use. Meerkats gather every day. No direct control of units, they may disobey you. You just give orders. More of an emphasis on each meerkat having personality, instead of replicas of each other. Personality should be as simple as possible to give an illusion that makes the game feel a little more like "The Sims". Minimal information displays, so that it isn't as number analytical as a normal RTS. The changes would hopefully help the game feel more organic and maybe more approachable to. So, anyone have any thoughts? I would appreciate absolutely any comments.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It is a rather nice idea. The focus should be on social interactions, which means that primary goal would be keeping your pack (or whatever you call a group of meerkats) content and stable. So you're right in that it'd play more like Sims than an RTS.

Another interesting angle would be playing as a subordinate meerkat, where you control just one meerkat and try to improve it's social standing. I'm not sure how thing work in meerkat society, though, so a goal of becoming the alpha meerkat may be unrealistic. It'd work better with a pack of wolves or even a tribe of cavemen, but that might kill the atmosphere of the game.

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Edtharan    607
[quote]
Another interesting angle would be playing as a subordinate meerkat, where you control just one meerkat and try to improve it's social standing. I'm not sure how thing work in meerkat society, though, so a goal of becoming the alpha meerkat may be unrealistic. It'd work better with a pack of wolves or even a tribe of cavemen, but that might kill the atmosphere of the game/quote]
Actually that would work better as an RPG, rather than an RTS. It might be a whole new RPG Genra where you Role Play as a non Human creature (and really, Elves, Orcs and the other staple RPG races are really just Humans with a different "disguise"). It could also be quite educational and be a good market for conservation groups (they can "make people walk a mile in the shoes" of an endangered animal).

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