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Moe

First person shooter and classic turn based RPG hybrid?

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Well, I have been doing some thinking lately about the sort of game that I would like to make. I quite enjoy playing the occasional FPS, and I also like the gameplay of classic turn-based RPGs (such as FF7-10). I have been trying to think up a way to make a bit of a hybrid between the two. The reason I like playing games such as Battlefield 2 is that it requires a certain amount of player skill to succesfully beat someone. In order to kill someone, you actually have to aim your gun (or tank, or aircraft) and hit the person. The only thing that I don't like about a lot of the more recent first person shooters is that they are getting quite violent - dismemberment, blood, gore, etc. This is what I like about a lot of the turn-based role playing games - they are generally pretty clean in that respect. So, in my mind I have been trying to figure out a way to get the best of both worlds. One idea I did think of is have a 3rd person view of the player, and wander around in the classic RPG style fashion (the camera is at a fixed position, and the player walks through various "screens"). When a random encounter happens, it switches to first person view, and a small "playing field" level is created. It would be a small (perhaps 100 meters by 100 meters) playing area with random obstacles in it, such as crates, trees, stationary vehicles, rocks, etc. The setting that the random encounter occurred in would determine the type of obstacles in the playing field. Now within the playing field the player would have to fight his or her way around, in the style of a first person shooter. There wouldn't be any blood or gore, but the player could tell the amount of damage inflicted by seeing the enemy's exaggerated reactions to being shot at. It would still require some skill to hunt the enemies down. Once the playing field is clear of enemies, victory is declared, and the player returns to a third person view (like a classic RPG). Part of the reason for having the randomly created playing fields is to save on art assets - it would only be necessary to create a few different playing fields as opposed to creating an entire world that looks good from a first person view. I am just wondering if anyone has seen something like this before, and whether it could work. At this point I am just tossing around ideas, and am wondering what all you wonderful folks think. EDIT: Changed thread title to reflect content a bit better. [Edited by - Moe on July 16, 2007 10:35:10 AM]

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True enough, but at least it isn't as glorified.

I guess there are pros and cons to doing it different ways:

The way I am thinking about:
Pros:
- It's something different
- Saves on art assets, development time (less attention to making levels)
- Still possible to do random encounters

Cons:
- Players will probably get sick of fighting in the same playing fields, despite being somewhat random
- Pulling the player from 3rd person perspective to first and back again could break player immersion

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I'm going to be brutally honest. I don't normally do this, but it is just heavy critiquing.

I know that you wish to make a non-violent game, but putting players in a ring and having random obsticals pop up is just as, if not more violent than just shooting them from a distance.

Having the player switch views really breaks the game illusion. Maybe a better approach would be an over the sholder view, and then durng the arenas, you could go into a fully 3rd person view.

maybe instead of "sugared up" violence (because that's what it basicly comes down to), you could product non-lethal violence with little or no blood. Make the characters able to be knocked out, or have a pain tolerance level.

Sorry to say, and maybe I'm just hearing it wrong, but I think it would turn out like a "Walt Disney presents gang fighting" kind of thing.

PS: now I really want to see that :D

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Hey, I appreciate your opinion, and I see what you mean.

I appreciate the feedback.

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Well if you're just looking for alternative game types to violent ones like fighting games, shooters, space combat etc. There are probably plenty of alternatives, one that immediately came to mind for me was climbing. I haven't played any computer games as religiously in the past 3 years as i've been playing counter strike: source climbing. There's no combat involved at all, it's just about jumping from platform to platform and that's about it. You could even take things a step further and add a team element to it where the whole team has to make it up, but boosting and pulling other team members up is allowed and encouraged. And it could be a race. I'm sorry i'm not sure if that's really in tune with what you're looking for, it just immediately came to mind as a non-combat game type.

cheers
-Dan

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You know, actually, when I think about a first person shooter that's not violent (which is a little bit of an oxyman), the fist thing that comes to mind is Army Men (the earlier versions anyway, I don't like the later ones.

In army men, people were dismembered, melted, horribly disfigured, and in certain cases (such as the mad grey doctor in army men II) they ATE eachother.

But through all this grizzly violence, the game was rated E! Now how did they do this? Easy, the "army men" were little plastic soldiers :D

My point is, if you want a violent game without violence, you could create and alien shooter, tank game, or (god-forbid) a hunting game. Keep in mind also that WWII games often maintain a teen game rating by ading passionate patriotism to the violence, therefore in a way, justifying it.

EDIT: also I forgot to mention that if people don't really look like "people" then it will drop the rating as well (think of the Combine characters from half life)

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Unless your FPS mode is banana cream pie combat, it doesn't seem like an FPS is a good way to do a less violent game. FPSs are, almost by definition, a little to visceral. If you really want to get rid of the violence, instead of using an FPS you can replace it with a complete abstraction like Puzzle Quest. For a less sanitized version you can use a card game like Magic the Gathering. I think the most bizarre RPG hybrid I've seen is Sigma Star Saga which uses a side-scroller for random encounters and boss fights. The possibilities are endless. Head on head Tetris for boss fights!

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static cameras -> third person is a comfortable change and will give you the mood transition your after. I agree that to switch to first person is not comfortable, but don't lose static cameras for your non-action parts of the game, the view of the game is an important part of the representation of the game, so don't give that up to the player.
My 2 pence.

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