Sign in to follow this  

Virtual Worlds and Zen Video Games

This topic is 3771 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I was thinking in the idea of creating virtual worlds of ancient Rome, ancient egipt, futuristic cities, etc. And sell them as video games. Other idea could be to create video games that encourage observation, meditation and relaxation. What are your ideas on this. Here is an extract: ----------------------------------------- Zen in a Video Game Public: For all ages. The original focus is to create a video game that encourages contemplation. So everything would tend to be calming and refreshing. There are no points to be gained, no monsters to be killed and no puzzles to be solved. It's basically a vast open virtual reality world were anything can happen. Beautiful surreal landscapes and magical indoor locations would be the environment for it. Nice new age, classical music and opera could be used as background music. Besides interacting with in game characters, the goal of the game is to simply follow a couple of instructions given in the game to obtain some result. Esoteric symbols, astrological correlations, magical glyphs. Game type: Adventure Game/ Role Playing Game. Models: Myst, Ultima Underworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wonderful idea.

I think as graphics becomes more lifelike (not far from lifelike already, look at Crysis), a sub-genre like what you're talking about will emerge.

Coincidently, the game I'm developing depends on a kind of meditative atmosphere from the environment, so I completely understand where you're coming from.

Pursue this idea.

EDIT: I had a thought. The other day I was discussing film adaptations of books that sometimes don't work well - the book in particular we were talking about was Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix. The two-and-a-half hour film just focuses on the action of the story, and leaves out what we consider to be the best parts of fantasy books such as these, the ability to explore another world.

Well, interactive 3D worlds would provide a wonderful medium for adaptations of books that aren't all about plot and more about creating an environment. Another book that springs to mind is CS Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet. Almost nothing "happens" in the story, but it creates a wonderful, strange world to explore that would translate well to a medium like what you are talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I could see a lot of people using a virtual world as a meditation aid in years to come when the technology catches up with your idea ^_~ so yeah even simple "worlds" such as a cliff top or a forest would work well, one thing that springs to mind is a screensaver/game I used to have that I forgot the name of, basically it was a huge endless forest and the player was a deer, no chat, only a few actions (sit, drink, walk) and other players were deer too and basically it was all these deer walking around the virtual world, and it had a HUGE amount of people on it for saying there was no goal, skills, combat or anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by xSynapse
I could see a lot of people using a virtual world as a meditation aid in years to come when the technology catches up with your idea ^_~ so yeah even simple "worlds" such as a cliff top or a forest would work well, one thing that springs to mind is a screensaver/game I used to have that I forgot the name of, basically it was a huge endless forest and the player was a deer, no chat, only a few actions (sit, drink, walk) and other players were deer too and basically it was all these deer walking around the virtual world, and it had a HUGE amount of people on it for saying there was no goal, skills, combat or anything.


If you can remember the name of this deer forest game, let me know. I'd like to check that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love to play a game like this. I can just see it now: your avatar is standing at the foot of an ancient romain city in ruins (though still standing) where vegetation has grown in and wild life has settled. You can walk around, climb and try to discover new areas to reach so you can enjoy the view from there...

I think of Ico when I think of this... wow just beautiful... I want to play :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
It sounds interesting, but I honestly can't imagine staying entertained for very long...


That's because you're thinking about it the wrong way. If you take a walk through the woods or in the park, do you get bored within minutes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well no, but that's a bit different. In real life, you have touch, smell, sight, sound, taste ect.

In a video game you only have sight and sound. Don't get me wrong, it would be a great world to explore, but I don't think technology is advanced enough to convincingly submerge the player in the game world.

Plus, when I'm walking in the park, I'm thinking about problems I'm having in real life, people play games to get away from that (at least most of them).

EDIT: You say there are no puzzles to be solved, but you place it under the same catagory as Myst? Btw, I'm really not trying to be harsh on you here, I'm just giving some counter points that may save you a lot of time and money. I have come up with some seemingly awesome ideas that I look back on later and thank god I didn't make.

EDIT: On the other hand however, this would make a very good engine test if you ever created one. A great way to show off an HDR system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JimDaniel

If you can remember the name of this deer forest game, let me know. I'd like to check that out.


I think I found it but I can't check it out since it's blocked from work.

Endless Forest

Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
It sounds interesting, but I honestly can't imagine staying entertained for very long...


It's not meant to be an adrenaline rush kind of game. I love Shadow of the Colossus and Ico and in the former whenever I didn't feel like fighting giant monsters I would try to climb different places to gaze at the landscape. I can just imagine how the PC experience of one of these games would be incredible (considering PCs are more powerful...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The day we have complete emersions (i.e. the Matrix), is the day mankind will be destroyed by the inevitable robot uprising.

Still, I would love a game like this. Contemplation is not a gameplay objective you see often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
In a video game you only have sight and sound. Don't get me wrong, it would be a great world to explore, but I don't think technology is advanced enough to convincingly submerge the player in the game world.


I have to strongly disagree. I hate to sound like a broken record of SotC and Ico are but two games that came out on the PS2 that did a fantastic job at doing just that.

In both you had a strong feeling of being alone in a giant environment.

Quote:
Original post by TheKrust

Plus, when I'm walking in the park, I'm thinking about problems I'm having in real life, people play games to get away from that (at least most of them).


People walk in the park to forget about their day and relax as well.

Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
EDIT: You say there are no puzzles to be solved, but you place it under the same catagory as Myst? Btw, I'm really not trying to be harsh on you here, I'm just giving some counter points that may save you a lot of time and money. I have come up with some seemingly awesome ideas that I look back on later and thank god I didn't make.


As far as Myst goes I'm pretty sure he was referring to the atmosphere and not the game play itself.

edit: major typos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was R&D for this neurofeedback project a year or so ago, and basically had to come up with and integrate this system into like 40 some already existing psychological games. The idea was to get feedback from your brain and tell the player what they needed to do differently in order to do better (ie you're not focused enough...your straining to hard...etc). There were also some little games that I made specifically for the EEG system, where you controlled your little dude on the screen or whatever by having a certain state of mind. Everything always seemed a little backwards though...

What I'm getting at is what about having some sort of feedback system in this Zen in a Video Game, where depending on the users' brainwave feedback, things would happen in the environment to encourage the relaxation state or whatever the goal is in this scenerio, instead of the game telling the user how they needed to change. I think it is all a really cool idea, and I'm gonna check out that deer "game" too later on tonight hopefully.

Cheers

edit - just a slight detail added

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JimDaniel
Quote:
Original post by sanch3x
I think I found it but I can't check it out since it's blocked from work.

Endless Forest


Thanks!


I just tried it and thought it was quite interesting. I must of played around with it for about half an hour before stopping. I really like the rain so I was pretty relaxed the whole time and had fun just throwing emotes between my avatar and other deers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by popsoftheyear
I was R&D for this neurofeedback project a year or so ago, and basically had to come up with and integrate this system into like 40 some already existing psychological games. The idea was to get feedback from your brain and tell the player what they needed to do differently in order to do better (ie you're not focused enough...your straining to hard...etc). There were also some little games that I made specifically for the EEG system, where you controlled your little dude on the screen or whatever by having a certain state of mind. Everything always seemed a little backwards though...

What I'm getting at is what about having some sort of feedback system in this Zen in a Video Game, where depending on the users' brainwave feedback, things would happen in the environment to encourage the relaxation state or whatever the goal is in this scenerio, instead of the game telling the user how they needed to change. I think it is all a really cool idea, and I'm gonna check out that deer "game" too later on tonight hopefully.

Cheers

This sounds like a good idea and could help people to get into a relaxed/meditative state.
But apart from that, what you'r talking about is pretty damn interesting and hints to the future of input devices. Always since Atari's dubious Mindlink controller I've been psyched about the idea to influence a game with just the power of ones mind, but that still sounds utopic to me.

So is there any commercial device that does something like this, or are there any immidiate plans to release such a controller?

I've only been stumbling over a nice vid at gametrailers that supposedly shows the usage of such a device, but I wasnt able to find additional info:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/56877.html

Apart from that I've read an article about a company calles NeuroSky who seem to work on an EEG device:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/games/2007-04-29-mindreadingtoys_N.htm

I can't wait..



Anyway, regarding the Virtual World and Zen Video Games topic, I also think that it's an excellent idea and the time could be just about right for such software (seeing the acceptance of more and more socalled "non-games" thx to the Wii console).

I'd only say that the term videogame would be rather inappropriate, cause that could lead people to criticise the software for not being a "good game" or not "gamy" enough.
The primary function wouldn't be to offer a compelling game, but to offer a meditative experience.

I'm more and more unsatisfied with the term "videogame" myself, which only insufficianttly describes an interactive medium, that also offers "non-games", something which seems to be a complete contradiction to me.
While I think about it.. I might start a new thread regarding this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know what you mean. I wanted to show the Endless Forest to my friend who dismissed it very quickly even though I know he'd enjoy it to relax. He was looking at it in terms of game play and practically snorted that he wish he could play the hunter...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Chris B
I'd only say that the term videogame would be rather inappropriate, cause that could lead people to criticise the software for not being a "good game" or not "gamy" enough.
The primary function wouldn't be to offer a compelling game, but to offer a meditative experience.

I'm more and more unsatisfied with the term "videogame" myself, which only insufficianttly describes an interactive medium, that also offers "non-games", something which seems to be a complete contradiction to me.
While I think about it.. I might start a new thread regarding this topic.


I agree with you that for clarity there needs to be new terminolgy. I think the medium currently called "video games" will evolve into the primary artform of the coming decades. I like the term Interactive Art myself.

Take a look at my journal sometime. I've written some things there about it. The next journal entry I'm working on is called "The Poetry of Space" and is about creating emotion through a virtual environment, on topic with this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JimDaniel
I agree with you that for clarity there needs to be new terminolgy. I think the medium currently called "video games" will evolve into the primary artform of the coming decades. I like the term Interactive Art myself.


Yes, I think that we're right in the middle of a changing process.
I also like the term Interactive Art, but I think I'd go for something broader like "Virtual Interactive Experience" or just "Virtual Interactivity".

Quote:
Original post by JimDaniel
Take a look at my journal sometime. I've written some things there about it. The next journal entry I'm working on is called "The Poetry of Space" and is about creating emotion through a virtual environment, on topic with this thread.

I'd love to, but it doesn't seem to work atm.

"We're sorry, but access to this resource is denied.
Reason: Were sorry, but we were unable to locate this users journal."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, I don't confuse them ToohrVyk. I'm not
that simple minded. I know them to be different
concepts. I wanted to make a game like Ultima
VIII Pagan with heavy reliance on esoterism,
magic and such. I have many different jumbled
ideas, you see I meantion Virtual Worlds, Magical
Role playing games, and games focused on contemplation
however that doesn't mean that I am stupid like
you are trying to imply. It just mean I can create a
whole array of different products. And some may be
more commercial or original than others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Chris B wrote:
This sounds like a good idea and could help people to get into a relaxed/meditative state.
But apart from that, what you'r talking about is pretty damn interesting and hints to the future of input devices. Always since Atari's dubious Mindlink controller I've been psyched about the idea to influence a game with just the power of ones mind, but that still sounds utopic to me.

So is there any commercial device that does something like this, or are there any immidiate plans to release such a controller?


Brainwave technology has been around (along with working computer interfaces for such devices) since the early 70's, as evidenced by IVBA Technologies. Although its reception by mainstream industries over the years seems to have been lukewarm at best.

Anyhoo, i've found the idea of walking around in, and interacting with strange artistic environments has always been an interesting idea (although i found Myst's slideshow horrendously boring). Though i suppose this ties into the desire to have less violent (or non-violent) FP environments/interactive Novella to explore rather than the fragfests that dominate the market.

BTW: That Falling Sand Game is cool. ^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 3771 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this