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Miguel Antonio

Virtual Worlds and Zen Video Games

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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?

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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.

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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...)

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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.

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