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[4E6] Discuss Element: Accountants

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Discussion for the element - Accountants
This element is the one that I'm finding the most inflexible at the moment, because the concept of an "accountant" seems very specific to me. Basing a game on someone who keeps financial accounts doesn't seem that compelling to me (surely for a game the computer should be keeping track of that kind of thing? [smile]) I have a general query as to exactly how broad the "accountant" element can be:
  • Can it just refer to accountancy or book balancing in general - i.e. no need for an actual, phyiscal representation of an accountant>
  • Can an "accountant" refer to any other semi-related fields in the finance industry: bankers, insurance brokers, bookkeepers, and so on.
  • Would having some kind of trading scheme in your game for currency count as an "accountant" if you keep track of figures and sales over a period of time?
Any other questions on accountants are also welcome in this thread!

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I was thinking, perhaps, that an accountant would be a fairly suitable boss character, but the problem with this is that nothing comes to mind that would identify them as being an accountant. Perhaps if they've gotten on the wrong side of the law due to shady accounting practices or something, but otherwise I can't come up with much.

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Original post by cowsarenotevil
I was thinking, perhaps, that an accountant would be a fairly suitable boss character, but the problem with this is that nothing comes to mind that would identify them as being an accountant. Perhaps if they've gotten on the wrong side of the law due to shady accounting practices or something, but otherwise I can't come up with much.

Yes, that's along the lines of my thinking too. It's very easy to throw in some character in a bowler hat, suit and briefcase and have the game call them an accountant, but in my view that's not really addressing the element - they aren't really an accountant unless there's some accounting going on.

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I figured one of the best ways was to make the player an accountant, in that some game elements involve accounting (obviously it'll need to be some fun twist on accounting). It'll still involve an accountant; it's just that the accountant isn't literally in the game. Rather, the game creates an accountant in the real world.

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Before the elements were announced I had an idea using a "business man" as a character for a side scrolling beatem' up since I have a ready-ish to go 2D fighting engine. Thought you could go around sucking the life out of innocent people, gain power by crushing others, even had a whole "image" factor in there. I could have just made him fight accountants or even have made him one but it's kinda lame. Its easy to label some random character an accountant but its pretty thin at that point.

In the end I would have to agree that is hard to see many ways to make it a real part of a game. Not just some silly discriptive title to give a character to keep your game from getting kicked. I would think there are lots of games that require accounting of some sort but as for accountants its tough. There just isn't enough meat there. Nobody really wants to be them or wants to see them dead. For example ninjas are cool and we would love to be an ninja, possibly kicking lame wannabe ninja ass. Lawyers, people hate lawyers. They would make good enemies. Accountants.....eh.

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Why must an accountant be dull? Indiana Jones is a history professor. So is Jack Ryan. Peter Parker was a delivery boy. There's so many possibilites without even having to stretch the definition of accountant at all.

Plus, any game like Sim City could fit that element. And I think quite a few people didn't find that game boring.

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Original post by Agony
I figured one of the best ways was to make the player an accountant, in that some game elements involve accounting (obviously it'll need to be some fun twist on accounting). It'll still involve an accountant; it's just that the accountant isn't literally in the game. Rather, the game creates an accountant in the real world.


Thats the only feasable thing I can think of at the moment that doesn't involve an accountant as a character type. Very hard to weave accounting into gameplay and it still be fun. Would balancing stats/money/crystals as a type of fund or currency in the game fit into the accountant category?

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Original post by d000hg
Why must an accountant be dull? Indiana Jones is a history professor. So is Jack Ryan. Peter Parker was a delivery boy. There's so many possibilites without even having to stretch the definition of accountant at all.

Plus, any game like Sim City could fit that element. And I think quite a few people didn't find that game boring.


I don't think its the accountant part on its own. Its that it's going to be fairly tough to work in with ponies. They also don't tend to play with crystals or blow stuff up.

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Original post by d000hg
Why must an accountant be dull? Indiana Jones is a history professor. So is Jack Ryan. Peter Parker was a delivery boy. There's so many possibilites without even having to stretch the definition of accountant at all.

But all of those, in my view, stretch the spirit of the elements. Yes, technically speaking Indiana Jones is a history professor, but in the games he only acts as a professor very briefly. The majority of the games focus on his aspect as a swashbuckling adventurer tomb raider Nazi thwarter, not as an academic.

It's pretty easy to have a character that by day is a mild-mannered accountant, and by night fights to keep the streets free from injustice, but unless your game focuses equally between the two roles of accountant/crime-fighter I don't feel that addresses the "accountant" angle very well at all. And if it does, how many players will want to go play through the "add up figures until it's five o'clock and I get to go home and fight evil" phase?

Quote:
Plus, any game like Sim City could fit that element. And I think quite a few people didn't find that game boring.


That's pretty close to what I think is the only way to incorporate the accountant theme successfully, but it does limit the genres down to management style games. To be honest, I was seriously considering making a management style game anyway in the near future, but it would be nice if I could keep my mind open to other alternatives with respect for the contest.


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I don't know. You make some game where you have to do some accounting work (ie: main character you play = accountant). Everytime you complete some accounting task you get money with which you buy crystals. You must buy and assemble the crystals correct (ie: puzzle game) to make a crystal pony. When you do, it can focus the energy of some device to make something blow up. Of course that takes out the pony too. You must complete several ponies to take out several targets.

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