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Hase

"Opponent" - a necessary concept?

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Hase    313
Heres a thought I´ve been brooding about for quite a while... imagine a game thats includes a management part and resource/building options (more or less like any other RTS): Is it necessary to have an "enemy"? Not just as in turn based or rt combat, but also more general as in a business opponent... kinda like the other players in ports of call or oil imperium. Is it possible to provide enough "game" for the player without enemies? And i´m not talking about repetetive mini-games like in ports of call or turning the whole thing into a Fed-Ex Knights kind of adventure... and never mind the setting as i think its not really important.... so do you think its possible to make a game like that? Big enough, long enough? Interesting enough?

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You''re talking about a sim, like sim-city.

They do sell (see the numbers for the sims). Resource management, micro-management, growth, development, it''s all there.

If there''s an active (dynamic) opponent then you have a game - the competitive elements are one of the defining characteristics of a game.

If you have an inactive opponent, a challenge that sits there for the player to overcome, then you have a puzzle. There is still an obstacle, but it''s passive and static

If there is no opponent at all, just tools for the player to explore and experiment with, then you have a sim.

All of them can sell, if well made.

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Hase    313
its not really a sim i´m talking about, cause sim usually means static environment. In the typical sim game you have a given environment to deal with, having various options to do this. In the sim the process of building/sim-ing is the game.

There is also no active opponent to overcome, but the environment should be dynamic, providing new challenges. I do not really want (static) puzzles though, as the resource/building/management part should be the core and im not sure the two mix well.

What im getting at is how to make a resource/building/management game that is not a SIM, that does not degenerate into micromanagement/mini-puzzles, and that is not too much of an adventure...

because if i look at XCOm or something like that, and take the enemies away theres not much motivation left to do the other things that made the game fun.

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Tassadar    122
Take a look at Theme Hospital (I know, old game ) You do have enemies (aka competitors) in this game, but I don''t think anyone pays a lot attention to them. It''s not like they do anything, they just give you something to compare your own management to.
There is something dynamic in the game, since you can get promotions to other clinics, but still you are playing a sim...

Just my 0,02 €, correct me if I was wrong somewhere

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draqza    122
quote:
Original post by Hase
There is also no active opponent to overcome, but the environment should be dynamic, providing new challenges.


That''s why in SimCity 2000, for instance, there are natural disasters, and the state of the town''s pollution, crime, etc. change. You don''t have to play to those challenges, but if you want to, you can.
quote:

I do not really want (static) puzzles though, as the resource/building/management part should be the core and im not sure the two mix well.


I''d say, if you''re telling a story through your game, then static puzzles should fairly easy to work in, to advance the plot. If it''s really just an open-ended game, then you could perhaps have loosely defined puzzles which could be dynamically created by the game, like Daggerfall would with quests.
quote:

What im getting at is how to make a resource/building/management game that is not a SIM, that does not degenerate into micromanagement/mini-puzzles, and that is not too much of an adventure...


But...would that be fun? If it''s strategy-esque, but with no opponent, and it''s not a sim, does this leave it much substance? I imagine there''s a way to do it--if you''re a creative enough designer to pull off something like that, I tip my hat.
--




WNDCLASSEX Reality;
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Reality.lpfnWndProc=ComputerGames;
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RegisterClassEx(&Reality);


Unable to register Reality...what''s wrong?
---------
Dan Upton
Lead Designer
WolfHeart Software

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quote:
Original post by draqza

But...would that be fun? If it''s strategy-esque, but with no opponent, and it''s not a sim, does this leave it much substance? I imagine there''s a way to do it--




thats about what I´m looking for... now just add "not too much of an adventure" and youre there. I think the question is, whether it is necessary to have opponents or some sort of business model for a building/resource/management game, or if its enough to provide the player with short and long term challenges of a story-based nature.

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