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Dragoncar

Medic

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A game idea I've been thinking about recently is having the player play as a medic during WW2 instead of the standard "super" soldier. So instead of focusing on the player fighting the game would have the player bandaging wounds during combat, deciding who they can help save or can't save, performing cpr or keeping people alive to reach an aid post. Actions like bandaging or cpr would be carried out using mouse gestures instead of just pressing a button. Objectives for this might include save x people, or save the Captain's life instead of kill x enemy or reach this point. What I am most looking for opinions on are: 1) What things to have the player do? 2) Are the mouse gestures likely to be to difficult or to similar to just pressing a button? 3) Could it prove to difficult to remember the gestures required? 4) How can the gestures and tasks be introduced to the players so they can learrn what to do?

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I'd say you're asking for trouble with gestures. Play Black and White 1 & 2 and you'll see. They're ok, but boy can they be frustrating. Noone wants to fight their interface. If you're only intent to use them is to make the game more interesting than simply clicking a button, your game has bigger issues.

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1) As for medic-based gameplay, I'm all for it, but it brings an unusual set of challenges for the designer. Do you get points for healing dudes? Would I, as the player, find myself tricking my AI squadmates into getting wounded so I could farm teh healz? Would it be a series of scripted events, challenges for my skill that are largely independent from the battlefield?

I'd like to see it work like this: You're out there with the guys, trying not to get shot, sticking behind cover, etc. Someone gets hit, hollers "Medic!" and you're on the job. First, you have to decide whether you can get to him. If you can, then go for it, if not, either leave him to die or send some other grunts out to retrieve him. Once you've got him, you have to decide whether to work on him right then or move him, maybe run out, grab the guy, and drag him into a foxhole or behind a tree before you really take a look at his wounds. When you're comfortable with the spot, you get out your tools and activate your medic mode, cutting off clothes, assessing and treating wounds, administering anesthetic, etc. Once you have the guy stabilized, or he dies, or you buy yourself a little time, you can disengage from medic mode and check on someone else.

It would be like those games where you have to run a diner, making meals to order while customers flood in, except instead of a customer getting angry and not leaving a tip, a guy bleeds to death. At higher levels you'd be slapping some anticoagulant on a dude, telling him to hold a wad of gauze on his leg, then scurrying off to see to another guy or three before coming back and checking on that first dude again.

You could set bones, inject morphine, clot blood, apply bandages, affix splints, extract shrapnel, treat burns, remove bullets, clamp arteries, all kinds of wacky stuff.

2) I think BLiTZWiNG is right, gestures are a fun gimmick, but they're also a middleman between my will and my character's actions. Unless they add something to the experience, like outside-the-box solutions or emergent gameplay, they just serve to obfuscate the interface, and nobody likes that. If a button could be used instead, I'd say go with the button, but there's that doctor game for the DS that was very successful, and it used a gesture-based system to do medicine.

3) The gestures shouldn't have to be remembered, you can have on-screen prompts for how to use each tool or technique. Treat it like a minigame. CPR is a rhythm game, sterilization is a painting game, pulling out a hunk of shrapnel would be a precision dragging game, etc.

4) The easiest way would be to have a tutorial, or maybe to scale the first few missions, adding a feature to each one, like many puzzle games do. Or you could divide the levels into groups. In one group, it's all broken bones and CPR, like a jeep crashes, and then a bridge collapses, and then a building gets bombed and a bunch of dudes get dinged up. It starts with one patient with fairly mild injuries and no real risk of death, then gradually gets tougher and tougher, and you're doing triage to save as many as you can, but you aren't dealing with more than one or two types of wound, and you've got enough "easy" cases to figure out how it works.

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Hm...honestly...it doesn't sound like much fun to me. I mean, imagine being in a combat and bullets fly around and everyone is being heroic...well, except you, who get to wrap bandages. I guess it could be fun to some niche...but is it worth it spending millions on implementing realistic combat, and then forbid the player from fighting? I don't know.

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It would have to be a sort of tactical game, trying to get to your patients before they die without getting killed yourself, while managing scarce medical resources.

I think that if done right, gestures could actually make the interface simpler. You wouldn't have to find the button, you'd just whip your mouse in a certain motion, and voila. The increased continuity might make it more intuitive and a better conduit of the will of the player, like Iron Chef Carnage said.

Maybe that's only because I've always been fascinated by the idea of mouse gestures as a means of control. I don't know how hard it is to make it work, but I'm guessing it's pretty tricky.

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What you can do is use the normal W,A,S,D, for not only running and walking in different directions you can use these for holding the sutures or clamps in one perticular position while you can utilize the mouse as the scissors, or knife, or for what ever for percision cutting, sawing off limbs from shrapnel. You as the player would use these buttons at the same time.

I was thinking of a time limit for certain situations depending on the wound. But making it just in time could have the patient keel over while your tryin to safe him. Not sure if that would be a right idea but I threw it out there for an option for your game.

I think it would be an interesting game. Your main character could start out in medical school during the ww2. Him and his team get sent out to help their fellow soldiers on the battlefield.

Here is another thing that comes to mind. As the medic you have two choices for your character to choose from. Save lives from death and protect yourself as the player (medic) from harm of enemy intruders attacking you when your not looking by taking the enemies life. After each mission you report back to headquarters telling them how many you have saved and how many that passed away from the treatments you have given them and which treatments that failed due to not having an training. The more persons you save the more techniques you aquire for the field. And your rank would go up. Chief surgeon is this the highest rank as a medical doctor? I didn't do my research on this.

Also your main character does not have to be on the battle field to do surgery. He can do surgery at the base camp to refresh hsi techniques if the players for gets to understand which procedure to take on the battle field.

At the base camp you can get new field maps to travel to instead of a linear game you have multiple areas to go to. To help out your fellow soldiers from other infantries.

You can have I say like 4 or 5 other men in the medic group for the tour. The characters began back in med school and get into the army or where ever you are putting your characters in the armed forces.

I would like to see something like this to be able to play. I know there are other games similar to this for the hand held systems, i havent played those games yet. but this is a different story as it were.

Keep up the ideas, suggestions and concepts going for your game project.

Would like to see or actually read more of your ideas. Well not all of your ideas just the ideas you would like to have help on from everyone here at gamedev.

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Ok, so it looks like alot of testing will need to go into getting the mouse gestures to add to tthe gameplay rather than being a hinderance.

Iron Chef I like your suggestion of making CPR etc into mini-games and displaying what needs to be done on screen.

I was thinking of making the game have both heavily scripted sections and freeform sections where you have to deal with the situation as it develops. The balancing for the freeform sections would need to be done carefully so that you don't need to go getting people shot, but still have plenty to do. I am thinking in terms of having reasonable size battles occuring rather than just small squad based battles.

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There are some good suggestions as to how a game like this could work mentioned above. For the surgery itself, I think a drag-and-drop/point-and-click puzzle-style system would probably be one of the more-player friendly ways to do it. Give the player his medical kit and then select what he needs to handle each wound (gauze, morphine, stiches, etc.). One of the tactical challenges would be doing the "minimum" possible to conserve limited resources to help other wounded soldiers. At higher ranks, let him define the injured status (critical, serious, stable, etc. or whatever they use in the military) of a soldier for subordinates to handle (the number increasing as the player's rank does) if he or she chooses.

Anyway, I personally think this would work best as a fairly simple game that had skill levels/ranks that somebody could play on a slow afternoon at work or to pass some time on one's lap top on the train or at the airport. The player could guide his character around the screen to wounded soldiers (I'm thinking something like a scroller) and has a certain amount of time to operate to save a soldier's life depending on the severity of the injuries. As the player progresses in rank, the battlefield becomes more dangerous to run around on (more explosions, mines, obstacles, gunfire, etc.), the player would have to save more soldiers to progress to the next rank, and the soldiers would have more serious wounds (forcing the player to have to reach those soldiers and perform surgery faster).

Alternatively, with a really exceptional writer this _could_ work as a campaign-style game if you can come up with enough mission diversity and a good story hook. Missions types could include working in the medical tents at base, being woken up to find your camp under attack, a D-Day style invasion, a special ops mission behind enemy lines, rescue missions, helping civilians, being kidnapped and forced to help the bad guys, etc. etc. etc. (Maybe your character was disowned by his father for being a wuss while your brother the super solider went to fight in the war. To make your family proud, you join the military. You find out your brother is basically being sold out by Command and your goal is to progress high enough that you become the medic attached to his unit /shrug)

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Quote:
Original post by Ghostknight
I would like to see something like this to be able to play. I know there are other games similar to this for the hand held systems, i havent played those games yet. but this is a different story as it were.


There are actually some older games for PC that are similar to the ones for the hand helds. The three I can remember at the moment are:

Life and Death
Life and Death 2
Virtual Surgeon

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In addition to whatever commendations for procedures/efficiency in combat the player may obtain it could also include whether the Soldier/platoon he's accompanying actually succeed in their mission or not. For example do you heal the grunt holding his guts in or patch up the arm of the guy who can set the explosives for the bridge your supposed to blow?

To add to the list:
Trauma Center Series DS Games.
Dark Cut Series flash games.

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When you are doing resources, don't forget that for soldiers you will have 'most' of what you need ON the solider itself. Medics carry a wide array of materials with them, but will use what the soldier carries first.

You also don't need to be completely devoid of combat yourself as a medic. Rarely do you find completely unarmed medics.

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i would soggest to appart from combat, seeing the soldiers on a beach or trench covering and firing, and eventually getting shot, how many soldiers take orders from medics anyway?

you can distract attention from combat in many ways: not showing the enemy (they can be shooting from far away), design weapons so they don't draw attention (color palette helps), make the medical equipment very detailed, and you can also make the soldiers act like morons, since medics tend to see them that way:
soldier- I will kill them all!
gunshot
-MEDIC!! they hit me in the nuts!!

BTW since people is oversensitive to genitals you should make sure they never ever get hurt there.

As for the gestures if you put them also put alternative control means.

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Quote:
Original post by Gyrthok
Dark Cut Series flash games.


I don't own a DS, so the Dark Cut games are all the insight I have into that genre. I'll tell you, it's a lot of fun, and the gesture system allows for a fresh, dynamic minigame experience. I'd get behind a combat medic game that employs that kind of interface, but there's a framework problem there: How do you blend the combat scenario with the medic gameplay?

I think it would be best to divide them clearly. You have to get the patient and then start working on them. If you do a good job, your surgery should be uninterrupted. If you mess up the "acquisition" phase, you should immediately be punished for your bad judgement and made to retry. I don't want to staunch blood loss, and then set a bone, and then be suturing the wound when some battlefield element I missed interrupts the process and cancels the minigame.

This is one of the few times when a clear on-screen progress bar would be agreeable to me. Have a "security" meter akin to the "stealth" meter in a Splinter Cell game, so that the player can be confident that he's in a position where his work will be uninterrupted. Go ahead and make it hard to get there, but once I've gotten over that hump, I expect to be able to work on my patient without some nazi zombie getting in the way.

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