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Academy game & question about setting

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Setting has the power to transform average gameplay into stellar gameplay. Agree? I''m not sure I do, but I was thinking about a part of a game that has the player going to high school. School seems automatically boring until I transform it into something like "Starfleet Academy." (or, thinking about Harry Potter, insert Wizard''s Academy if you wish ). The change to setting seems to imply more exotic excitement: You''re in a different time and place. Your classmates can be weird aliens or humans. And your classes are bizarre (Nanotech Insect Finals, FTL Physics; Zero G Football). What do you think? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by TheThief
What would the gameplay be like? Adventure/RPG-like, or something different? It's kind of hard to picture a game like that....



Heh, yeah, it's weird and pretty outside the box.

Basically think "The Sims" but jazz it up so it's not so mundane. Then break it up into phases (I describe this a bit in the "Coming of Age as Character Building" post). Essentially, you'd have levels you play on and goals you can accomplish, with time compression to skip the boring stuff.


You'd have 3 key elements: Resources, Needs and Actions.

These would apply to 3 areas: Tasks, Social, and Destiny

Resources Would be things you accumulate by taking actions, or things that naturally accrue.

Needs would be a part of the PC. The PC would need to sleep to gain energy, or study to gain skill, or perform a feat to gain status.

Tasks in the Academy and elsewhere would have resource costs that affect success. Resources are things like status, time, and energy. The player would have to discover what resources he has, and how best to spend them.

Actions would would change your character and the rest of the game. Do you get into fights all the time? Study alot? Build wild science projects? Or run away and join the Stellar Marines?

Social would work just like tasks, but involve NPCs. There'd be different groups and characters, each generating the possibility of friendship or opposition, and maybe even a "sim romantic interest." NPCs would react to one another and the player, and influence each other. There'd also be special mini-missions that arise out of the interactions: A deadly jetbike race to prove status; or winning over / stealing a love interest; or playing a prank on a bully)

Destiny would be the most interesting part, though. This would be the secret goals during the chapter, and would influence not just the PC, but the game world around him/her. It would also determine how they started out in the next chapter.


Hopefully, this is a bit more clear...?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...


Edited by - Wavinator on August 10, 2001 7:47:32 PM

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There are several ren''ai/hentai games where you have to be a high school or college student, go to classes, all that stuff. There are also some children''s games, the jumpstart series especially, where the setting is an elementary school with additions like secret passages, or allowing the student into the school cafeteria. These games are generally fun - I think it''s a choice of setting that has a lot of potential.

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I''d have to disagree with the statment about setting, at least to the most part.

In and of itself, I don''t think setting makes a game any better. However, altering the setting often opens up new options and gameplay and interactions.

School''s boring for a lot of reasons. The greatest of which is (at least in my expierences) that school trained me that noting anyone does really matters or can change a thing. And who wants to play a game like that?

On the other hand, a good situation will keep my attention rivited too, and there are a few games that I enjoy playing just because the atmosphere is so interesting.

So, I don''t think that setting will really make gameplay any more fun, but a good setting definately can''t hurt. And a good setting will definately drive the story forward.

On a tangent, I assumed that setting is more general than level designs. Because I agree that a well designed set of levels can transform average gameplay into stellar gameplay.

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quote:
Setting has the power to transform average gameplay into stellar gameplay.


I don''t think that''s necessary true. Gameplay is something that the player can change and interact with. On the other hand setting is something built into the game and the player have no control over. But a good detail enriched setting does make the game more enjoyable.

quote:
School''s boring for a lot of reasons. The greatest of which is (at least in my expierences) that school trained me that noting anyone does really matters or can change a thing. And who wants to play a game like that?


Did you happen to goto one of those strict christian school? Looking back I can say I enjoy all the fun I had back in middle and high school; the spitball fights in class, the food fights in the cafeteria, all the crazy mud wrestlings during raining day, etc...

quote:
Destiny would be the most interesting part, though. This would be the secret goals during the chapter, and would influence not just the PC, but the game world around him/her. It would also determine how they started out in the next chapter.


Could you elaborate on that a little more? Destiny is by definition something that can''t be controlled. So just how does this tie in with the PC''s action?

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quote:
Original post by Mooglez
Could you elaborate on that a little more? Destiny is by definition something that can''t be controlled. So just how does this tie in with the PC''s action?


I really need a better name for that, but my other alternative, "Life Quest" just wasn''t working.

The character''s Destiny is a secret end goal generated for that character. Its a weighting mechanism to determine what kind of events are consistently generated for that particular character. The player is given a hint of what their character''s Destiny is throughout the game, and once they understand it, can either work to meet this fate, alter it, or run from it.

Example: The game starts up with your family being massacred. Your secret destiny is to confront the murderers. So the game will constantly drop clues and generate encounters that lead you toward the murderers.

You''re free to ignore it, of course. It only affects the character''s End Game Epitaph, which summarizes how well the player did (it''s a bonus to score, really).



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by ThoughtBubble
School''s boring for a lot of reasons. The greatest of which is (at least in my expierences) that school trained me that noting anyone does really matters or can change a thing. And who wants to play a game like that?


Bleech! What a horrible lesson to learn! Actually my experience wasn''t too great either. But that''s why I''m proposing this.

I''m trying to imagine only very good aspects of school, and focusing on something like "Starfleet Academy." This would definitely be a place to make a difference. I''m maybe taken with the "young cadets who grew up together and are now friends as well as captains" idea. It''s something that doesn''t necessarily need to be played out, but it seems to me that if I was able to make it fun it would mean more because it was part of the player''s gaming history.


--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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An Academy type school is a boarding school. While in some ways that gives more options, in others it closes them.

If you are going to go for a military academy type school why not have the school have long vacations? That way the player gets into different environments - home, summer camp, holiday job.

The types of school could vary too. The player could be sent to an alien school for a term.

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"School seems automatically boring until I transform it into something like "Starfleet Academy."

I''ve thought of this exact idea for immersion purposes. Imagine a persistent MMOFP type sim where you can start out on Earth and then walk into the virtual Starfleet Academy, where you would interact with a bunch of real players, and eventually get posted to your first assignment. You would gain rank over time ect..

Yea, setting is very very important, and I would suggest a perisistent idea for Starfleet.

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