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Frame/crime-based video/puzzle game?

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I watched some cops try to frame someone today, and thought framing people is an underlooked criminal activity in video gaming! I mean we murder and steal in video games all the time, but what about games based around deception? Maybe some sort of multiplayer game, where players lie to each other and try and convince the other players of true or false facts? Like a player might have the number 7, and the other players could ask him questions via text and try and guess his number, or it could be any other fact.

Also a puzzle-game based around deception would be neat, as would adding lies and deceit to standard events, although there might be a bit of this in games like dragon age, I didn't see much in the ways of discussion on true, lie, and the difference?

I've also been playing a bit of eve online, I suppose deception is allowed there and there's an occasional scam, although I did spend some time as a corp infiltrator and the people in that game tend to be really trusting and weak against deception.

Thus, a totally deception based or lie oriented game might give gamers a practical strength in detecting lies based on interrogation techniques, facial expression, context, and other human interaction factors. If you need good instructions on how to lie convincingly, ask any actor or government official with top secret clearance.

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Poker? Baseball? Basketball? Chess? Go? All of these allow strategies which employ deception. Any time you allow one intelligent being to trick another into believing something is something else, it's deception. Multiplayer Tetris doesn't allow this so much, games like Monkey Island don't at all, and shooters don't really, in general. But Poker is probably the champion in this area. It's pretty much a template for how deception works in business, politics and everywhere else.

So I'm curious, what do you have in mind exactly? [smile]

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My rating is low because I am often critical of certain things that are typically censored. I'm thinking that the way a lot of games 'teach' their players certain techniques would be a good way to integrate deception into games, as well as providing encouragement and rewards for using deception. That was a good list of old games, I should note that chess and poker are both amazing and old games that allow for a wide range of human styles to be used, including deception. (Chess more than poker, although poker is mostly deception)

I note that poker games don't typically include instructions, so maybe a good game would be a single player poker game that's kind of a poker-based deception tutorial, an interactive poker book of sorts?

I remember in an old MMO I used to play you could hide your level. Some people chose to wear nice gear so you could tell they were a high level, or a high level player could wear low level gear with little penalty and trick other players into not knowing their level. Allowing players to hide more information that they personally have access to might allow more decptive opportunities in games? Also increasing privacy options, while decreasing communications options might help -> I thought a multiplayer game with menu-based chat and no free-type chatting allowed, but very throughouh and gameplay-relevant and/or aware menu based chatting would be neat, along with range-based communication & trade in the virtual environment. This limited range of knowledge combined with limited communications and private stats/numbers makes knowledge a more precious thing, and makes manipulating, hiding, and covering it a more viable tactic? So that limiting communication and the flow of information allows more opportunities to distort, along with making that information relevant to gameplay...maybe even quantify information as items, and allow players to give knowledge 'items' to other players while keeping their own knowledge item as well, and also losing all knowledge items upon player death?

On the knowledge item system, those would be like recipes/blueprints in mmos, or could be other things like a piece of knowledge that gives you +3 to swords, but there could be also fake knowledge items that could be invented/cloned that claim to give you +3 to swords but actually give you -2.

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Deception encompasses a lot of things so lets just stick to lies. I think lying is when some one or more persons knowingly produce false or misleading signals or communications to others.

spy class allows you to look like other players... that is a clear form of lying.


is a new game in development that seems to allow for explicitly sending false information to other users.

So basically... what elements are useful to facilitate lying?
- good old in game chat\messaging functions.
- physical decoys that players can drop/launch which look like live players.
- false sensor emitters that show up non existent targets on their hud\radar.
- false unit orders\communications (for games where comms can be intercepted)(R.U.S.E)
- for an RPG/MMO, perhaps a skill that allows you to charm/persuade an NPC to give false information (eg. a fake quest) to other human players allowing you to set up an ambush or get them killed by a monster that is too powerful for them so you can cleanup their loot.
- the ability to disguise yourself(TF2).
- the ability to disguise other things (pit of spikes with leaf rug over the top)
- honey pots and cookie jars - any device that a player would mistake as a treat when it's really a trick or trap.
- fake audio - what if you could send fake audio signals mimicking monsters, a grenade throw, who knows.
- ability to sell fake copies of high quality weapons and armor. (a copy\replica is not exactly the same as disguising something... an appraisal skill would be needed to counter. caveat emptor)
- ability to place fake signs or rename\reword existing ones.
- fake maps
- fake recipes for potions that wind up exploding.

I think one could come up with a lot of neat ideas for including the art of lying in games.

It could be an interesting experiment to develop an RPG that is devilishly duplicitous. But I suppose such a game could be difficult to design. Too many lies and people will become upset at the unfairness of it all. People wont trust anything and the experience might be one of constant fear and anxiety.

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One way to counter lie-buffing would be to maybe also include more hint-based systems to indicate where the lies are and where the truth is?

That was a really good list of ideas for additions to many types of games!

I should note that in many popular video games (I'm thinking of modern warfare 2 and left 4 dead 2, also eve online) there is a lot of tension in the game environment, with death lurking around every corner...although it's not all deathmatch, there could also be team-based lying and group lying, even possibly a pictionary-like game with one person on one team lying or telling the truth and the other team guesses which one it is while discussing it amongst themselves?

Also I was thinking that if a lie-based game needed a referee/judge/cheat monitor, that ability could be crowdsourced, in that anyone could sign up to be a referee, and they could gain xp or points or whatever by getting good scores from the players on average, with players possibly requiring a minimum referee level for player level.

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