• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
jefferytitan

Positive Sci-fi Game

7 posts in this topic

There has been some focus lately on dystopian sci-fi books/movies/games casting a poor light on the scientific profession. Many games involve an apocalypse released by a hapless scientist, fighting an evil genius, or an evil corporation bending weak-willed scientists to their evil ends. In light of this I'd like to work on a sci-fi game which is positive or at least neutral towards science and/or scientists. The problem is that I've all but grown up on dystopian sci-fi, so my source of inspiration tends to be pretty dark. I have total writers block in this area.

The technical limitations I'm working within are:
- Limit number of NPCs with decent AI, e.g. plenty of robots or zombies fine, but proper reactive characters limited.
- Limit visible distance, e.g. indoors or in a city with obscuring buildings.
- Multiple outcomes preferred without a clear succeed/fail.

I know I'm unashamedly asking for ideas or at least a strategy for coming up with ideas, but vague ideas are fine. I'm happy to put in the grunt work.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trying to portray Sci-Fi in a positive light would probably be easiest if science overcame some other problem. The ones that immediately jump to light is if there was some natural disaster that was solved.

Some ideas would be
- Preventing a world-ending event (meteor strike, ice age)
- Solving world hunger / Uniting the world

If you have some more details on the game that would be useful for brainstorming.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cool, good starting point! I think the world-ending event is easier/more dramatic. It would give easy reasons for low population density in city-type environments, e.g. most wiped out or evacuated, and outdoor environments with low visibility due to pollution or snow could be used. Something like a meteor strike could be used to enforce a timer, and something like ice age could be used to get a slowly getting worse feeling.

As a bonus, there are many approaches to such an endeavour, most relying upon science. For example, divert/destroy asteroid, evacuate earth, build bunkers. In addition there are the moral sides of these decisions, breakdown of law and order, population displacement, etc.

I should have mentioned that I was thinking kind of along Fallout 3 lines, but a little less sandboxy, a lot smaller, and with less reliance on stats.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's quite a lot of examples of positive science fiction available if you want to go look up things written in the 80s. Science fiction settings are great for comedy and adventure, and not bad for romance either.

The idea of multiple outcomes with no clear success/fail isn't extremely compatible with a story with a happy ending though. Unless it's the kind of game where the player pretty much always wins or makes progress, and the outcome is just whether they make $10 or $12, that's works as positive but not obvious.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To clarify, I don't necessarily mean an "everybody lived happily ever after" ending, just that science made the situation significantly better than if there were no science. So for me, science saving SOME of Earth from complete destruction by a natural disaster counts as positive sci-fi, but science saving some people from a plague CREATED BY SCIENTISTS would not.

I'll check out some of my older sci-fi books, but one thing that I want to avoid is exploring space, a very common theme from back then and earlier which I feel no need to cover myself.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1335700765' post='4935804']
To clarify, I don't necessarily mean an "everybody lived happily ever after" ending, just that science made the situation significantly better than if there were no science.[/quote]
The simplest approach is just not to make technology the primary focus of the story. Have a couple of examples from popular fiction that do so very well:

Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game: the story is more about sociology and child-abuse, but technology is a constant backdrop, and the differentiator between man and insect.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed: it's about politics/language/culture, and the difference in technology level is used to drive the tension between two cultures.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good point, subtelty is an alternative to putting science centre stage. ;) I enjoyed Ender's Game a lot, so I get you there. I don't recall The Dispossessed, although I have read some Le Guin.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about, science gives access to some place that was previously inaccessible. It can be the heart of a volcano, an asteroid, a sunk ship. You can let intrepid scientist-explorers solve puzzles with gadgets or their knowledge of biology/geology/physics/chemistry.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0