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Array Master

Constructive Games

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Array Master    122
So many games out there are about destroying and killing. I''d like to see more games that are more about constructing things than destroying. Not just about constructing, but always finding ways to make things better. Sim City is a good example, but there are only so many things you can do to improve your city. Then you''ve got a super-metropolis bringing in a billion dollars a year, with buildings covering the whole map, and there''s nothing more you can do. In Command and Conquer, you got to build a base, and then an army. You could build your base however you wanted, and make whatever kind of troops you want. But eventually, to win the game, you had to go destroy another base. And all your work on your great base and army will be forgotten. Take programming as a better example. You can create so many useful, fun things. The only limits are your imagination, the language barriers, and your hardware limits. Beyond that, there''s absolutely nothing you can''t do. This is the biggest reason why I program. To create entire worlds. To make giant machines. To make things operate like clockwork. I''m suprised so many other people aren''t interested. From the impression of others, it''s so hard to understand. They don''t like to exercise their brain like that. Take some other hobbies, like robot building. You can create a robot to do anything you want. But this is such an expensive hobby. People usually can''t afford this kind of stuff until their 30''s. So I got to thinking, I''d like to see a game where you can make things. But what? I have this idea: Robot Wars. You have to build your robot from pure scratch, not using pre-made weapons or chassis or engines. However you want it to fight, that''s your decision. How it moves around the arena (if at all) is totally up to you. Then you can challenge other robots. The winner gets a reward (such as parts maybe), which helps them build larger robots. Then, you could tie in some A.I. programming with this. Try to get your bot to destroy the other on its own. Although some people might want to go without the A.I. part. So you could control the robot with keyboard commands as well. I''d be more than willing to make a game like this, but my programming abilities are limited. So if anyone wants to take a shot at it, have at it. The only challenge I see is all the physics involved, since there are so many weapon possibilities. Control ... the storm... Danny (Array Master)

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Tacit    122
Sounds like you''ll still end up with a game that''s mainly about destroying and killing...just that you''ll be destroying robots.

Maybe someone should make a game about biochemistry. Put together various elements and see what you can create out of them. Then put those molecules together to make more complex objects. Maybe the point should we to create a life form, and the order and type of composition will determine what it becomes. Then, your lifeform can wander around and do things in a game world, but you don''t control them. So, you get all the benefits of the Sims and a tamagotchi.

Just an idea. It''s probably already been done...


R.

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Sandman    2210
The trouble with the constructive style of play, is that it is less intuitive to set a goal - and without a goal the gameplay eventually becomes tedious.

Think about it mathematically. Your city has a number which relates to how good it is. 0 means no city at all. At the other end of the scale.... well, what scale? You could in theory keep adding to your city indefinitely. Obviously you can''t set infinity as your target, as your player will never acheive it. If you set an arbitrary target, say, you have to build a city that rates as a 100, then what if the player wants to build further? What if he gets bored before he gets there? It is harder to define the goals this way around and keep it fun for all players.

Now with a C&C type game, you can build your base as long as you like, but that isnt the aim of the game. The aim is to reduce your opponents base to 0. Of course, the more buildings you have, the harder it is for your opponent to do this to you, so building a big base does have an advantage, but ultimately, you have a clearly defined objective of reducing your opponents forces to to a clearly defined level (zero) which is intuitive for competitive play as well as accommodating more passive game.

This isn''t to say the constructive gameplay is doomed to fail and that no one should attempt it - sim city sold millions of copies for example. However, as you say, its long term appeal was highly suspect for the reasons I have already mentioned. I suspect this is inevitable for this type of game, although I could be completely wrong.

PS: AoK had some alternative game modes which werent killing based. Although they arent as popular as the standard "Kill everything on the map" type games, you might find some interesting ideas there.

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Inmate2993    222
On the SNES, there was a game called Actraiser which had a "sim" mode where it was your responsibility to rebuild earth after it had been destroyed by a demon. The number of people you had living on your rebuilt earth equated to how much HP you had in the "act" sequences, which you swang around a sword and killed lots of monsters. It had an interesting balance in gameplay, so try to find a used copy somewhere.

:: Inmate2993
:: William C. Bubel
"Please refrain from bothering Booster."

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snow    122
Once I had the idea about a pure ''Magic Simulation''.
It was a little bit similar to the biochemistry game idea that Tacit had.
In the ''Magic Simulation you would have a large amount of different ingredients, each one belongs to a specific class (''Fire'', ''Air'', ''Wind'' etc.). These classes are containing informations on how the ingredient will react when mixed with an ingredient belonging to another class.
The player would also be able to create its own ingredients/classes by defining various settings (''Power'', ''Heat'', ''Freezing'', ''Color'' etc.).
The player mixes some of the ingredients and gets a ''spell'', which he can cast on something in a ''Test room'' and see what happens...
The only problem is that there must be so many settings, ingredients and classes to make the game interesting that it would be really difficult to program a balanced ''Magic physique engine'' which would be able to create *really* different spell effects...
just an idea o.O

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Inmate2993    222
I think theres something a bit missing from this conversation. These ideas for a construction based ame are great, but don''t seem to be more that simcity like simulations. I think what we might want to do is discuss this from a different angle. Try the Space Quest et.al series that Sierra made. The general premise to game play was somewhat of a constructive puzzler. Granted though, with space quest it was more of a slapstick comedy destructive puzzler, but idea of a game story without violent death was there. A simulation would lose hold of the players interest when they''ve seen enough combinations of whatever options you give them.

:: Inmate2993
:: William C. Bubel
"Please refrain from bothering Booster."

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
> but idea of a game story without violent death was there

Ha! I guess you''re ignoring the five billion different ways from Sunday that your own character could die in Space Quest.

Try the Monkey Island games for much less death. (at least on the player''s part)

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krez    443
quote:
> but idea of a game story without violent death was there
Ha! I guess you''re ignoring the five billion different ways from Sunday that your own character could die in Space Quest.

every time i went to a new area in the SpaceQuest games, i would save it and then look around for new ways to die, just because the graphics and the rude witty text that came with them were entertaining.
but i think he was talking about not having loads of violence in the GAMEPLAY...


--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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Inmate2993    222
Well, watching roger dieing and then being mocked by the narrator was part of the psychotic fun of space quest. But my point is, you might want to design a game with a set path through it, beginning to end with some nice diversions here and there, and also have a constructive purpose behind it. When you create a game with a constructive purpose, but no logical way to win, its really just a simulation, and not so much a game as it is a set of legos.

:: Inmate2993
:: William C. Bubel
"Please refrain from bothering Booster."

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fakemind    122
hey array master!
your post caught my eye, for i too am from kentucky, and a full time student at a college here. the idea of your robot building game is an awesome one, in fact, i have had the same idea for years. and just recently i have actually started coding on a game like this.

freeze:
theres a huge difference from my game and roboforge. roboforge has too little components to build your bot from, and only lets you "train" your bot, not let you give it artificial intelligence. roboforge needs more customization, more basic components, more freedom. also, in my game you will have the option for full autonomous, semi-autonomous, or driven/ran by the player with mouse/keyboard. that and my game will be free.

anyway, array master, send me an email, id love to hear more about your ideas and id love to tell you mine as well.

- jeremiah
http://fakemind.com

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