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Daniel13

Some ideas about a non-violence based game

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Posted (edited)

Good afternoon everyone!

I am rather new to this forum, so please do not punish me too harshly for posting this in the wrong forum section :)

Once upon a time (in 2015) I've got an idea to create a management game for PC. Back then I defined it as a strategy game and the idea was that

most of strategies out there are based on 2 things: politics and war.

"Ok", I thought, "why not create a game based on something entirely different? Like, let's make a game about Gandhi and non-violence!". And I started creating it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make out the best mechanics for such a game, so I just started experimenting. I've tried A LOT OF different versions and now I have almost no ideas. 


In the beginning I felt like it should be like the player can spread ideas of non-violence in order to achieve independance of India (in 100 turns). So, there are "inspiration" points

that players can spend on either unlocking some non-violent political methods or spreading their ideas among Indian population. But... I can't understand how to make it interesting.
So, I deleted everything exept the map and some basic game code in order to start again.

So, the question is: is it possible to make such a game exciting and interesting enough?

I thought I could collect some feedback and on my idea here, so that I could finish that game...
Thanks in advance!

Edited by Daniel13

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1 hour ago, Daniel13 said:

is it possible to make such a game exciting and interesting enough?

Absolutely yes. It is definitely possible.

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Just now, Tom Sloper said:

Absolutely yes. It is definitely possible.

Could you please provide some examples of existing games like that? Or maybe some ideas?

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1 minute ago, Tom Sloper said:

I don't have either of those things. 

Well, at least thanks for the reply! :)

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So, to make things clear: you want not only a game without violence, but a game specifically about non-violence?

(For an example of a strategy game that's not focused on "units blowing each other up", take a look at Offworld Trading Company (TIL it now has a free to play version). It's not about non-violence, but it may give you some inspiration.)

As for actual non-violence gameplay, think about what a strategy game is at its core, it's about making decisions: you organize your economy to obtain resources, you use those resources to make units, and then you use those units against an opponent and their units. In most cases this translates to armies and war (i.e. violence) but it doesn't have to be, it can be anything you want. Your "attacks" can be peaceful protests, radio/tv broadcasts, activism of any kind. As long as you can use your units to gain resources/territory/advantages and make your opponent lose them, the strategy is there. It doesn't matter what it looks like visually.

By the way, you mentioned you don't want "politics and war". You can't avoid politics, because strategy is about making decisions, and "making decisions" is politics. Gandhi's actions counts as politics too :) 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, 1024 said:

So, to make things clear: you want not only a game without violence, but a game specifically about non-violence?

(For an example of a strategy game that's not focused on "units blowing each other up", take a look at Offworld Trading Company (TIL it now has a free to play version). It's not about non-violence, but it may give you some inspiration.)

As for actual non-violence gameplay, think about what a strategy game is at its core, it's about making decisions: you organize your economy to obtain resources, you use those resources to make units, and then you use those units against an opponent and their units. In most cases this translates to armies and war (i.e. violence) but it doesn't have to be, it can be anything you want. Your "attacks" can be peaceful protests, radio/tv broadcasts, activism of any kind. As long as you can use your units to gain resources/territory/advantages and make your opponent lose them, the strategy is there. It doesn't matter what it looks like visually.

By the way, you mentioned you don't want "politics and war". You can't avoid politics, because strategy is about making decisions, and "making decisions" is politics. Gandhi's actions counts as politics too :) 

Thanks for the reply! :)
A game about non-violence (to be more accurate: about Gandhi)

Well, I used to think in this way: in order to make a game about Gandhi I should look at Gandhi's actions in real history and translate them into game mechanics. And then, Gandhi organized peaceful protests, tried to spread ideas....
It's a bit hard to turn into a fun gameplay, isn't it?
For intance, as for resources. It would be nice to add "inspiration" points and "supporters" as a resource. But how would players use them? Just clicking on buttons like "call for peaceful protests"? But it's boring... And as for some other things: I thought about adding a global map of India with different regions (Delhi, Bombay etc) and the player can interact with them. But it means that I need a lot of them, doesn't it?

Edited by Daniel13

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This game sounds like it would take mechanics of spreading ideology/religion/whatever that is sometimes found in many 4x or Civs style games. Civilizations 5 and others actually had a mechanic for spreading religion. That is a great starting point I think for getting inspiration. 

I could see this being similar to Stellaris or other Paradox games, minus the combat. There are mechanics in those games that would be worth looking into. 

1 minute ago, Daniel13 said:

And then, Gandhi organized peaceful protests, tried to spread ideas....

It's a bit more in depth than that. Gandhi's central tenet was Satyagrah, which literally translates to churning of truth. It's true he didn't believe in violence and had peaceful protests but much of it also centered around the concept of civil disobedience. Look up  Dandi March (Salt March) to get an idea. The Quit India movement was similar. There were also many many elements at play in India. Religion, caste were big issues. There were also very violent figures as well that did not agree with Gandhi, including, but not limited to, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, etc.

Then there was the British response of violence, such as the Jalian Wala Bag in Amritsar, where the British massacred peaceful protestors. 

The focus of your game is non violence but there are many elements to consider for inspiration. Random events could be interesting in this vein. 

I could definitely see something like a 4x game built around this concept though, which is my initial sort of thought. 

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Just now, deltaKshatriya said:

This game sounds like it would take mechanics of spreading ideology/religion/whatever that is sometimes found in many 4x or Civs style games. Civilizations 5 and others actually had a mechanic for spreading religion. That is a great starting point I think for getting inspiration. 

I could see this being similar to Stellaris or other Paradox games, minus the combat. There are mechanics in those games that would be worth looking into. 

It's a bit more in depth than that. Gandhi's central tenet was Satyagrah, which literally translates to churning of truth. It's true he didn't believe in violence and had peaceful protests but much of it also centered around the concept of civil disobedience. Look up  Dandi March (Salt March) to get an idea. The Quit India movement was similar. There were also many many elements at play in India. Religion, caste were big issues. There were also very violent figures as well that did not agree with Gandhi, including, but not limited to, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, etc.

Then there was the British response of violence, such as the Jalian Wala Bag in Amritsar, where the British massacred peaceful protestors. 

The focus of your game is non violence but there are many elements to consider for inspiration. Random events could be interesting in this vein. 

I could definitely see something like a 4x game built around this concept though, which is my initial sort of thought. 

Yeah, I've read about Satyagraha. But what would be the core mechanic of such a game...
In real life Gandhi's work was hard because there were a lot of different social groups that didn't agree with his ideas. But adding a complex social system is a bit tricky.
I've read that the first game should be as simple (in terms of mechanics) as possible.

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Posted (edited)

To put it in a simple way:
we have a map of India with some regions. Each region has some parameters:

  • Player's ideas support. Decreases slowly as the time passes.
  • Population number. The more it is, the harder it is to increase player's ideas support.

We have inspiration points + supporters. We can use inspiration to:

  • Unlock non-violent political tools
  • Spread ideas among population - increase player's ideas support in regions

We can use supporters to:

  • Stop player's ideas support from decreasing

We also have some historical events that can be activated. Like, players can start the Salt March. This requires support in some regions, some inspirtation and some free supporters. The game's goal will be like this: activate the "independance" event as soon as possible.

But this sounds extremely boring and simplistic. And what will be challenging enough to excite the player...

Edited by Daniel13

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