Monday, March 17, 2008

Unnamed project

That's a lie. My project does have a name, but I'm trying to keep it off the web, as it's still very much in the design stage. I mentioned this, but I am trying to work on game design daily, because persistence is the key to success. Right? I love simple ideas like that and all the exceptions they allow.

But onto the project. Tonight, since I must get up early, I am combining my blog with my game design thoughts and musings for the night. The questions I have to ask as I'm constructing this series of game vignettes is: what do I want the player to experience? What is my goal for making this game? Do I want the purpose to be on an individual level? What should the player feel after playing? Do I even want to use the term that the person "plays" the vignettes?

The potential I see within games and the particular area that fascinates me the most is the idea of simulation, specifically an organic simulation, such as Will Wright's godly game Spore set to arrive in a few months. I have not really gotten into playing an MMO for the simple fact that I want my environment to be authentic. I'll admit that I'm looking into Lord Of The Rings Online, as I heard it was a great game for entering the environments, but in general, the environment within an MMO is set by the players, and thus just another social world. The possibilities that I see revolve around creating entirely new simulated systems and placing the player within. How does a player react to the world around them depending on how that world lives? MMOs are safe social environments, they're about the interaction with other humans.

But my vignettes, I've realized, along with the games that I'm either most interested in or most interested in making, create simulated worlds. Set the starting conditions, and let artificial life have its go. Indeed, one of my games will be a derivative of pac-man and part of the reason for that is that pac-man is one of the earliest game biology simulators. It puts the player into an environment with 3 hostile creatures that will navigate terrain to eat the player, meanwhile the player has to consume all the food (white bread tablets?) to survive until the next environment. And maybe I'm putting Pac-Man on too high a pedestal, but that simple game still is one of the most renowned "video games" of all time and I would argue it is because it created a simple simulation system with varying environments to change the challenge. And so, in addition to attempting to create a variation on that, I'm working on multiple other knock-offs of other games, all the while trying to make it worth my while. Hopefully my imitation will pay eventually.

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