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Joseph Cooper
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This has me thinking a lot. What do you think about putting two roles against each other? One of the game ideas I had that we wound up not electing for a project had one player driving a "getaway car" and another player with an RTS-ish view commanding squad cars to direct and trap the escaping bank robber. Traffic becomes an issue as a car wreck with a bystander causes both players to lose (or something). Each player has a clear, focused and specific role but each is, in a sense, playing a different game.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the topic but I've been breaking it down into two and the distinction is blurry. Basically a game presents a series of puzzles; you have a game state and try to understand it and take the best action. Considerations involve anything from "can I perform that combo?" to "who's where on the map?" or "what shape is coming next?" (Tetris I mean). Then we have two ends on a continuum. Adventure games and jigsaw puzzles present hand-crafted puzzles. A live human (or maybe a software) sat down and crafted a system state and you have to perform some actions to achieve a desired state. On the other end, the state is very dynamic. Every action yields a new gamestate and there's any number of ways it can go. Then we have another dimension where some entertainment products like Orbiter and the Sims have the whole simulationist approach and the end result is really more of a toy. One can argue that it's not a "game" and the fact that there are many kinds of interactive entertainment products under the "video game" banner is a large part of why any attempt at defining things is elusive; like people upset that Pluto was not classified as a "planet" under the new spec, some people see it as more of a badge of honor than a useful tool for discussing serious business. In any case, it's a blurred distinction in that dimension too since all (or at least most) simulations have ideal states, things you're trying to do, things you're trying to avoid, little wins, big wins, big experiences. So to summarize, I see Simulations, Hand-crafted puzzles and Dynamic Games with blurred distinctions and a wide variety of actions from simple decisions to actions that warrant reflexes. And underneath all of that is simply a loop of trying to achieve ideal states using your actions.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2011 on How Many Root Gameplays Are There? at What Games Are
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Aug 25, 2011