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The ludonarrative dissonance concept is very helpful, which is probably why it's stuck around even if Bioshock is not actually that great an example. I can see the value in generalising the concept too, as there's no reason to think that two game systems cannot also be dissonant and often are. I've always labelled it with the opposite quality of 'coherence' (so a dissonant design is 'incoherent'). Forced narrative is a prime area for this though, because it can so readily cause dissonance with a play style. Half Life was pretty coherent, but Half Life 2 assumed Gordon Freeman was a hero. If you played HL as just someone trying to survive the chaos, if was fine with that. As soon as you started HL2 they were talking about someone else's Gordon Freeman. CRPGs are prime examples with their 'chosen one' storylines, when your game-character still gets readily stomped by a couple of mooks. Perhaps play dissonances also get ironed out in testing in a way that play/narrative dissonances don't? Oh, except in Free To Play where they literally cause dissonance in the hopes that you'll pay money to make it go away. Looking forward to further installments, and I'm sure I'll think up a systems-clash dissonance as soon as I submit this comment...
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Just a bit late to the party, but... There is quite an arcade tradition of shops in shooting games that spans the gap between Elite and Resident Evil 4. Just to pick a couple of examples I've been playing in the last week, Xybots and Xenon 2 both feature intra-level shops (Xenon might as well, for all I can get off the first level). I think there's a strand there worth pulling at.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2018 on Playing with Money (3): Arms Dealers at ihobo
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Your Gollop/boardgame influence is nearly right. It's closer than you think. In Car Wars items in the vehicle took up variable amounts of space, but this was from an abstract pool of spaces. The arrangement of components was left largely to the player, which would often lead to very dodgy, physically implausible layouts so non-essential components would take damage before critical ones. In Battlecars weaponry was placed inside fixed grids of spaces for weapons firing in a given direction. Crucially, different weapons used different sized counters placed on the actual car sheet. Machine gun rounds were a 1x1 square, shells and dropped weapons were a 1x2 rectangle, and rockets and flame were 1x4, so you could play this kind of 'inventory Tetris' in choosing your loadout. This cleverly meant you could have twice as many (less powerful) mg rounds as shells, and the physical shape of the rockets meant you couldn't t fit them into the very flexible 3x3 turret spaces. I believe the 1x4 flame thrower ammo counter doubled up as a range check on the board. You took the flame from the inventory, stuck it on the side of your car on the board and if it touched the enemy car it was a hit. Innovatively, the same squares that held the weapon markers were also used to mark off damage. In this way if you took enough damage before firing off your weapons your inventory would shrink as the spaces were taken up by damage counters. This contrasts with a game like Battletech, where armour markers and storage spaces are both modelled, but on different charts. See these example Battlecars sheets: Shows a car and a bike ready to start fighting. You can see the various arrangements of the different blue weapons counters in the weapon spaces. Oddly, the characters model ammo and health separately unlike the vehicles. This shows both red damage and blue weapons counters of a game in progress. There is a 'flame' of 4x1 square next to the driver, and two 2x1 dropped weapons (spikes and smoke, I think) in the rear dispenser. Although both front weapons pods are heavily damaged, one still has some empty spaces remaining which could hold ammo. I suspect Julian couldn't help but be influenced by Battlecars multiple inventory innovations as they're critical to the game.
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Or 2. Once I'd had a stab at a username and password for a few ID services, found out that I wasn't on any of them, then created a new account. I'm sure I used to comment, but my identity seems to have vanished. I guess that's why I make them up.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2014 on Meta-campaign Score at Only a Game
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Jun 2, 2014