In The Final Cut, you play an actor who is performing on a film set. Your goal is to deliver the required acting performances in as little “takes” as possible. If you forget the script for the particular scene or perform bad for any other reason, the director asks you to perform again, so long until he gets the shot he desires. Unless you perform in all scenes as is being demanded of you, the film remains incomplete.
The game ends when a) the crew runs out of raw film, b) the shooting schedule is violated (there is a limited number of shots that can be made per day), or c) when all scenes are completed within time and raw film constraints.
Your acting performance will be evaluated based on a “cutting ratio”, that is, the amount of shots you wasted with your bad performances compared to the minimum number of shots that were required to complete the film.
The interesting thing about The Final Cutas a game is that it points out the similarities between film-making and successfully completing a sequence of actions in a game. Whereas in a game like Medal of Honour: Allied Assault, failure sends us back to the previous save point until we succeed; upon failure in a film shooting, the director asks us to perform again, until he gets what he wants. This makes me think that we can liken the repetitious gameplay in certain games to the shooting action on a film set.
One thing that is highlighted through this, is the wrong idea of many game scholars in regard to the “linearity” of movies. It becomes apparent that it takes a lot of effort from a film crew to achieve what game scholars criticize as linearity. During shooting, the film is as undecided as a game. The second thing that is highlighted is the opposite: that games may look quite undecided, but that in a lot of them, we re-play in order to make possible (cut together) an “ideal story”. To me this is an important blurring of lines which renders the divide between games and narratives ineffective.
After some time, I’ve come up with a new game idea. This time it is an experimental game about perspective… here it comes:
Game Idea #46
This multiplayer online game starts by presenting an object or human according to rules of classic perspective. However, as more players join the game, the number of vantage points multiplies and starts to “deform” the object/human that the individual player sees. Stylewise, the object/human starts to turn into some sort of cubist painting. As players navigate around the object/human, the changes in the vantage points are reflected onto the representation of both object/human and environment, which turns gameplay into the shaping of an interactive cubist sculpture-world that morphs in real-time.
The game has two experimental goals: On one hand, it is a technological experiment, challenging the capacities of current game engines and graphics programmers; on the other hand it is an experiment on reception, challenging the ways in which players “view” 3D representations, and their notion of interaction.
It seems like this is now possible: Just recently Game Crafter, a site for board game creators has been launched.
It is time you took that game you created and publish it. No more homemade board or cards. You have arrived. Now, publish it!
…they’ve announced proudly.
Indeed everything you need to make or re-make your game is online. Just put together the pieces, upload your own stuff if you want. That’s all. Then you are ready to publish your game and… sell it. Yes, sell it, online.
Today I was doing a little research for a future article which probably will take a closer look at game manifestos and the question of art games. While I was looking for useful resource, I tossed at this:
A compilation of manifestos from all over the world, in alphabetical order. This is such a treasure! It’s huge and will take days to complete reading, but after that I’m sure I will have a deeper understanding what moved people and made them say “Enough! We want a change!”
Fine! I arrived at game idea #20. Not bad I must say. Six more ideas and half of the task will be accomplished.
This week’s game idea is an adaptation of Italo Calvino’s Il Barone Rampante. Read on.
Game Idea #20
In Trees you are in the role of a 18th century baron who, after a heartbreaking family issue, decides to spend the rest of his life up on trees. The ultimate goal of the game is to create the biggest possible network of trees to ensure that you can continue with your unusual lifestyle.
The game starts in a small village in Italy. After an argument with your father, you climb up a tree and say that you never touch the ground again. Everyone’s laughing at you, but after a few weeks they start to understand that you were serious. You create yourself a habitat on trees and as you discover your new world you meet interesting people such as an outlaw, a bohemian countess, gypsies, hunters etc.
One of your goals is to find new tree-routes that allow you to travel over huge distances. Sometimes you need to find seeds for types of trees that grow fast so that you can bridge gaps between forrests. Each time you connect to a new isles of trees, you also unlock new encounters with new characters. You will aid the Robin Hoods of your time, fall in love with gypsies, and try to win the heart of the countess so that she decides to come up to trees and live with you.
The game ends if you touch the ground for any reason.
Paradice is an arcade game about a snowman who wants to reach the Antarctica to find eternal peace.
The game consists of several levels in which the player must collect a number of snowballs and other items without being caught by a group of humans that chase him with shovels. This is a tricky task, not just because the shovelers co-operate in chasing the snowman, but also because as time passes by, the sun comes up and it gets hotter, causing our snowman to melt down. The snowman will be defeated if he melts down before accomplishing his goal (or if he gets caught by one of the shovelers). However, power-ups will reverse the situation and freeze the shovelers and once our snowman catches them, they are sent back home in front of a chauminee, where it will take some time until they normalize and come back to chase him.
Paradice is a simple game of the Pacman tradition and it is supposed to help us to kill a few minutes inbetween work to get a moment of relief.
This weeks idea is reserved to one of the heroes of my childhood: Tarzan. I was lucky enough to watch almost all of the movies which featured Johnny Weissmüller as the legendary king of the jungle. Maybe the time has come to make a game for this character with the signature cry! Here comes…
Game Idea # 18
Tarzan is a TPS in the settings of an African jungle. You control Tarzan, the king of the jungle, and protect your family (your wife Jane, + your son and daughter), the natives and all the animals from the evil intruders who dared to disturb the peace of your kingdom. Your ultimate goal is to drive them out and restore the order of the jungle.
Next to all typical types of moves in a TPS (think of Lara Croft, Spiderman or Max Payne), in Tarzan you can move your character quickly trough the jungle by using rope-like plants or by swinging from tree-branch to tree-branch. These are tactical elements which give you an advantage over your enemies which rather move on the ground of the jungle. Since you are Tarzan, a human raised by animals, you also have psionic powers which enable you to control animals and let them carry out certain actions. You will make use of the abilities of birds, mammals or reptiles which will all be of help to you as you must solve certain puzzles while you try to beat the intruders.
Tarzan is a world made up of myth and truth, legend and nature, fantasy and reality. You will acrobatic action and pictoresque peace. You battle cry will put its mark onto the jungle.
This week’s game idea is right on time! I went for a topic that always lies at my heart: Books! Here comes…
Game Idea #17
Bookworms is a library management simulation. You start as the new director of a small municipality library. Your goal is to develope the library into an important cultural center famous for its collections and events that attracts people from all ages, genders, nations and occupations.
As the director one of your primary duties is to keep the basic services in tact. On the other hand, you try to expand your services wisely in order to gain more financial support from the government. This requires an understanding and control of a certain growth cycle: The more money the library receives, the more different services it can offer and attract new user profiles. And the more new users the library attracts, the more support it receives from state and municipality.
The library can be expanded in two ways: physical space and content/services. New space will be needed for new sections in the library in which new collections will be introduced. But expansion might also be for conference rooms, bistros, or more restrooms. Also inner decoration is one of the issues to be dealt with. Introduction of wireless internet, DVD collections, cultural events, exhibitions etc are all activities that will contibute to the reputation and overall number of visitors of the library. Finally, taking parts in auctions and bidding for rare pieces to add them to your collection will be the cherry on top of the icecream.
Bookworms is for those who don’t want to chose between books and games! Take a library and turn it into a dream space of the curious and learners, be it students or famous writers!
I know, I know, it’s too early to post a game idea, but my schedule is very busy so I’ll do anything to gain time ;) Posting this game idea will save me until the start of November. I’ll be back at that time with game idea #16.
The idea that I feature today came in my mind during Guita’s industrial product design class. One of the problems that students had to come up with a solution for was the design of a chocolate product.
The idea with which I was playing so far was to create a chocolate brand based on Luis Bunuel’s concept “image choc”, originally being a french word which means “shocking image” and belongs to the theory of surrealist cinema. I wanted to go for a wordplay and use “choc” in its english sense, meanwhile maintaining the connection to cinema. Maybe it would have been possible to use wrapped chocolate pieces as mosaic tesellations for reproductions of film posters or unforgettable moments in film history. Anyway, the fact was that I didn’t really give it a thought beyond that.
However, today I saw a student coming up with a chess game idea in which both, the board and the tokens were made of bitter and white chocolate. If your opponent loses a piece during play, you would have the right to eat that piece. This made me think of other games in the form of chocolate. And suddenly there was the magic word: Chocemon! Somehow it sounded fun to me. So I decided to write the idea down. Well, here is…
Game Idea #15
Chocemon is a collectible card game (CCG) based on a monster theme in which the cards are made of chocolate and wrapped into colored aluminium foils. Players might play, trade and, if desired, eat their choco game cards (or those of their opponents!).
The Chocemons will come in three different choco “races”: Bitter, Cacao, White. Each race will feature dozens of unique Chocemons with different ingredients and flavor (and character skill sets!).
Chocemon’s unique battle system will ensure that gameplay is fun. And winning a battle will be more rewarding than ever: You will be able to devour the beaten monsters of your opponent.. Bon appetite!!
And this time I also have a little poll for you. Enjoy! ;)
Game Idea #13 should have been normally published on October 13. But since I will have a busy week because of the opening lessons for this semester, I decided to put the idea up early on. The meaning of all this is: Game Idea #14 will be up on October 20 and not, as some might mistakenly expect, on October 13.
Reaching Game Idea #13 has a special meaning too: One quarter of my self-imposed challenge, in other words, three months of it are behind now! I didn’t think I could bring it this far. This is definitely something to celebrate!
Game Idea #13
Your Athlete Next Door (YAND)
YAND is a series of sports simulations designed in order to aid those who are in search for something to motivate them in their individual training and fitness programs. It aims to provide home-sportlers with a virtual environment that serves them with the right mix of effort, challenge, competition, motivation, achievement and fun. It is a series of software that is compatible with typical home-exercise tools such as walk-bands and exercise-bikes.
With the help of YAND, the player will complete his exercise programs in a virtual world that consists of certain parts of famous competitions such as the London Marathon or the Tour-de-France. Based on the selected fitness program and the intensity schedules, the in-game opponents will challenge the players to increase their performance in important sequences of the race or in the “last few meters” of the competition. Players that answer the challenges will earn unlockables, power-ups, and virtual medails. In other words, their rather boring programs will be placed into the setting of an epic competition in which they will jog or cycle along the biggest athletes on the globe.
Players will be able to adjust at any time the difficulty of the etappes and the opponents that they are competing in/against. This will allow for gradual intensificiation or de-intensification of programs according to individual needs and performance levels.
An important factor of motivation for the players will be the virtual supporter along the tracks that will cheer the her in her attempt to answer the challenges of the virtual opponents. They will be always loyal and cheerful to her, regardless of the results she achieves. A customizable virtual coach will make the more “serious” comments and suggestions.
YAND will give players both a fun challenge and great assistance in their individual fitness programs. Multiplayer options will allow people to train in pairs, which gives YAND also a family appeal. As a last option, YAND could be played just for fun, solely for the sake of slipping into the role of such famous athletes as for example cyclist Lance Armstrong.